Staff Picks - June 2023

Staff Picks - June 2023

July 11, 2023

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Check out our selection of albums and compilations released in June 2023. From jazz to experimental music, field recordings, hip-hop, ambient and improvised music, both new and reissues.

What's new, what's good, what's hot or not, what's obscure or under the radar, music wise, here's the monthly Staff Picks. If you think that we've missed something or want to send a tip, please get in touch.

From Anadol to Images Of Goo

V.A. - Afghan Music In Exile: Mashhad 2022 (Worlds Within Worlds)
V.A. - Afghan Music In Exile: Mashhad 2022 (Worlds Within Worlds)
Aaron Dilloway - Bhoot Ghar: Sounds Of The Kathmandu Horror House (Hanson Records)
Phone recordings from the Haunted House in the Kathmandu Fun Park in Kathmandu, Nepal.

V.A. - Afghan Music In Exile: Mashhad 2022 (Worlds Within Worlds)
Worlds Within Worlds presents Afghan Music In Exile: Mashhad 2022, an album and film series showcasing the music of a culture under existential threat. Recorded in Mashhad, Iran in May 2022, this album captures the talent and suspenseful expression of classical and folk Afghan musicians living in exile - to create art in Afghanistan would have invited attacks, arrest, torture or worse at the hands of the Taliban. With production and management from Michel Gasco (Badieh, Orontes and student of rubab maestro Nasim Khushnawaz) and co-production from Lachlan R. Dale (Worlds Within Worlds Records, Hashshashin & Black Aleph), this project culminates Gasco’s decade-long work with the Afghan community in Iran to create a snapshot in time – a historical marker for future generations to reflect on.

Anadol - Hatıralar (Pingipung)
Hatıralar was Anadol's second album, originally composed between Berlin and Istanbul around 2012 and released years later only in digital format on the Ankara-based label Inverted Spectrum. The title Hatıralar (Memories) is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Anadol recalled and revisited the music in 2023, gently editing and mixing the compositions for the newly mastered LP format in which they now see the light of day.

Búho Ermitaño - Implosiones (Buh Records)
Implosiones is the second album by Búho Ermitaño, Peruvian psych explorers. With references to kraut rock and the Andean folk of groups like El Polen, the sound of Búho Ermitaño is immersed in hypnotic instrumental explorations, melodic passages and in bursts of cosmic rock. Implosiones is a renovating sound synthesis that places the band as one of the new referents of psychedelic rock in Peru.

Halim El-Dabh - The Wondrous Reverberations of Halim El-Dabh (Annihaya Records)
Considered to be one of the earliest composers of electronic music, Halim El-Dabh (1921-2017) was an Egyptian-American musician, ethnomusicologist, and educator. The works in this compilation span his astounding six-decade career, moving across Halim El-Dabh’s eclectic, undefinable, and ground-breaking oeuvre – including field recordings, concertos, electronic music compositions, and improvised instrumentals.

Images Of Goo - Images Of Goo (Unjenesaisquoi)
Images Of Goo is what Munich sound bricolageurs Leo Hopfinger aka LeRoy (head of Das Hobos, H, Spiritual Emojis and others) and Cico Beck aka Joasihno (active member of The Notwist, Aloa Input, Spirit Fest and others) call their first musical dialogue in album format.
Jantra - Synthesized Sudan: Astro-Nubian Electronic Jaglara Dance Sounds from the Fashaga Underground (Ostinato Records)
Jantra - Synthesized Sudan: Astro-Nubian Electronic Jaglara Dance Sounds from the Fashaga Underground (Ostinato Records)

From Los Mohanes to Mivos Quartet

Jantra - Synthesized Sudan: Astro-Nubian Electronic Jaglara Dance Sounds from the Fashaga Underground (Ostinato Records)
Near the border of Sudan, Eritrea, and Ethiopia, a disputed area called Fashaga is home to one of the most raucous, hypnotic, addictive, and celestial dance musics being made anywhere in Africa, perhaps the least known to the wider world of them all. Far from the townships of South Africa or the cities of Nigeria, this sound belongs to people intimately tied to their land, deep in the rural areas of Sudan.

Los Mohanes - La Tumbia (Moli del tro Records)
This work is the result of a musical exploration between Joseph Muñoz and Faunes Efe (better known as Filmmaker) where their principal influence was the traditional rhythms of colombian caribbean territory like Cumbia, Porro and Vallenato, merging it with other musical styles like IDM, Ambient, Industrial, Techno, Drone, Field Recordings, No Wave and everything they felt like to listen. The recording process of this album was made by processing acoustic percussion, voices, samples and field recordings of the Atlantic coast in Sucre, Colombia.

Lounès Matoub - Lettre Ouverte Aux... (25th Anniversary) (Elmir Records)
In commemoration of the 25th anniversary of his assassination, Elmir offers the very first vinyl edition of the reference album Lettre ouverte aux... enriched with a 28-page booklet including biographical elements, the transcription of the poems and their analysis, as well as archival photos and facsimiles that suggest to the listener a complete immersion in one of the poet's masterpieces. An emblematic album that testifies to the immense talent of Matoub Lounes, his sensitivity and his commitment to the Berber cause. An essential document that invites you to (re)discover the work of one of the greatest figures of Kabyle music.

MEV - Symphony No. 107 - The Bard (Black Truffle)
Symphony No. 107 –The Bard, a previously unheard archival recording of the legendary improvising ensemble MEV (Musica Elettronica Viva), captured in concert at Bard College, New York in 2012. Formed by a group of American expat composers in Rome in 1966, the MEV ensemble played an important role in the development of free improvisation, bridging the live electronics tradition begun by Cage and Tudor and the high-energy squall of free jazz.

Missing scenes - Sturgeon moon/beaver moon
This album was recorded at Missing studio, Vancouver, Washington on and between sturgeon and beaver moons in 2022, with composition, field recording and sound design by R. Hunter.

Mivos Quartet - Lei Liang: Six Seasons (New World Records)
"The Chukchi Sea, north of Alaska, is one of the most inaccessible places to humans on earth. Six seasons in the Arctic, according to the Inuit, are not demarcated by a fixed calendar, but by what we hear in the changing environment. Hydrophones were placed about 300 meters below the sea surface at a seafloor recording location 160 km north of Point Barrow. They capture the sound of sea ice, marine mammals, and the underwater environment throughout an entire year." — Lei Liang
V.A. - Music For Abandoned Monasteries (Eighth Tower Records)
V.A. - Music For Abandoned Monasteries (Eighth Tower Records)

From Nat Myers to Pan Afrikan Peoples Arkestra

V.A. - Music For Abandoned Monasteries (Eighth Tower Records)
Italian imprint Eighth Tower invited 15 musicians from all over the world to create music and soundscapes inspired by abandoned monasteries and aiming to evoke the psychological effect they have upon us.

Nat Myers - Yellow Peril (Easy Eye Sound)
"I’m always searching," says the Korean-American blues poet Nat Myers. "Itinerancy is something that I’ve owned. I’ve done a lot of traveling, but lately it’s started to seep into my songwriting and my music. Life just feels simpler on the road. You’re just trying to get to the next place in one piece. " His debut album, Yellow Peril, is full of jumpy blues songs about hopping trains, burning up highways, running from some danger but also running toward something harder to define and even harder to catch.

Normal Nada the Krakmaxter - Tribal Progressive Heavy Metal (Nyege Nyege Tapes)
One of the most eccentric characters to emerge from Lisbon's musical underground, Teteu has operated under a variety of shadowy monikers including Qraqmaxter, CiclOFF, and Erre Mente. A gifted visual artist as well as a composer, he's known for developing a philosophical mythology with his drawings, mostly using a ballpoint pen to sketch out elaborate, anime-style projects. Normal Nada is Teteu's most enduring project.

V.A. - o (Biswa Bangla Noise)
Biswa Bangla Noise's first compilation exploring Bengali ambient music. Featuring nine artists that have played a key part in the experimental and noise scene in Kolkata and West Bengal along with Debopom Ghosh Must Be Killed, an essential name to anybody exploring Noise and Black Metal in Bangladesh.

Pan Afrikan Peoples Arkestra - 60 Years (The Village)
This release is the culmination of 60 years of Black history through sound. Since its conception in 1961, the Ark has had a mission echoed by every director since Horace Tapscott himself, "To preserve the music of Black composers, dead or alive. To perform this music in our neighborhoods, for our people." The institution of the Arkestra fostered a culture of community, spirituality, Black empowerment, and most importantly, love. I am forever indebted to my ancestors and grateful to you, reading this message, for your part in the music as a listener. Peace. - Mekala Session

Punky Jones X Lonewulf 187 - M.Y.S.T.I.C. P.I.M.P.S. (Clan Destine Records)
Punky Jones and Lonewulf 187 present a new collaborative album of "phonk and devil shyt", out on the Glasgow based imprint Clan Destino.
Saint Abdullah & Jason Nazary - Looking Through Us (Disciples)
Saint Abdullah & Jason Nazary - Looking Through Us (Disciples)

From Sarah Pagé to Selvhenter

Ragnar Johnson & Jessica Mayer - Spirit Cry Flutes and Bamboo Harps from Papua New Guinea: Eastern Highlands and Madang (Ideologic Organ)
This is the third part of Ideologic Organ Music’s trilogy of field recordings of sacred flute music from Papua New Guinea, recorded by Ragnar Johnson and Jessica Mayer in the 1970s. A book titled "A Papua New Guinea Journey" consisting of Ragnar Johnson’s account of the circumstances behind the recordings will be published simultaneously with this music release.

Saint Abdullah & Jason Nazary - Looking Through Us (Disciples)
An out-of-control free music explosion from the NYC trio: oscillating electronics, Sufi chants, and drums going off like firecrackers inside an empty oil drum.

Sarah Pagé - Voda (Backward Music)
The latest album from Montréal’s exploratory harpist Sarah Pagé is a dynamic journey that drifts the listener through tangled knots and flowing eddies. Comprising nine long-form movements, Voda gathers, grows and throws off tensions, revealing murky depths and phenomenal tenderness. Where her last album, Dose Curves, was rooted firmly in the harp, Voda’s scope is much wider: instruments populating the pieces include bass, cello, violin, koto, electronics, oak branches, water bowls and waterphone.

Selvhenter - Mesmerizer (Eget Værelse)
Going past musical genres and instead straight towards something more elemental - Selvhenter’s music creates a strikingly direct, physical experience of sound composed of polyrhythms, acoustic and electric melodies, heavy music and improvised beauty.

V.A. - Taa! Our Language May Be Dying, But Our Voices Remain (Glitterbeat Records)
Producer/recordist Ian Brennan ventured to an end-of-the-road location to document songs sung in Taa, a rich language on the verge of extinction. This music is created by solo and layered voices, handclaps, found percussion and thumb piano.

V.A. - "Vous Ecoutez La Voix du Peuple": The Kreyol Language Pirate Radio Stations of Flatbush, Brooklyn (Death Is Not The End)
"Every day, the skies of New York City fill up with unseen clouds of radio signals spreading over immigrant neighborhoods. These culturally charged clouds of radio energy burst with a flow of content that continually shifts and transforms, following the lifecycle and rhythm of the streets."
About the Author

Dragoș Rusu & Victor Stutz

Dragoș Rusu is co-founder and co-editor in chief of The Attic and allround music adventurer.

Victor Stutz is a sound adventurer and music selector from Bucharest – currently based in Barcelona - with a background in anthropology.

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