Damon Locks

Guest Playlist: Damon Locks’ most truthful tunes

The Eternals: Approaching the Energy Field (Addenda, 2/15/11)

The Eternals: “War’s Blazing Disciples”

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Damon Locks — frontman for experimental dub-punk band The Eternals, former member of Trenchmouth, and part-time member of Exploding Star Orchestra — is an accomplished visual artist in addition to being an accomplished musician. For ALARM’s newest book, Chromatic, Locks curated a section of handmade mix-tape art. In addition, his sociopolitical mixed-media art is featured alongside a story that details his upbringing, influences, and guiding principles. Here, Locks compiles a playlist of tunes that he repeatedly turns to for inspiration.

The Uncompromising Art
by Damon Locks

I side with the ones that follow their hearts,
Not the ones making due rather than making art

These 10 tracks are tunes that inspire me to make work both visual and musical and to trust in the creative process. Upon every listen, these pieces always feel so kinetic and vital. The music business is now so savvy and marketing is so embedded into the processes of music-making that the impetus to make most music generally feels (and sounds) suspect. I wanted to put a list of tunes together whose intentions felt truthful and without an eye for its profitability.

1. Eddie Gale: “Song of Will”

A spiritual and uplifting female vocal chorus crescendos to reveal a cacophonous horn melody that punctuates and empowers.

100 Unheralded Albums from 2010

Among the thousands of under-appreciated or under-publicized albums that were released in 2010, hundreds became our favorites and were presented in ALARM and on AlarmPress.com. Of those, we pared down to 100 outstanding releases, leaving no genre unexplored in our list of this year’s overlooked gems.

Morrow vs. Hajduch

Morrow vs. Hajduch: Chicago Odense Ensemble

Scott Morrow is ALARM’s music editor. Patrick Hajduch is a very important lawyer. Each week they debate the merits of a different album.

Chicago Odense EnsembleChicago Odense Ensemble: s/t (Adluna)

Chicago Odense Ensemble: “Soup”
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Hajduch: Chicago Odense Ensemble is the latest foray of Rob Mazurek (Exploding Star Orchestra, Chicago Underground, Isotope 217) into large-group jazz fusion.  He’s brought along some of his previous collaborators (Jeff Parker and Dan Bitney of Tortoise and Isotope 217; Matt Lux, also of Isotope 217) as well as some fresh faces (Jonas Munk and Jakob Skøtt of European psych band Causa Sui and percussionist Brian Keigher).

Pre-order the cross-continental, improvised jazz of the Chicago Odense Ensemble

In the winter of 2008, Danish musicians Jonas Munk and Jakob Skøtt hunkered down in a Chicago studio with locals such as Jeff Parker and Dan Bitney of Tortoise, Matt Lux of Isotope 217, and composer/cornetist Rob Mazurek of Exploding Star Orchestra and Chicago Underground Duo.

Brought together by Brian Keigher, the group of all-stars combined their unique blend of styles in total improvisation, the result of which recalls Miles Davis‘ ventures in electronic music in the early ’70s. Loose ideas and grooves come together into well-developed electro-jazz soundscapes frequently punctuated by brilliant virtuosic solos.

Jason Adasiewicz: Virtuosic Jazz Vibraphonist

Jason Adasiewicz has made a name for himself as a strong, unique voice in Chicago’s rich underground jazz and improvisational scene. He has lent his gorgeous, melodic vibraphone playing to literally dozens of ensembles and recordings, weaving his way through the highly collaborative network of progressive improvisers that has established itself in the clubs and practice spaces of Chicago.

ALARM’s Top Ten Albums of 2007

a2a.jpgDespite increasingly miserable mainstream hits (how can the radio get any worse?), 2007 was an excellent, indulgent, fulfilling year of music. Here is a look at our favorite ten albums of the year.