Right near the top of this performance, Benjamin Clementine looks toward the camera with an intense stare and sings, “Where I’m from, you see the rain / Before the rain even starts to rain.” At that point, when I’m already hanging on every word, I feel like I’m witnessing an almost otherworldly presence — a visitor with wisdom to impart.
Clementine is a musician and poet who grew up in London and later moved to Paris, where as a teenager he slept on the streets at night and busked in the daylight hours. That’s how he was “discovered,” and in 2015, he released his first album, At Least For Now. There are intimate moments of revelation in this immersive, breathtaking performance, and his voice and piano both sound magnificent. I can’t think of anyone quite like him.
April 18, 2016 by BOB BOILEN
UNIKO is the collaboration between the Kronos Quartet and Finnish duo, accordion adventurer Kimmo Pohjonen and sampling guru Samuli Kosminen. Commissioned by Kronos, UNIKO received its world premiere at the Helsinki Festival in 2004, with additional performances in Moscow, Molde (Norway) and in New York at the 2007 BAM NEXT WAVE Festival with three sold out performances. The album was recorded at Avatar Studios in NYC following the BAM concerts. Producer is Iceland’s Valgeir Sigurðsson, known for his work with Björk and other outstanding, adventurous artists.
UNIKO is highlighted by Pohjonen’s electrified and MIDI-fied accordion with Kosminen’s electronic percussion devices which reproduce his own accordion samples and his samples of Kronos’ instruments. These samples, together with live strings and electric accordion plus effects and manipulations create a new, multi-dimensional sound world.
“You know when you’re dreaming, and you’re unconscious, yet you know where you are” Kimmo tells me “and then you wake up but you’re still in your dream? Well this is Uniko”.
(Fiona Talkington – June 2013)
Terrence Mitchell “Terry” Riley(born June 24, 1935) is an American composer and performing musician associated with the minimalist school of Western classical music, of which he was a pioneer. His work is deeply influenced by both jazz and Indian classical music.
Riley studied at Shasta College, San Francisco State University, and the San Francisco Conservatory before earning an MA in composition at the University of California, Berkeley, studying with Seymour Shifrin and Robert Erickson. He was involved in the experimental San Francisco Tape Music Center, working with Morton Subotnick, Steve Reich, Pauline Oliveros, and Ramon Sender. His most influential teacher, however, was Pandit Pran Nath (1918–1996), a master of Indian classical voice, who also taught La Monte Young and Marian Zazeela. Riley made numerous trips to India over the course of their association to study and to accompany him on tabla, tambura, and voice. Throughout the 1960s he traveled frequently around Europe as well, taking in musical influences and supporting himself by playing in piano bars, until he joined the Mills College faculty in 1971 to teach Indian classical music. Riley was awarded an Honorary Doctorate Degree in Music at Chapman University in 2007.
Riley also cites John Cage and “the really great chamber music groups of John Coltrane and Miles Davis, Charles Mingus, Bill Evans, and Gil Evans” as influences on his work,demonstrating how he pulled together strands of Eastern music, the Western avant-garde, and jazz.
Riley began his long-lasting association with the Kronos Quartet when he met founder David Harrington while at Mills. Over the course of his career, Riley composed 13 string quartets for the ensemble, in addition to other works. He wrote his first orchestral piece, Jade Palace, in 1991, and has continued to pursue that avenue, with several commissioned orchestral compositions following. Riley is also currently performing and teaching both as an Indian raga vocalist and as a solo pianist.
Mueran Humanos means ‘Die, Humans!’ and it consists of Carmen Burguess (vocals, drum machines, synths) and Tomas Nochteff (vocals, bass, drum machines) from Buenos Aires, Argentia who together make propulsive, unfurling Spanish language pop songs using experimental, punk and avant-garde methods. Self-proclaimed outsider artists, Mueran Humanos combine electronic noise with raw sounds recorded or borrowed, both heavily processed: “There´s lots of repetition, it’s minimal but psychedelic and aggressive. Jokingly they refer to it as Rock Concrete, referencing musique concrete but without the academic side.
Crack Magazine – UK. ¨Miseress¨ Premiere.
¨It’s a propulsive record that defies easy categorisation and we’re sure it’ll provide a real treat for your ears.¨
Noisey – US
“Passionate, deadly serious and deeply wry music for living in the city. They capture the sound of the buildings looming over the individual and the sound the individual makes in response: the sound of shivering and getting free. Their music ostensibly cold, but it’s full-blooded. It’s art for the thoroughly modern drowner who declines the world’s invitation to be entirely subsumed. It’s honestly pretty boss.”
Tiny Mixtapes – US
“Mueran Humanos hone their industrial inclinations by introducing guitars to their bass-synths-sampler setup for the first time, played by no less than Einstürzende Neubauten’s own guitar-manipulator Jochen Arbeit. Their acclaimed self-titled debut quickly positioned the duo at the forefront of Latin American avant-garde music, thanks to a carefully developed aesthetic, gloomy lyrics, and a highly distinctive sound. ” (On ¨Miseress¨ 2015 )
The Ransom note – UK. ¨The unsettling art of Mueran Humanos¨ Interview ¨A creative mélange of bass lines, synth, drum machines and vocal. Mueran Humanos, meaning ‘Die, Humans!’, not only produce great music but also incredibly fascinating, though sometimes pretty gory, artwork to accompany their releases. We had a chat with them to find out more.
Self -Titled – UK. Robert Hampson remix of “Guerrero de la Gloria Negativa¨ Premiere. ¨you might as well feel the pain of everyone down below, right alongside a full stream of the Berlin duo’s freshly pressed Miseress LP…¨
Remezcla – US. ¨Mueran Humanos will send chills down your Spine¨
Louder than War – UK. Live review.
“They never let the scowl down, they remain haughty, dark and imperial. Their songs are
captivating, haunting and beautifully strange.
Mueran Humanos are like nothing else. There is that sort of industrial edge freakiness but
also there is that weirdly commercial edge to what they do, that sort of thing that the early
Soft Cell had, that idea of walking on the dark side but somehow being able to translate it
subverisly into the mainstream.”¨