Aigners Inventur: Juli & August 2023

20.07.2023
There are enough reasons to cry right now. Recently at Aigner’s Inventory too – but only very melodramatic reasons, of course. This time, our columnist has chosen songs for the funeral from the likes of Ahnoni, PJ Harvey, DJ Python and Bendik Giske.
Anohni & The Johnsons
My Back Was A Bridge For You To Cross
Rough Trade • 2023 • from 34.99€

I only listen to »Another World« once every three years, but when I do, I listen to it 30 times over, misty-eyed and full of existentialist zeal. The fact that Anohni has recorded a new album with the Johnsons after 13 years initially triggered another »Another World« week before I could really devote myself to »My Back Was A Bridge For You To Cross«. The much-vaunted blue-eyed soul tropes are more elegant and rocking here than on comparable throwback albums, despite the relevant credits from producer Jimmy Hogarth, and give Anohni's organ enough room for precisely the kind of pathos that has always set her apart, even in more avant-garde contexts. It's devastating even in the supposedly more relaxed moments, but then again, there's simply no one who's written as many potential funeral songs this millennium as Anohni. 

Florian Aigner
Arthur Russell
Picture Of Bunny Rabbit
Audika • 2023 • from 35.99€

The idea of someone unpacking the cello at a funeral and playing a passage from »World Of Echo« is so wonderfully pretentious that I get misty-eyed just thinking about it. With »The Picture Of Bunny Rabbit«, a relic of these sessions has actually been released posthumously, a Grail-like discovery by Arthur Russell's estate, just too good to be true. Absurd that the world had to wait almost forty years, and even more absurd how brilliantly Tom Lee sequenced and edited the recordings. This makes »The Picture Of Bunny Rabbit« the long lost twin brother of one of the most important albums of the 1980s. 

Florian Aigner
PJ Harvey
I Inside The Old Year Dying
Partisan • 2023 • from 28.99€

New PJ Harvey records also remain unashamedly relevant. »I Inside The Old Year Dying« (title of the year btw) in all its poetic quirkiness is no more uncool than a Holter or Hval album and just generally a fucking anomaly in the fourth decade of a career.

Florian Aigner
People Skills
Hum Of The Non-Engine
Digital Regress • 2023 • from 29.99€

Since his 2016 album for BEB, People Skills has mainly attracted attention with compilation tracks around the extended Low Company Bubble. His album »Hum Of The Non-Engine« for Digital Regress is now a welcome compilation of diverse loosies that nevertheless perfectly encapsulate why collage experimentalism and mumblefolk were sent to speed date on every other tape three years ago. Perhaps the best record in this category since the last No Rodere album. 

Florian Aigner
Celine Gillain
Mind Is Mud
Cortizona • 2023 • from 25.99€

To hear about a new Celine Gillain project is a tad more exciting, partly because her last album hasn't aged a day since 2018. Of course, »Mind Is Mud« is also full of hundreds of deconstructed references to the sounds of clubland. The biting atomisation of capitalism and chauvinism is free of retweet horniness here too, of course, but what makes this EP truly quintessential is the feeling you get as a listener of having no idea what's going to happen next. 

Florian Aigner
Bruce Falkian
Bruce Falkian LP
Antinote • 2023 • from 28.99€

I didn't know anything about Bruce Falkian, but the media-satirical superstructure on their debut for Antinote is in some parts a bit too flat for me. But metaperspectively freed, this is a really amazingly good post punk album, which in places sounds as if Malaria had seen electroclash coming back then.

Florian Aigner
V/Z (Valentina Magaletti & Zongamin)
Suono Assente
Ad 93 • 2023 • from 22.99€

It's always nice when people get over their Ed Banger past without suffering a wrinkle and are now free to work with Valentina Magaletti. Zongamin was secretly overqualified for the blog house era anyway, and today, in the 22nd year of his career, he releases his best record. On Suono Assente, Magaletti pushes the dub of her Holy Tongues project even deeper into post-punk grooves, while Zongamin follows with slapping basslines and shoegaze. And by the time Coby Sey staggers into a Claire Denis soundtrack on »Bites« at the latest, V/Z will have landed on the shortlist of albums of the year so far. 

Florian Aigner
Hajj
No Soul, No God, No Devil, No Existence
YOUTH • 2023 • from 24.99€

»No Soul, No God, No Devil, No Existence« – Hajj calls his album Jürgen without irony, and this sincerity is hard for my millennial brain to take at first, but also rather admirable in its corniness. Burial and weightless grime are the right false references here, because the sonic inspiration clearly does not follow the British continuum, but Chicago, Memphis and Paris instead, although the transported melancholy does then legitimise this crooked comparison on an emotional level. Florian Aigner 

Florian Aigner
Rrose
Please Touch
Eaux • 2023 • from 26.99€

Rrose's journey reaches its climax on »Please Touch«, and there are only a few techno producers who work so meticulously and freely in album format. In its stepping moments, »Please Touch« most closely resembles Regis and Katatonic Silentio, in its technoid moments it resembles the best Plastikman Maxis and, almost incidentally, in the drum-free sequences it is a fantastic ARRRT EP. 

Florian Aigner
Zaumne
Parfum
Sferic • 2023 •

I love it when reviews write themselves. The top comment for Zaumne's »Perfume« on Bandcamp at the moment is: »Superb sound design, only tarnished by the excessive French whispering«. Well, replace tarnished with enhanced and we're finished with this review. 

Florian Aigner
Oliver Coates
Aftersun OST
Invada • 2023 • from 27.99€

Soundtracks are admittedly rare here, mainly because it's difficult for me to judge whether they can stand on their own at the time of release. The main exception at the moment is Micah Levi, but Oliver Coates also qualifies in this category with his score for »Aftersun«. Rarely have I heard a soundtrack that is so ambivalent about the feelings of its two protagonists without making them too explicit (the great Bowie/Queen finale notwithstanding). The fact that Coates was working on a film here – the punchline of which knocked me out cold – certainly helps, but my goodness, that bloody cello hits a different note. 

Florian Aigner
Koshiro Hino
Geist II
Nakid • 2023 • from 33.99€

Koshiro Hino's Kakuhan project was one of my favourite albums of last year, so my efforts to review »Geist II« were correspondingly feverish. There may be contexts in which these emphatically discordant field recordings work, especially when accompanied by visuals, but on its own this album is – narrow-minded as it may sound – just music per se in the broadest sense. 

Florian Aigner
Jon Collin & Demdike Stare
Fragments Of Nothing
DDS • 2023 • from 30.99€

Jon Collins' approach to field recordings, on the other hand, is more accessible, even if his work with Demdike Stare sounds particularly droney and ephemeral compared to his relatively linear solo work. »Fragments Of Nothing« was 2020's companion tape to »Sketches Of Everything«, an album that accompanied me through the strange pandemic autumn in 2020. »Fragments Of Nothing« is even more minimalist and a little less dubby, but again, every minute spent in anticipation pays off. I'm curious to see how part 3 will turn out, »Minerals« was released at the end of June, but seems to have been held up at customs. 

Florian Aigner
Olof Dreijer & Mount Sims
Souvenir
Rabid • 2023 • from 36.99€

In his collaboration with Mount Sims, Olof Dreijer's obsession with steel drums reaches a climax – that is to say, a cliché-free conclusion. »Souvenir« doesn't use silly »The Office« memes to introduce the instrument, but aims to bring together Eurocentric avant-garde conventions with gamelan arrangements and genuine West Indian appreciation. This works best in the middle of the album, but the attempt to embed this instrument in the disturbing gothic folk context right at the beginning is also very interesting. 

Florian Aigner
Bendik Giske
Bendik Giske
Smalltown Supersound • 2023 • from 26.99€

Each of Bendik Giske's last three albums contains at least one transcendental track, which, in its ecstatic interplay of repetition and modulation, makes you think that music might be the mediator between here and there after all. On »Cracks« it was »Cruising«, on his collaboration with Pavel Milyakov and now it is »Not Yet«. As always, Giske's madcap approach to album length remains a challenge in the best sense. But here, with Beatrice Dillon as co-producer, another fascinating layer is added, as her dogmatic rejection of any morphing of the music allows for an almost painfully brilliant album that completely liberates Giske's improvisations from conventional jazz etiquette. 

Florian Aigner
Florian T M Zeisig
You Look So Serious I + II
Enmossed • 2023 • from 41.99€

I don't know how many times I listened to the first part of Florian TM Zeisig's »You Look So Serious« during the coronavirus years, but this Basinskified version of Enya loops will forever remain my official FFP2 soundtrack. The second part, which is being released together with Part 1, does exactly what the first seven tracks did before: 2011 clams casino beats without the beats. Sounds disparaging, but it is a Fields Medal-worthy formula. 

Florian Aigner
Ana Roxanne & DJ Python
Natural Wonder Beauty Concept
Mexican Summer • 2023 • from 24.99€

I wouldn't have necessarily cast Ana Roxanne and DJ Python as a duo on the drawing board, but that's probably why »Natural Wonder Beauty Concept« is so good. Python docks everywhere, pattern-wise: barely there bass drums, short dembow feints, extended warp beats and euphoric beach chair jungle. Ana Roxanne juggles, grins and expands the latent melancholy with one hundred percent sincerity in the unofficial sequel to Leila's hitherto rather singular »Like Weather«. 

Florian Aigner

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