Kai Schumacher - Insomnia (Haensler Classic, 2015)

Piano music by Gershwin, Cage, Crumb, Belet, Stark

"Insomnia is the story of a nocturnal odyssey, soothing and disturbing at the same time, mystical and unpredictable. It is the flight from ourselves to the warmth and security of the night, which ultimately leads deeper into our inmost selves. Insomnia is the aimless tumble of a sleepless person through an inner and an outer world that remains hidden from a sound sleeper, through inner and outer worlds which remains hidden during the harsh light of day.

Insomnia is five Hymns to the Night, composed by five American composers over a period of nearly 100 years. While at first glance, they may seem stylistically very different, when taken together; these five works are the perfect soundtrack for a journey through the long hours after the sun has set.

At the center of this journey stands A Little Midnight Music, George Crumb's adaptation of the Thelonious Monk Jazz Standard 'Round Midnight. He leads his listeners and performers past the neon signs of the New York jazz clubs of the 1940s into the oppressive darkness of the avant-garde pianist. Sleepless Night and Urban Nocturnes by Bruce Stark not only reference jazz, and are the outgrowth of the composer's long-standing interest in improvisation. In George Gershwin short Prelude we can almost imagine the clinking of glasses at last call. John Cage's Dream and Brian Belet's Summer Phantoms - Nocturne function as the album's centerpieces and provide a pair of contrasting soundtracks for nightly inner escapism.


To describe Kai Schumacher as a "punk pianist" would be excessive. His deeply thoughtful style of playing blurs the boundaries of the classical avant-garde and pop culture without getting stuck in all-too-familiar crossover paths. One focus of Kai Schumacher's solo repertoire has been on American piano music of the late 20th and the 21st centuries. His debut album of Frederic Rzewski's monumental variation cycle The people united will never be defeated! (2010) was celebrated by FonoForum magazine as "a pianistic sensation". With his second album Transcriptions (2013), he ventured into the musical heroes of his youth - Rage against the machine, Nirvana, Slayer, etc., transforming the concert grand in his piano remixes into a tone generator of monstrous proportions, sound effects board or a set of tuned percussion instruments."

Out in June 2015


This is techno: Kangding Ray - Solens Arc (R-N154, 2014)

solens arc is kangding ray’s fourth album on raster-noton and the follow-up to “the pentaki slopes” ep. the twelve tracks of this record are assembled in the form of four “arcs”, one for each side of the double LP. The different sequences are arranged seamlessly into dense, evolving compositions, while keeping their autonomy, and their role in the global dramaturgy.

pointillist serial loops and disintegrated melodic textures morph into abrasive rave anthems, broken club rhythms are refitted into uneven patterns, like deconstructivist sound architectures. Industrial techno stompers dissolve into granular sound waves and filtered space pads, before being overtaken by cinematic drums and rising arpeggios.

solens arc is available as compact disc,  2 x 12" vinyl (r-n154-2) and limited edition of 2 x 12“ heavy vinyl + cd + art print signed by the artist (r-n154-3) in a special cardboard case.

Kangding Ray is David Letellier. Born 1978 in France, lives and works in Berlin.

Studied and graduated in architecture in Rennes and Berlin, works in different fields : music, architecture, performances, installations.

Evolved as a guitarist and drummer in bands whose influences ranged from noise-rock, to jazz, before buying an akai sampler and moving on to electronic music. 

Kangding ray's music reflects his wide musical background, and a particular way of merging beats and textured soundscapes into slowly evolving compositions.
KR combines machines with « real instruments » in a subtle and rythmic suite, integrating digital anomalies, walls of distortion, massive bass lines, micro-noises, voices and field recordings to create tracks that sit right between noise-pop, dubstep and experimental music.

On raster-noton he released two albums so far: stabil r-n073 and automne fold r-n094.


Made in RO: Anna Mar - There For You (Hot Casandra Remix)

Zona artistilor romani aflati la granita dintre mainstream, netstream, underground si indie ajunge din nou sa fie prezenta pe Boing Bum-Chak, cu Anna Mar pentru care Hot Casandra a facut un remix. Anna Mar are 24 de ani, isi scrie singura muzica pentru EP-ul care urmeaza sa apara in acest an si e prezentata in comunicatul de presa ca artist de avangarda. Si a avut aceasta idee care nu e doar  originala ci porneste, probabil, dintr-o credinta profunda in impactul social si spiritual al muzicii: de a rescrie o piesa Damian Marley, a cere de la acesta acordul pentru publicare si a-i face videoclipul de mai jos, lansat undeva in martie 2015. 

Orchestratia minimalista a lui Esqu si Teona Rusu, vocea si abordarea au facut ca remakeul sa fie autorizat de Damian Marley. Si nu e greu de ghicit de ce: pentru ca mesajul piesei originale a primit o expresie care accentueaza tensiunea dintre muzica si versuri/aspiratie si ideal, pe de o parte, si realitate (si cosmar) pe de alta. Adica un vehicul perfect pentru un un public occidental caruia partea spirituala a vietii ii este ocultata de revarsarea de mesaje individualiste si hedoniste din fm-ul offline.

Lucru la care vegheaza cu grija multi dintre managerii playlisturilor de radio mari si mici si chiar online, care, asa cum ni s-a spus de catre o persoana din anturajul Anna Mar, "nu-si asuma riscul pentru un nume nou, chiar daca sound-ul este unul bun, in pas cu ce se intampla afara. Motivul... probabil ca e teama de schimbare, teama de risc." As zice ca si asta, dar mai ales faptul ca in general mesajele de trezire a constiintei sociale sau a unei constiinte spirituale mai inalte nu fac casa buna cu publicitatea si mai ales cu consumerismul (sau ce a mai ramas din ele). Consumerism, adica goana dupa a avea si a arata pentru tine, indiferent la ce e in jur si la nevoile altora.

Remixul de mai jos extrage din piesa originala melodicitatea si o propulseaza intr-o zona dance, lucru normal, pentru ca Hot Casandra este un proiect care a semnat cu Ministry Of Sound, Pacha si Egg. Din punctul de vedere al relatiei cu piesa de la care porneste, remixul functioneaza ca un pacificator, dandu-i un aer laid back care elimina tensiunea creata de greutatea mesajului si de orchestratia originala. E un remix corect si bine gandit, daca luam in considerare publicul caruia i se adreseaza, si care e prin excelenta un public mainstream.

E interesant de auzit/vazut cum mesajul puternic a lui Damian Marley, care promoveaza educatia spirituala pentru mase (vexation of spirit is a waste of time/ negative thinking, don’t you waste your thoughts/ verbal conflict is a waste of words/ physical conflict is a waste of flesh/ people will always be who they want/ and that’s what really makes the world go round), imbraca haine diferite in functie de publicul avut in vedere, de la piesa originala reggae, la versiunea Annei Mar - sobra si interiorizata ca o bataie de inima -  si in sfarsit la versiunea de vara a remixului semnat Hot Casandra.

Ramane intrebarea daca muzica ii poate face pe oameni mai buni  si daca ii poate aduce mai aproape? Poate ca da, poate ca nu, dar un mesaj care sa vorbeasca despre altfel de lucruri este intodeauna binevenit, indiferent de forma pe care o imbraca.


Panda Bear - Boys Latin (Official Video)

Beasts don't have a sec' to think, but
We don't 'preciate our things, but

Dark cloud descended again
Has a dark cloud descended again?
Has a dark cloud descended again?
And a shadow moves in
Dark cloud descended again
And a shadow moves in the darkness