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Hidden gems 2021: great albums you may have missed – The Guardian

(Longform Editions)
A 39-minute immersive meditation, Nine Movements is the work of California-based Australian composer Matthew Liam Nicholson, based around the harmonic interplay of singing bowls, LA jazz outlier Miguel Atwood-Ferguson’s strings and babbling-brook percussion. Encounters with this work in the wild include venues as disparate as the Bargello National Museum in Florence, where the singing bowls received their first airing, and a session of the finished work in “full multichannel spatial audio at a massive outdoor temple at Burning Man”. Ambient music can often be theoretical or medicinal; this record is both. Kitty Empire

(Universal Music Sweden)
Imagine releasing what sounds like Abba Gold the year actual Abba returned from a 40-year hiatus. It’s a pop miracle delivered by fellow Swede Agnes on her pulsating fifth album. Nestled between disco thumper 24 Hours and the galloping Love and Appreciation sits the towering majesty of Here Comes the Night. Supported by instantly familiar piano trills and glittering, starburst melodies, the track finds Agnes offering solace under the stars. That urgent search for freedom forms the album’s backbone, be it via Moroder-esque Selfmade’s demands for equality, or the inward-looking exorcism of XX’s electronic pulse. A soothing balm perfect for fleeting dancefloor moments. Michael Cragg

(Southern Lord)
Signed to Greg Anderson’s Southern Lord, Big|Brave plot a course roughly midway between the experimental metal of their label boss’s band Sunn O))) and the Sturm und Drang of fellow Montrealers Godspeed You! Black Emperor. Their fifth album is their most compelling yet. Immense blasts of slowly mutating guitar noise are complemented by Tasy Hudson’s thunderous, stop-start drums, with frontwoman Robin Wattie offering her most personal lyrics to date, most notably on the exploration of her dual heritage on Half Breed. Played loud, it’s a scarily intense record. Phil Mongredien

(Because)
Andrew Weatherall would have loved psych-rock duo the Limiñanas and DJ Laurent Garnier’s soundtrack to an imaginary movie about teenage runaways on a road trip. Like the much-missed DJ and producer, the French trio find fertile ground between psych and techno in entrancing, motorik repetition. Saul, where Garnier’s signature effects ripple through the muscular groove, is a stunning invention, while Au début c’était le début conjures Serge Gainsbourg making out with Lee Hazlewood. De Película’s greatest triumph is that it’s so vivid and compelling, it doesn’t need a film to accompany it. Damien Morris

(Fire Records)
Released on Delia Derbyshire Day in November, the Dinked collectors’ edition of this sci-fi treat from Stealing Sheep sold out in record time. It’s a reworked version of a 2014 live soundtrack the Liverpool psych-pop trio made with the fabled Radiophonic Workshop for the 1973 Czech-French cosmic animation La Planète Sauvage, which follows …….

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/music/2021/dec/18/hidden-gems-2021-great-albums-you-may-have-missed

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Google AI Tool Creates Music from Written Descriptions – VOA Learning English

This week, Google researchers published a paper describing results from an artificial intelligence (AI) tool built to create music.

The tool, called MusicLM, is not the first AI music tool to launch. But the examples Google provides demonstrate musical creative ability based on a limited set of descriptive words.

AI shows how complex computer systems have been trained to behave in human-like ways.

Tools like ChatGPT can quickly produce, or generate, written documents that compare well with the work by humans. ChatGPT and similar systems require powerful computers to operate complex machine-learning models. The San Francisco-based company OpenAI launched ChatGPT late…….

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Bringing music to the masses… on a tram – BBC

French pianists, Hervé Billaut and Guillaume Coppola, brought a piano on to a tram in Nantes, as part of the opening of the annual La Folle Journée classical music festival.

They played to passengers all afternoon on Wednesday.

Mr Billaut said that they wanted to bring music to places you don’t expect it: “Perhaps someone, a child, a young person or a pensioner will have a musical shock.”

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