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February 27, 2011

Northern Spy Releases

Our good friends over at Northern Spy have been working hard putting out quality, experimental and avant-garde releases. Although they're not in the vein of avant-garde Jazz, they certainly bring contemporary music to that cutting edge Jazz once did and still does.

The first is a minimalist, drone if you will, collection of compositions by trumpeter/guitarist/minimalist Rhys Chatham called Outdoor Spell. The production of this album is certainly textured, and although it drones about, each of the four tracks are beautifully different in their minimalist forms.

Chatham employs layers of guitars, his own voice, and percussion to create these multi-sensory and multi-instinctual sound bites. And the composition, The Magician, contains more of a Free Jazz hat as the drums, electric guitar, and trumpet erupt into a mass of what seems to be an improvised, dissonant demonstration.

Next up, Northern Spy has debuted their Clandestine Series of audio cassette releases. Clandestine Series Cassette # One brings four tracks by the Messages, Tom Carter, Zaïmph, and Loren Connors & Margarida Garcia. Personally, this is worth the purchase just for Tom Carter's piece, August Is All. A minimalist, melodic, lonesome electric guitar piece that has been on repeat all week in my studio.

With a lot of the tracks, think Aphex Twin ambient works, but less electronic.


Check these out! They are worth the purchase for any fan of experimental music. In Northern Spy's short existence so far, they have been prolific and I think they're going to be an excellent outlet for great, under-appreciated music. Offering chances to Artists that may not otherwise be getting the exposure they need.

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