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Review: Retribution Body, "Baphomet"

By Steve Dewhurst

For Baphomet‘s creation, Matthew Azevedo decamped to Methuen Memorial Music Hall, replete with its 160 year old Great Organ and famed four-second reverberation.

Pete Swanson
A Folk Music of Sorts: An Interview with Zefan Sramek of Precipitation

By Jason Cabaniss

"For much of my work, both musical and otherwise, the notion of place is very important. That’s one of the reasons I like using field recordings."

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Inbox #10: Real Life Ambient Top 10

By Emmerich Anklam

Greil Marcus, whose books like Mystery Train and Lipstick Traces and The History of Rock ‘n’ Roll in Ten Songs deepen the mysteries of rock music instead of explaining them away, has kept up his Real Life Rock Top 10 column with few interruptions for more than thirty-five years. This edition of The Inbox is structured after his column and dedicated to him.

Slide 2
Guest Playlist #08: H. Anthony Hildebrand

By Steve Dewhurst

“The first album I was given was Rolf Harris’ Greatest Hits... that’s how not cool the music happening at our house was."

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Stream: Pure Rave – “Slow”

Pure Rave’s marathon new album, Comparator Night at Don’s, is perfect for an imaginary dance party in these strange summer months. Nearly everything about this music—including the close-to-alphabetical track list—is a blend of exacting care and askew-ness, like a geometric abstract painting hung three degrees off centre. The Pure Rave collective’s experiments in “chance dance” are built from samples of records recovered from the trash and hosed off in bulk, and this album showcases some of the sunny and exuberant results. There’s a process being refined, but this is experimental music you can eat ice cream to. It’s fun without needing a party to prop it up. You can move to it in your heat-baked daydreams.

About seventy minutes into this gleeful rhythmic workout/playout comes “Slow.” It’s a perfectly off-kilter centrepiece that throws a gap into the beat just big enough to make a first-time listener lean into a stutter step and recover their footing. Even more than the other tracks, this one is a journey in understanding as well as rhythm. More than ten minutes in, a voice enters describing an encounter with a person whose appearance causes the speaker to express thoughts many people would be hesitant to say out loud, thoughts like: “I could barely stand to look at him.” But the moment leads to recognition. In response to the other person’s laughter, the speaker laughs with him. In miniature, it gets across the beauty of Pure Rave’s project. Someone who expects dance music to follow certain conventions, like a digitally regulated beat that makes no room for rhythmic wonkiness, might ask, “What the hell is this?!” The point is the pleasure of letting these artificial constraints go, and letting the echoes of discarded sounds careen sideways into your life.

If you need a source of unadulterated joy, Comparator Night at Don’s is a good place to look. Even better, the collective’s used the album to raise more than five hundred dollars for the Ruth Ellis Center, a Detroit organisation that has served at-risk LGBTQ+ youth for more than twenty years. The album is available on Pure Rave’s Bandcamp page.