Archive for May, 2012
“Unlike most modern pop, they offer not a palliative but an aural solution to contemporary problems. Both in their constitution – two women and two men – and their records – both noise and music – they suggest not only a fusion of apparent opposites but a way through the chaos that is today’s emotional and physical reality. Through their profound, almost environmental, acceptance of confusion they make a different future conceivable”
Another slab of degraded digital detritus from connect_icut. This one is from an upcoming album called Blonde Sound. Watch this space for more details.
You may recall the enthusiasm this here blog expressed for Kelvox1’s Grazed Red when it emerged as a free download release last year. (You may also remember this here blog’s embarrassing inability to spell the band’s name correctly but we’ll just gloss over that.) That download disappeared from the Internet pretty quickly and a hard-copy release seemed to be on the cards. And just recently, Grazed Red re-emerged as an LP on New Jersey’s Aagoo Records.
Listening to this album as a free download, it was hard not to to be impressed by its sophistication – electronically-enhanced avant rock on a truly epic scale. Hearing Grazed Red again as a fancy-pants vinyl LP puts it into a different context; throwing into sharp relief the fact that it is, in many ways, a very primitive recording. Lo-fi murk abounds. The vocals, in particular, sound choked by the spores of practice-room mould and mildew. It’s the tension between Kelvox1’s clear artistic ambitions and the lo-fi insouciance of the way Grazed Red is delivered that makes it such a compelling, multi-dimensional listen.
This same tension is very much present on the latest album from Brooklyn’s Father Murphy, another recent Aagoo release (and while we’re at it, on the phenomenal new Woebot album too). Like the Kelvox1 album, Anyway, Your Children Will Deny It is a darkly enigmatic piece of work. There’s a slightly gothy, theatrical edge to this one, so comparisons with Swans, Virgin Prunes and Einsturzende Neubauten make sense.
However, this surprisingly normal-looking three-piece does a pretty good job of not sounding quite like anyone else. Even better, it’s occasionally hard to tell what instruments or electronics are being used to produce the sounds on Anyway… (although online evidence suggests a fairly simple guitar/keyboards/drums line-up).
Even, even betterer, this album is among the select breed of long-players that are actually short enough to play at 45RPM (Meat Puppets II and Sylvain Chauveau’s Singular Forms spring to mind as other great examples). The point is: these guys have artistic ambition to spare but they also know how to be concise.
Aagoo is a new name to the Bubblegum Cage III. But on this evidence, the label is doing extremely good work. Head over to its Web store immediately and buy these albums!
(Oh and Father Murphy is coming to Vancouver later this month but the show ‘s at the Biltmore, so fuck that.)
Two compilation CDs for your mother because you forgot to buy here flowers.
Umm… You might not want to show her that video, though.
1. Tim Hardin – “Reason to Believe”
2. Hank Williams – “The Angel of Death”
3. The Byrds – “Here Without You”
4. Mike Nesmith and The First National Band – “Joanne”
5. Joni Mitchell – “I Don’t Know Where I Stand”
6. Kenny Rogers and The First Edition – “Just Dropped In”
7. Tim Buckley – “Song to the Siren”
8. Emmylou Harris – “Boulder to Birmingham”
9. Richie Havens – “High Flyin’ Bird”
10. John Martyn – “May You Never”
11. Tom Waits – “Downtown Train”
12. The Rolling Stones – “Dead Flowers”
13. Fleetwood Mac – “Rhiannon”
14. Townes Van Zandt – “Pancho and Lefty”
15. Gram Parsons – “Return of the Grievous Angel”
16. Bruce Springsteen – “Born to Run”
17. Joanna Newsom – “Soft as Chalk”
18. John Fahey – “When the Catfish is in Bloom”
1. Creedence Clearwater Revival – “Lookin’ Out My Back Door”
2. Palace Brothers – “I am a Cinematographer”
3, Tim Hardin – “If I Were a Carpenter”
4. Scott Walker – “Duchess”
5. The International Submarine Band – “Blue Eyes”
6. Bob Dylan – “Love Minus Zero/No Limit”
7. Leonard Cohen – “There is a War”
8. Loudon Wainwright III – “Be Careful There’s a Baby in the House”
9. Neil Young – “After the Gold Rush”
10. Meat Puppets – “Up on the Sun”
11. Bongwater – “The Drum”
12. Low – “Sunflower”
13. American Music Club – “Fearless”
14. Emmylou Harris – “Pancho & Lefty”
15. Townes Van Zandt – “Dead Flowers”
16. Buffy Sainte-Marie – “Adam”
17. Tim Buckley – “Dream Letter”
18. The Grateful Dead – “Box of Rain”