Sunday, March 30, 2008

Sitaar Tah!

a 43min single track studio recording from the tokyo based sitar orchestra that provided the amazing musical backdrop for keiji haino on the double disc archive release animamima. the 22 piece unit is back with this swarm of locus gem of a release. graphic and design work on the release by stephen o’malley features an outer cover that is a four color silkscreen, beautifully executed by alan sherry of siwa records. inside is a gorgeous photographic collage


Experimenting with rock formulas via expansive and entrancing curtains of sound,Landing is a truly vibrant, celestial-minded quartet of sound painters from Connecticut (via-Utah!). Oceanless, their simply amazing second full length CD, is a saturating wash, a burbling Technicolor stream flooding the senses with brilliant use of sonic color.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

thomas function

There was a time, in the '70's and '80's, when regional America threw up amazing rock 'n' roll bands every few months. Akron, Detroit, Seattle, Boston, Washington DC, Chappell Hill, Memphis, Dallas, the country kept turning out wayward visionaries, grounded in rock 'n' roll but telling singular stories. In the 21st century, media-watchers keep telling us we're becoming more and more alike. They are completely wrong, of course, and here's the latest piece of evidence. Thomas Function love punk rock, but they love country, blues, new wave, garage rock, and the shit happening up the street, too. It comes out sounding like a bunch of earnest, severe songs from the foothills of Huntsville, Alabama, full of anger, clarity, and bourbon. Is America on the brink of a new rock 'n' roll renaissance? People who snapped up their instantly OOP singles, saw one of their chaotic shows, or participated in the fervid blogging about this bunch aren't betting against it.

Rameses III

Basilica is Rameses III´s eagerly anticipated follow-up to
their acclaimed release Honey Rose (Important), Basilica is a double album of live recordings of new Rameses material accompanied by re-interpretations of those same recordings by contemporaries Robert Horton, Keith Berry, Gregg Kowalsky and Astral Social Club.

Each artist approached to contribute to the Basilica disc was given free range to experiment with the live files, to re-invent and re-interpret the recordings as they saw fit.

Minimalist sound-sculptor Keith Berry rolled out the slow-motion waterfalls of Basilica and gave the album an early focus and provided inspiration for the glacial artwork.

Gregg Kowalsky played the Rose Blood remix as part of his own
performance at the OVERLAP 02 event in San Francisco using its tuned sinewave oscillators, cassette tapes and loops to induce, to quote the man himself, "a psychoacoustic listening experience".

Our subtle textures were pushed way into the red when noise veteran Neil Campbell sandblasted the original tracks into the howling mirror of Astral Social Club. His Tigers In The Snake Pit was remixed live in the very same venue in which it was originally performed and finessed with some post-performance layering.

And Robert Horton was open-minded and kind enough to allow Rameses III to remix his remix, leading to the gentle trumpet curlicues and electronic birdsong entwining the original drone of After The Red Rose.

Although Basilica was originally envisioned as a single disc album, once the remixes were complete it slowly became evident that they should be paired with a disc of live recordings in order to put the Basilica disc into context. In contrast to the heavily-produced and painstakingly-constructed Rameses studio albums, all five of the
previously-unreleased tracks on the Origins disc were recorded directly to stereo at various venues around London. As such, they fully represent those moments in performance where the trio strive to make the most beautiful music they can.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Baltic Fleet

Baltic Fleet is the work of Warrington based artist Paul Fleming. Whilst on a World Tour playing keyboards for Echo and the Bunnymen Paul Fleming began to write what would come to be his debut album. With a laptop and any instruments that were to hand he would capture, in music, what inspired him in each city around the world; from Texas to Barcelona to Berlin to Copenhagen to Reykjavik and back to the UK in Brighton. In hotel rooms, tour buses, planes, at the end of radio sessions and sound-checks, every opportunity was taken and tracks gradually started to form into an album. A sound was born influenced by works from artists such as Eno, The Doves, NEU!, Sigur Ros and DJ Shadow.

Written, produced and performed by Paul, the album also features contributions from Simon Finley on drums, Will Sergeant on guitar and Pete Wilkinson on Bass. Paul signed to Blow Up Records in April 2007, and the same Summer took his recordings into Studio B, The Premises in Hackney for additional production and mixing with Nick Terry (Klaxons, Simian Mobile Disco). After some heavy-duty valve and analogue processing, the beats got bigger, the sound-scape was widened and the album was complete!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

The Marshall Tucker Band

Taking a page from their Capricorn Records labelmates and Southern rock contemporaries the Allman Brothers, the Marshall Tucker Band issued a self-titled debut blending the long and winding psychedelic and jam band scene with an equally languid and otherwise laid-back country-rock flavor. Into the mix they also added a comparatively sophisticated jazz element -- which is particularly prominent throughout their earliest efforts. The incipient septet featured the respective talents of Doug Gray (vocals), Toy Caldwell (guitar/vocals), his brother Tommy Caldwell (bass/vocals), George McCorkle (guitar), Paul Riddle (drums), and Jerry Eubanks (flute/sax/vocals). Their free-spirited brand of Southern rock was a direct contrast to the badass rebel image projected by the Outlaws or Lynyrd Skynyrd. This difference is reflected throughout the 1973 long-player The Marshall Tucker Band. The disc commences with one of the MTB's most revered works, the loose and limber traveling proto-jam "Take the Highway." The improvised instrumental section features some inspired interaction between Toy Caldwell and Eubanks. This also creates a unique synergy of musical styles that is most profoundly exhibited on the subsequent cut, "Can't You See." Caldwell's easygoing acoustic fretwork babbles like a brook against Eubanks lonesome airy flute lines. The remainder of the disc expounds on those themes, including the uptempo freewheelin' "Hillbilly Band." Unlike what the title suggests, the track is actually more akin to the Grateful Dead's "Eyes of the World" than anything from the traditional country or bluegrass genres. "Ramblin'" is an R&B rave-up that leans toward a Memphis style with some classy brass augmentations. The effort concludes on the opposite side of the spectrum with the tranquil gospel rocker "My Jesus Told Me So," offering up Caldwell's fluid guitar work with a sound comparable to that of Dickey Betts. "AB's Song" is an acoustic folk number that would not sound out of place being delivered by John Prine or Steve Goodman. This eponymous effort established the MTB's sound and initiated a five-year (1973-1978) and seven-title run with the definitive Southern rock label, Capricorn Records.


Trance Syndicate Records

Bedside Table
The Unpredictable Landlord
Foaming Love
To The Ground
Living Well
Wind Down

Recorded and mixed by Bedhead and Paul Quigg.
Recorded and mixed June-September 1993 to 16-track
All songs ©1992,93 Bedhead Songs (ASCAP)

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Birthday mix!

So today i get another year older. I decided to take a hike and listen to some music.
Thanks to all of you who visit. I promise to get more on top of things in the future and fix links and update more. Enjoy this mix it really is best listened to while hiking a mountain trail.

Birthday Hike Mix

1. Ozo- Anambra
2. Boredoms- house of sun
3. Vangelis- Part IV
4. White Rainbow- birthday driving pt.1
5. Butthole Surfers- Kuntz
6. M83- by the kiss
7. Manual- Dizzy Sun
8. Cloudland Canyon- PartII
9. Fabio Orsi- At Last Naked Clouds

Stars of the Lid

When it comes to genre-defining releases, even releases that define a band's career, few sum up ambient music, and the work of Stars of the Lid in general like 'The Ballasted Orchestra'. Released in 1996 it was their third album and the band's first for the Kranky label and was an untouchable, perfect statement of intent from a band who for us have never put their name to a bad record. Flowing almost continuously 'The Ballasted Orchestra' was unlike anything else around at the time - it was lumped in with post-rock, quite strangely, but this was like hearing Arvo Part piped into a gigantic metal chamber, or a fresh take on Brian Eno's ambient dictat. It's hard to go into detail track by track, but in my mind 'The Ballasted Orchestra' is the partner of Stars of the Lid's best known work, the incredible 'Tired Sounds of Stars of the Lid' in both composition and organisation. The album starts simply enough with the trembling beauty of 'Central Texas' but quickly drifts into the gorgeous 'Sun Drugs', which easily stands as one of the band's more unashamedly lush moments. The real highlight however comes with the incredible two-part 'Music for Twin Peaks Episode #30', and as those of you who know the Lynch canon as well as I do will be aware, there never was an episode #30 in Twin Peaks but if there was I'm sure this is how it sounded. Drone music rarely reaches these sort of expansive emotive heights and what sets this album (and band) apart from its peers is that it seems totally effortless. You never need to stop and think as you're listening, yet at the same time it never feels like background music, rather this is the soundtrack to the most beautiful dream you've ever had.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

L. Pierre

“My favourite L. Pierre tracks have always been the quiet ones so I wanted to pursue that mood and record something gentle and lovely,” he says. “I also took a shine to field recording and bought myself a little Minidisc recorder, which I took on holiday to record some natural ambience.”

A giant sideways leap from the critically acclaimed Hypnogogia (2002) and Touchpool (2004), Dip finds Moffat eschewing the drum loops and effects that characterised his previous recordings in favour of a more organic, live sound, with a specially assembled group of Alan Barr (cello), Stevie Jones (double bass) and Allan Wylie (trumpet) complementing Moffat on drums, keyboards, percussion and harmonium. The result is an album that takes us on a journey through the full range of human emotions, from Ache’s morose, mournful strings to the frantic, jesterly Hike. Ending as it begins, with the sound of the waves crashing against the shore, there’s a sense of oneness to the album, as if it could play forever as a song cycle. This, says Moffat, is because Dip was conceived as a whole album, rather than a collection of odds and ends.

“The album had a concept from the beginning,” he says. “Its theme is nature and the great outdoors, and particularly the sea, hence ‘Dip’, a title I stole from the movie of the artist who kindly donated the film images for the artwork.”

So this is it; the sound of one of our generation’s great chroniclers of urban squalor and messy relationships contemplating the mysteries of Mother Nature and delivering a dreamlike, immersive album as a result. But it’s not necessarily an avenue Moffat will revisit any time soon.

“I hear dance music is all the rage again,” he says. “Maybe I’ll reinvent myself as a superstar DJ. I’d make more money that way anyway.”

Religious Knives

Religious Knives started out as a side project of husband and wife team of Mike and Maya (both of Double Leopards) but it slowly grew into a full time project as Double Leopards were becoming less active. They started out as a two piece, and over time added Nate from Mouthus on drums and fiddled around with bass players until the full band was realized. The transition from noise / drone duo to full band was organic and perfectly natural. People hear the Grateful Dead, DUB, Can, Brain Records, drone, noise, maybe a little of the Doors in there (thanks to Mayas keyboarding)....It's a true droney/psych/noise masterpiece in the making. Truly, nothing sounds quite like this band. Dueling vocal harmonies blend with droney synths and effects while the dubby bass and powerful drums fill it out. INSANE! It's After Dark.


Naked Acid is the second solo release from Portland artist Valet, aka Honey Owens. She states: "These songs were Inspired by the Pacific Northwest landscape, semi-conscious dream states and the idea of one's dna code being accessed as eternal memory. I started off with the idea to make a 'songs' record but it really didn't turn out that way. Instead the record became it's own story. Track one is a static beach journey duet with Adrian Orange, and tracks 3, 4 and 5 are collaborations with Mark Evan Burden (Silentist) on drums."

From the gentle narcotic haze of the album opener "We Went There," which is dissected by Honey's trademark incendiary guitar work, to the lazy alien country blues of "Fuck It," and through the hyperventilating rhythmic distortion of the closer "Streets," Naked Acid is a fever dream of ghostly incantation and smudged psychedelia.