For Damon G Riddick’s legion of fans it doesn’t come much better, especially seeing as he’s been shy on the release front since 2016’s DJ-Kicks and the odd short format serving in recent years. Anyway this makes up for that gap in spades, swooping in with the gilded dawn of Apocalyptic Sunrise and taking it there with track, from the pointillist drum patter and arcing chords of Right Now thru the loose and sprawling vibes of Slow Motion, to chrome-squirting G-funk on It’s Time, with 12 minutes to cool out in the serene waters of Angel Reflections, before taking it Home on the downstroke to the sun-warped bliss of The End Theme.
A fine album from this LA artist. A slick homage to 1980s styles. If you like that sort of thing, you will totally enjoy this.
Private Life is available from Boomkat on vinyl and digital.
Richard Chartierponders another poignant predicament as Pinkcourtesyphone with Indelicate Slices, the project’s ninth full length, arriving after sojourns to The Tapeworm and Champion Version in recent seasons.
This is contemporary ambient music at its most opulent and intoxicating, sashaying rococo corridors of gold and red velvet smudged to shimmering pink hues, spinning solipsistic thru a permanent twilight zone of pharmaceutical haze, self-medicated and shielded to an omnipresent darkness that lurks beyond the rose beds.
It’s immaculately smashed and illusive music that slips under the skin and stimulates the imagination with uncanny efficiency, emulating none-more-rarified feels between the old world elegance of Romantic Threat and the digital drizzle of In Voluptuous Monochrome, secreting some stunningly sensitive, psychedelic passages in the 24 minute piece Minimumluxuryoverdose and the 12 minutes of OOBE like plasmic suspense of Above Chandeliers, with the systolic pulse of Problematic Interior rendering something like a recording of an anechoic panic room.
This week I have been listening to the immensely moving record from this artist - completely new to me.
RVNG Intl. have released an album from synth pioneer Pauline Anna Strom - a selection from her extraordinary records and cassettes from the 1980s.
Given the cosmic, futuristic leanings of the instrumentation, coupled with the classical, film-score motifs in tracks like ‘Morning Splendor’ and ‘Gossamer Silk’, it’s understandable that many have pointed out the sense of timelessness to Strom’s work. But the notion of time seems to stretch even beyond this collection’s sonic parameters. Trans-Millenia Music feels like a body of work completely distant from a need to be placed in a contemporary context. It’s not in the least bit dated, but neither does it feel under any pressure to pave a way for future trends. Each glimmering, ascending pattern instead seems to rise above its listener, beckoning you to just be present with it. In its remarkable, honest and human embrace of both the futuristic and the classical, Strom’s music transcends and pervades the present. It takes you into a space where there is no nostalgia for the past, no anxiousness for the future, only the present company of sound and the lived experience of it.
‘Freedom at the 45th floor’, ‘In Flight Suspension’ and ‘Cruising Altitude 36,000 Feet’ are blissful, all cascading and beaming arpeggios moving with gyroscopic hypnotism. Elsewhere, ‘Warriors of the Sun’ and ‘Gossamer Silk’ feel like ancestral, spiritual calls repurposed for a plane of experience where there is only music and the majesty it holds.
‘Rain on Ancient Keys’ and ‘Spacial Spectre’ are haunting, moody ventures into something altogether more mysterious and unknowable, suggesting an understanding of the sonic plane that is perhaps enhanced for someone who is deprived of sight.
It doesn’t all necessarily work. ‘Mushroom Trip’, feels like a queasy experience of its namesake, floating somewhere in between playful and seasick. ‘Bonsai Tree’, while an interesting example of one of the collection’s few percussive moments, doesn’t slot into the flow of the album - it feels unwieldy, the wrong type of disorienting.
But Trans-Millenia Music is nonetheless a wonderful collection. As the yelped vocal and theremin-like melodies of ‘Virgin Ice’ and the balearic pace of ‘Energies’ course their way through your mind and body, it’s hard not to feel like she will soon claim a place as a true legend of experimental electronic music.
While this music cannot predict the future or return us to the past, it seems to understand them both. And in doing so, Trans-Millenia Music brings a sort of ease to the experience of right now. More than three decades on, it seems there’s still no time like the present.
New collection of novellas from this great writer. Four in all. Really good tales. Available now on Kindle and Hardcover from most retailers.