Releases of the Month, August 2021

Did William Basinski want to send us a transatlantic greeting before the start of the Month of Contemporary Music? At the beginning of August, the US composer and ambient artist released the piece »Music for Abandoned Airports: Tegel« via his Bandcamp account. If so, he must have misread the signals: Tegel looked anything but abandoned at the opening of the sonambiente festival on 20 August! And it certainly didn't sound empty either. The brilliant prelude with installations by Emeka Ogboh, Susan Philipsz, Blixa Bargeld and Laurie Anderson & Hsin-Chien Huang was the perfect start to the following month, during which the city's music scene reclaimed the public space.

Who then wants to sit at home in front of the player and listen to the new releases while reading a book—or at least has the time? Exactly, hardly anyone. Yet much music and numerous books were published in August and they deserve to be examined in peace and quiet. The »1982 Historic Recordings« of three compositions by Tōru Takemitsu, released on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of his death, are just as much a part of this as the EP debut of violinist Rakhi Singh or new recordings by Manja Ristić, who has further processed her »Silba Sound Map I« from 2019 into the album »Songs of the North« after having released the LP »Kairos & The Dwellers« just a few months ago.

The same is true for the following 15 music releases and three books that have just been freshly released. Our advice is to bookmark them, put up your after the end of the Month of Contemporary Music and explore them piece by piece while the leaves outside your windows turn from yellow to brown. Deal?