Episode 8

From eerie indigenous sounds out of Costa Rica to an imaginary trip through Sicily


Matthias Hacksteiner - This Sound I Ride Jingle


Hi everybody, and welcome to the eighth episode of "This sound I ride" – an adventurous and inspiring global journey for music lovers. My name is Martin Bleicher, I am an Austrian music lover, DJ and concert promoter, and for the next two hours, it is my absolute pleasure to share some fascinating, extraordinary new music with you.

With this monthly podcast, I want to celebrate the sheers beauty of passionate and challenging musical styles in their unpredictable and diverse ways of expression.

You will hear music that stimulates your imagination and curiosity in a way like on a surreal train ride to foreign countries or a trip to unknown cultures.

This adventurous approach excites me. I melt together different influences and musical languages and create an exciting and, at times, unquieting but highly energetic mix.

I have been digging deep to find genre-defying music and sounds for you, the podcast's listeners. I hope you enjoy the show, which starts this time with the fantastic and timeless sounds from Sunnk. His latest album, "Weaving Ritual", was released on the influential German label Mille Plateaux and is the third part in a series of releases that defined the genre Hyper Glitch. Whilst we played Seskamol's excellent version of Hyper-Glitch in a past episode, I hope you also like Sunnk's version of it.


sunnk - il a la couleur du souffre (Weaving Ritual - Mille Plateaux)


sunnk - gossamer (Weaving Ritual - Mille Plateaux)


Sainkho Namtchylak - From Me To You (Naked Spirit - Amiata Records)


DJ Black Low & Kapzela feat. Licy Jay & MLG - Emonate Oe Bethela D Vosho (Uwami - Awesome Tapes From Africa)


The first two tracks you heard in this sound triple were from the beautiful Hyper Glitch album "Weaving Ritual" by the Irish electronic music producer Eoghan Roche aka sunnk. His combination of razor-sharp electronic sound design, contemporary glitch beat structures and these melancholic sounding piano melodies make this whole album really special for me. According to information on his Bandcamp site, this album was one of the main inspirations for Mille Plateaux to make this series happen at all. His complex soundworld offers new perspectives with each listen; you develop further details, clicks, noises, layers the more you enter sunnks soundworld.
I love the description of the album by Woulg. "The album feels like a vortex you are pulled into. Dragging us through our darkest memories, kicking and screaming, pulled inside out. Blending into a fog of thick heavy smoke that collects into a liquid that slides down the gutter. We wake up from the hallucinations in the final moments of the album and find ourselves running but can't remember from what. That's the perfect cinematic start to my show. Eerie, dystopian atmospheres create uncomfortable feelings. You never know what you can expect around the corner, and that's the beauty of this album. Just set adrift and jump into this wonderful rollercoaster ride.


From sunnk's mysterious soundworlds, we travelled to Tuva, an autonomous republic in Russia just north of Mongolia and met up with Tuvan throat singer Sainkho Namtchylak. The sublime song "From Me To You" shows her range in layering various different vocal layers and creating something eerie and charming at the same time. The darker sounding voice parts at the start layered upon each other, and the lighter singing is added into the mix to give the song a different feel. I just love this mix of clarity and dark humming, and it is another excellent example of how great music can be created with only minimal elements as long as they are combined uniquely.

Sainkho, who is now 63 years old, has encompassed various musical styles like avant-jazz, electronica or modern composition throughout her career. What attracts me the most is the more traditional Tuvan overtone singing. In her home city of Tuva, many cultural influences like the Turkic, the Mongolic, certain old believers from Russia or the migrants from Ukraine collide. It is still the Siberian culture and singing that influenced Sainkho the most, and that's also what attracts me the most in her art. Breathtaking.


From Tuva, Russia, we took the long trip to Pretoria, South Africa, to meet Sam Austin Radebe aka DJ Black Low and enjoy his brilliant take on amapiano music The track was called "Emonate Oe Bethela D Vosho" and is taken from his debut album "Uwami", just released on the wonderful "Awesome Tapes from Africa". The 20-year-old producer shapes his own take on the trendy amapiano sound and mixes elements from diverse musical styles, which are popular in South Africa's predominantly Black townships like jazz, kwaito, dibacardi, deep and afro house.
The energetic rhythmic elements and the unfamiliar sound combinations are the two main things that fascinate me. This sound is on fire, and I can only mention that one track doesn't do the whole album any justice. So if you like fresh, innovative, pulsating African music and different MC's throughout the record, go check out the album on DJ Black Low's Bandcamp site.


After this outstanding music created in and around South African townships, I think it is a beautiful idea to move to the UK and share Sam Interface superb new release "Going In" with you. The track is pure dynamite, and the vocals by Femi Koleoso about Love Music Hate Racism and the unity that music can bring, resonate very well with me. The whole track is just a great pleasure. Enjoy this killer Drum & Bass track.


Sam Interface - Going In (Going In / Shadows Split - Future Bounce)


Big Brave - Of This Ilk (Vital - Southern Lord)


Dawn Of Midi - Ymir (Dysnomia - Erased Tapes)


Pressure from the start - high tension - 160bpm - pure joy - great energy involved and an important message about racial equality make the track "Going In" by Sam Interface so terrific. Released on Jamz Supernova's label Future Bounds as part of a series of exclusive club music releases - this killer track has it all. Great sampling, high intensity, Pressure, thoughtful message and delicate production. I can only share the description on Bandcamp, which describes the track as poignant and perfect for the times ahead - post-BLM and clubs returning as a safer space for all of us. Unity is what we need - more empathy, less hate and division.


After "Going In", we took a trip to Montreal, Canada, to get lost in the realm of Big Brave's art. The slow, crawling, heavy sounds combined with the intense vocals by bandleader Robin Wattie are one of the most exciting developments in contemporary heavy rock/metal music. The pure passion, enthusiasm and part desperation in her voice just give me goosebumps each time I listen to their incredible new album "Vital", which was released these days on Southern Lord. Their mixture and how they combine their minimal elements, riffs, drones, drum beats and the extraordinary voice of Wattie and get an end result that is the absolute maximum possible with regards to intensity and power, and the whole sound just emphasizes these minimal elements in a way I haven't heard a lot of bands recently.
The interplay between silence and tension is just fantastic. Whilst the lyrics on their new album "Vital" is more centred around personal experiences and humiliation with racism and questions regarding Wattie's own roots, it is just a pure joy for me to let the impressive voice in combination with the musical elements fill the room and create this unsettling atmosphere. The track I played you was called "Of This Ilk." The lyrical side of this monster track focuses on - at least to me - an entirely unknown fact that many people around the globe that use injectables and cream-like products to whiten or bleach their skin to have equal possibilities to their white-skinned fellow citizens. Wattie - who has bi-ethnical roots, has made the experience herself in younger years and wants to open up this topic to a broader audience. And here is actually the connecting point to Sam Interface's track - the main problem we are still facing on this planet is that systems are in place that concentrates on and supports a pro-racial way of life where privileged men set the rules and use this unjust nonsense. I just love artists who name the issue and act in a manner that it is clear the only long term solution can be that we are all equal and no disadvantage should start with the colour of your skin.


From Montreal, Canada, we just went across the border to meet up with the acoustic trio Dawn Of Midi and their fantastic track "Ymir" in Brooklyn, NY. Consisting of a bassist, a drummer and a pianist, it is unbelievable how much they sound like electronic music producers, whilst they "only" use their acoustic instruments to produce this wonderful sound hybrid that finds certain roots in progressive jazz electronica or even experimental minimalism. The album "Dysnomia", which was released on the great "Erased Tapes" label, is already. a couple of years old. I wanted to play you this timeless, gorgeous track. I just discovered them last year, and since I started the Pod, I haven't found the proper place for this track until this episode. When I listen to it, I just like the fact that are so many things happening in this sound, where I struggle to understand where the individual sounds are actually coming from. And the shifts in melodies and tempo are also one more element that makes this music unpredictably challenging and fantastic at the same time. Music by music enthusiasts for music lover who are in search of music off the beaten path.


Next up, I want to invite you to join me on a trip to Tunisia, North African, to explore the amazing polyrhythmic trance soundworld of Nuri. The track is called "Yiri" and was released on his new album "Irun" by the forward-thinking Shouka label.


Nuri - Yiri (Irun - Shouka Records)


Werner Durand - Triptychon 3 (To Be Continued Early Recordings 1978-1980 - Other Minds Records)


"Yiri" by Tunisian electronic sound explorer Nuri is just an excellent example of his spicy mixture of polyrhythmic North African grooves, folkloric singing from the region and groovy electronic beat structures on top. The end result is a mesmerizing and hypnotic journey into the world of North African trance music. Nuri, who normally wears an awkward looking face cover typically, is a master in combining these elements and creating his own unique sounds. Getting lost in his repetitive beats, archaic sounding vocals, and exotic music overall has been a pleasure recently. Highly recommend you to take a dive at his album "Yiri".


Whilst Nuri's music was a trip into African sound extravaganza, the follow the track by German composer, improviser and instrument builder Werner Durand was a totally different affair. "Triptychon 3" was released recently on his new album "To Be Continued: Early Recordings 1978-1980" on the innovative US-American record label Other Minds records. The recordings on this album were highly inspired by his influential trip from Karlsruhe, Germany, to India and his subsequent move to Berlin. The influence of his studies in India on this record is apparent and lead him into hypnotic, minimal, psychedelic areas that he hasn't touched before this trip.

A central drone theme dominates the sound field on most of the five tracks, and repeated raga figures are played over it. Werner Durand plays tenor saxophone, phase shifters, tape delay, echo chamber and Farfisa organ on this track. I just love the idea that this particular music comes from a German saxophone player who has wholly widened his musical understanding and possibilities and created this fantastic sound trip for us listeners. The title "Triptychon 3" was just the third and final part of a long masterpiece called "Triptychon - 3 Sunday afternoon songs and the whole track lasts approx 35 minutes.


After the soothing and floating soundworlds of Werner Durand taken from the past, we take a trip into the current UK electronic underground and meet the fabulous Techno-Punk duo, Giant Swan. Fasten your seatbelts, sit up straight and enjoy 5:25 of electronic sound mayhem at its best.


Giant Swan - Silkworm (Do Not Be Afraid Of Tenderness - Keck Records)


Francesca Guccione - On Liquid Stones (Muqataea – Whales Records)


Nillo - Regina Melancolia (self-released Bandcamp)


Fast cuts, awkward beats and noises, lots of turns in the track structure and an outstanding DIY sound aesthetic are the distinct elements of UK Techno-Punk duo Giant Swan aka Robin Stewart and Harry Wright. The track "Silkworm" was taken from the 3-track EP "Do Not Be Afraid Of Tenderness" released on Keck Records. For a couple of years, the duo from Bristol delivers a powerful, bold and highly energetic mix of techno beats embed in an overall industrial atmosphere. Obviously, this sound is danceable, but the raw and dirty punk attitude combined with the heavy bass can be a challenging sound mix for the conventional techno dancefloor lover. And that's precisely what I love about them the most.
They don't seem to care about traditional expectations for techno or electronic dancefloor music. They just take their own ideas and sounds, which at first glance might not even seem workable together and melt them into this powerful, non-polished, nasty sound mix which just simply blows me away. "Silkworm" and its permanent non-linear twists and turns are as surprising as they are just amazing. And when the kind of 80s sound inspired synth sounds come into the game after 3,5 minutes, I just can't stop smiling at how great Giant Swan are. Absolute banger track and I would love to see the two guys perform live in the future.


From the powerful and dynamic sounds out of Bristol, UK, we took a trip to Modica in Sicily, Italy, to meet up with composer and violinist Francesca Guccione. Her splendid track "On Liquid Stones" is taken from her brand-new album "Muqataea", which means the county in Arabic. The whole album is Francesca's personal journey to rediscover her hometown, observed with the eyes of the imagination; a city that was just a county for several centuries. Modica is one of the late-baroque cities of the Val di Noto which was declared as UNESCO world heritage. Francesca describes her record as a day spent in this imaginary place that takes life from the places of her land, on a horizon where if lost confines between reality and the imagination. I just love the album for its great mixture between dreamy, floating songs and the explicit, pure classically inspired songs like "On Liquid Stones". From a musical perspective, you can find minimal classic songs with strings and piano being the central part of it, whilst on others, electronic synth sounds and samples are the main ingredients, and they shape a totally different soundworld. It's a great listen after a long day at work, just to switch off and imagine yourself into these otherworldly Sicilian landscapes. Excellent music.


After our trip to Sicily, I played you the mysterious and floating afro Latin inspired sounds by Nillo. He is a producer and DJ based in San Jose, Costa Rica, founder and activist at Random Collective Records, Radio Bemba and Programa Espacial Indigena Latinoamericano, a web platform dedicated to investigate and showcase Latin and indigenous music and arts. His music is deeply rooted and influenced by the tribal communities around him. As you have just heard in the ghostly track "Regina Melancolia", he uses those atmospheric sounds and voice elements as a base layer for his music and mixes it with deep and slow beats and synth sounds. I quite like the exotic sound elements involved, the slow evolving of the track, and the combination of the kind of folkloric instruments with the mystic singing and electronic synth sounds. The final result is a gloomy and hypnotic trip through the soundworlds of Nillo, where I just like the feeling of not knowing in which direction the track will develop.


Next up, I would like to present you a sound triple, lead by three outstanding and powerful women. We start with Sufi-inspired post-immigrant-tribal pop by an Iranian artist now based in Berlin, continue with heavy and extravagant Power-Blues-Rock from Norway and finally taste an empathetic, dreamy electronic masterpiece from Northern Ireland. Enjoy!


Mentrix - 99 Names Of God (The 99 Names of Allah or Asma-ul-Husna) (Single – House Of Strength)


Hedvig Mollestad Trio - Leo Flash' Return To The Underworld (Ding Dong. You're Dead – Rune Grammofon)


Hannah Peel - Fir Wave (Fir Wave - My Own Pleasure)


The Iranian-born artist Mentrix started this sound triple with her mesmerizing new track called "99 Names of God (The 99 names of Allah or Asma-ul-Husna)". While the music and the singing offer a relatively magnificent but straightforward approach, I want to recommend you check out the hypermodern - sci-fi animation type video for this song on Youtube. An absolute gorgeous watch. I featured Mentrix already in an earlier Pod episode because I love her combination of Western and Arabic elements. This blend consisting of parts coming from Iran and modern musical structures from the West create a unique result. What I also want to share here is her descriptions of this fantastic new song. 99 Names of God are the many words that describe God in the Quran. These words are principles and qualities that manifest the divine. This chant, composed of three vocal octaves in the style of Tavashi, has been sung by many around the world. My version is here to honour the very essence of Islam, an invitation for every individual, beyond gender and social constructs, to cognize the divine within.


From Iranian inspired pure greatness, we took the trip to the Northern European hemisphere. The follow-up song was called "Leo Flash'return to the underworld" by the Norwegian Power-Rock-Blues-Combo Hedvig Mollestad Trio. On their new album, they focus on their rock roots and either drift into more psychedelic fields on the chosen track with the superb crazy reverb guitar solos by Hedvig herself or deliver quite straight forward four to the floor rock anthems. I chose this track because I love the seven minutes of power and a specific part of the chaos. The rhythm section builds the steady base on most tracks, but Hedvig just rolls out various solos. The band feels like a Free-Jazz formation in these moments, but they hammer it down with Rock n Roll instruments.


After this extravagant instrumental madness, we stayed in the North of Europe. Still, we moved over to Northern Ireland to meet up with Hannah Peel and her stunning track "Fir Wave", which is also the title track of her brand-new album. Again, contrast is the prime ingredient to this show, and the gentle and calm arrangement of Hannah Peel couldn't be more diverse than the exploding rock thunderstorm we just heard from Hedvig Mollestad. Hannah Peel takes time and brings all these outstanding harmonic elements together and creates a stunning atmosphere and lovely cinematic electronic daydream.
The break in the middle of the track and the even more beautiful piano and the vocal-based second part is only one example of Hannah's skills to combine known and also often heard elements and create her own unique sound out of it. For this new album, Peel took samples of the celebrated 1972 KPM 1000 series: electrosonic, the music Delia Derbyshire and others and created her own new music out of it or as she explains it: "I'm drawn to the patterns around us and the cycles in life that will keep on evolving and transforming forever. This album is defined by its continuous environmental changes. There are so many connections to those patterns echoed in electronic music - it's always an organic discovery of old and new. Very well done, Hannah, I think. Highly recommended for friends of well balanced and harmonic electronic music.


But I guess that's now enough music from the North, so let's go further south to meet up with Hassan Wargui in the Anti-Atlas mountains in the south of Morocco.


Hassan Wargui - Our Yadlli Ghalkh (Algmad – self-released Bandcamp)


Christine Vantzou - Violins in Waterstone (Multi Natural – Edicoes CN)


You just heard Hassan Wargui's take on Amazigh music and his incredible song "Our Yadlli Ghalkh". Hassan is a composer, songwriter, banjo player and also an expert in the songcraft and the poetry of the Tachelhit speaking Amazigh tribes of the Anti-Atlas mountains. He grew up among artists and creators, allowing him to develop his own artistic voice and a deep understanding of the complex poly-rhythms underpinning Amazigh music and becoming proficient on the banjo. The pure essence of the region - an artistic voice that doesn't need many different layers or stories to it. This is just real folk music from the South Moroccon mountains. In combination with the banjo sounds and the percussion, the voices create an atmosphere that makes me longing to travel into exotic countries again and start to explore new territories there. Inspirational and brilliant at the same time.


The follow-up track was called "Violins In Waterstone" and brought us to Belgium, where we met Christina Vantzou, a composer and experimental filmmaker originally from Kansas City, Missouri and actually a native of Greek descent but resides nowadays in Belgium. Christina's music is a sublime affair to me. When I start listening to her so-called Chamber-Ambient-Music, I have the feeling as if time stands still and the music turns me entirely into its realm. The shifts between all the instruments, voice elements, sounds or field recordings involved are treated in a very gentle and careful way so that I just enjoy the flow of her compositions a lot. She has a great talent in letting parts of the songs decay and create a totally new mood without abrupt or harsh breaks. This music is in a constant flow and works under its own timelines. Our general feeling for time disappears somehow, and you can just dive entirely into this sea of organic-sounding ambient music. Christina's music is composed work, but let's leave a large space for all the sounds to act freely. It's a bit like Christina is waiting for the music to compose itself. This makes, of course, every listen special, and I discover new elements or unheard whispers or new dynamics with each listen. Christina describes it as it would be like looking at a landscape, perceiving further details close and far with every gaze.


I guess that's it for this show. Time went by relatively quick. I hope you liked the eighth episode of This Sound I Ride. I absolutely loved it to select and put together another adventurous global music rollercoaster ride for you, the listeners of the show. If you did like it, it is, of course, a great help if you can share it with one friend. Please visit our website or our Facebook, Instagram or Twitter sites for more information, the full tracklist or other details. On our website, you can also find an extended article about the Irish Hyper Glitch protagonist sunnk, who was the featured artist of this month.

I want to thank Marta Witkowska for the great images for our cover artwork and Matthias Hacksteiner for all his generous help and professional advice regarding recording technics, the podcast jingle and basically everything how to set up a podcast.

Thanks again for listening, and I wish you all the best and hope you also join next month. The new episode will be released on the third Sunday in June, but if you subscribe to your usual podcast platform, you can make sure that you don't miss a show.

As a final musical farewell, I want to play you another exciting track from the excellent new album by sunnk. The track "a broken hand" is another example of the cinematic and haunting sound design that this whole album delivers, and I guess this is the perfect music for a yet to be produced sci-fi horror film. Absolutely mindblowing. All the best - cheers


sunnk - a broken hand (Weaving Ritual - Mille Plateaux)