Freedom To Spend to Reissue Ernest Hood Rarity, Neighborhoods
Freedom To Spend, a sub-label of the Brooklyn-based music institution RVNG Intl., is to reissue Ernest Hood’s privately-pressed 1975 album, Neighborhoods. The calming LP hears Hood — a Portland-based jazz musician whose zither work can be heard on Flora Purim’s album Butterfly Dreams— working with field recordings of his neighbourhood’s inhabitants: children, adults, wildlife, and so on, alongside synthesizers and zithers. The album was listed at no. 48 on Pitchfork’s Top 50 Best Ambient Albums of All Time and original copies has sold for in the region of £200 on Discogs. The FTS reissue features audio remastered from the original tapes, presented across two vinyl discs or one CD, with expanded liner notes. A portion of proceeds will also be donated to KBOO FM, a volunteer-powered, non-commercial, listener-sponsored, community radio station for Hood’s native Portland, OR, and the Pacific Northwest, founded in part by Hood himself.
Find out more here and check out a track from the record below.
The Repeat Listen: Here Lies Man — No Ground To Walk Upon
Tasting notes: The Grodeck Whipperjenny – The Grodeck Whipperjenny, Tony Allen and The Afro Messengers – No Discrimination, Afreaka! – Demon Fuzz, Blossom Toes — If only for a moment, Khruangbin – Con Todo El Mundo
One gets the impression that Quentin Tarantino would dig the way Here Lies Man create music. While, according to his trusted Music Supervisor Mary Ramos, the former retreats to his record room to get inspiration for his screenplays, coming away with the perfect tracks for driving sequences, character motifs, and bloody fights — the latter imagine that they are ‘playing the soundtrack to an imaginary movie’, creating tracks such as the emphatic opener for No Ground To Walk Upon: described as ‘a journey to the imaginary place called home, which can never be arrived at.’ The L.A.-based band’s creative model is almost an inversion of the L.A.-based filmmaker’s; they realize music to imagery films, he imagines films to existing music.
No Ground To Walk Uponrepresents the third LP in three years for Here Lies Man, and while it may have fewer tracks than its predecessors, it lacks not in the intensity and creative fusion of their debut and sophomore records. Lead single and album opener Clad in Silver hears drummer Geoff Mann (interestingly, the son of jazz flautist Herbie Mann) lay down a beat similar to Tony Allen’s signature shuffling break, in which the slightly-parted hi-hats, snare strikes and ghost notes blend into one viscous rhythm, with kick drum thumps and steady hand percussion along for the ride. From a heavily distorted riff, reinforced with wind-textured synths, they structure a grooving track that maximises the potential of its elements. “Now look…You’ll See!” calls Marcos Garcia, as the band surge with energy.
Swampy synths and fuzzy noise bridges the opener and Swinging from trees, with warped melodic lines lessening the sonic intensity, before the arrival of hard-rock power chords. Interlocking percussion parts and sudden vocal surges give the impression that the listener is stepping into a ceremonial circle, being encased by the hypnotic patterns. The track decays into a spacious passage with a rumbling bass drone, pulsing mid-range synths and a high crying synth line — a level of experimentation heard less on their self-titled debut.
Long Legs features a Zeppelin-esque riff in the blues pentatonic scale, expanding and retracting over detuned keys lines and rattling percussion. Washing Bones meanwhile possesses a more menacing quality, locking into a grittier groove than previous tracks, as if the group’s journey has descended into chaos. They get a hold of themselves with the desert groove that opens side B: a slique, inventive cut with a Whipperjenny-esque use of the song’s title phrase as its main call to action. Iron Rattlesis introduced with a crisp kalimba melody and shekere pulse, building more slowly than subsequent tracks toward its pre-destined riff, with distorted bass and harmonic synth notes. Closing cut Man Falls Down hears the drums mixed higher than on any other tune, with yet another stonking riff guiding the composition.
The group know exactly what they’re doing and share their process unashamedly. They recognise how Tony Iommi’s playing made riffs ‘the organising principle of a song’ as they put it — and appreciate too the beauty and longevity of Afrobeat rhythms, crafted by such players as Tony Allen. With this seven-track effort, they manage to avoid giving the listener riff or rhythm fatigue, despite placing such emphasis on the role of those elements within their compositions. They cite their sources clearly and craft a fusion from them that sounds pretty fantastic.
New Sounds and Visuals
Brighton-based post-punk outfit Sweet Williams announced their new record Where Does The Time Come From this week, streaming its sixth track, Ride A Gold Snail, on Bandcamp. With growling bass, interlinking guitar lines and guttural vocals, the track will appeal to fans of Smashing Pumpkins, Palm and Metz.
Ishmael Ensemble released a new video for their track Yellow House featuring Yama Warashi this week. The trippy visual stars the Japanese musician and features overlays of her Nihongo lyrics in splattered blue ink. The album A State of Flow is available to check out here.
Manchester-based artists Abnormal Sleepz and HMD take us back to the fifties in their new video for Textures. The period piece uses commentary from the England vs. Hungary ‘Match of the Century’, throwback garms and a retro motor to complete the theme. Directed and edited by Karl John, Stephen Otosio and Abnormal Sleepz, the video accompanies the first single from the forthcoming Abnormal Sleepz album on Lenzman’s The Northern Quarter label, dropping next month.
Jonas Munk and Nicklas Sørensen release their album Always Already Here today: a collection of compositions and improvisations for synthesizer and electric guitar. Magnetic recalls the work of Manuel Göttsching on his masterpiece E2-E4, and hears the pair striving for the ‘hypnotic bliss’ achieved by he and other pioneers, such as Brian Eno and Terry Riley.