El Fog - 'Time, Memory'
I only recently heard about El Fog, the vibraphone / electro-acoustic music project of Berlin-based artist Masayoshi Fujita. It’s fair to say that the concept of music containing vibraphones, elements of glitch and of general electro-acoustic tinkering (not to mention a release with Flau Records) was enough to send me rushing to his Soundcloud page like a cheetah on cocaine.
The track is a minimalist yet emotive vibraphone solo played over a similarly sparse field recording. Gradually, Fujita introduces gradually elements of electronic distortion that eventually come to take over the track. Like many of the tracks I speak highly of on this blog, it’s an excellent fusion of human instrumentalism and machine music that seems to say that, if – as so many annoying purists are wont to proclaim – electronics and computers are destroying music, then at least it’s a destruction that sounds good.
Honey Son - 'Soundprov #2'
This next track is a great live improvisation by Honey Son, the recording project of Texas-based Mars Wright.
Despite being a simple "one-man and a looper" set-up, Wright nevertheless keeps the track sounding fresh and interesting throughout. Beginning with interlocking guitar loops and the subsequent introduction of an additional phrase of e-bow guitar, the track continues to develop nicely - at one point resembling somewhat the jazz-inflected post-rock of a band like Tortoise, before increased improvisation with sampling and effects - as well as the introduction of soulful, somewhat Jeff Buckley-esque vocals - gives Wright the chance to take the track down a multitude of increasingly interesting musical avenues.
In a way, this solo, loop-based composition can be seen to - like the El Fog track - showcase just how much electronics have to offer to the realms of live instrumentation and performance.
Additional notice deserves to be given to the unexpected Four Tet release - 0181 - consisting of unreleased music from between 1997 and 2001.
Click here to read the review I wrote of it for BeardRock.com.