Wednesday January 11 2023
I’ve been crabby as hell but the following sequence of music has lifted me towards agreeableness. Mohi Bahauddin Dagar’s Ahir Bhairav is his version of a Hindustani morning raga, lasting almost an hour here. He plays a rudra veena, a variety of “tube zither” that connects a fretted body (dandi) to two large gourds (tumbas). Dagar lets the microtonal action of the drone string take precedence for the first half. After that, plucked bass notes and melody drift in slowly. It sounds like a brain, a base that wells with energy and is joined by a few fireflies of thought.
Not a bad idea to go straight from there into Space & Awareness by Inhmost (a.k.a. Simon Huxtable), a recent ambient album in the ‘90s sense, luscious tones and pads with a hint of the grid, an outline of the beat that has been excised from something that was once dance music, as opposed to ambient music that began as chords or a synth patch. The beat does, eventually, kick in, but with slippers on. Huxtable has a past in making drum & bass, as well as house, none of which I’ve heard. He has used the phrase “deep music” to describe his interests, and this would normally make me skittish but it seems right.
K-Lone, co-founder of the mighty Wisdom Teeth label (whose hoodie I wore this weekend) made a fantastic Jon Hassell mix last year. He understood that as much as Hassell made wet trumpet magic, he was producer with one of the squishiest sounds out there. This mix reflects that. Raising the percentage of people singing and playing guitar and using “Amen” breaks (once), this 2022 Dungen album was a slept-on delight. Gustav Ejstes is such a melodic man! How does he do it in 2023? I’ll tell you: SOBRIETY. The name of this album, translated from Swedish, is One Is Too Many and a Thousand Is Never Enough, a saying from the program. Glad to trudge the road of happy destiny with you, Gustav.