Bob Lukomski Poop 2022

Bob’s 2022 Droppings…

This year started off okay, even got across the pond for a couple weeks. Then the chest pains and shortness of breath… I’m now the proud owner of two stents (thereby putting the stent in “stentorian”). Physical recovery was quick, mental processing took a while longer. An excuse to start going out to shows (Roxy Music, Heaven 17, Stereolab, and a fair amount of local fare). Still, got some fun tunage over the course of the year, some return visits from old friends here (if you’ve been inspecting my pOOp from the past few years). As always, I bought more current year releases than listed, but don’t take this as a top 10 list. It’s just what’s been tickling my ears most.

Buy Malka Spigel: Gliding & Hiding New or Used via Amazon
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Malka Spigel: Gliding & Hiding (Swim)
A quasi-reissue from Minimal Compact bassist and spouse/musical partner to Colin Newman, this set is actually in two parts: One a revisiting of her Gliding EP from 2014, the other reworking of material from the 1994 mini-lp, Hiding. I’m not especially familiar with either original release, so I don’t have a comparison, but I’m a fan of her work with Newman (who contributes guitar here) as Immersion. These pieces don’t sound too far away from that, and with the addition of Spigel’s vocals (mostly sung in Hebrew), I’m sold.

Buy Can: Live in Cuxhaven 1976 New or Used via Amazon
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Can: Live in Cuxhaven 1976 (Mute/Spoon)
The third in the Can live recording series, we get yet another post-Damo recording. The quartet is in laid-back fusion mode here, with most of the material derived from post-Future Days pieces (tho’ there is a reworking of “Bel Air” that implodes too soon). A single set this time around, clocking in at barely 30 minutes. I hate to sound like one of “those” wankers, but I think we are due for some Suzuki or Mooney era tomfoolery.

Buy Loop: Sonancy New or Used via Amazon
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Loop: Sonancy (Reactor)
Another MIA band returns after a 30+ year period of studio dormancy (the Array 1 EP being more of a tease than anything else). Robert Hampson has assembled a new group of SoundHeads, updating the classic Loop sound. The guitars sound more sheer and “digital” than the sludge that defined A Gilded Eternity, but everything layers with the right amount of space and place. Prolly my fave record of 2022.

Buy Adi Newton: Newtones via Rizosfera
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Adi Newton: Newtones (ARMComm Rizofera Europe)
Adi Newton has been known for the past 40+ years as the force behind Clock DVA and The Anti Group, as well as for his numerous collaborations, so it’s rather surprising that he has released work under his own name for the first time. It makes sense, seeing as this sounds nothing like his other projects. Expansive and relaxed, these pieces have a sumptuousness and cinematic quality that never devolves into mere “soundtrack”, personal or otherwise.

Buy Stephen Mallinder: tick tick tick New or Used via Amazon
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Stephen Mallinder: tick tick tick… (Dais)
Ex-Cabaret Voltaire Bassist/Singer’s latest is a leap from his “comeback”, 2019’s Um Dada. Still very electronic, Mallinder backs off from overt dance-floor grooving, creating something a bit more introspective and vaguely menacing, like his work as part of Wrangler. Still not the ghost funk of Pow Wow, but better than most.

Buy Brian Eno: Foreverandevernomore New or Used via Amazon
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Brian Eno: Foreverandevernomore (Opal)
Eno – blah blah blah – still going – blah blah blah – ambient – yadayadayada – vocals – blah blah – pensive songs – yeahyeahyeah – a new high point – yadayada. It IS gorgeous and heartachingly beautiful. Don’t die yet, Bri. I want to hear a shitty record from you, so I don’t feel like a turd with legs.

Rent Left Hand Right Hand: Hidden Hands via Amazon
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Left Hand Right Hand: Hidden Hands (Staalplaat)
A limited edition dbl-CD in beautiful packaging, this is a career-spanning set (1985-now) is a perfect of example of the how post-punk ethos of cultural exploration and experimentation can thrive and mature free of commercial constraint. Many of the improvisations have that feeling of being “channeled”, with visceral percussion often at the center. Others have a more “trad” post-punk feel. Admittedly, I am a very much the Johnny-come-lately listener (the band’s longtime woodwind player Charlie Collins’ FB post was my introduction to the group), so I’m not gonna pull a hipster/Santos number and act like I’ve dug them for years, tho’ I wish I could have.

Rent Faust: Daumenbruch via Amazon
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Faust: Daumenbruch (Erototox)
Can a Faust record ever not sound like a Faust record? This one is a bit more chill, possibly the result of the of the process: Zappi Diermaier, along with Dirk Dresselhaus (of Schneider TM) and Elke Drapatz recorded basic tracks and sent mixes to a handful of musicians who overdubbed their contributions independently of each other. The proceedings have a Fluxus-like flair to them, with the instruments not so much in dialogue or exchange, but more akin to each player commenting on the core tracks with an excited “yes! and…”

Buy Jochen Arbeit + Sonja Kosche: Zuhaus via Bandcamp
Buy via Bandcamp
Jochen Arbeit + Sonja Kosche: Zuhaus (Erototox)
These pandemic lockdown recordings from Neubauten guitarist Jochen Arbeit and his partner Sonja Kosche. Zuhaus (“At Home”) have a very intimate feel, due in large part to the mix of piano, synth and guitar combined with instruments created during a covid workshop, along with less-common household objects such as ventilator, vibrating eggs (!) and amplified harddrive. Thankfully, this intimacy generates pieces that have their own musical logic and exist on the periphery of Arbeit’s other work, eschewing the overwrought “this is my covid recording, it’s deep and searching” vibe that underlies more work created in the past couple of years than I care to count.” Zuhaus could be YOUR house.

Buy Various Artists: Anthology of Contemporary Music from South Africa via Bandcamp
Buy via Bandcamp
Various Artists: Anthology of Contemporary Music from South Africa (Unexplained Sounds Group)
Unexplained Sounds has released a number of these compilations, each one focusing on a different region/country/continent. This one, featuring improvised and experimental music from South Africa, is easily my favorite thus far. It could be purely novelty (and this is but a small sampling of what is going on there) but this compilation has more examples of stylistic hybridization than what I’ve heard in US circles, which seems (to my ears) concerned with conjuring up juxtapositions of styles (not a bad thing either).

Will 2023 be the year I get my shit back together? Keep your ear out.