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Bablicon: A Flat Inside A Fog, The Cat That Was A Dog

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My next interview is with "The Diminisher" (Dave McDonnell), "Blue Hawaii" (Griffin Rodriguez) and "Marta Tennae" (Jeremy Barnes) a.k.a. Bablicon who are going to talk to me about their third album A Flat Inside A Fog, The Cat That Was A Dog , released 20 years ago on  Pickled Egg  /  Misra records. Bablicon are one of those groups that I always imagine being a household name for more eccentric and adventurous music listeners, but their work remains somewhat overlooked! Perhaps it's because it was unclassifiable, inaccurately filed under "rock" at my local record store back in 2001 and yet with Bablicon there was always too much studio-craft to be "jazz", too much song-craft to be "experimental", and certainly too much anarchy and mayhem for the confines of contemporary composition, chamber music or whatever such classifications might spring to mind. As a Navel-Gazer once said, the human mind loves contrast and this i

Sharon Gal: The Garden Of Earthly Delights

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My next interview is with Sharon Gal who is going to talk to us about  The Garden Of Earthly Delights . This is one of those albums that reminds me what's so fascinating and special about the medium of sound recording, as it's truly a sound-world all of its own, constructed immaculately from selective renderings of glass, bells, birds, the great outdoors and Sharon's own voice. In contrast to many of my favourite recordings this is not one which lurks in the shadows. The rich, bright palette of sounds here is as clear as crystal. And yet mystery abounds on 'The Garden Of Earthly Delights'. With each repeated listen I seem to drift off to some unidentifiable netherworld which the sounds have conjured up... perhaps it's the "imaginary landscape" from Sharon's description. As for Sharon herself, she's quite the legend, a multidisciplinary artist active on the London scene since the 80s, and co-founder of  Resonance FM . Lots to talk a

Aurélie Nyirabikali Lierman: Anosmia

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My next interview is with Aurélie Nyirabikali Lierman who is going to talk to us about Anosmia . 'Anosmia' is a 43-minute piece of "Afrique Concréte" which was commissioned for a programme called Fearless Radio on Radio-1 in Austria in 2014... prior to listening, I don't know that I could imagine anything other than a somber, documentary approach to this subject matter (the Rwandan Genocide ), and yet 'Anosmia' is a work which simply crackles with spontaneity and life. Like much of Aurélie's work, the piece revolves around field recordings from Africa, which appear here alongside prepared piano, bold manipulations of analogue tape, and the permutation of the human voice - both Aurélie's own voice and those of local Rwandans whom she interviewed for the project concerning the topic at hand. I have so many questions on this one - even though the historical context and the topicality are a little more 'on the nose' than most recordings, r

(Various Artists): There Is No Music From China

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My next interview is with Zhu Wenbo, Yan Jun and Li Song who are going to talk to us about There Is No Music From China . This is new territory, for several reasons.. it's the first venture onto the Asian continent for Navel-Gazers, and I hope the first of many. It's also an email interview with three  people so bear with me collating all the responses! And it's a compilation, produced by Zhu Wenbo and Yan Jun. Zhu Wenbo is a sound artist, event organiser, and founder of the Zoomin' Night label based in Beijing. Zoomin' Night is a goldmine for anyone wondering about experimental music in China. Yan Jun is also based in Beijing - he's been described as 'the invisible glue holding together the Chinese experimental music scene' - on a side note I recommend his collaboration with Hsia Yu 7 Poems and Some Tinnitus which could be a discussion for another day. Last but not least Li Song - a contributor to the compilation - is my connection here, he

Trynka: Przesyt

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My next interview is with Łukasz Trynka who is going to talk to us about Przesyt . 'Przesyt' is a definite contrast to the free-form improvisation which has been our stylistic locus here at Navel-Gazers... 50 minutes of densely-orchestrated avant-prog music, a recording that could easily be mistaken for the lost basement tapes of Magma or Samla Mammas Manna - this is a change of gears. There's also another ingredient in the mix here - you could call it improvisation but knowing Łukasz, we could also just call it pure mayhem - and it's all the more noticeable since the compositions, which much have been assembled carefully, seem to be ever at its mercy. I know Łukasz from the improv world, as I know many of the Navel-Gazers - and so when he shared 'Przesyt' with me I was surprised and glad to know of a fellow traveller, someone familiar with a relatively arcane and frankly unfashionable approach to music that has always interested me. Let's fi

Adam Bohman: Music and Words

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My next interview is with Adam Bohman who is going to talk to us about Music and Words . This is a very unusual instalment of Navel-Gazers in that the entire interview was carried out through the post! At Adam's request, all of my questions were handwritten, with responses provided back to me on a cassette tape: perhaps the perfect medium for this discussion. Much of 'Music and Words' itself revolves around cassettes, decades-old "Talking Tapes" of Adam puttering around London's remote suburbs and narrating astutely on his encounters with the random, the incidental and the banal. There's also - as advertised - music in the mix here, instrumental sound interspersed with the narrations in ways which are totally unpredictable. I invite you to listen and read, but I can't promise you'll be able to do both at once - 'Music and Words' may have you laughing out loud, or scaling the walls...!

Lara Jones: Ensō

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My next interview is with Lara Jones who is going to talk to us about Ensō . This is a recent release which got my attention right out the gate for its unusual combination of themes. 'Ensō' is a concept drawn from Zen , while much of the album's contents seem to concern journeys along the bustling transport corridor between England and France a.k.a. the Eurostar, although I cannot say for sure. The music itself is stunning: "ambient" on the one hand, and yet I'm unable to focus on anything else while listening to ' Ens ō'... the interplay between its elements - field recordings, atmospheric sound, and saxophone - is so purposeful and intense that it is almost like watching a film. So to our readers, if you've not listened to it yet, consider this a spoiler alert! Ok enough said.. let's find out more about Lara Jones and 'Ens ō'. AC: My first encounter with 'Ens ō' was a memorable one. Obviously I know you&