Triple R Soundscape: 27 July 2020
Soundscape is a weekly look at local and international releases making an impression on our musical radar. The list offers a cross-section of EPs and albums arriving at the station.
We have been busily scouring the Soundscape! Check out some of our favourite finds for this week 27 July 2020
Crack Cloud - Pain Olympics (Tin Angel/Meat Machine)**Album of the Week
Crack Cloud are a collective from Vancouver who largely met and formed around addiction recovery programs. Band leader Zach Choy has said in interviews that they have used the band as a recovery mechanism and have turned their focus to working in prevention and harm reduction programmes during Canada’s opioid epidemic. This communal spirit runs through their debut LP Pain Olympics, an album which runs from manic punk to choral beauty, and explores claustrophobia, fear and wide-eyed expressions of joy.
Courtney Marie Andrews - Old Flowers (Fat Possum / Inertia)
On her new release, the Arizona songwriter transcends her country and Americana roots to compose a devastating and intimate break-up record. Stripping back her sound to its rawest elements, driven by acoustic guitar, sparse percussion and meandering piano, Old Flowers finds Andrews at her most meditative and vulnerable. In her words “Old Flowers is about heartbreak. There are a million records and songs about that, but I did not lie when writing these songs.”
Blu & Exile - Miles: From An Interlude Called Life (Dirty Science Records)
The latest release from LA duo Blu & Exile is part tribute to the jazz legend Miles Davis and part autobiographical exploration of emcee Blu’s childhood growing up poor and Black in South Central Los Angeles. Over producer Exile’s beats built around soul and jazz loops, Blu explore’s his own history alongside the broader history of Black America, contextualising it in the current moment. A deeply collaborative record, Blu & Exile engage the likes of Miguel, Aloe Blacc, Fashawn and many more to assert a confident return to form for the elusive duo.
Jonnine - Blue Hills (Boomkat Editions / Documenting Sound)
The innovative Manchester record store Boomkat continues their ‘Tapes’ series - documenting sounds made during the pandemic - with a 9 track release from Jonnine aka Jonnine Standish of HTRK. Blue Hills, recorded by Standish on bass, synth, wave drum and household sounds in the Dandenong Ranges, runs like a dream and nightmare vision of the lockdown. “Everyday motifs repeat, days blurring into one another, walking from room to room, twitter news before bed, your number is up, the last love song?”
Zara McFarlane - Songs Of An Unknown Tongue (Brownswood Recordings)
On her fourth album, the London artist continues her growth and exploration of jazz adjacent music, harvesting sounds from the folk and spiritual traditions of her Jamaican ancestral heritage. The album’s futuristic sound palate, produced by cult South London mainstays Kwake Bass and Wu-Lu, electronically revisits the pulsing and hypnotic rhythms of music played at African rooted rituals. Songs of an Unknown Tongue is a rumination on the painful and proud histories uncovered when piecing together Black heritage.
Jessy Lanza - All The Time (Hyperdub)
The latest release from the Canadian singer and producer was written after she left her home-town of Hamilton, Ontario to live in New York. Continuing to collaborate via distance with her creative partner Jeremy Greenspan (Junior Boys), Lanza endured the difficulties of relocation and remote collaboration to create the most pure set of pop songs the duo has recorded. The backbone of the record was created during live take experiments using modular equipment; “we got all of the machines talking to one another and would run patterns through. A lot of the little brps and quacks and squiggles...are from those experiments.”
Katie Dey - mydata (Run For Cover)
Over the last half-decade, the Melbourne artist Katie Dey has meditated on isolation, often in the context of trying to forge connections through technology. On her fourth release, these same themes are sustained, but there is a certain warmth and humanity emerging through the signature glitches, cuts and distortion of her sound. On mydata, Dey explores the genuine connection that physically distanced people can experience through the internet. Although completed before the world was sent into isolation, the themes explored on mydata, have become suddenly and urgently very real.
Laurence Pike - Prophecy (THE LEAF LABEL)
Sydney artist Laurence Pike, a long time mainstay of Australian electronic and jazz scenes through PVT, Triosk and Szun Waves, developed his latest album during the climate-disaster of Australia’s most recent summer. The record plays like a stream of consciousness, with the music forming a series of moments of traversing through a dark, smoke and ash covered Sydney. Trying to respond to the crisis through music, Pike has said “I’d like my music to present the possibility of a way a being; a space that is dynamic in its intent – drawing on the language of the past, yet responsive to the moment, interpreted with tools of the present, and open to the narrative of the future being one that has yet to be told.”
Rufus Wainwright - Unfollow The Rules (BMG)
Unfollow the Rules is the ninth album from the pop aristocrat, and his first since 2012. Wainwright has slated this album as the bookend of Act I of his career and, at the age of 46, as the first paragraph in a new chapter. What that next chapter looks like remains to be seen, however in context, Unfollow the Rules can more be seen as a distillation of Wainwrights career so far - sharp and witty songwriting, old-soul aesthetic, lush orchestration and solo piano meanderings.
Kamaal Williams - Wu Hen (Black Focus / Inertia Music)
Wu Hen is the sophomore album from the Pekham musician and producer. The record harvests the sounds of contemporary London, exploring celestial jazz, funk, rap and r&b reinforced by the beat-heavy energy of grime, jungle, house and garage. The sound of the record is elevated by cinematic strings from Miguel-Atwood Ferguson and virtuoso saxophone from Quinn Mason.