Download of the Week

Sort By: Post Date | Title | Publish Date
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jun 17, 2016
I've had a soft spot for Norwegian composer Maja Ratkje's hard music for years. Beyond her solo work, the music of Fe-Mail is a particular favorite for its SPUNK (another of Ratkje's bands) and noise. I have her solo album Stalker on picture disc! (Important Records, 2006) and have played it for a few good friends who don't mind a little pain with their pleasure. Crepuscular Hour, released on Rune Grammofon in May of this year, adds hauntingly beautiful choral music and church organ to Ratkje's electronic noise for an hour-long journey into the heart of darkness, and light.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jun 10, 2016
From McLaughlin's brief intertestamental period, post-Miles/pre-Mahavishnu Orchestra, Devotion feels like a kiss goodbye to Jimi Hendrix, who passed away in London in September 1970 when this album was released. While McLaughlin distanced himself from Devotion because he felt Alan Douglas destroyed it in production, I've always had a purple hazy soft spot for its sheer badassness.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jun 03, 2016
Yea, I know, but that's their name. I stumbled on Holy Fuck's new album Congrats on Tidal HiFi with zero expectations. I hadn't read a review, didn't know their music well, so my click on "Play" was largely based on two things: the album cover, and Holy Fuck. A few minutes in, I smiled.
Michael Lavorgna  |  May 27, 2016
Miles Davis and John Lee Hooker. Sold!
Michael Lavorgna  |  May 20, 2016
I have to learn how to let go. I had to learn how to let go of my love (fixation?) of PJ Harvey's early kickass albums so that I could enjoy the music she's making now. I say that in the past tense but I'm really still working on it, mainly because I find her early albums so damned good. But I've changed since her first record Dry came out 1992, so why would I expect PJ Harvey to stay the same?
Michael Lavorgna  |  May 13, 2016
Before I boarded Lufthansa flight 412 in Munich, I added A Moon Shaped Pool to the download queue in the Tidal app on my iPhone. Once aboard flight 412 and in the air, I listened to Radiohead's new album in its entirety with the help of the DragonFly Red and a pair of RHA S500 earphones (yea, the cheap ones).
Michael Lavorgna  |  Apr 28, 2016  |  First Published: Apr 29, 2016
Beautiful, sexual, sensual, and above all else, powerful. While it is a stretch for me to suggest a real and immediate connection with Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter's message on her latest Lemonade, I am nonetheless deeply moved.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Apr 22, 2016
Sturgill Simpson's new record, A Sailor's Guide to Earth, is a sailor's message home to his wife and newborn son. The album opens with "Welcome to Earth (Pollywog)" and the lines "Hello, my son / Welcome to earth..." which, after hearing just once, pretty much had me hooked. Again.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Apr 15, 2016
Try not to think about Nick Cave and Warren Ellis. Instead, try listening to White Lunar (Mute/BMG, 2015), a double-CD-sized compilation of their film music, without expectations and if you hear what I hear, you'll be taken away to fascinating places spanning time. Music includes film scores from The Proposition (2005), The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007), The English Surgeon (2007), The Road (2009), and The Girls of Phnom Penh (2009). In addition, there are four pieces comprising a suite, all of which take their names from craters.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Apr 08, 2016
Tag Eins Tag Zwei (Day One Day Two) came my way via John DeVore (I have to say that getting music recommendations from friends is among my favorite things). F.S.Blumm's guitar and Nils Frahm's piano and harmonium coupled with various and sundry sounds mixed into their improvisations kissed my brain like a warm spring breeze. Thanks, I needed that.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Apr 01, 2016
Big, bold, and passion-full. I was on a Dawn Upshaw jag, The Girl with Orange Lips and more to our point Golijov: Ayre / Berio: Folk Songs, and I wondered—who is this Golijov guy? One doesn't have to wonder long these days, and I found myself listening to La Pasión según San Marcos on Tidal within minutes. To say that the first few minutes flopped my musical mind around like a boated flounder is no exaggeration.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Mar 25, 2016
Winterpills stepped out of their home studio and into Justin Pizzoferrato's Sonelab for Love Songs their new release of original songs. My ears, heart, and mind are happy they did as Love Songs sounds sonically richer and more exploratory than their previous albums, all of which I've enjoyed. A lot.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Mar 18, 2016
Regular Download of the Week (DotW) reader's may have noticed I have a penchant for difficult music. Difficult music, however, does fit my every mood or situation. Sometimes I want to be soothed, calmed, tickled and delighted, ideally carried away. As I lay in room 352A, 352B was mercifully empty due to my contagion, wondering what to listen to from Tidal's pharmacy, I went back to an old friend.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Mar 11, 2016
Plainsound Glissando Modulation: Raga in just intonation for violin and double bass, Helge Slaato, violin, Frank Reinecke, double bass (NEOS, 2008).
"Like a sleepwalker, he [von Schweinitz] prods around in (sonic) space with delight, finding what he needs in these contorted sound worlds of computer-supported genesis of audible material. And with his latest compositions he now stands before the open portal of a realm in which encounters with the infinite are certain. The door is no longer ajar but agape." —Helmut Rohm
Back in 1988, while riffling through the contemporary classical racks on the 2nd floor of Tower Records, I happened upon Wolfgang von Schweinitz's Mass, which I knew nothing about. When I got back to my loft, I sat and listened and was immediately struck by this oh-so-striking work. "Holy crap!" I remember thinking.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Mar 04, 2016
Here's the skinny on my intro to Jesu/Sun Kil Moon (Rough Trade, 2016); I read that in the song "Exodus", Sun Kil Moon's Mark Kozelek talks about Nick Cave losing his son in that tragic accident. I'd been thinking about Nick Cave, the father, so I couldn't help but run my fingers over to Tidal where they tapped in my request to play the entire album. Tidal obliged.