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    Philip Blackburn – Ordo

    February 14th, 2024

    Philip Blackburn - Ordo

    Philip Blackburn is a British-born, St. Paul, Minnesota-based composer who has been active since the 1980s, when he earned degrees at the Universities of Cambridge and Iowa. Best known as the director of Innova Recordings since 1996, for whom he most notably rescued Harry Partch’s long lost personal archives and released them as the Enclosure Series, Philip left Innova in 2020 to run the Neuma record label. In addition to producing over 400 Innova albums for other composers, Philip has also stuck his toe out into the spotlight as an environmental sound artist, releasing several solo CDs over the past two decades. The latest is a 2-CD set called Ordo that spans the entirety of Philip’s 40-year career.

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    Jon Christopher Nelson – The Persistence of Time and Memory

    January 26th, 2024

    Jon Christopher Nelson - The Persistence of Time and Memory

    I just have one request. I’m working on a new performance art piece as part of a college course I just enrolled in. Can you and I get together sometime soon and talk about the composer Jon Gibson, the singer Christopher Cross and the actor Charles Nelson Reilly simultaneously in order to colloquially mimic in real time a chaotic electro-acoustic composition straight from the bowels of academia? “No!” you scream. “I’ve written a review of a new CD by Jon Christopher Nelson, and his name covers all three of theirs, so don’t get any bright ideas. Plus, his music is actually relaxing compared to whatever sonic nightmare you want to conjure up.”

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    Arcane Candy’s 2023 Favorite Releases

    December 31st, 2023

    In alphabetical order by artist name.

    Alma Maru

    New Releases

    Alma MaruAlma Maru CD (Daft Alliance, 2021 release)
    Tony Conrad, Arnold Dreyblatt, Jim O’RourkeTonic 19-01-2001 LP (Black Truffle)
    The Invisible HandsThe Big Minute LP (Abduction)
    Madhuvanti PalThe Holy Mother 2-LP (Sublime Frequencies)

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    Ake Parmerud – Jeu d’ombres

    November 26th, 2023

    Ake Parmerud - Jeu d'ombres

    Swedish composer Ake Parmerud has been working full-time with instrumental and electro-acoustic music and multi-media art for theatre, dance and film since the late 1970s. Released in 2003, his Jeu d’ombres CD consists of six works spanning the years 1988-1999 that combine instruments with electronic sounds. “Strings and Shadows” (1993) is a fragile and homely yet beautiful piece that effortlessly melds a harp with abstract aural shards. True to its name, “Stringquartett” (1988) pits a string quartet with hectic cut-ups of concrete sounds similar to Karlheinz Stockhausen’s 1958 piece, “Kontakte.”

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    Francis Dhomont – Jalons

    October 24th, 2023

    Francis Dhomont - Jalons

    Although he dabbled in music throughout the 1950s, eye-patched French composer Francis Dhomont (born 1926) has, since the early ’60s, devoted himself exclusively to the composition of acousmatic music, which may be thought of as a form of finely detailed sound collage. Jalons, a CD released by Montreal, Canada acousmatic label empreintes DIGITALes in 2003, is a 78-minute survey of Francis’ more recent output, spanning from 1985 to 2001. The eight tracks on this disc range in length from very short to very long, and seamlessly meld both abstract and real world sounds together with extremely deft compositional clarity and virtuosity.

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    Natasha Barrett – Isostasie

    September 23rd, 2023

    Natasha Barrett - Isostasie

    Composer Natasha Barrett works in the realm of acousmatic, electro-acoustic, instruments with live electronics, sound installations, multi-media works and computer music improvisation. Born in the United Kingdom in 1972, in the 1990s she studied at the University of Birmingham and City University, where she received degrees; followed by a move to Oslo, Norway thanks to a grant. She is now a freelance teacher and composer there.

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    Francisco Lopez – Untitled 74

    August 19th, 2023

    Francisco Lopez - Untitled 74

    This CD, titled Untitled 74 by Francisco Lopez, consists of one track that is 48 minutes and 48 seconds long. The following is a minute-by-minute description:

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    Roger Reynolds – For a Reason

    July 28th, 2023

    Roger Reynolds - For a Reason

    “Roger Reynolds (born 1934) studied music composition at the University of Michigan. Together with fellow classmates Robert Ashley and Gordon Mumma, he was a founding member of the ONCE Group. In the late ‘60s, Reynolds settled in Southern California to teach composition at the University of California, San Diego, where he has been based to this day. Reynolds’ works most often include text of poetic or mythological origin, electronic sound elements, and multichannel spatial explorations.”–Wikipedia

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    Matmos – A Chance to Cut is a Chance to Cure

    June 25th, 2023

    Matmos - A Chance to Cut is a Chance to Cure

    After three releases on their own Vague Terrain imprint*, San Francisco electronica duo Matmos visit the sad, vain and vacuous world of California cosmetic surgery on their first widely available effort, A Chance to Cut is a Chance to Cure. Offering gainful sonic employment to such diverse items as an acoustic (bowed) and electric guitar, a clarinet, drums, L.A.S.I.K. laser eye surgery, a hearing test booth, test tones, a wah ukulele, an acupuncture point detector, a plucked and bowed rat cage, a human skull, goat spine and corrective tissue, artificial teeth, rhinoplasty surgery, an endoscopic forehead lift and a chin implant, Drew Daniel and M.C. Schmidt have skillfully pasted together an aural construction paper assignment far beyond third grade expectations. Needless to say, plenty of fresh and strange “pop” sounds for you to rock out to are included. In contrast to that, my favorite track is “For Felix (And All the Rats)” for bowed and plucked rat cage, which offers up a more atmospheric affair with no discernible beats. All in all, A Chance to Cut is worthy—but not as good as The West, so don’t get your hopes up, cheese.

    *I really like the one with the aspirin caught inside the jewel case and the really nice sample of a pair of scissors snipping away.

    Label: Matador Catalog Number: OLE-489-2 Format: CD Packaging: Jewel case Tracks: 7 Country: United States Released: 2001 More: Pitchfork, Reverb, Smithsonian

    Text ©2003 Arcane Candy

    Bardo Pond – Set And Setting

    May 24th, 2023

    Bardo Pond - Set And Setting

    This group of Philly cheese steaks first mitted my attention back in ’95 (19, that is) with their coming out party platter of yore, Bufo Alvarius. Seems that most every member of the band had bought out the complete remaining stock of effects pedals from every guitar store east of the Mississippi and proceeded to slather layers of distortion all over the slow, plodding rhythms ebbing out most nicely throughout my bedroom. In fact, the aural cloud they’ve created is way thicker than the coat of Ben Gay your grandma is applying to her joints at this very moment. That’s pretty much been the story for each following album over the years ever since, including this new one, Set And Setting.

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