referring to both the possible oddity of the sounds to music listeners and more so to my difficulty with thinking clearly, remembering, and communicating my thoughts to others.
Improvised with minimal editing, mixed into one piece. I’ve come to prefer longer episodes of sound which, for me, allow the mind to embark on a more relaxed yet immersive journey. My overall feeling with this piece is that strange feeling of viewing from within the Milky Way, being detached yet part of it’s structure, knowing that regardless of our self importance as humans we are destined to become a shower of meteorites and space dust in this great system.
Zenjungle & Tunedin52 – free music for free spirits in unfree environments
The great thing about social media and digital space is the democracy of sound. It is cheap to share, there are no labels or music critics or other hurdles who can stand between you – the musician – and you – the listener. You browse a little bit, you find stuff, you think it’s worth talking about.
So is this unusual duo of Zenjungle and Tunedin52, artist names for Phil Gardelis from Greece and John Daly from Ireland. The former plays tenor and soprano sax, electronics and piano, the latter plays guitar, baritone guitar, electronics. Both also add found sounds, sound effects and field recordings.
Their music is carefully paced and relatively accessible in its cautious inobtrusive approach. It is avant-garde, but not boundary-breaking. It is new even if not really innovative. You can call it nu jazz, post-jazz or ambient jazz, or whatever jazz, it is still worth mentioning and highlighting.
You can admire the duo’s relentless search for their own voice and sound, their obstinate pursuit of newness, of expressing oppressive environments where things evolve in a way that is clearly not liberating. You can feel the constraints and the inner tension. You can feel how gentleness is somehow crushed, how darkness tries to be pierced, how suddenly beauty erupts out of industrial darkness. Or as the band describes their “Learning To Breathe In New Spaces”
“This is space, we must survive, we must learn to breathe, it hurts, we hurt, life is pain, there is no escape, death is the absence of pain, embrace pain, embrace life, the fiery breath of survival is incessant: there’s a freight train coming down the sax, wire wound, brass round wound, blowing across the frets, jazz wobblelations, acousmatic high wire acts, vibrating electro magnetic signals blend in resonating harmonies, journeying incognito through micro tonal scopic variables, a signpost says this way and we go the other but end up in paradise, harmonic wonderment of the elemental kind, love, life, death, suffering, ecstasy, we roll we razz, we stroll through the maze, a bright light guides and blinds us, jazzish, zentunes”.
There are many bands like this one, for sure, but this duo has some great concept of sound and focus. Once they set an environment, what they will do with it remains in character, they will change, evolve, expand, deconstruct, but the essence of the tune, and its atmosphere remains intact throughout, impactful and coherent. That is a great feat.
I will leave the discovery up to you, it is all available on bandcamp.
TUNEDIN52 – Soft Envelope
by Massimo Ricci
John Daly: guitar, voice, mixing
Personal reasons led me to meeting John Daly’s output for the first time, and what was found is surely deserving of being divulged to a wider audience. A 61-year old photographer and musician from Ireland, Daly distills his own special blend of psychedelically tinged sonic domains utilizing a mildly preconditioned baritone guitar processed by several looping / delay pedals, the outcome swollen by a software called Gleetchlab to add further layers of foggy enigma.
The man has been honing his soundscaping skills for decades now, and it shows independently from the fact that you might appreciate certain choices more or less (for example, the nebulously mumbling voices in tracks like “Automated Systems” or the gorgeous “Mary’s Story” could divert the attention – just a bit – from the riveting textural fabrics unfolding in the background). What ultimately persuaded me is the individuality transpiring from Daly’s proposals: “When I Dream Of Russia” wraps us with monolithic low-frequency resonance minus the humdrum component; the lengthy “Her Wish” is an absorbingly unfathomable galactic journey. My favorite pieces are those where the spirit of the guitar appears as an uncrystallized entity releasing beautiful chordal scents – not necessarily consonant, mind you – extended by the treatments and hovering all over the place (“Shadows” and, especially, the magnificent “Waters Blessed”). In any case there is always a feeling of sincerity in this music’s brooding iteration, which distances it from the loads of miserable commonplacers who believe that anybody can ingest a phoney “Om”.
I won’t continue with otiose blathering. Without acting as a trademark copycat, this gentleman – who records in a space known as Tigh Macalla (“Echo Room” in the Irish language) – produced an excellent work that should appeal, at least in part, to fans of Aidan Baker, Peter Wright and – depending on the moment – Andrew Chalk, but also to the liege men of contemporary underground electronica (thinking of PBK and the likes) and even refined ambient labels such as Hypnos. You know that we do not specialize in adulation here, so mark my words: it is never too late for a serious artist to expose his/her credibility.
released 12 February 2013