Staff Picks - May 2024

Staff Picks - May 2024

June 11, 2024

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Welcome to our monthly Staff Picks column. Check out our selection of albums and compilations released last month, both new releases and reissues. As usual, expect anything from jazz to experimental music, electronics, ambient, traditional and beyond.

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 Áine O'Dwyer to Emilsen Pacheco

Áine O'Dwyer - Music For Church Cleaners Vol. 1 & Vol. 2
Áine O'Dwyer - Music For Church Cleaners Vol. 1 & Vol. 2
Acid Mothers Reynols - Vol. 3 (VHF)
Volume 3 of a set of collaborations between the prolific Argentine polymaths Reynols and the inescapable Acid Mothers Temple. Recorded in Buenos Aries on AMT’s 2017 South American Tour, the music has identifiable sonic elements from both groups but ends up sounding like neither, with a surprising weightlessness that keeps things jammy and psychedelic until the final track’s blustering rock.

Andrea Taeggi - Nattdett (Hands In The Dark)
Berlin-based, Italian-born sound artist Andrea Taeggi introduces his debut release on Hands in the Dark records with Nattdett, an album showcasing six mesmerizing and rhythmically intricate electronic compositions. Drawing inspiration from previous works such as Mama Matrix Most Mysterious (2015), Batch 0006 (2017), and Zimní Král (2018), Taeggi delves further into his exploration of cyclical patterns and tension-filled compositions within his creative process.

Áine O'Dwyer - Music For Church Cleaners Vol. 1 & Vol. 2
Áine O'Dwyer is an Irish experimental musician, known for her live performances and recordings, which explore the aesthetics of sound and its relationship to environment, time, audience, and structure.

Cruzloma - Mitos & Ritos (ZZK Records)
ZZK Records presents Cruzloma’s Mitos & Ritos, a dialogue with the past, present and future of traditional Ecuadorian music. The hostile times humanity is going through have awoken a need to get back to our roots, reclaim ancestral knowledge, and question where the excessive exploitation of natural resources has led us. We have heeded that urgent call to care for everything that seems unlimited, but which is increasingly scarce. And so, we have looked to the past to understand our relationship with what surrounds us and establish a dialogue between the past, the present and the uncertain idea of the future.

Dun-Dun Band - Pita Parka, Pt. I: Xam Egdub (Ansible Editions)
Dun-Dun Band's unique interplay has been cultivated through numerous live appearances in Toronto. In addition to informal sets at such cherished local spots as the TRANZAC, the Monarch Tavern, and Wenona Craft Beer Lodge, they've been programmed by the Music Gallery for its X-Avant Festival, by Toronto's TONE and Intersection festivals, and by Hamilton, Ontario's Something Else! Festival (where they were briefly but enthusiastically joined by William Parker on double reeds). A pared-down trio incarnation of the group also recently opened for NYC trombonist improviser/composer (and Arthur Russell co-conspirator) Peter Zummo, for a night curated by Pita Parka mixer and co-producer Sandro Perri. Pita Parka Pt. 1: Xam Egdub is Dun-Dun Band's first vinyl release, comprising three extended pieces, each tracing a rambling path connecting multiple ostinato-driven sections.

Emilsen Pacheco - Cuando el negro canta, el eco resuena (Tambora Records)
Colombian-born Latin music superstar Emilsen Pacheco specializes in the Cumbia category. Pacheco has gained notoriety in the Latin music arena thanks to his contagious rhythms and heartfelt vocals. His music combines traditional Cumbia with contemporary elements to produce a distinctive and alluring sound that appeals to listeners from many backgrounds.
Ibelisse Guardia Ferragutti & Frank Rosaly - MESTIZX (International Anthem)
Ibelisse Guardia Ferragutti & Frank Rosaly - MESTIZX (International Anthem)

From Harold Land to Joy Guidry

V.A. - Folk Poetry, Song & Rhythm in Northeastern Brazil (Death Is Not The End)
This release specifically focuses in on the spur-of-the-moment improvised "duelling" poetry of the repente, embolada & aboio styles that are unique to the Nordeste region.

Frédéric D. Oberland / Grégory Dargent / Tony Elieh / Wassim Halal - SIHR (Sub Rosa)
After a few concerts/screenings improvised as a duo in Cairo and Beirut, as well as for the Rencontres d'Arles, the Lille photography center and the Belgian magazine Halogénure, Dargent and Oberland have teamed up with mavericks Elieh and Halal for a puzzling cross-border manifesto.

Harold Land - Choma (Burn) (Wewantsounds)
Harold Land's 1971 Mainstream Records LP Choma (Burn), recorded in Los Angeles with Bobby Hutcherson and featuring Reggie Johnson on bass, Ndugu and Woody Theus on drums, Bill Henderson & Harold Land Jr. on piano/Fender Rhodes. Together the musicians create a superb spiritual mix of funky and modal Jazz that was the trademark of the Harold Land-Bobby Hutcherson quintet between 1968 and 72.

HHY & The Macumbas - Bom Sangue Mau (Horror Vector)
Bom Sangue Mau, the forthcoming album from Portuguese ensemble HHY & The Macumbas, is the first release on the newly established Horror Vector label exploring percussion work developed in parallel with projects like HHY & The Macumbas and HHY & The Kampala Unit to choir pieces in resonant spaces, electric dubs and soundtracks for neo-animist lithium themed dance pieces. A stream of consciousness emerging from the studio Skull Cave Studio in the city of Porto, and cross collaborating with musicians, dancers and artists from around the spectrum.

Ibelisse Guardia Ferragutti & Frank Rosaly - MESTIZX (International Anthem)
MESTIZX is Bolivian-born singer and multi-medium performer Ibelisse Guardia Ferragutti and renowned Chicago expat jazz drummer Frank Rosaly's debut album as co-composers, arrangers and musicians. Partners in both marriage and art, the Amsterdam-based Ferragutti and Rosaly dove into the sounds of their respective ancestral roots in Bolivia, Brazil, and Puerto Rico to create a deeply personal meditation on decolonization and the defiant power of ritual and protest. They chose the title MESTIZX – a non-gendered version of the sometimes slurred Spanish colonial word for a “mixed person” - as a means of both challenging and embracing the liminality of their identities and artistic practices.

Joy Guidry - AMEN (Whited Sepulchre Records)
AMEN is the 3rd release by bassoonist / composer / producer Joy Guidry. Representing a major step up in her ability to fully realize and embody a sound and concept, AMEN moves from rousing, rafter-splitting spiritual jazz and gospel compositions to ambient compositions that create a powerful statement of communal healing and peace. The album features contributions by Niecy Blues, Kalia Vandever, Jillian Grace, and Jessie Cox.
Mårble / Dolphin Hospital / Minereed & Chereshenkaa - Porte de Dieux (Hair Del.)
Mårble / Dolphin Hospital / Minereed & Chereshenkaa - Porte de Dieux (Hair Del.)

From Nass El Ghiwane to Shakali

Mårble / Dolphin Hospital / Minereed & Chereshenkaa - Porte de Dieux (Hair Del.)
Different field improvisations recorded directly on cassettes.

Nass El Ghiwane - Trance Gnawa Music From Morocco (Elmir Records/mlp-music)
"In recent years in particular, the Gnawa musical and rhythmic tradition, which borrows from both Middle Eastern arabesques and African percussion, has enjoyed a marked revival among Moroccan artists of the new generation. But until now, only the very popular group Nass El Ghiwane has been able, with talent, faithfulness and authenticity, to reconstitute the Gnawa spirit, as witnessed by this album. So join them, and get into the trance." Rabah Mezouane

Pablo Diserens - Turning Porous (Forms of minutiae)
As part of the upcoming solo exhibition and publication “on becoming amphibian”, forms of minutiae and Galería Vilaseco present "turning porous", a gathering of amphibious and hydrographic acoustics by field recordist, artist, and forms of minutiae’s co-founder Pablo Diserens.

QNDFK - TR-707 At 160bpm And Other Occurrences (Jungle Gym Records)
Jungle Gym presents TR-707 At 160bpm And Other Occurrences, a brand-new full-length cassette from the legendary QNDFK. With his disparate yet wholly cohesive blend of outsider electro, sun-warped ambient, rudimentary drum programming and thrift shop proto-funk (all recorded HOT to tape), QNDFK continues to prove himself one of the most interesting and talented beatsmiths in the American underground.

Rəhman Məmmədli - Azerbaijani Gitara volume 2 (Les Disques Bongo Joe)
Part of the gitara culture developped in Azerbaijan under USSR rules, this album showcase the guitarist reinterpretation of traditionnal Caucasian folk songs mixed with this weird distortion typically attached to the Jolana, the only pure Soviet guitar. This project follows nine-track reissue compilation of pioneering Azerbaijani guitarist Rüstəm Quliyev. Where Quliyev drew on a deep well of international influences for his compositions, from Bollywood soundtracks to Afghan pop and Spanish flamenco, Məmmədli rarely wrote his own tracks, choosing instead to re-interpret Azerbaijani folk songs, mughams (the classical music of Azerbaijan) and folk dances.

Shakali - Rihmastossa (Not Not Fun Records)
Based in the South Moravian city of Brno, Finnish multi-instrumentalist Simo Hakalisto aka Shakali crafts surreal terrariums of strings, synthetics, wood, and wind, teeming with bio-electronic synchronicities. Rihmastossa further finesses the project’s eclectic lexicon of electro-acoustic world-building, utilizing a gallery of instruments both ancient and advanced: solar-powered sine wave generators, singing bowls, metallophones, microtonal synths wired into tree slabs, lap harps, amplified found objects, percussion filters, flutes.
V.A. - We Will Stay Here - Music for Palestine (Love Boat Records & Buttons)
V.A. - We Will Stay Here - Music for Palestine (Love Boat Records & Buttons)

From Temir Alcy to Willow Skye-Biggs

Taylor Deupree - Sti.ll (Nettwerk)
An elaborate, authoritative acoustic re-imagining of Taylor Deupree’s seminal electronic album Stil. (2002), Sti.ll is the result of a multi-year collaboration between Deupree and arranger/producer Joseph Branciforte to bring Deupree’s explorations of extreme repetition and stillness into the world of notated chamber music. Clarinet, vibraphone, cello, double bass, flute, and percussion stand in for the digital loops and granular processing of Deupree’s original, with meticulously notated arrangements preserving the all rhythmic, formal, and textural complexity of these compositions.

Temir Alcy - Temir Alcy (
Temir Alcy (producer Enir Da / co-founder of Dali Muru & The Polyphonic Swarm and multi-instrumentalist Charles Lmx) is at the junction of spherical textures of acoustic clouds and shapeshifting forms of immersive electronic percussive patterns.

V.A. - The Archival Recordings of Constantin Brãiloiu, 1913-1953 (Death Is Not The End)
Comprising field recordings made by the pioneering Romanian ethnomusicologist of English, Irish, Gaelic, Norwegian, Breton, Japanese, Italian, Swiss, Basque, Fulah, Sardinian, Estonian, Georgian, Greek, Turkish, Judaeo-Spanish, Portuguese, French, Chinese, Russian, Hausa, Tuareg, Indian, Corsican, Ethiopian, Romanian, Walloon, Flemish, German, Kabyle, Bulgarian, Macedonian, Bosnian and Caribou Eskimo folk songs & dances.

The Kalahari Surfers - Volume 1: The Eighties (ReR Megacorp)
The Kalahari Surfers are a "fictional group" which have served as a long-standing stage name for Warrick Sony's music. He is the only permanent member of the band, and brings in other musicians as and when needed. He adopted the name partly to protect himself from the authorities.

V.A. - We Will Stay Here - Music for Palestine (Love Boat Records & Buttons)
Music created in late 2023/early 2024 during the war on Gaza and inspired by the Palestinian struggle for justice and freedom.

Willow Skye-Biggs - Dreams In Suspension (Inner Islands)
Dreams In Suspension is a work of subtle depth and beauty. It can continue to reveal itself over repeat listens, in accordance with the listener's desire to dive deeper. This is Willow's eighth release on Inner Islands and the first physical release under her own name, following releases as Sabriel's Orb and Stag Hare.

Y-DRA - HOREG (Yes No Wave Music)
Horeg is a Javanese term to refer to the sound vibration, in certain cases, it can break window glasses or knock off the rooftop. The term was popularized by the speaker competitions in East Java, Indonesia. They travel from village to village in a convoy of trucks while playing very loud electronic music tracks. Horeg is a festival of sound by the grass root people, to occupy public space and amplify their voices that are mostly unheard.
About the Author

Dragoș Rusu & Victor Stutz

Dragoș Rusu is co-founder and co-editor in chief of The Attic, sound researcher and allround music adventurer, with a keen interest in the anthropology of sound.

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

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