Love, Overstand, & Spare Parts. Inspirational New Music and Sounds

How do we celebrate Thanksgiving during a pandemic? ..or do we?

I’m Jason Boucher, and welcome to Nocturnal, a weekly newsletter about sound + music where I highlight some of the best new music and streaming video. I’ll be dispensing related links about music and film news that I hope you dig. I don’t know about you, but I get excited for new records, reissues, soundtracks, and live music—so I’m sharing with you! My hope is this newsletter increases awareness of the extraordinary music & art communities all over the world, even if it’s just a smidgen. Questions?

Today in the newsletter: Amazing new releases from British composer John Bence, jazzy, funky, instrumentals from Apifera, and we go retro cool with the Numero Group’s latest release. Also some informative new podcasts, articles, and my latest playlist and audio archive.

But first, How much do you miss traveling and exploring other places? Travel is one of the most enjoyable things for me—trips to Utah, London, New York City, and Montreal were canceled in 2020, but when this pandemic clears, my first stop will be to the true city of the north—Montreal.

I’d love to live here one day and be able to walk, bike, or take the metro to the Jean Talon Market, the park on the plateau, seeing Les Canadiens at the Bell Center, record shopping at Phonopolis and Cheap Thrills, drinking delicious concoctions at Dieu du Ciel on St. Jerome, seeing live music at Casa Di Popolo, and gazing at the enormous and stunningly beautiful Leonard Cohen mural on Crescent Street before a pint of Boreale Ale or Kilkenny at McKibbin’s just a block over. One can dream…

Listen Up!

🎧 Here’s what new music releases, or reissues I’m listening to this week.

John Bence, Love (Thrill Jockey Records)

John Bence is a modern composer with half a dozen releases, so far. His work explores many genres from avant-garde, classical, medieval, spiritual, and the melancholy. On his latest release Love, Bence spent a few years creating it after a battle with alcoholism. He’s now sober and this album provides delicate piano full of emotion and a chance to be reborn, or rediscovered through his music and looking away from darkness. Available via Thrill Jockey on blood orange vinyl, CD, or digital.

Apifera, Overstand (Stones Throw Records)

This native Israeli jazz quartet creates organic-sounding structures, harmonies and arrangements intended to reflect the rich variety and equilibrium of the natural world. The band consists of Yuval Havkin a.k.a. Rejoicer (keyboards), Nitai Hershkovits (keyboards), Amir Bresler (drums) and Yonatan Albalak (bass). Available on vinyl now via Bandcamp, other formats follow in January 2021. It’s groovy!

Drawing on real-life spiritual and psychedelic experiences, often intertwined with nature, as a springboard for their music, Apifera showcases a sound “more like a lucid dream than reality”, as Nitai puts it — free, improvisatory, and live.

- Stones Throw Records

Various Artists, Spare Parts: The Night Owl Label (Numero Group)

In the very late 1950s to the early 1970s, Cuca Records was the recording studio and record label in all of Wisconsin. Founded by Jim Kirchstein, he recorded nearly 2,000 sessions from polka, gospel, and country to R&B and soul. Spare Parts is a great digital-only collection of teen garage, pop, and surf and you should definitely own it. Then, come back for Spare Parts, which continues the journey of Cuca Records, only with the lost sounds of psychedelia. Favorite tracks are Won't You Be With Me by Forgotten Times and When Will It End by The Sound Control. Dig in!

This Week’s Reading List

Podcasts To Peruse

The Watch List

Nocturnal: A Sound + Music Experience is delivered fresh each Tuesday evening through an ominous freeform cloud featuring hubbub from then and now. Listen live Tuesday evenings on WSCA, or the next day via Mixcloud.

The November 10th episode featured a set of historic, old-timey tunes and then over an hour of new music. Here’s the playlist:

Furry Lewis “Kassie Jones” Harry Smith B-Sides (Dust to Digital)
Memphis Jug Band “Memphis Yo-Yo Blues” Harry Smith B-Sides (Dust to Digital)
The DeZurik Sisters “Hillbilly Wedding in June”  Untitled
Frances Carroll and Her Coquettes feat. Viola Smith on drums “Snake Charmer”
Mary Lou Williams “Virgo”  Zodiac Suite (Smithsonian Folkways)
The Ventures “Walk Don’t Run” Rock ‘N Roll Instrumentals: Gold Edition
Eydie Gorme “Blame It on the Bossa Nova”  Pure Magic Memories
Wing “Dream Lover”  Wing Sings The Songs You Love
Negativland “Piece a Pie”  No Business (Seeland)
Lama Lobsang Palden, Jim Becker “Compassion” Compassion (Drag City)
Gunn – Truscinski Duo “Distance” Soundkeeper (Three Lobed Recordings)
The Dead C “Glitterness”  Unknowns (Ba Da Bing)
Bill Frisell “We Shall Overcome” We Shall Overcome (Blue Note)
Enrique Rodríguez & The Negra Chiway Band “Acabar de Conocerse” Fase Liminal (SoulJazz)
Steph Richards “Glass” Supersense (Northern Spy)
Nils Frahm “No Step on Wing” Empty (Erased Tapes)
William Basinski “The Wheel of Fortune” The Wheel of Fortune (Temp. Residence)
Rival Consoles “Vibrations on a String”  Articulation (Erased Tapes)
Sun Ra Arkestra “Swirling”  Swirling (Strut)
Heshoo Beshoo Group “Wait and See”  Armitage Road (We Are Busy Bodies)
Mandingo Griot Society feat. Don Cherry “Appollo / Fasubara” Mandingo Griot Society (Rounder)

Listen to the Episode

See you next week… - JB