Tonight on Soundscape – a selection of love songs better used for purposes other than serenading your loved one(s).
1) Ralph Steadman – “Sweetest Love” – Miniatures – England, 1980
A great one-off by an artist better known for his cartoons and caricatures. Reminiscent of Ivor Cutler.
2) Niobe – “Idly Lovely” – Voodooluba – Germany, 2004
It never seems to matter what Niobe is singing about, her voice makes everything sound like a love song.
3) Badgerlore – “The Ruiner” – Of Things Too Sorrowful To Be Reminded Of And Things Too Beautiful To Possess – United States, 2004
A song to be listened to late at night lying on a mattress alone in the corner of the basement.
4) David Prior – “Love & Death” – Inventionen 2000: Berliner Festival Neuer Musik – England, 2002
Just one example of the host of great material on this compilation released by Edition RZ (a perennial favourite of the show), curated for the Berliner Festival Neuer Musik in 2000. The vocal samples are of Prior’s mother, which were made in the 1970s and then again in 1993 only days before her death. He writes of both the comfort and symbolic futility of using the recordings to invoke her memory. The intimacy of the work to which he speaks is not lost on the listener, and the transitions between fields and composed elements are elegant.
In other news, Jakob Ullmann’s newest work on the label will be making an appearance on Soundscape soon.
5) Claudio Rocchetti – “Lovesong” – The Work Called Kitano – Italy, 2002
6) Skinny Puppy – “Love” – Bites – Canada, 1985
7) Ende Schneafliet – “Love To Play” – Symphoy Romant – The Netherlands, 1983
8) Ikembe & Umuduli – “Yes, I Love Micombero” – Burundi: Music From The Heart Of Africa – Burundi, 1974
Nonesuch never seemed to catalogue music with quite the kind of intensity as say, Hugh Tracey, but certain ethnomusicologists did occasionally rise to the occasion. What this compilation, recorded by Giuseppe Coter, lacks in dynamic polish it makes up for in diversity and immediacy of material.
9) Unknown Artist – “Uzbek Love Song” – Uzbek Music From Northern Afghanistan – Afghanistan, 197X
I downloaded this album at least a decade ago now, when I had yet developed my (some would say) tedious and unnecessarily fastidious cataloging techniques. Attempting to find more information on it for the show resulted in a labyrinthine search through Blogger, Rolmoler and eventually, wait for it, Geocities. The result? Maybe released in 1968 on AST? Who releases albums without crediting artists anyways? Oh right, white male ethnomusicologists . . .
10) Zinja Hlungwani – “N’Wagezani My Love” – Shangaan Electro – South Africa, 2010
I lied at the start of this post – this song is perfect for a serenade.
11) DJ Rashad – “Love U Found” – Just a Taste: Vol. 1 – United States, 2011
12) CoH – “Love Mites” – Iron – Russia, 2000
Not much of a love song, but then again, I have never been to Russia.
13) Empty Love & Les Beyond – “Wedding – Part 2” – Wedding – Canada, 2008
Vancouver’s Empty Love has previously played Quiet City, co-curated by Soundscape, but we haven’t heard much since. Hopefully there is more in the works.