Modern Classical

MMx099 Coax – CRASH2

A new exquisite record from Coax, squishing itself through the grapevine. Here’s Ulf’s lowdown;

Coax’s new record CRASH2 is a great listen. It’s heading in another direction than COM1, towards a more ‘orchestral’ sounding record. Still the sound and the arrangements are in an electronic landscape of lovely IDM, glitch, ambient and avant garde, in which Coax prefers to find himself in his much appreciated journeys of music-making. Dark atmospheres, at the same time bright and light, leaving the listener puzzled by it’s many beautiful nuances and even dissonances of different musical feelings merged together. The elements of orchestration which is not easy to ‘get away with’ when done electronically are very well designed, and unfolds more and more throughout the record. If you want a little bit of travelling to go with your musical explorations, well listen to this record. Nuff said, press play!

The lovely cover art was made by Coax himself.

1. Zilver
2. Poor Man’s Lunch
3. Find Prometheus
4. The Spirit
5. Mushroom
6. Rosal
7. Lospdpds

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MMx048 Thomas Bergsten – Clouds & Pieces That Will Flip Your Lid

‘Clouds & Pieces That Will Flip Your Lid’ is a collection of acoustic and electro acoustic compositions by Thomas Bergsten. There are artistic considerations behind these recordings that the ramblings of an outsider wouldn’t do just, so here are Thomas’s own words describing the various pieces;

‘The Sun (May 12th 2010 –Oslo)’ is a recording of the 2010 version of this minimalistic piece, a chord that moves by the help of three rules;

Where the sun is in the sky determines the root (ranging from one octave from any C). How far from the place you are performing The Sun, the city to be played in determines the dynamics (or power of the chord, if you will). How long from today’s date the date being played determines how long to sustain the chord.

Performed on the 12th of may 2010 at Brown Dude, Project Loft.

London14. aug 1973 08:41
Toronto 18.mars 1995 07:15
Sydney 21.desember 2012 12:17
Longyearbyen 7.juni 1905 11:56
Sofia 17.mai 1933 13:36
New Delhi 11.september 1969 12:18
Berlin 23.juli 1953 14:13
Tel Aviv 2.februar 2004 17:15
Osaka, 22. Oktober 1945 14:13
Here & Now

‘The Sun’ was performed by Lars Oskarsen (Glockenspiel), Jan Roger Antonsen (Accordion), Kristine Marie Aasvang (Flute), Line Grenheim (Violin), Stefan Remen (Bass) – conducted by Thomas Bergsten.

‘Study of Music Under Water’ is a piece arranged by Thomas Bergsten and recorded by Jana Winderen in Sandvika, December 2008. Kristine Marie Aasvang plays the flute and Thomas Bergsten the guitar. The piece is the sound of improvised music played LOUD above the ice, recorded by two hydrophones and a pair of stereo microphones hanging from a tree. The underwater sound is emphasized both during recording and mixing.

‘Cloud #2 in Bb for 5 Electric Baritone Guitars’ – Clouds are pieces consisting of one chord with long duration. This cloud is a short version and is to be considered a test. Although real clouds can disappear in a blink of an eye, these clouds should last for at least an hour.

‘Repetitions And Variations In Eb For Sax and Electronics’ – This piece evolves around an Eb major chord (sampled from a string sextet) and three independent sax improvisations in different transpositions. Original, octave down and two octaves down. The string chord is repeated for the total duration of the piece.

The saxophones are arranged like this:

#1 – Original – 8vb – 15vb
#2 – 8vb – 15vb – Original
#3 – 15vb – Original – 8vb

‘Broadcasting Suburbia’ – This piece consist of two live pirate radio broadcasts spaced a couple of minutes apart on February 22nd 2012, between 1pm and 1:30pm. Both broadcasts were live broadcasts from the local area using a transmitter connected directly to a field recorder. The first broadcast was with a very low volume setting, so that the reciver might think of it as just a bad signal from their radio.

The second one had the field recorder gained up loud, making it recognizable as ambient sounds, and also making the louder parts of the field recording distorted. To document the broadcasts I used a radio/cassette deck and recorded the broadcast two and old tape (The Public Enemy – 911 is a joke single). Broadcasted on and around FM 88,7.

‘The Sun (River)’ – This is The Sun played by six rivers at high noon. A 2011 version of The Sun.

Artwork by Thomas, slightly edited by Morten.

01. The Sun (May 12th 2010 –Oslo)
02. Study of Music Under Water
03. Cloud #2 in Bb for 5 Electric Baritone Guitars
04. Repetitons And Variations In Eb For Sax and Electronics
05. Broadcasting Suburbia (Low Volume)
06. The Sun (River)
07. Broadcasting Suburbia (High Volume)

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MMx040 Oskars Herliņš – Skandarbi Sintetiskajam Orkestrim

Find a druid manacled on the rack. Open the iron maiden. Pick up the flaming brand at the center of the room. Pick up the mints by the door. Talk to the druid and then remove the ring. Try to convince the druid that you are not evil. Et cetera.

‘Skandarbi Sintetiskajam Orkestrim’, the latest tongue twister and modern classical composition by Latvian composer Oskars Herliņš, may not be Latvian for ‘Simon The Sorcerer’, but I’m guessing it’s pretty close. These four pieces instills in me the same kind of mysticism and wonder that the Amiga video game instilled in me as a kid. This EP contains some wonderfully layered beat-less midi-compositions that takes your mind on a magical journey through the woods, by the witch’s hut, through the dragon’s lair, past the claw-fingered snowman, over the blast furnace on a broom, through micro-land, “hasta la pizza, baby” and Sordid turns to stone.

There is, however, a sophistication to these pieces that distinguishes them from old-school adventure game-music, a sort of seriousness in its intricacy, the mysticism matured, if you like, which perhaps make these pieces more interesting than the good old Amiga compositions. Make no mistake, this is by no means 8-bit midi-music.

01. Through Imaginary Worlds
02. Kafka Metro
03. Gondvana
04. Ka Uzbuvet Lidojoso Skiviti

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MMx037 Thomas Bergsten – Music For Films

When I in a few minutes will press ‘submit’ to free Thomas Bergsten’s latest contribution to the human race, I will take great pride in knowing that the level of weirdness in the world just increased by 36. On this phenomenal record, we have nothing less than 12 exceptionally outlandish, beautiful pieces of music made for a film that is just around the corner. The fabulous thing about this movie is the fact that the movie itself was shot with the intention of describing the sound, yet not making it a mere music video, but a full fledged Jim Jarmusch-like flick with lots of awkward people doing whatever it is awkward people do. You’ll see, you’ll see.

‘New Orleans Vampire’ opens the show with a strange african/mexican-sounding blues track that suddenley drops into a stripped down 80’ies hip-hop beat, before the title song, ‘Jesus Was Walking On The Water’ rips your head open with some Nick Cave-like aesthetics, and then Oscar (from the movie), or what have you, takes it too far (honey), and has to cool down on the beach. Et cetera! It just goes on! I’m finding it very difficult to choose one track for preview on this, because they are all so different. A personal favorite it is though, ‘Subway (Club Scene)’, which is absolutely sublime! Artwork by Thomas.

01. New Orleans Vampire (Vampire Band Scene)
02. Jesus Was Walking On The Water (Title Song)
03. Honey I Went Too Far (Beach Scene)
04. Disney (Turn The Page)
05. Don’t Drink And Drive (End Credits)
06. Fuglane (Last Scene)
07. Indianarane Kjem! (Theme Song)
08. Subway (Club Scene)
09. Subway (Praying Scene)
10. The World Is Burning (Birth Scene)
11. The Dada Priest (Preaching Scene, Amazing Grace)
12. Aix Sponsa

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MMx015 Thomas Bergsten – Works

Thomas Bergsten is a composer and artist that’s all over the place, playing in about ten bands and composing music at every waking moment. ‘Works’ is a collection of pieces written between December 2008 and May 2009. The pieces are composed for acoustic instruments, but here they are played by a computer, transferred to an old tape, and back to the computer to give that nice analog feeling to it. Artwork by Morten.

01. Piece For Two Pianos – Movement I
02. Piece For Two Pianos – Movement II
03. Untitled #5
04. Untitled #11
05. Abba Revival

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MMx014 Oskars Herliņš – s/t EP

It’s an honor to present four early works of Latvian contemporary composer, Oskars Herliņš, to you lot. To describe his first piece of experimental ambience, Oskars vows for modern poetry, imagining the grand stylus of earthly architecture;

“Already nowadays the dream has become a reality: within a radius of hundreds of kilometres live images in a variety of colours are transmitted together with a sound accompaniment. A man has conquered time and space. Radio waves like a joyful swarm engulf the Globe. And may this wonder awaken feelings of unity in all people of the planet!”

01. Viļņi (Brīnums) [Waves (Miracle)]
02. Sapnu Puisens [Dream boy]
03. Etide Diviem [Etude for two]
04. Noslepums Nr.69 [Secret Nr.69]

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