Recorded in 1971, The Afro-Eurasian Eclipse reads in many ways like a follow up to the 1967 epic Far East Suite. Compelling, cosmopolitan, and organic, this music comes from Ellington's sifting of travel experiences, and it sounds as if he is using his impressions of places and people rather than appropriations of "authentic" scales and rhythms. "Chinoiserie" is boisterous and fun, with long-tone horn peals forming the melodic cornerstone. Tenorman Harold Ashby takes his place blowing pure swing. "Afrique" is a percussion-based piece, with a liberal layering of the horn players' entrances creating strains that are at first incongruous, then tie briefly together toward the middle of the affair…
Swedish black metallers WATAIN release their new studio album, "Trident Wolf Eclipse", on January 5, 2018. "After twenty years of carving our own path through and out of the world, 'Trident Wolf Eclipse' feels like a worthy point of arrival indeed," says WATAIN. "One of power and force, shining a new harsh light upon all that has been, those that perished along the way, the life altering struggle and triumphant ecstasy of WATAIN. 'Trident Wolf Eclipse' is, however, not about the past, nor the future, it is about here and now, and we sincerely look forward to show you all what that implies. To all those that are as impatient as we are for that day to come, thank you for your unending support and see you soon."
Unique among Middle Eastern artists, El Din is a Nubian oud player and singer from the Sudan who studied his craft in Cairo, and fashioned the oud–normally used for accompaniment or in ensembles–into a solo instrument, combining Nubian and Arabic musical gestures. Eclipse–produced by Grateful Dead drummer and world-music champion Mickey Hart–exploits elastic rhythms and repetitive motifs in moody, majestic pieces like "Helalisa," the lovelorn song of an Egyptian field hand, and "Your Love Is Ever Young," inspired by Egypt's late queen of song, Um Kalthoum. Fans of Turkish oud masters (like the great Udi Hrant) will find El Din's penetrating tone and attack familiar, though his arrangements and vocal accompaniments are a different beast altogether, producing an evocative, melancholy music that draws on several traditions simultaneously.
The most amazing thing about Stereolab's Margerine Eclipse is how much of a surprise it is. It's not just that it's a fantastic record–Stereolab have made plenty of those. But since 1996's classic Emperor Tomato Ketchup, they've been deconstructing and breaking down their mix of exotic lounge pop and progressive Krautrock, throwing up cyclones of electronic mist. It's yielded some beautiful, but cold and distancing work. Eclipse shocks you with the contrast. Filled with the warmest possible intentions, it invites you to fall in love with its kind thumps and aural flotsam. Anchored by a test pattern baseline and a sly beat machine, the title track wanders around the edges, breaking into the main groove only to smoothly dissolve in a bittersweet end. Sounds like any other Stereolab song, right? But here–stripped down, dynamic, and alive–it's simply charming.