Welcome to the fifteenth edition of Ephemerata, a weekly-ish digest of links, ideas, learnings, and sounds that I think are worth sharing.
I’m doing this to stimulate discussion around what I find interesting, and also to share things before they disappear into the void of my journal.
I’m back in Canada after a long moment in Brazil. The journey here was pretty chaotic (see How my one-way flight home with United cost an extra $4200) but now I’m at home, in quarantine, catching up with music and friends. This is a good week to reach out as I would appreciate company.
Last week, I had a great chat with Rafael Kennedy about Zero Data apps, the different protocols, what it’s like to build for this platform, and trade-offs compared to traditional designs.
If you’re enjoying this, consider contributing to my Open Collective. Virtually everything I create is public, accessible for free, and open-source. Your support helps me keep adding to the commons and making it available for everyone.
All the following items can be accessed as a one-click playlist via Joybox without accounts or sign up—just open and play.
Blood and Dust’s Rites of Blood and Dust (2020) is so far away from what I normally listen to that I needed to look up the genre in Bandcamp (it says ‘ambient ritual ambient atmospheric horror dark ambient drone horror drone melodic dark ambient queer Montreal’). I often struggle when listening to music that calls itself ambient because I tend to find it sort of ‘empty’, but this was very clearly not the case here. Many tracks have this tasteful way of shifting the meter from a ‘three’ to ‘four’ feel, or gradually building intensity, or contrasting between arhythmic and groove, textural and instrumental. In the Hollow of a Hill somehow works in a flute and maybe a cello… This is not passive listening but a sound experience that’s well put-together: I recommend hearing from start to finish.
Fikret Kızılok’s Zaman Zaman (1993) chills me out, quiets me down—music to sway. This Turkish rock singer creates an old sentimental sound using acoustic instruments. My favourite is Oysa Ben with looping chord progressions, sounds of the shore, vinyl scratching, seagulls. Nice also to hear the warm piano on İki Parça Can. (via Clara)
This album by Kasai Allstars, with the spectacular title In The 7th Moon, The Chief Turned Into A Swimming Fish And Ate The Head Of His Enemy By Magic (2008), features traditional sounds and singing by Congo-based musicians mixed with modern production techniques. If you dig this, check out the Nihiloxica from #014. Lots of groovy, funky bits where I found myself practicing Rich Brown’s modal improvisation tips from #012.
Steve Lacy’s Raps (1977) is beautiful chaos from one of the free jazz greats: plenty of clashing notes, disjunct rhythms—everything’s broken as it should be.
Pino Palladino and Blake Mills’ Chris Dave from Notes With Attachments (2021) is grooooooovy, jazzy, funky, with intricate clicking and clacking, and water glasses played with a violin bow. (via @dokoissho)
I always love receiving music. Send me recommendations anytime, anywhere!
Feel free to reply and share any reflections you might have, or just say hello. Have a great week