This week in New Music: Peter Broderick returns to his modern classical roots on the Piano Cloud Series compilation, GoGo Penguin redefine jazz on their third album Man Made Object, and Italian composer Federico Albanese evokes the transition from day to night on The Blue Hour.
Peter Broderick – “Eyes Closed and Travelling”
Peter Broderick (above) can always be relied on to do something different. As comfortable with what we’ll call modern classical as he is with indie folk, indie rock and drone, he is a musician’s musician, always on the road and always–it seems–writing, recording and touring.
His latest official release sees Broderick going back to basics with a very simple piano piece called “Eyes Closed and Travelling” which harkens back to his earliest solo piano work on Docile and Float. The track is taken from Piano Cloud Series (Volume One) which is available for download from Bandcamp and also features Nils Frahm and Library Tapes.
Have a listen below along with a recent drone-voice recording by one of his many projects the Oregon-based Beacon Sound Choir.
Gogo Penguin – Man Made Object
GoGo Penguin is a trio from the UK that makes what can be loosely called deconstructed jazz that might appeal to fans of Dawn of Midi (if that means nothing to you, please please seek them out). Rather than reflecting something of a re-emergence of jazz in recent years–see fusions from the likes of David Bowie–both GoGo Penguin and DoM are spearheading that revival with an electronica-based take on jazz that has gained enough attention to receive a Mercury Prize nomination for their second album v2.0.
Piano-led with a constant and pulsating percussion, Man Made Object can be best thought of as a frenetic foray into improvised instrumentals. While it’s true to say that there is no standout track–or even moment–on the album, that in itself is part of the appeal. Like DoM’s Dystopia, Man Made Object is a relentless 45 minutes that deserves to be played loud and on repeat.
Federico Albanese – The Blue Hour
Continuing on the instrumental theme this week, fans of the above mentioned Peter Broderick, Nils Frahm and Library Tapes are encouraged to seek out Italian-born, Germany-based composer Federico Albanese.
His second album The Blue Hour attempts to capture the period of transition from day to night. If that sounds like pretentious nonsense, his music often aims essentially at soundscapes, although not in the traditional ambient mode. Still lost? Think of Sigur Ros on early albums, especially the wildlife documentary-baiting Takk. Or perhaps Kate Bush in A Sky of Honey.
I hate using the words ephemeral and haunting to describe music but damn it, The Blue Hour is both. An album that sounds like the soundtrack to your life and will stick with you long after it concludes beautifully on “Stellify.”