Sunday, February 26, 2006

Mix for February

I've been trading mixes with people on last.fm for a little while now, and I figure I might as well share them with everyone. Most of the people who do the trades put a lot of effort into desiging the cd/packaging, so the owner of the actual mix gets that, and it's really nice. This mix was for a more noise-oriented person, and I find it to be a good blend of psychedelic folk and drone/noise. Check it out.

Tracklist:

1. menstruation sisters - this morning i kill lion
2. of - the quartz pond, pt 1
3. taurpis tula - untitled 2
4. davenport - play it once, sam
5. drona parva - fire from the lion's mouth
6. ash castles on the ghost coast - dust of my grave
7. the birdtree - black rainbows, pts 1 &2
8. braspyreet - kuinka ruoka muttuu vereksi
9. the north sea - wire clouds retreating
10. islaja - vaeltajan laulu
11. maJiK - dance of the drone bees
12. uton - untitled 2
13. franciscan hobbies - animal performers
14. kyrgyz - hirzur vadisi(peaceful valley)
15. oren ambarchi and gunter muller - grounding oysters
16. steven r smith - a sun enshrouded by moths

Snag it here. Enjoy.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Taurpis Tula/Jack Rose/Chris Corsano videos


Thanks to the guys on the I hate music forums for posting these videos from the show last night in Glasgow. Watch and enjoy.

Taurpis Tula:
Video 1
Video 2

Jack Rose:
Video 1
Video 2

Chris Corsano and Mick Flower:
Video 1

Monday, February 20, 2006

The weekend, yeah yeah.

So this weekend I went all the way uptown to an Excepter show at Columbia. Columbia is maybe the worst place to have a show at(because who really wants to go uptown), but it was good fun nonetheless. Excepter shows generally are. JFR and Porkchop did their crazy thing and it was funny being at an Excepter while sitting on couches in the lounge of a dorm at Columbia. Different, but still cool. The crowd wasn't into it too much...but it was Columbia, not sure what to expect.

Blues Control and Imaginary People opened, and Blues Control
were nothing special, but it was Imaginary People's first show and I was very impressed by parts of their set. A drum-guitar-synth trio playing improv free-noise/drone, at times they weren't fully together and the sound lost that special something, but I was nonetheless impressed, especially for a first show. Playing your first show at a place like Columbia is a little strange, but they had fun, even though the crowd didn't seem particularly receptive. When they get a MySpace I'll put it up, definitely a band to watch out for once they develop and start getting to know each other.

Of course I also made a trip to Other Music and picked up some great stuff, new and old. First was Kyrgyz, the newest release on Digitalis. Kyrgyz is the quartet of Tom Carter(Charalambides), Robert Horton, Loren Chasse(Jewelled Antler) and Christine Boepple. This album is everything and more that you could expect from a collabaration between these great artists. Utilizing almost every instrument known to man, Carter and Horton bring in the incredible ethereal drones while Chasse and Boepple layer it with incredible instrumentation using bells to hurdy gurdys. Listening to this album it is easy to get lost within the walls of psychedelia that are created, and it can be a wonderful feeling. Highly recommended.

Second was Alejandra & Aeron - Scotch Monsters, their only release not on their Lucky Kitchen label, but on Softlmusic. I've raved about them before, and I feel that this is some of their strongest work, a concept album about the wild spirits of Scotland, it really does capture the harmony of nature.

Next was August Born, a side project of Ben Chasny with Hiroyuki Usui. I was somewhat underwhelmed, but I had very high expectations. Ben doesn't stray far from his Six Organs sound on this, but Usui's field recordings, droning guitar and very unique vocals create an interesting sound which certainly deserves some notice. I'd recommend most Six Organs albums over this, but like all Chasny side projects it's worth checking just to see what he can do.

Finally was a release I'd been meaning to pick up for a while, The Blithe Sons - Arm of the Starfish. Although I'd been told this was a stronger album than We Walk the Young Earth, I have to disagree. While certainly a good showing from Chasse and Donaldson, I disagree with those who herald Arm as the most impressive Blithe Sons album. Not to discourage you from buying this, but I'd recommend picking up We Walk the Young Earth before Arm of the Starfish. Their brand of dark and beautiful psychedelia comes through much clearer on We Walk, but both are beautiful albums. A good release. Recommended.

I also snagged the Flying cd-r, because I had heard the name dropped on several occasions from sources that I trust. It was...different than I expected, not exactly my thing, but I can't totally discredit it. Check them out at www.flyingflyingflying.com.

Indeed.

mp3s: Kyrgyz - Hirzur Vadisi(Peaceful Valley)
The Blithe Sons - We Walk The Young Earth(from We Walk The Young Earth)

Listen to a few samples of August Born tracks on the Boomkat Website(sorry, being lazy, haven't ripped it yet)

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Big A little a


Oh man Brooklyn... just what is your deal exactly? Do people just come to you to make awesome music and jam and have a good time? Oh yeah, they do. Hrm. Aa is doing just that(living in Brooklyn and jamming that is), and they're doing it incredibly well.

Aa is 5 guys making totally percussive based jams, complete with effected drums and shouted vocals. Not quite noise and not quite rock, it's some of the wildest music to witness, or at least as far as I can tell from the video on their myspace. Next weekend they're having a show at the Syrup Room in Williamsburg East Industrial Park, and I'll be there to witness them for myself and so should you. Check out their myspace for mp3s and a really awesome video. Their website has a full discography, and keep an eye out for a new album(which a friend tells me is titled 2000) on Narnack Records, as well as a few splits on Kill Shaman and Deathbomb Arc.


Friday, February 10, 2006

Gem of the Past


There are some musicians who seem to intentionally stay obscure, only wanting their music to be heard by those who try very hard to find it. Virginia Astley certainly is one of these. Making music from 1983-96, her albums were almost all sold in Japan on very limited vinyl editions. Now it's almost impossible to find any of her music, and I doubt that she has any objection to people downloading it since almost everything she's done is out of print or impossible to find without paying crazy prices or getting incredibly lucky in a record store.

I first heard Astley on a mix a friend gave me, and from that one track I was immediately entranced. Astley makes music that feels like a garden on a warm spring day, with beautiful, minimal instrumentation and lush melodies. It awakes a range of emotions, from joy to something so beautiful it's sad. I only have her debut, From Gardens Where We Feel Secure, but apparently her later stuff is somewhat more synthesized and employs vocal which can be very dark. The debut is instrumental and soothing, and really incredible to listen to. If you can find it online it's a must download. But for now here a few tracks off that debut... if you have anything else by her PLEASE contact me.

mp3s: Virginia Astley - From Gardens Where We Feel Secure
Virginia Astley - It's Too Hot To sleep
Virginia Astley - Summer of Their Dreams

The Ectophiles guide to Virginia Astley

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Lucky Kitchen/Alejandra & Aeron

Certain artists leave a truly lasting impression upon the initial listen. It has to be special and the sound truly has to mean something, but it's possible. A few days ago when I listened to the first Alejandra & Aeron track off their album Be Mine, I knew I had found music which really meant something to me. Alejandra & Aeron are Alejandra Salinas and Aeron Bergman, sound artists who make use of interviews, field recordings, advanced electronics and simple tone. What they make is beautiful and sweet, innocent and incadacent, even ephemereal at times. Yet the beautiful soundscapes and songs that A&A create also feel heavier than any physical weight. They take you to another place where every emotion is discarded and you are refurbished with a new state of being, if only temporarily. From what I've heard, these two really can do no wrong.

A&A also run the independent sound art/avant-garde label Lucky Kitchen. Lucky Kitchen features artists who specialize in field recordings, ambience, free jazz, electronic art, essentially running the gamut of the experimental and avant. Although I have not had the chance to hear any of the other artists besides A&A on LK, I plan on purchasing some of their catalog in the near future, and I suggest you do to.

Alejandra & Aeron get my highest recommendation and I encourage you to check out the audio samples, because it will be worth your time.

mp3s: Alejandra & Aeron - Stefi at 14, love at first sight(from Be Mine)
Alejandra & Aeron - Crush(from Be Mine)
Alejandra & Aeron - Bernard as a kid in Ghana, loving through language(from Be Mine)
Alejandra & Aeron - Haircut(from Porto)
Alejandra & Aeron - Lavadouro(from Porto)
Alejandra & Aeron - Domingos Plays Caviquinho(from Porto)
Alejandra & Aeron - Broa de Avintes(from Porto)