GUTEVOLK [JAPAN] (pictured)
a beautfiul piece of scattered alt.folk-pop from japan, seemingly borrowing rythyms from jazz / electronica (in places reminiscent of norway’s jaga jazzist) but all played ‘organically’. gutevolk is a solo project from vocalist hirono nishiyama, one time collaborator with famed japanese electronic / experimental producer nobukazu takemura. gutevolk hails from a japanese label called happy (introduced to me by swen’s weblog), who brand themselves as ‘unconventional japanese pop’. the site is worth a visit as it features more free music from similar artists on its roster such as piana, tenniscoats, cinq and eisi. the label releases hirono’s new e.p. ‘twinkle’ this month.
higway to china (roadtrip mix) mp3
alternative music from greece is seemingly difficult to come by. there’s a huge greek community in sydney, and my local record store services them well with an impressive selection that is bigger than that of the electronica section (which in itself is simultaneously broad + eclectic). yet nothing in the greek selection suggests ‘alternative’ (far from it), so it was a relief this week to finally find something very special from the south east corner of europe. sigmatropic is the brainchild of axis boyatzis, and comes after many years developing new wave / punk personas. this is a very different approach – coming from both post-rock and electronica, and creating a beautiful hybrid. his new album ‘sixteen haiku and other stories’ was based on the greek poetry of george seferisand features contributions from 18 vocalists including laetitia sadier from stereolab, cat power, lee ronaldo from sonic youth, robert wyatt, mark eitzel and more. the above mp3 is a remix of a track from his previous album ‘random walk’. [site]
NITIN SAWHNEY [ENGLAND]
raag (remix) mp3
finally today, a man who manages to traverse many different markets – nitin sawhney‘s takes on asian electronica has secured him a place in the dreaded ‘chillout’ section of major commercial record stores, however such unfortunate pigeon-holing belies the diversity and experimentation of his work. much of the last album ‘human’ passed me by on initital inspection, however it was only after repeated plays that a few tracks rose above the pack as real gems (esepcially his collaboration with aqualung ‘falling’). he has a new remix project out now, featuring mixes from quantic, freeform five, london elektricity, visionary underground and more. it’s a little 4/4 for my tastes, and – if that’s not your flavour either – you might be better served with the original. the above mp3 is also a remix of a track from ‘human’, although not on the new album. it starts with the customary downtempo / ambient sensations, before moving into some smart drum’n’bass action halfway through. [site]