Kumo - Day/Night

Cassette only – limited edition of 125 copies
Art by Sayako Sugawara


Tracklist:
A: Day
B: Night


Written, performed and produced by Kumo in SE23.

“From a starting point of two field recordings taken from the balcony of my flat in South East London, one was taken during the day the other at night, the rest of the music was built up in response: synths and theremin played as karaoke to the sounds of the estate. Accompanying, mimicking, occupying the spaces between the deliveries, planes, dogs, birds and the kids next door writing grime tunes. ‘Day’ was written, performed, recorded and mixed in the flat during daytime with only natural light, ‘Nigh’ under cover of darkness.” – Jono Podmore, London, 16.xii.2017


Biography:

Kumo aka Jono Podmore – Professor of the Practice of Popular music at the prestigious Hochschule für Musik in Cologne, Germany – is best known latterly for his tireless work curating and managing the archives of Krautrock pioneers Can. In this respect, his masterstroke to date has been assembling the essential “The Lost Tapes” boxset.

Work under his Kumo alias across multiple releases, performances, DJ sets and installations has included collaborations with the likes of Irmin Schmidt, B.J. Cole, Jaki Liebezeit, Mr. C and Jose Padilla. His ongoing Horrorshow multimedia venture brings together live soundtracks and short films, and his established group Metamono finds new life in vintage analogue and hand made electronics, releasing two albums, and Secrets of Nature - Sounds Unseen: live electronic music for silent British film.

His label Psychomat was brought back to life in 2017 with two new single releases and more are planned. Jono is currently working on the score for feature film The Giaour, a book about Jaki Liebezeit’s life and theories, and teaches Tai Chi in London.

psychomat.com

Reviews:

Documentary Evidence (UK):

The Tapeworm imprint has always had an unerring capacity to release interesting sounds from interesting artists, and Day / Night by Kumo is yet another fine cassette among many. Kumo is the alias of Jono Podmore, a multi-disciplinary talent known on this blog for his work with Spoon on the Can back catalogue, the book he is assembling on sorely-missed Can drummer Jaki Liebezeit, the very fine Metamono albums and the Kumo and Cyclopean releases issued by Mute over the years.

For Day / Night, Podmore began with two field recordings taken from the balcony of his flat in South East London, adding synths and theremin later to the sounds he’d captured by chance – cars starting, dogs barking, planes droning overheard, snippets of conversation and so on. One recording was made during the day, one during the night. The effect is like listening to a microcosm of urban London life, never quiet for sure, but perhaps more peaceful than one might imagine.

Podmore’s electronic responses to the field recordings vary from sinewy synth arpeggios that wobble and flutter around the ambience to spooky, dead-of-night bursts of drones, tones and bleeps that feel like the soundtrack to existential dread. There is a certain muted quality to the sounds he added to his balcony recordings, as if he wanted the two components – the organic and natural and the composed and artificial – to live in harmony with one another, and neither has the capacity to overburden the other.

Day / Night is the embodiment, for me, of what Brian Eno conceived of for ambient music when he was laid up in bed listening to classical music and environmental sounds together. Podmore’s approach has a delicateness of touch, a sensitivity to his natural surroundings and a powerfully imaginative way of electronically responding to the sounds he hears.

Tapeworm releases are always issued in limited runs – get it now from the Touch shop before it’s gone for good.

Postscript: this review was finalised somewhere over the Atlantic as my overnight return flight home from New York approached the Cornish coast. It was started on the flight to JFK earlier in the week, probably in roughly the same place but during the day. Philip from Tapeworm asked me whether ‘Day’ or ‘Night’ worked best for the night flight. My response was thus: ‘Night’ made me more edgy as we came into land. ‘Day’ made me yearn for home after the best part of a week away from my own familiar daily environmental soundtrack.

(c) 2018 Mat Smith / Documentary Evidence



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Kumo - Day/Night





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