Playlist – Emika & Improvisations X Inspirations


It gives us great pleasure to welcome Emika to Arcana’s playlist section.

One of electronic music’s most versatile artists, she is adding another string to her bow with the launch of new label Improvisations X Inspirations.

Their first collection, Inspiration Drop 1, is available as of today – and it features six striking new compositions. None more so than Eomac’s Drip, Splash, Bubble & Flow, a track created entirely from recorded water drips and drops:

Classical inspirations can be found in the music of Katta, composer and organist at the Prague Church – her Sen I has a thick and timeless ambience, its colours brightening as the track progresses. Violinist Sebastian explores the penetrating tones of the instrument on Slow Arrival, while Schlindwein brings a classical elegance to the synthesizer with Life & Death Choral.

Emika herself collaborates with an old friend, Paul Frick, the two celebrating their creative reunion with In Parallel III, a propulsive piece exploring attractive timbres with more percussive instruments.

Arcana can complement the release of this music by pointing you towards Emika’s Inspirations playlist on Spotify, where you can explore the stimulus behind this new music and discover some stimulating contemporary music. With music from sources as diverse as John Surman, Steve Reich, Bernard Herrmann and Burial, you are pretty much guaranteed to hear something new and exciting – especially as Emika regularly updates the playlist:

Inspiration Drop 1 is available digitally or through USB Card from Improvisations X Inspirations. To listen and order, visit the Bandcamp site here

Playlist – Bing & Ruth

It gives us great pleasure to welcome Bing & Ruth frontman David Moore to Arcana’s playlist section.

We have been talking with David about the new Bing & Ruth album Species, due for release on Friday 17 July – and his experience of lockdown and recent world turbulence, onto which he effectively has a front window from his New York home.

David’s playlist reflects his deep love of Bach, with the Chaconne from the Solo Violin Partita no.2 in D minor acting as the centrepiece. Leading up to this we have the vibrant Toccata from Sergei Prokofiev, which contrasts with the winsome Sales Tax On The Women from The New Lost City Ramblers. Sons of Kemet‘s incendiary cut All Will Surely Burn is next, before Smoke Dawson‘s Pretty Polly, from the Fiddle album, transports us to the great wide open.

The Bach follows the rich colours and harmonies of Miles Davis‘ Gershwin elaboration Fisherman, Strawberry and Devil Crab – after which we hear the sonorous Farfisa tones of Bing & Ruth‘s Live Forever, an extended highlight from the new album.

Rudy Van Gelder‘s remix of Gene Ammons‘ sultry Hittin’ The Jug is next, then The Carter Family‘s The Storms Are On The Ocean, a poignant song thought to date from the early 1930s. Just a few years separate this from The Ink Spots’ I Don’t Want To Set The World On Fire, a rather beautiful song with which to close.

Our thanks to David for this inspiring collection of music. Stay tuned for the full interview and a review of the new album.

Bing & Ruth’s album Species is out on Friday 17 July from 4AD. You can pre-order it from the Bandcamp embed below

Playlist – DELANILA

It gives us great pleasure to welcome composer and instrumentalist Danielle Schwob – aka DELANILA – to Arcana’s playlist section:

https://open.spotify.com/playlist/3wN2HiM1yGgP9aIkmDTuFD?si=XOiqWW7WQHeSHX2vb_Az9A

Danielle’s selection is a fascinating Transatlantic exchange, mixing the best of America, Estonia, Iceland and the UK amongst others.

The heady violin of Canadian Angèle Dubeau is the first instrument we hear, leading La Pietà in the first movement of Arvo Pärt‘s Tabula Rasa. This leads to a fascinating exploration of American work from Bryce Dessner, Harry Partch and John Corigliano. Partch’s Two Studies on Ancient Greek Scales, for harp and guitar, are especially fascinating – short but perfectly formed and shimmering attractively.

Later we have a spacious excerpt from Adam Schoenberg‘s Finding Rothko, and a track from Thom Yorke‘s music for Suspiria, led by mottled piano. The music of Justin Dello Joio creates fascinating colours, reinventing the piano trio, while violin pieces by David Lang, Anna Clyne, Giya Kancheli and Jakub Ciupinski are inspiring for their open and ethereal air.

Ben Frost‘s Super Dark Times and a movement from John AdamsThe Dharma at Big Sur explore expansive viewpoints, while PUBLIQuartet‘s reinterpretation of Hildegard von Bingen‘s O ignee Spiritus is a thoughtful and moving response.

Elsewhere we have two encounters with the music of Jóhann Jóhannsson, with whom Danielle worked – his Krókódíll and then the crowning glory of the mix, the fifth and final part from IBM 1401 A User’s Manual – The Sun’s Gone Dim And The Sky’s Turned Black, which sums up how we still miss the composer and also the current lockdown situation.

That’s not to say this selection is maudlin though – far from it. You will I’m sure discover something new as well as enjoy the chance to revel in some beautiful and powerful music, shifting shapes and perspectives. Take the next 90 minutes out and enjoy it.

DELANILA’s album Overloaded is out now via Zyg Zyg.

Sound of Mind 10 – May Blossoms

As we move halfway through the eighth week of lockdown here in the UK, I thought it a good time to round up some of the best sounds I’ve been enjoying in the last week or two.

The arrival of spring is hopefully in full swing, and there are good signs of creativity throughout the electronic music community.

This playlist begins with the first track of the Conference Of Trees album from Pantha du Prince, before enjoying some rather wonderful pictures brought to us by Peter Broderick, Erland Cooper, Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith and brothers Brian and Roger Eno.

There is brand new music from Bibio, one of the standout tracks from Nathan Fake‘s Blizzards album and to wrap things up a remix of Philip Glass‘s Two Pages by none other than Max Cooper.

Enjoy an hour of escapism!

Ben Hogwood

Playlist – Sound of Mind 8: On camera

With the curfew situation as it is in the UK, we will get to know our home surroundings in minute detail as the days go by!

In that time we are likely to watch a lot more TV than we normally do, so with that in mind, here is a playlist of music associated with the screen – which handily gives us an hour without adverts that will hopefully calm and inspire by turn.

The selection starts with my favourite piece of Thomas Newman, from The Road to Perdition, before taking in music from Clint Eastwood Jr, Hans Zimmer‘s brilliant Interstellar, Daft Punk, Hannah Peel and an excerpt from this year’s Oscar winner, Hildur Guðnadóttir, and her remarkable score for The Joker.

Later on we hear from Angelo Badalamenti‘s Twin Peaks score, Cliff Martinez‘s music for Drive, Brian Eno and finally M83 – whose Outro has played out a good many programs. Hope you enjoy the music!

Ben Hogwood