In a lot of ways, Aukai’s self-titled debut is the sound of Markus Sieber bringing his career full circle. Having spent part of the ’90s playing rock music in East Germany, the composer/multi-instrumentalist then shifted his focus to acting, only to have music creep back into his life after a mind-altering move to Mexico.
Aukai was born of his desire to create music that could work in tandem with film, video, theater and the visual arts. The compositions on the album also grew out of Sieber’s love affair with the ronrocco, a plucked string instrument from Argentina that Sieber first discovered through the music of film composer Gustavo Santaolalla (Babel, Brokeback Mountain).
Aukai may draw initial comparisons to the work of ambient instrumental masters such as Eno, Ryuichi Sakamoto and Goldmund/Helios, but ultimately it is a CD that belongs in a category all its own—a beguiling collection of autumnal acoustic soundscapes dappled with subtle electronic touches.
Folk music derives its origins from venerable working class traditions and its name reflects this. Notoriously difficult to define, the genre’s porous borders have helped to keep it fresh and ever relevant, with such a wide range of artists as Bob Dylan, Joanna Newsom, Nick Drake and Bonnie Prince Billy all falling somewhere within Folk’s purview.
This latest release, brought to us by the prestigious Bedroom Community can also be defined as folk music but, following in the tradition of the finest material in the genre, Puzzle Muteson’s latest full-length album throws a lot more into the pot too. Little seems to be known about the enigmatic artist based in the Isle of Wight, other than he is a singer-songwriter originally from London who has a penchant for melancholic guitar and a talent which is self-evident. Choosing to remain anonymous could be seen as an affectation to some, but so sincere are the songs within En Garde, that the lack of information on the artist forces us to focus solely on the music, which is probably for the best, since it would be foolish indeed to miss a moment of this carefully crafted masterpiece.
For Record Store Day 2011 Immune is proud to present a split 7” featuring new tracks from Steve Gunn and Ilyas Ahmed. The 7” comes packaged in a proper jacket with collage artwork from Ahmed. Included is a free download coupon and insert.