Never heard of Mogador? You might be right, as ‘Overflow Pool’ is the first outing of Mogador, and it’s a new project from Celer’s/Oh Yoko’s man Will Long, who is getting more and more active it seems. With Oh Yoko he plays some folktronic music and working as Celer he is probably best known, applying tons of processes to sounds to create a drone like based soundscapes and having released a large amount of works. As Mogador he also plays ambient but arrives at totally different results. The cover lists a Rhodes piano, Uher microphones and a Sony tape recorder, the latter to produce reel-to-reel tape delay and nothing else. The electric piano is played in a room, picked up by microphone and fed through this tape-delay. If you think ‘piano + delay = Harold Budd and Brian Eno’ then you’re not far off the mark. It’s what I thought, even without reading the press release. It comes perhaps without the added technology of Eno, as there is no reverb used, no colouring of sound, but then the tape delay system is of course entirely Eno-esque. Mogador plays it is in the upper region of the piano and let’s notes die beyond their sustain, and there is some fine crackle to be noted in between the notes, like some residue of magnetic tape flinging off the machine. Two sidelong pieces of this (plus a bonus in the download) of slow music, in which not a lot happens, but there is also not really a sense of endless and tedious repetition. Mogador spreads out his playing a lot, and leaves lots of room for the music to breath and fill up your space very nicely. It sounds very much ‘live’ and I suppose that is the whole idea of this music. You can play this soft and let it work your environment in a refined way and have it as a presence, or, as I did, a bit louder and enjoy everything that is happening the notes, as it never gets quiet with all sorts of fine crackles and tones. This is not like Celer at all, but you could see very well this having similar roots as the music he produces as Celer, but then at the opposite end of the same ambient coin. This is an excellent start for a new project. I am sure we’ll hear more of this.
Archive for August, 2016
‘Purple / Blue’
45 Minute doublepack featuring some of the most engrossing House music you’ll likely hear this year or any other – First in a series of three releases pairing original material by Will Long with DJ Sprinkles’ overdubs.
Tokyo, Japan-based American artists, Will Long and DJ Sprinkles, present sublime, durational deep house studies examining the dancefloor in light of contemporary socio-political inequalities and failed illusions of ‘Revolution’ and ‘Progression’.
It begins a series of three vinyl sets and eventually a 2CD package that effectively compare deep house’s original, economical aesthetics and function as the soundtrack to marginalised society, with its current position; repackaging and overproducing the same old ideas with empty sloganeering, operating as the catalyst of social trends, rather than an agent of social transformation.
They both make their point subtly but clearly. Two sides feature extended 10+ minute tracks by Will Long, created using relatively minimal means of rhythm composer percussion, polyphonic synth chords, and rack sampler vocals, while the other two sides provide overdub Sprinkles versions.
The beautifully absorbing results – which sound miles away from Long’s gentler ambient and experimental work – prove that it is possible to elicit subtle yet optimal responses with a well-selected palette of grooves and samples, in this case from Jesse Jackson and Rap Brown, rather than current vogue for showmanship and more-as-more arrangements.
DJ Sprinkles’ overdubbed contributions quite literally and psycho-acoustically resonate that intention, tactfully rending a farther, lush physicality and soulfulness thru deftly applied daubs of glutinous subbass pressure, airy strings and subtly shimmering FX, really offsetting Long’s trax in a whole other dimension; and via disciplined, stripped-down, full-bodied production values that rank as perhaps the deepest yet in Sprinkles’ already perfectly formed canon.
They could be taken as a call for humbleness and meditative efficiency over cliched buildups and preening vanities, perhaps a comment on “deep” house as the equivalent of a fresh tattoo or sweatshop t-shirt slogan.
Because, you know, it really does stand for a lot more.
Available directly from Boomkat
Out on Comatonse Recordings on September 26 (2CD pre-orders ship September 14) is my debut album under my own name, Will Long, ‘Long Trax’.
We live in an era when ‘change’ is a soundbite to sell more of the same old ideas, and ‘revolution’ has more to do with social trends than social transformation. Will Long’s deep house debut on Comatonse Recordings examines that pack of lies dubbed ‘change’ from the sweaty dancefloor, sounding the aftermath of failure around attempts at equality in ‘progressive’ societies. Made with a simple setup of rhythm composer percussion, polyphonic synth chords, and rack sampler vocals, these tracks have a minimal rawness that contends we’ve been wrong the whole time about how far the US – and the world – has come. Although these tracks are sonically unlike anything Long has produced as Celer or his other aliases for minimal and ambient experiemental audio, they share a stripped-yet-full sound that reacts against overproduction – within the dance music industry, and societies at large.
Each track is accompanied by an overdub from DJ Sprinkles, and the packaging features illustrations by Tsuji Aiko. The project will initially be released as a series of three multi-disc vinyl sets (two x2 EP sets and one x3 EP set, seven discs in all), followed by a double CD release with poster.
2CD available for pre-order from Comatonse Recordings
‘Tempelhof’ in Vital Weekly
After reviewing a fair portion of the music of Celer, I still haven’t caught a live concert by them. This new
album is a documentation of Will Long’s European tour in 2013, when he played in the UK, Germany,
Switzerland, Poland and Russia. It was mixed between 2013 and 2015. Three short pieces are used as
interludes and six pieces make up the main album, which lasts, sadly, only thirty-eight minutes. Here we
have everything we like about Celer; the sustaining sounds, the refined ambient approach and still we have
no clue what the hell it is that Celer does. That of course is my bad; because as said, I never saw him play
live. I would think that much of what Celer is laptop generated and therefore (I might be wrong, I am the first
to admit) also in concert a laptop act. But what’s wrong with that? Or why would I even bother about that?
I shouldn’t. I was lying on the couch for a while, having this music on repeat (which seems I do whenever
something new from Celer drops in) and I wasn’t doing much else. I would say that it is exactly what this
music should do. Evoke a state of nothingness and that is something that Celer does very well. Another