Baroo & Himalaya Albums Both Named “Best of 2019” by The Wire, Pitchfork, Artforum, Bandcamp

Both Carl Stone album releases from 2019 found their ways onto a number of Best of the Year lists, from Artforum to The Wire.

THE WIRE:
Himalaya: Best of 2019 14/100
“The world’s pop music has become putty in Stone’s hands. Each piece could, in theory, keep reassembling its particles infinitely”

https://www.thewire.co.uk/issues/431

THE WIRE:
Baroo: Best of 2019 27/100
“Like a vivd and recurrent memory of somewhere you have never been, or an everday experience suddenly made inexplicable and strange”

https://www.thewire.co.uk/issues/431

ARTFORUM:
Himalaya: Best Music of 2019 5/10

How much music do you really need? Stone’s work suggests that sometimes a second is enough. As he shows on Himalaya, real-time manipulation of tiny samples can yield extraordinary results, ranging from shattered-beat mosaics to oceanic stillness.

https://www.artforum.com/print/201910

BANDCAMP
Baroo & Himalaya: Best Experimental Albums of 2019
The two albums released by Carl Stone in 2019 bubble with ideas and careen with dizzying juxtapositions. He has an uncanny knack for cutting up songs and samples in ways that retain structure and melody yet still sound deconstructed and disorienting, as if the floor beneath them is bending and warping and could collapse at any time. Baroo and Himalaya both engage with pop music by rearranging its DNA, constructing a new kind of catchiness through circular edits. He can build arcs that rise and fall, and ride loops that hypnotize as they expand. The process is brainy, but both albums are also full of glee, as fun to listen to as they are to contemplate.
https://daily.bandcamp.com/best-experimental/the-best-experimental-albums-of-2019

PITCHFORK:
Baroo: Best Experimental Albums of 2019
“Like a vivd and recurrent memory of somewhere you have never been, or an everday experience suddenly made inexplicable and strange”

https://pitchfork.com/features/lists-and-guides/best-experimental-albums-2019/

These titles available through UNSEEN WORLDS as well as on Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon and finer music stores.

Full Review of HIMALAYA in The Wire’s December 2019 Issue

Carl Stone made the wise decision to split his latest creations over several releases.

Carl Stone Himalaya Unseen Worlds CD/DL/2xLP

 

It takes 35 minutes to reach the summit of Carl Stone’s new Himalaya. To arrive there, you ascend through manically cut up and overlaid Afrobeats, funk and hiphop grooves together with a tasty disco riff that reassembles the very molecules of your being. Then, having hit the apex, Stone throws you into idyllic freefall for the next half hour, into a balmy environment of slow moving and ethereal tones, music that is as voluminous and prayer-like as the opening part is compacted and hedonistic.

The relationship between Himalaya and Stone’s release from earlier this year, Baroo, mirrors that between Miles Davis’s Bitches Brew and In A Silent Way – the later album building on the textural and harmonic palette of all that went before, while clawing open fresh expressive possibilities. The opening piece “Han Yan” tells you what to expect as high-speed Afrobeats hallucinate on their own existence. Musically, two things are happening. Stone has the beats on intense fast-forward, while little microedits snip out crucial supporting notes in the harmony, which spins the music relentlessly forwards – it has no brakes.

A strutting rock beat kick-starts “Bia Bia” before it lurches towards ebullient chaos, with broken-up trumpet fanfares randomly puncturing the texture like Lester Bowie is wandering in and out of earshot. “Kikanbou” is grounded by a mesmeric disco beat that keeps rolling for 17 minutes, a motor around which auxiliary beats circle. Around the six minute mark, and for no other reason than he can, Stone suddenly turns everything upside down and inside out, and upside out and downside up, leaving beats coiling in other directions and soaring upwards. The world’s pop music has become putty in Stone’s hands. Each piece could, in theory, keep reassembling its particles infinitely. But Stone applies his composerly voice with a noticeably light touch, making conscious decisions about his material without ever suffocating its freedom.

Had he signed off after “Kikanbou” Himalaya would still have been exceptional, but the final glide through spacious textures and rarefied tunings – leading towards intonations from the Japanese vocalist Akaihirume – reconnects your soul with the stuff of sound itself as you ruminate on an epic journey, both exhilarating and affecting.

Philip Clark

The Wire December 2019

The Wire’s review of Himalaya, my latest release

Happy to report, The Wire’s review of Himalaya, my latest release, is pretty much a rave.


Excerpt: It takes 35 minutes to reach the summit of Carl Stone’s new Himalaya. To arrive there, you ascend through manically cut up and overlaid Afrobeats, funk and hiphop grooves together with a tasty disco riff that reassembles the very molecules of your being. Then, having hit the apex, Stone throws you into idyllic freefall for the next half hour, into a balmy environment of slow moving and ethereal tones, music that is as voluminous and prayer-like as the opening part is compacted and hedonistic.
The relationship between Himalaya and Stone’s release from earlier this year, Baroo, mirrors that between Miles Davis’s Bitches Brew and In A Silent Way – the later album building on the textural and harmonic palette of all that went before, while clawing open fresh expressive possibilities.

You can read the entire review here, or of course in The Wire’s December 2019 issue.

BANDCAMP:

https://unseenworlds.bandcamp.com/album/himalaya

https://unseenworlds.bandcamp.com/album/baroo

APPLE MUSIC

https://music.apple.com/us/album/himalaya/1473870763

https://music.apple.com/us/album/baroo/1452006426

The Wire Reviews Realistic Monk at Cafe Oto for its Historic 400th Issue

“Drones and soundscapes in the cosy interior of Cafe Oto are the ideal counterpoint to a dank early spring afternoon in London, but the real draw that’s brought so many out are solo and combined performances by two innovating musicians…put the two together, the soft and subtle crafting of Miki Yui and the popped out veins of Carl Stone’s heavyweight sample manipulations and you have Realistic Monk, the unlikely two halves of a circle.”

Read the full review here

Go to The Wire here

Holy smokes! You can download the entire set here

Zurkonic Reviews Our Brooklyn Concert March 2017

“I’ve never been moved to jump out of my seat at the end of the performance but I’ll be damned if I didn’t even realize I was standing until I had been clapping rapturously along with the rest of the crowd for a couple minutes.

“The show’s last piece would be the one that solidified Stone as a master of the craft. What unfolded onstage was both sonically accessible and temporally exhaustive as the singer (Akaihirume) and the composer entered into what could be described as an esoteric and aural courting dance that entranced the entire audience.

“I’ve never been one to really romanticize the idea of traveling with a band around the country, but if Carl Stone ever gets the mainstream recognition that elder statesmen like Steve Reich and Philip Glass enjoy, then I might find myself on some strange trip to have my preconceptions about music challenged at every chance.”

Read the full review here.

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Latest Release Gets Picked by The Wire as Best Album of the Year 2016 (Archival Category)

wire-magazine-rewind-2016

“West Coast composer Carl Stone was one of the first to plug in to the possibilities of digital synthesizers, samplers and effects. Electronic Music included “Shibucho”, an audacious sample flip of The Temptations’ My Girl that connects Steve Reich’s Come Out to Chicago footwork, and two explorations of the possibilities of the Buchla synth. Julian Cowley said “While Grandmaster Flash and Afrika Bambaataa were flamboyantly promoting sample based hip-hop, and Joh Oswald was openly flaunting the art of plunderphonics, Carl Stone developed his own idiosyncratic take on sonic bricolage.”

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Boomkat Loves Our New Release and Makes Us Laugh Telling Us So

“lights up our pleasure centres like a quid in a fruit machine, using a palette of eastern-tuned scales, processed vocals and pop samples to conjure a majorly playful array of idiosyncratic, angular and intriguing arrangements that resonate with Robert Ashley’s mercurial cut-ups as much as The Automatics Group’s incisive dance pop detournements and the proto-glitch music of Nicolas Collins. 

It’s all totally new to us and feels like somebody just opened a big skylight onto our listening lives, flooding us with new sensations between the baroque computer music of Sukhothai (1977) and the wormholing drone of Chao Praya (1973), taking in the soothingly ethereal Shing Kee (1986) and strobing structure of Don II Jang (1982), along with the haunting nocturnal transition of Kuk Il Kwan (1981) to lay out whole new worlds before your ears.”

You can read the full review here

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