Needle on the Record: Quinn Christopherson, Arca, Sophie and Julius Eastman | OUTInPerth
Quinn Christopherson shares “I am Bubblegum”
Quinn Christopherson has already shared two exceptional tracks from this EP. The first offer chewing gum was a slow song that reflected on its identity with its refrain of “I don’t know who I am”, the second song Good boy broached the subject of reporting bad behavior among male friends.
Now the whole EP is out and more and more musicians can listen to another new track. Loaded weapon which completes the 3-track EP. The sound of Christopherson’s voice is very reminiscent of Perfume Genius. Austere vocals with the warm chords of an organ open the melody before a melodic guitar and strings enter. The lyrics are about the need to run and escape limits, to break free and find happiness.
Considering the quality of these three Quinn Christopherson tracks, we can’t wait for a full album in 2022.
Arca releases the surprise album Kick iiii
Arca | BLOW II, kick iii, kick iii, kick iii| ★★★★★
Arca has offered fans a ton of music in recent weeks, BLOW II, the sequel to their 2020 record arrived at the end of November and was quickly followed by the promised sequel kick iii, and kick iii. Fans got a surprise when kick iii also happened.
Arca’s debut album Xen arrived in 2014, and was quickly followed by mutant the next year. The self-titled Arca was his third record, which arrived in 2017, then three years later the kick journey has started. The five albums collectively contain 59 tracks and include collaborations with Bjork, SOPHIE, Shygirl, Sia, ROSALIA, Shirley Mason, Oliver Coates, Planningtorock and Ryuchi Sakamoto.
Through the four new albums, Arca continues to defy expectations and continually creates new, intriguing sounds. BLOW II is largely inspired by reggaeton vibrations. Tracks including Prada, Rakata, and Tiron have great dance floor sound, elsewhere unexpected layers of distorted sounds make things interesting. Born yesterday the single with Sia’s vocals is perhaps the most accessible and traditional pop song on the album, but the other songs require repeated listening to fully absorb their complexity.
kick iii is a much harsher offering, rap lyrics and crunching beats come to the fore, there are so many different styles and sounds from song to song, elements of techno, experimental EDM and almost operatic voices. It’s like there are a lot of elements put into a blender to create the perfect musical smoothie.
There is a subtle change on kick iii, the vocals are more robotic, the songs slower, more chill. alien inside features apocalyptic guitars and a contribution by Garbage singer Shirley Manson. As we go through the tracks, it gets slower and cloudier, more hazy, like the drums slowly fading on a walkman slowing down each song.
The arrival of the fifth installment is ambient territory, evoking memories of music boxes, snowflakes and folk groups. The distortion and unexpected right turns have been ditched and some truly gorgeous music sits inside. There’s so much to process and unbox in these five companion albums, and if you’ve got a few hours to lock yourself in and listen to them all from start to finish, there’s an epic journey to take.
Hawaii Blue – LOVE a sophisticated disco slice filled with saxophone sounds La Roux – Damaged Goods (Wuh Oh remix) new music from La Roux, skip the original and head to the woozy remix Orlando Weeks – Bigger with a haunting voice and a laid back ’80s vibe, this song straddles the space between chill and dancefloor Gordi – The grass is blue a wonderful version of the song by Dolly Parton VTSS – Trust me a short and sweet combination of drums and techno sounds Little Dragon with Jakob Koranyi and Yo-Yo Ma – Drifting Out all the different versions of this single are awesome, but this classical music infused take is our favorite Charli XCX – Good Ones (Perfume Genius Remix) a collaboration we didn’t see coming, Perfume Genius drops Charli XCX in a K-hole Blue Lab Beats with Killbeatz and Fela Kuti – Motherland Journey a mix of African rhythms, trumpets and the late Fela Kuti American Football and Miya Follick – Fade Into You hard to beat the original Mazzy Star but it’s pretty good Khruangbin & Leon Bridges – Face B first tracks of their second EP collaboration, it’s funky and relaxed AURORA – Pagans epic track from his next album, ethereal and multi-layered, he takes you on a journey.
SOPHIE’s debut EP will have a new pressing
When SOPHIE tragically passed away earlier this year, her first records quickly became collectibles selling for hundreds of dollars. Now her record company Huntleys and Palmers is reissuing their debut EP Nothing else to say so that more of his fans can have their own copy.
The new version to be released in early 2022 will see both the vocal version and the dub version of the title song on vinyl for the first time alongside another EEEHHH track. Proceeds from the new version will go to the Scottish Trans Alliance.
Damon Albarn’s new album is gorgeous
Damon Albarn | The closer the fountain, the purer the flow | ★ ★ ★ ★
Over the years, Damon Albarn has delivered many different types of music, from his days at Blur to comic book group Gorrillaz he created heaps of pop hits. He has been a part of The Good, The Bad & The Queen and Rocket Juice to the Moon, and he has also delivered more experimental work in film soundtracks, world music collections and the occasional project inspired by the Moon. Chinese opera.
Here he delivers his third solo work, the philosophical title The closer the fountain, the purer the flow. Originally intended as an orchestral piece inspired by the landscapes of Iceland, where Albarn now lives, it was expanded to a full album during the covid-19 pandemic.
The title song opens the record, it’s a long, meditative song, and Albarn’s vocals are slightly annoying at first. At The Cormorant the sound transforms into a slow blend of jazz fused with curvy lyrics. Royal Morning Blue collect things and find energy. Combustion is a funeral song with violins and muffled brass sounds that suddenly descends into a cacophony of sounds before emerging like a rock groove before a tinkling piano takes over. Daft wader is an incredibly beautiful song that brings different characters to life, From darkness to light is beautiful and reflective.
Throughout the songs, the sound changes from jazz to ambient melodies, but the last songs Polaris and Particles bring us back to life. Albarn’s sad and sedating album is not immediately striking but one that grows within you with repeated listening. It is complex, beautiful and very sophisticated.
Wild Up and Christopher Roundtree bring Julius Eastman’s music back to life
Julius Eastman was a minimalist composer who created music in New York City in the 1970s. He often gave his works provocative titles like Gay Guerrilla, Joy Boy, Nigger Fagot, and Crazy Negro. He has worked with other artists, including avant-garde disco composer Arthur Russell. Homosexuality was a central theme in Eastman’s work.
In the early 1980s he became addicted to drugs and was homeless. When he was evicted from his apartment, much of his work was lost forever. He died at the age of 49 in 1991, and it was eight months later that an obituary appeared in the press.
Over the years, admirers of his works and those with whom he has collaborated have tried to ensure that his works are not lost. Orchestras began to perform his pieces and new recordings of his works were made.
Several of his compositions were used in the soundtrack of the television series We are who we are, alongside music from Dev Hynes, and in October the BBC declared him songwriter of the month.
In 1974 Eastman composed two works Feminine and Male. This year his recording of Feminine has been re-released by the Sub Rosa label, but there’s also a new recording from Wild Up and Christopher Roundtree that delivers the work in a much more complex presentation. The collective has announced plans to release seven volumes of recordings of Eastman’s work, and this is just the first.
The One Hour Piece is one of those great minimalist pieces that you put on and play in the background, it’s repeating patterns seeping into your subconscious, repeating bells coming and going, piano lines. cascading and sinuous ropes create a beautiful and relaxing atmosphere. As the work progresses, it becomes more intense and energetic.
Read the previous edition of the musical column ‘Needle on the Record’.