Staff Picks - June 2024

Staff Picks - June 2024

July 10, 2024

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Here's your monthly Staff Picks column, comprising anything that's been on the radar in the past month. Check out our selection of albums and compilations released in June 2024, both new releases and reissues. As usual, expect anything from Japanese 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 Bernard Parmegiani to C. Lavender

Dr. Pete Larson and his Cytotoxic Nyatiti Band - Michigan Traditional Music (Dagoretti Records)
Dr. Pete Larson and his Cytotoxic Nyatiti Band - Michigan Traditional Music (Dagoretti Records)
Andarta - Stories We Believe (Raash Records)
Andarta, a trio operating from Jerusalem, consists of Alon Ovnat on vocals, Itai Anker on drums and Shaul Kohn on bass. They play noise rock with a punk attitude and an industrial influence.

Bernard Parmegiani - Instrumental Works 02
Bernard Parmegiani (1927 – 2013) is a pioneer and leading light of electroacoustic music. He leaves behind him a vast and fascinating œuvre, a priceless heritage for today's generation.

Bessie Jones, John Davis & the Georgia Sea Island Singers with Mississippi Fred McDowell & Ed Young - The Complete Friends of Old Time Music Concert (Smithsonian Folkways Recordings)
Bessie Jones, John Davis, and the Georgia Sea Island Singers gained wide renown during the 1960s and ‘70s for their powerful performances of traditional songs from the African American Gullah Geechee community on St. Simons Island, Georgia. Most in the group were born and raised on St. Simons, and could trace their ancestry to the enslaved people from West and Central Africa who worked on the island’s cotton plantations. Throughout the ‘60s, the Georgia Sea Island Singers were prominent voices in the civil rights movement, bringing hundreds of years of Black musical tradition to bear on a pivotal time in American history. This previously unheard recording captures their complete Friends of Old Time Music concert of April 1965, at which they were joined by legendary bluesman Mississippi Fred McDowell, cane fife player Ed Young, and folklorist Alan Lomax, who acted as emcee.

C. Lavender – Rupture in the Eternal Realm (iDEAL Recordings)
On her third full-length album, C. Lavender delves into her experience with a profoundly impactful Buddhist meditation centered in the sacrifice of the self as a source of liberation.

Charles Gayle / Milford Graves / William Parker - WEBO (Black Editions)
A legendary concert by one of the great unrecorded bands in free jazz history is here at last. WEBO is the third installment in the Black Editions Archive series of previously unreleased recordings from Milford Graves' private tape library. For the first time, Charles Gayle, Milford Graves, & William Parker —three lions of the Black American jazz avant-garde— are finally heard together on record, presented here across three audiophile-quality LPs for two brutalizingly joyous hours of real ju-ju & musical mastery.

Dr. Pete Larson and his Cytotoxic Nyatiti Band - Michigan Traditional Music (Dagoretti Records)
Michigan Traditional Music is a new album by Dr. Pete Larson (nyatiti, synth) and his Cytotoxic Nyatiti Band, comprising Fred Thomas (guitar, synth) and Tom Hohmann (drums).
GAF & The Love Supreme Arkestra - Ganzfeld (Keroxen / Discrepant)
GAF & The Love Supreme Arkestra - Ganzfeld (Keroxen / Discrepant)

From Gryphon Rue to Kaval

GAF & The Love Supreme Arkestra - Ganzfeld (Keroxen / Discrepant)
The octet hailing from Tenerife is back with a new album titled Ganzfeld. Here, Gaf & The Love Supreme Arkestra turn their creative gaze to the lowland areas of northern Tenerife aka Isla Baja (the low island). Here, they envision a retro-futuristic soundtrack for a misty coastal drive, filled with humid atmospherics and expansive jams featuring their trademark blend of avant-jazz, psychedelia, and freestyle rock.

Gryphon Rue - 4n_Objx
Gryphon Rue is an artist, composer, and musician based in New York City.

Innovative Landscapes Laboratory - Spontaneous Dimensions (Sublime Retreat)
This album is about sound exploration, playfulness, surprises and discoveries. It is a product of improvisation using modular synthesizers and an experimental approach to composition.

Ion Cadav și Robert Yochanan - Partea B
Romanian underground hip-hop duo Ion Cadav and Robert Yochanan return with the B part of their ongoing sonic explorations.

Jailaubai Asylhanov - Töremūrat: Kazakh Instrumental Music (Antonovka Records)
Kui (kyui, kuy; in Kazakh Latin writing — küi) is the name of a traditional instrumental Kazakh melody. Each kui is based on some kind of story (event, legend, person, etc.). Most of them were composed by famous folk musicians of the past. According to tradition, each performer of kuis (called "kuishi") must keep the melody recognizable, but at the same time should bring something of his own into it. Therefore, an experienced listener will always be able to determine from an audio recording not only the author of the kui, but also the musician who plays it.

Kaval - Solastasis (Nuova Materia)
Almost a decade after their acclaimed Zee Van Gedachten on Vrystaete, Kaval, the experimental brainchild of Derk Reneman and Ian Martin, re-emerges from the shadows with their third album, Solastasis. Weaving together foreboding electronics with folk motifs, Solastasis creates intriguing and immersive soundscapes.
Los Diablos Rojos - Ritmo Satánico (Discos Fantástico!)
Los Diablos Rojos - Ritmo Satánico (Discos Fantástico!)

From Louis Moholo-Moholo to Mondkopf

Los Diablos Rojos - Ritmo Satánico (Discos Fantástico!)
All the tracks were written and composed by Marino Valencia Garay. All the tracks were originally recorded in Sonoradio between the 70s and early 80s years.

Louis Moholo-Moholo - Louis Moholo-Moholo's Viva La Black (Ogun Records)
Issued on CD for the very first time, this beautiful album was Louis’ second as a leader. His group, Viva La Black, now included younger members of the South Afrikan and Caribbean diaspora, including the Jazz Warrior Steve Williamson. Arguably overlooked on release, the album, newly remastered from the tapes and including a couple of extra tracks, sounds vibrant and fresh and demonstrates Louis’ strength as a bandleader in the Art Blakey style.

Mike Majkowski - Tunnels
Double bassist and music producer Mike Majkowski presents Tunnels, a new self-release comprising two hypnotic, relentlessly driving pulsating tracks. Each of the two tracks is an alternate version of the other.

Mondkopf - Waves (Selected Works) (Hands In The Dark)
Mondkopf, the brainchild of Paul Régimbeau, returns to Hands in the Dark with Waves, five years after his label-debut How Deep is our Love?. The French producer’s 9th album features two time-stretched, profound analog-textured pieces based on the physical and emotional swaying motion suggested by its title and recorded during some concerts played in the summer of 2019.

Niloy Ahsan - Breathing Raga (Worlds Within Worlds)
Niloy Ahsan is one of the foremost Dhrupad vocalists of his generation, having studied under tutelage of the renowned Gundecha Brothers and Ustad Wasifuddin Dagar. As part of the illustrious Dagar lineage, which spans 21 generations with roots tracing back to Swami Haridas in the 15th century, Niloy is a master of the Alap - characterized by a sophisticated, subtle, and serene presentation that meticulously explores the microtonal nuances, delicately unveiling the intricacies of the raga - elements often overlooked or lost in other musical forms. On Breathing Raga, Niloy offers a rendition of Raag Bhairav, an early morning Raag known for its immense aesthetic depth, its sound symbolizing the drowsy, wandering state of early morning around sunrise.

Norio Maeda & All-Stars - Rock Communication Yagibushi (Wewantsounds)
Wewantsounds presents the reissue of Norio Maeda's cult classic Rock Communication Yagibushi released in Japan in 1970. The album has since become a Japanese Jazz Funk cornerstone and is now highly sought-after on the international DJ scene. The album reinterprets 14 traditional Japanese folk songs into jaw-dropping Jazz Funk instrumentals featuring killer arrangements by Maeda that would fit perfectly between David Axelrod and Lalo Schifrin.
The Zawose Queens - Maisha (Real World Records)
The Zawose Queens - Maisha (Real World Records)

From Volcanic Winds to Yelka

Robbgikma & No Sauce - Rough Paths (La Phonkerie)
New hip-hop release on the French label La Phonkerie by Robbgikma and No Sauce, who joined forces to create Rough Paths, a dark and stormy tape with full Phonk vibes.

Shakali - Nivoin Viivoin (LOM)
Shakali is a project of Finnish, Brno-based musician Simo Hakalisto. Simo uses phonography, environmental interplay, and deep listening as an alternative way of documenting his encounters and environments. He calls it "technology-extended attention practice", to be more sensitive, present, open, and responsive through the act of listening.

Sheida Gharachedaghi & Mohammad Reza Aslani - Chess of the Wind (OST) (Mississippi Records)
The lost soundtrack to Chess of the Wind, Iran’s banned 1976 queer-gothic-class-horror masterpiece, restored by the director and released for the first time. A masterpiece of world cinema, Mohammad Reza Aslani’s Chess of the Wind was banned in Iran and thought to be lost until a complete print of the film re-emerged in an antique shop in 2014. Restored by Martin Scorsese’s Film Foundation and released to rapturous reviews in 2020, Chess of the Wind has taken its rightful place as one of the most visionary and daring films of pre-revolutionary Iranian cinema.

The Zawose Queens - Maisha (Real World Records)
Pendo and Leah Zawose showcase the fluid polyrhythms and rapturous polyphonic singing of the Gogo (aka Wagogo) people of the arid, hilly Dodoma region of central Tanzania. The most famous exponent of this musical tradition is the late, great Dr Hukwe Zawose (Pendo’s father and Leah’s grandfather). Maisha, the debut album by The Zawose Queens, marks the first time that women from this famous musical family take their place as lead vocalists and performers. Emboldened by workshops in songwriting and music production with visiting UK-based producers Oli Barton-Wood (Jordan Rakei, Obongjayar, Nilufer Yanya) and Tom Excell (Nubiyan Twist, Onipa), The Zawose Queens began writing their first ever songs. The resulting collection of songs range from the stripped back and traditional-sounding to those treated with subtle electronic elements, with beats and drops and found sounds and switch-ups.

Volcanic Winds - Institutionalized Ritual
"This album is a depiction of Rituals that are transferred in context to a context that refers to a particular system so that meaning, space and time change. This institutionalization process refers to the process by which a ritual becomes formalized, standardized, and incorporated into the practices and beliefs of a particular institution, community, or culture for a specific purpose". Music by Wukir Suryadi, one half of the Indonesian outfit Senyawa.

YELKA - For (Karaoke Kalk)
The Berlin post-kraut trio YELKA with Daniel Meteo, Christian Obermaier, and the namesake Yelka Wehmeier, presents their new album, For.

Zia Mohiuddin Dagar & Zia Fariduddin Dagar - Raag Malkauns - Ragini Miyan Ki Todi (Bombay 1968) (Black Sweat Records)
These recordings were made in Bombay in 1968 by Bengt Berger (Bitter Funeral Beer Band) during a stay with Ustad Zia Mohiuddin Dagar, who was primarily responsible for the revival of the Rudra Veena as a solo concert instrument. His home in the suburb of Chembur was at the time the magical haunt of a plethora of fantastic musicians, including Ritwik Sanyal and K. Sridhar, who took part in the session. In perfect and stern Duphrad vocal style, these two Raga lead us to different atmospheres and perceptions: Malkauns is the contemplative state of the evening, of the abandonment of the senses before the breaking of the silence in the night; Miyan Ki Todi is the first breath of the morning, the gentle awakening of the limbs before a puja.
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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