Céline Gillain - What Happens If I Open My Mouth? (2017, Lexi Disques)

"A video maker and performer living in Brussels, Céline Gillain is discreet, almost secretive, when it comes to her music. As a producer, she's using straight electronics to push people into her own zone of sci-fi, feminism and existential philosophy in the virtual world. Combining her love for what's shiny and a dark sense of humor, these 2 first songs on record are questioning roles assigned – and not only as women searching for their own ways in the boy's club." - via Lexi Disques

Javier Segura - Lamento Bereber (1989, Jaja Records)

Here's a Spanish musician who received attention in December 2017 from a new label, Passat Continu, which released "El Sol Desde Oriente (Selected & Unreleased Recordings 1980-1990)," an anthological collection of Javier Segura's unreleased and rarely-heard works. This was shortly followed in March 2018 by the release of Arte Moderno's "Musica Cabeza," eight tracks recorded by Mandi Copote and Segura in the early 80's. Segura described the project as “not electronic, not pop, not rock and not avant-garde. Not art and not modern. And of course we felt miles away from what was to be known as the movida. Arte Moderno had its leanings towards the extreme social/political views, which is what usually happens when you do not feel at ease with anything around you. Its critique is against everything and everybody, but especially against the then-current trends, musical and otherwise. There’s some poetry in its expression, showing up just to be crashed down. There’s love without love. There’s light in darkness."

It's difficult to effectively describe Segura's music. He touches upon a wide variety of styles: musique-concrete, noise, ambient, tribal, new-age, new-wave, and post-punk. Yet none of those descriptors give Segura's music the wide-breadth that it deserves. It crosses interstylistic and interdimensional boundaries, warping one's understanding of what music can sound like. It's tough stuff, but highly rewarding.

What I've brought you today is Javier Segura's "Lamento Bereber," released in 1989 on Jaja records. It's a disorienting record, but in the most satisfying way imaginable. I hope y'all will enjoy it as much as I have.

Elephant Chateau - Dreamings (1988, Halb Tanz Halb Schlaf)

"When I saw Elephant Château‘s record at a car boot sale, all these memories came back to mind. Many elements made this record likeable at first sight, from the Peter Saville-esque artwork, to the surrealist name of the band and the highly evocative ones of the label and the songs. When I listened to the record, the music matched both my expectations and the setting perfectly (a sunny field in the middle of the French countryside): an otherwordly voice speaking about pink flamingos, backed by a nagging rhythm machine pattern and soon joined by an ethereal choir and a nonchalant saxophone.

Retrospectively, what might be the most important thing about this record – apart from its quality – is how much of a snapshot of Zürich‘s alternative scene in the late 1980’s it is. Produced by Zürich-based artist Christof Vetsch (who, I assume, is the brother of Elephant Château‘s Johannes Vetsch), the members of the band all played on other musical projects from the Swiss city, some of them released on BOY (on which was also released Elephant Château‘s LP), a sublabel of the influential RecRec Music (home to UnknownmiX‘s albums). Even the picture on the cover reminds us of the Swiss origins of the band, a painting by the country’s « national painter », Albert Anker." - via Okonole y trompa

Ronald Snijders - Natural Sources (1977, Black Straight Music)

"Ronald Snijders is considered to be the most swinging flutist in the Netherlands (Jazz magazine Jazz nu), and the inventor of African Surinam kawinajazz. He was born in Paramaribo, Suriname in 1951 and started to play the flute at the age of seven, influenced by his professionally flute playing father. In his youth he also practised guitar, sax, some piano and percussion, playing popular music, classical music, Brazilian music plus jazz.

In september of 1970 he settled in Delft, the Netherlands to study civil engineering, but about five years later he was a professional selftaught musician. Among his awards shines the Press prize at the prestigious NOS jazzconcours of 1973 in Laren, won with a flute solo. The legendary bandleader Boy Edgar who was presiding the jury said: Ronald Snijders has extreme skill and creativity. Jazz pianist Chick Corea wrote of him in 1976: You're a great flutist and an excellent composer…I'm sure people here in the United states will like your music a lot. And as jazz journalist Rudy Koopmans put it some years later: the most brillant fluteplayer in the field of improvised music in the Netherlands (Volkskrant).

Ronald Snijders produced and released twenty albums with innovative compositions of his own, varying in style from North American jazz and fusion to new African Caribbean jazz (among which Surinam kasekojazz and kawinajazz), Brazilian grooves and other worldjazz. Furthermore he played on albums of the Dutch Willem Breuker collective (in which he worked between 1974 and 1976), the partly Surinam Fra Fra big band and the Moroccan Weshm.

This, his debut release on his own Black Straight Music label, is a true collectors item. Not only does he play every instrument on the album, he is composer, producer and album art designer! Smooth, dense and spacey funky jazz with an exotic Brasilian-tinged flavour is order of the day." - via Dutch Private Pressings

Anuradha Paudwal & Kavita Paudwal - Gayatri Mantra (1998, T-Series)

"Gayatri is the Mother of all scriptures (Vedas). She is present, wherever Her name is chanted. She is very powerful. The One who nourishes the individual being is Gayatri. She bestows pure thoughts on anyone who worships Her. She is the embodiment of all Goddesses. Our very breath is Gayatri, our faith in existence is Gayatri. Gayatri has five faces, they are the five life principles. She has nine descriptions, they are ‘Om, Bhur, Bhuvah, Swah, Tat, Savitur, Vareñyaṃ, Bhargo, Devasya’. Mother Gayatri nourishes and protects every being and she channelizes our senses in the proper direction. ‘Dhīmahi’ means meditation. We pray to her to inspire us with good intelligence. ‘Dhīyo Yonah Prachodayāt’ - We beseech her to bestow on us everything we need. Thus Gayatri is a complete prayer for protection, nourishment and finally, liberation.
[‘My Dear Students’, Vol 3, Ch 2, Mar 19, 1998]
The Gayatri Mantra is a sacred chant that demonstrates the unity that underlies manifoldness in creation. It is through the recognition of this unity that we can understand the multiplicity. Clay is one and the same thing, though pots of different shapes and sizes can be made from it. Gold is one, though gold ornaments can be multifarious. The Atma is one, though the embodied forms in which it resides may be many. Whatever the colour of the cow, the milk is always white.
[‘Sathya Sai Speaks’, vol 16.6:  March, 17, 1983]" - via Sathya Sai

Here is a mantra that has consistently brought me into serene days for as long as I've known it. I hope it does the same for you. Be sure to check out the vinyl reissue on Caroline True Records from 2016.

Flickr Diggr

Here are some choice picks from SwellMap's Flickr account. I probably spent more time than was necessary flipping through those pages, but hey, it paid off ;)

REPOST: Diseño Corbusier - Pérfido Encanto (1985, Vinilisssimo, 2012)

"1982. Dragged by decades of international isolation, Madrid and Granada performed, unaware and in their own way, the same roles that London and Sheffield had assumed during the punk explosion in the UK. While the capital grabbed headlines and considered itself the epicentre of modernity, 400 kilometres southwards, Granada developed an experimental scene despite the scarce resources available.

"Pérfido encanto" is Diseño Corbusier's first contribution to a European-wide scene where electronic instruments rose up against the media domination of guitars. They first got together when Ani Zinc (she liked the sound of the word "anything"), a psychology student without any previous musical experience, met two law students obsessed with the power of machines but with different approaches. Rafael Flores believed in the extreme noise of bands like Throbbing Gristle as a source of endless energy. Javier G Marín had a sexier concept of synthesizers. The outcome was natural: Marín and Ani Zinc amicably parted ways with Flores, who would have a remarkable career under the alias Comando Bruno.

But before the band came the label. Under the name Auxilio de Cientos, Marín's intention was to provide distribution to those unclassifiable projects he knew through fanzines, radio shows and record trading. Ani's intention didn't go beyond spending time manipulating her voice on the cassettes she recorded. But one of her collage tracks reached national radio. Signed as by Neo Zelanda, 'Paso hambre', consisting only of a treated, menacing and magnetic vocal, was played one night and the calls brought the radio station to a standstill. The record label DRO quickly signed her. The deal was for two singles: one with said track and another one for Diseño Corbusier. The latter never happened, so Marín decided his humble distribution company would become a label. And its first release would not be a single but an LP.

Marín represented the primitive democratization of electronic instruments. The Korg synthesizer was the perfect tool for those who didn't know hot to play and would never go to music school. The Boss DR-55 rhythm machine had a sweet appearance but a devastating character. A radio cassette player plugged into a Revox was the recording studio. And finally, Ani Zinc's microphone: naivety made intention.

"Pérfido encanto" quickly sold its 500-copies run, more than half outside Spain. The moment was right. The following year, the LP "El alma de la estrella" brought Diseño Corbusier back with the same deceitful charm. But that would be the last chapter of their short life. " - via Munster Records