MUSIC | Records Jazz & World ALSO RELEASED

JOE HOWE EX EP (Sound Pellegrino) ●●●●● GUIDED BY VOICES Cool Planet (Fire) ●●●●●

Previously putting music out as Ben Butler & Mousepad, and as half of Gay Against You, EX EP is Glasgow’s Joe Howe’s first release under his own name. Howe has created his own brand of digital funk which merges the structure of Jean-Claude Vannier’s 1970s’ compositions with sounds you’ll have heard before on a late 80s SNES soundtrack, but with plenty added groove. (Colin Robertson) soundpellegrino/sets/snp039 NOO Noo EP (Optimo Music) ●●●●●

The inaugural 'Disco Plate' from Optimo Music is a double A-side 12” by Noo. The duo (Daze Dazen and Sami Liuski) cleverly combine samples with analogue hardware, and the sound falls somewhere between classic New York disco like Dinosaur L, and golden-era Italo disco like BWH, fermenting the genre down to its best elements lush synths and bouncy basslines and breathing in new life in the process. (CR)

DJANGO DJANGO Late Night Tales (Late Night Tales) ●●●●●

Django Django are the latest band to curate an album of summery jams as part of the Late Night Tales series. From ethereal jazz piano (Bob James), to prairie guitars (Leo Kottke), via psychy and surfy sounds (the Beach Boys), their effort has the same spirit of boyhood fun and adventure as the band’s own music. (CR) SHARON VAN ETTEN Are We There (Jagjaguwar) ●●●●●

The New York-based singer’s follow up to 2012’s outstanding Tramp is an intense ride at times, like on ‘Your Love Is Killing Me’ where she sings, ‘Stab my eyes so I can’t see you,’ but there aren’t many songwriters out there creating music as beautifully vulnerable as Van Etten. (CR)

Cool Planet is another typically casual dispatch of pithy, disarming, innately melodic garage indie songs which never outstay their welcome and sometimes barely make it across the threshold. There are stylistic nods to Dylan, Bowie and glam rock in the mix and some grizzly vocals from Pollard which suggest that he is only improving with age. (Fiona Shepherd) FIRST AID KIT Stay Gold (Columbia) ●●●●●

First Aid Kit are a band out of time, two fragrant flower children in diaphanous dresses. But the Soderberg sisters (pictured, above) inhabit their chosen realm of wistful Americana with a convincing confidence, bringing immaculate, evocative vocals, unobtrusive harmonies and robust songwriting chops to the table. The results are never less than pleasant and frequently much more. (FS)

THE HAZEY JANES Language of Faint Theory (Armellodie) ●●●●●

Dundee's Hazey Janes make the art of pop songwriting sound so simple, surely suffused with the memory of Alice and Matthew Marra’s father, Michael. A rewarding collection of rootsy indie, tender, comforting MOR, heartbreak country rock and romantic beat pop, wrought with great attention to detail and cloaked in the warmth of analogue production. (FS) The HJ play Queen’s Hall Edin, Fri 6 Jun and Broadcast, Glasgow, Fri 13 Jun, OWEN PALLETT In Conflict (Domino) ●●●●●

Arcade Fire’s violinist and now Oscar-nominated composer follows up his previous concept albums with a more personal collection. Pallett’s voice is precise and proper, as if holding the emotions he is expressing at arm’s length, but the music whether the sombre pomp of ‘Chorale’ or the inexorable pound of ‘The Riverbed’ is ravishing. (FS)

84 THE LIST 15 May–12 Jun 2014


JAZZ NATE WOOLEY, HUGO ANTUNES, CHRIS CORSANO Malus (No Business) ●●●●● An often inspired study in post-noise atmospherics, Malus brings together three pioneering improvisers in their late thirties. Nate Wooley deploys vocalisation and extreme extended technique to turn his trumpet into a hissing steam engine and a bubbling cauldron, channelling electricity to create groggy lo-fi textures. Chris Corsano is in a reflective, exploratory mood, dragging objects across amplified skins to create queasy high-pitched drones and dull metallic rings. Double bassist Hugo Antunes steadies the ship while Wooley and Corsano scramble up the rigging, yet he’s far from conventional: hear him loom into orbit on ‘Seven Miles From The Moon’. The trio’s sense of timing, texture and space is impeccable. In ‘4 Cornered’, a manic Wooley declaims over Corsano’s accelerating scuttle before Antunes walks the muttering trumpeter home. Wooley’s compositional nous, meanwhile, radiates in the Andalucian blues ‘Gentleman of Four Outs’.

JAZZ JOËLLE LÉANDRE AND NICOLE MITCHELL Sisters Where (Rogue Art) ●●●●● Recorded with French double bassist Joëlle Léandre in a Parisian apartment,

Sisters Where is a more intimate affair than Nicole Mitchell's recent Afro-futurist jazz suite Intergalactic Beings, but it’s no less visionary, taking its titular heroines around the planets before landing, eyes blinking, ‘Back On Earth’. Mitchell’s playing has teeth; there’s a tough, breathy quality to even her most beautiful flights, taking in metallic split tones and extraordinary vocal effects. She’s more than a match for the sturm und drone of Léandre’s

arco bass, swooping over deep tectonic shifts, and dodging the molten debris flying from the bassist’s left hand. On ‘Sisters on Uranus’, Mitchell makes split- second leaps from voice to flute, conjuring a glistening dialogue in alien tongues. There are shades of Holst in Léandre’s prowling bass on ‘Sisters of Mars’, with Mitchell essaying a Nina Simone blues moan before using circular breathing to sustain long lunar notes. WORLD VARIOUS ARTISTS Balani Show Super Hits: Electronic Street Parties from Mali (Sahel Sounds) ●●●●●

As Mali’s Balani Show soundsystem culture has evolved, DJs and producers have gone from remixing Malian hits to creating their own tracks, fusing traditional djembe rhythms with pounding 4/4 beats. This fantastic compilation captures a vibrant and inventive scene, from the mellifluous autotuned vocals, perky keyboards and cantering snares of DJ Banaman to the hard- hitting rhymes and relentless djembe fury of Mamelon’s

awesome ‘Koumba Fri Fri’ (‘The Head Dance’). DJ Balani’s ‘Bala’ perhaps best captures the early Balani Show sound with balafon samples chopped and spliced into dizzying polyrhythmic vortices over tinny snares and a whomping bass pulse. Then there’s DJ Sandji, whose remarkable ‘Bacoungana’ suggests a Malian take on footwork, with vocal samples edited and looped into ecstatic chorales over mutating beats. WORLD VARIOUS ARTISTS The Sound of Siam 2 Molam and Luk Thung Isan from North-East Thailand 1970-82 (Soundway) ●●●●●

This remarkable set documents a period in which Molam and Luk Thung evolved from local acoustic forms to modern electrified hybrids. Reverbed slide guitar and a driving cha-cha beat usher in the gloriously decadent nicotine-stained vibrato of Panom Promma on ‘Mainaa Tan Pom Loey’. American R&B hits the airwaves and Thepporn Petchubon spices up his tunes with James Brown vamps and punchy Stax horns, while Thonghuad Faited and Petch Asia Band cook up heady psychedelic funk grooves for their saw fiddle players to skirl and sweep over. Traditional tuned percussion brings a lucent rainforest atmosphere to Rome Sithammarat’s exquisite ‘Sao New Look’. Dazzlingly strange yet curiously familiar, this is essential listening for fans of leftfield world pop. (Jazz and world music albums reviewed by Stewart Smith)