HART magazine and Q-O2, a Brussels-based space for experimental music and sound art, join forces with 21 Tracks for the 21st Century, a series of playlists to gear ourselves for our present century. We ask our guests: what music does this century need? As tonic, as engine-fuel, as rhythm, as common ground, as ballast? Each time, we invite one artist, thinker or musician to prepare a playlist of those sounds, songs and pieces of music that will best arm their listeners with the tools to approach what is left of this young century. Each playlist will be published online and accompanied by a short introduction to the guest(s). For this edition, we've invited Brussels-based duo RHH.
RHH is Eitan Efrat and Laszlo Umbreit. Laszlo Umbreit (1986) is a Belgian sound designer and musician based in Brussels. His work is anchored in sound research yet usually dialogues with the moving image, whether present or absent. Eitan Efrat (1983) is an audio-visual artist whose practice focuses on the performative aspects of the moving image. He is also a drummer since a young age, playing in various formations, from jazz to rock, and further exploring strange sonic territories in recent years.
Mixing electronics, field recordings and drums, RHH’s musical project is a natural development of a long-lasting collaboration around Eitan’s audio-visual works in the field of contemporary art. Their music puts in motion sonic elements of different films they worked on (together or separately) as well as live improvisation on drums and various electronics. The first physical offspring of their collaboration was the LP Seemingly Still, released on the Belgian label audioMER. For this selection of 21st Tracks, Eitan and Laszlo shared responsibility: Laszlo took care of the first ten tunes and Eitan chose the final eleven.
- Musica Mosaica – ’Aταραξία (Ataraxia) (Lexi Disques 0026)
There’s something mysterious about the music of Musica Mosaica. It defines a zone in itself between ancient music, alien communication and Brusseleir bricolage.
- Trii Group – 3rd generation East German (Teen Rejection) (Stroom STRLP055)
An album I listened to in a loop last winter, constant dusk. I like the combination of the FM synthesis percussive textures, and the voice’s tone which is generally found in other musical contexts.
- Eli Keszler – Dawn (Icons - LuckyMe LM082)
Very much a soundtrack for the warm and soft days. A surprising sidestep from a drummer who is used to more radical musical gestures.
- Catherine Lamb – Intersum (The Harmonic series II - Important records IMPREC500)
Time suspended, at last. I love the way the quiet field recordings interact with low-level synthesizer harmonics, an ambiguity that doesn’t resolve without creating an unbearable tension. On the contrary.
- Laszlo Umbreit – Août (Pas de regrets – Sub Rosa SRV527)
Another take at composing a dialogue between field recording and electronic sounds. Monsieur Pimpant did an amazing 3D environment and we had much fun virtually filming through it together.
*To be released August 2022
- Bernard Parmegiani – Dedans Dehors (1977) (L’oeil écoute / Dedans-Dehors – Editions Mego REGRM 003)
Incredible energetic sound sculpture by Parmegiani. A sense of sonic textures that somehow doesn’t get old – the quality of each sound, how it’s balanced spatially and in frequency.
- Robert Ashley – How can I tell the difference (1972) (Alga Marghen – 10NMN.030)
A maybe lesser-known work by Robert Ashley, from 1972 and edited in 1999. Again, acoustical, electronics and field recording elements are mixed in a very horizontal way. The mass of accidents becomes an almost meditative flow.
- Autechre – Parhelic Triangle (Confield – WARPCD128)
Bells, gong, percussion, false pretences, late hypnosis.
- Rashad Becker – Themes II (Traditional Music Of Notional Species Vol I. – PAN34)
Luxuriant alien life made audio-realistic by a mastery of synthesis and balance between sounds. Perfect for reading the news with certain detachment.
- Florian Hecker – Jxean-z Character Generator (Sun Pandämonium – Mego 044)
Radical Gesture, pure digital/sonic research with a life-like outcome and possible auditory hallucinations (especially on the long Stocha Acid Zlook on the same album).
- Andrew Cyrille – The Loop (1978)
This album is a masterpiece. I can’t choose one track; it’s a continuous trip. Andrew Cyrille has become one of my favourite drummers, so smart and musical and expressive.
- Andrew Cyrille & Milford Graves – Dialogue of the Drums
I found this album by chance in a record shop in Frankfurt. How this first track starts (I imagine it’s Milford Graves) is everything for me: spiritual, fierce, musical and goes straight to your heart.
- Nadah El Shazly – Barzakh (Ahwar, 2017)
This album by dj/actress/singer Nadah El Shazly is a powerful work. The music is an ongoing dialogue with traditional Egyptian music and for me a strong example of how to work with your origins, with where you ‘come from’.
- Naná Vasconcelos – Africadeus (1973)
This album is another amazing work of improvisation, tradition and expressions of community by the amazing Naná Vasconcelos.
- Yoko Ono – Don’t Worry Kyoko (Mummy’s Only Looking for a Hand in the Snow) (Fly, 1971)
Yoko Ono's discography is so rich and wonderful! Parallel to the release of her work together with John Lennon, she made this incredible music that was totally overlooked. This track is another amazing example of how she managed (or failed) to balance being a conceptual artist, being married and collaborating with John Lennon, with being a mother. This is a song for her daughter Kyoko who didn't see much of her mom those days. Unlike male artists of the time, Yoko Ono was brave enough to bring all the hardship that the distance from her child brought her.
- Tsegue-Maryam Guebrou – The Homeless Wanderer
Tsegue-Maryam Guebrou gives us hope whenever we’re down. Her music is joyful and melancholic, and timeless.
- Eric Dolphy – Hat and Beard (Out to Lunch, 1966)
Apart from how Eric Dolphy is amazing here – as are Richard Davis and Freddie Hubbard – Anthony Williams is in the process of reinventing jazz drumming. It’s mind-blowing!
- Alice Coltrane – Prandhana (Turiya Sings, 1982)
This is an album of prayer and meditation, by the queen of everything, forever Alice Coltrane.
- Maleem Mahmoud Ghania and Pharaoh Sanders – La Allah Dayim Moulenah (The Trance Of Seven Colors, 1994)
- Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitananda – Improvised Harp Solo (1987)
Alice Coltrane once more, in an amazing harp solo. You’re welcome.
- Vilayat Khan and Bismillah Khan – Bhairavee Thumree (Duets, 1967)
Bismillah's Indian Shehnai is out of this world and makes you cry a lot.