Friday, April 11, 2014

Arthur Wachnick and Let Us Run (before God in our Linen Ephod) review by Kirk

Album: Let Us Run
released 4/11/2014

Mano Mano… another Noisetrade home run.

I love the happiness my ears feel when they discover something new,  and (given the dynamics of a marketplace without center)  might not ever encounter-- Then (given the magnetic super talent collecting arms of Noisetrade)  I am floored by artistry that is just part of another planet.

This week’s hyper-delicious  serendipitus astonistastic release belongs to Arthur Wachnik  -- and like I said, I've never heard of the guy.

But I will now.   A lots.

In as much as you can listen to the samples just like I did, and determine if this feeds your ear and heart, I won't wax extravagant except to say… Let us Run is an audio playland and a living Psalm.

For just a quick sample check out "Selah" on the Noisetrade link.

As it is, I keep thinking... Hmm.  I have heard this voice.   Sounds like something my daughter owns.  Then I read another review, and they intimated "Ben Folds" and I thought, yup.  Getting close.   Same kind of zinninesss and vocal dexterity.   (and if it looks like I cannot spell, or that I am making up  words, I am, because this work just has that kind of flexiness.

I am hearing Broadway, Gypsy, zydeco, grunge, 80s titan-voice punk  jazz, swing, Klezmer, and Gospel themes all rolled into one swagwanimous-phantom opperatus volley of praise.   There are times when Arthur's voice sounds modern (ie, kind of nervy),  then other times smooth as glass, yet other times like a Vaudeville singalong.

I don’t know how Arthur is making this music (how much is synthesized, how much of it is session players, how much is talented friends, or  how much he plays himself  but I am hearing loads of instruments, and all kinds of audio experimentation with nods to eastern Europe.   (Third listen in ... man, the strings are so smooth and shadowy like rainbow colored smoke... or something like that.)

But most of all, I am hearing creative abandon as Arthur – like David – dances in his *underwear" before the Arc. 

So, give this a listen, and see if you too are not blown away by the sheer fun of lifting hands, swaying, or jigging it up before the throne of God.

Thank you Arthur!

Ps.  You can parts of Arthur’s first album here.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Josh Garrels Sampler 2014 download

I always feel a little odd using the language of “greatness” to describe music which I find meaningful, revolutionary, and full of startling artistry. (Not that I have not been guilty of calling many artists or albums the “greatest” in the past) – It’s just that there is something kind of Oxymoronic about describing any product of the sanctified imagination as the greatest.

Isn't part of the Christian message that we, as wretched beings, are given to celebration of the Most Great, the Most Terrible, the Most Excellent, the Most Giving, the most Holy, the Most Central of all Beings?   Then there is that stuff of sideways humility.

For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your[a] faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead,[b] do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.  (Romans 12)

So, now I am struggling to find the right words to describe a body of music that is of superior character and quality, and given to world (I fully believe) as an act of grace.

I am speaking of the Music of Josh Garrels.

In as much as I was born in 1960, I find a disproportionate body of the music to which I listen was forged in the 70s and 80s.    But now, my ear is undergoing something of a revolution as I am discovering dozens of artists who remind me that this is a decade of unparalleled exploration, artistry… and sometimes spiritual aptitude.    And among that group, I find the music of Josh Garrels ministers to me through every channel:  my senses, my mind, and that interior space where God makes home  in me.

If you are not yet familiar with the music of Josh Garrels let me introduce you.  Freely.

That is, you can find a free sample of Josh Garrels music right now through Noise Trade.  (And while Josh routinely gives music away and performs for free, may I also suggest a hearty tip.  See Noise Trade for details.)  Beyond that, you can find plenty of Josh Garrels music for sampling on Youtube.

Ps. For any locals who read this as I post.  I understand that Josh is coming to Fayetteville, Arkansas April 26, 2014.  Now to convince my wife that this would make a great way to spend her birthday weekend.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

New discovery of the day -- (I cannot pronounce their name, and the translation is a little dark  (Hammers of the Underworld)

Genre: Acid Klezmer (sp)  Thoroughly diggin this.  Gonna have to find out more about this band.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Portraits to break your heart, from the inside out...Rwanda 20 years later,

Water-Sky album review and Winter-Sky tour announcement featuring Phil Keaggy and Jeff Johnson

Water Sky Album Review (Jeff Johnson and Phil Keaggy)
Winter Sky Tour announcement  

Artists:   Jeff Johnson and Phil Keaggy
Album: Water-Sky
Genre:  New-Coustic  (New Age, experimental jazz, instrumental)
(late summer 2012)

Quick Spin:  a simply extraordinary  sonic treat from two of our planet’s premier instrumentalists (when they are not singing) who, together have crafted an intimate -- somewhat brooding and minor --  sometimes  quiet and colorful, shimmering and bold, audio diary of a “Place.”   

WaterSky is something of a follow-up to the duo’s first collaborative work, Frio Suite, and draws on the same recipe and place.   (You can read my review of that work here.)

Before I get on with my album review I want to interrupt with a commercial

Kirk Jordan’s Bucket list (abridged)

1) Take a tornado/selfie combo picture, presumably with the cone over my shoulder.
2) Eat Thai food in Thailand.
3) Figure out how to map biblical predestination and free-will.
4) Give a grandkid a shoulder ride.   (First things first,  a daughter or two to be wed etc.)
5) Hear Jeff Johnson and Phil Keaggy together in concert.