Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Welcome to the Lost Domain
I am not really sure how it happened but my interest for new Australian underground music has reached some sort of climax in the last cpl of months. One starting point was probably to hear the criminally overlooked Australian guitar sculptor Chris Smith for the first time, but that was quite a few years ago now so I am not really sure Chris is the one to blame. Then it’s probably more likely that it has something to do with the chance to dive deep into the pool of mysterious sounds on Adelaide imprint Rhizome. Everything these guys release is of such consistent quality that they’re all worthwhile, but nothing really beats The Lost Domain out of Brisbane. I have already interviewed the band for a feature in an upcoming issue of Dream Magazine so I am not going to reveal too much but rather reprint a short review I once wrote about their quite recent Something Is… album on Rhizome. Brilliant stuff!

I wish there was room to print the entire liner notes that accompany The Lost Domain's mysterious Something Is…, as they perfectly capture the intoxicating serenity of this recording. Imagine what it would sound like if the muted wailing of the desolate wind over some abandoned cabin in the forest would turn into a haunted piece of music, and you're starting to grasp how amazed you'll be by these epic folk/jazz improvisations. The instruments in action include pocket-trumpet, nine-string guitar, reed pipes, weather effects, pennywhistle, bamboo flute, potato pipe, guitars, harmonica, organs, drums, saxophone, water, keys, theremin, vocals, percussion and probably more, and it's hard to imagine any music with this many components sounding this unified. There's an absolutely stunning low-key groove and spiritual resonance to the proceedings that make them sound, if not ancient, at least really old. To put all this in some sort of context I guess you could say that they sound like No Neck Blues Band played in slow motion or maybe Avarus on Valium.

As time is running short for me I'll finish this review with a few lines from the aforementioned liner notes: "The mysterious music seemed to echo from a far corner of the space, drawing him on. As he approached he now noticed five musicians bent over instruments of sound. And even as they played separately, the sound become one, as though forged in the same mind. His forehead again pulsed and he looked to the cobble-stoned floor, a small shining disc lay at his feet. He gathered the disc, pressed it into the palm of his hand and saw that it was inscribed with the eye he had earlier beheld. And though he knew not the tongue of this strange music nor mystery of the talisman, he felt at once beckoned. Welcome to the lost domain."


Thursday, March 25, 2004

Playlist #1
What could possibly be a better way to start all this than with the current playlist from Vagnhärad, Sweden?

The One Ensemble of Daniel Padden “Owl of Fives” CD (Textile Records)
Charalambides “Joy Shapes” CD (Kranky)
Scatter “Surprising Sing Stupendous Love” CD (Pickled Egg)
Tinsel "Stitches of Light" CD-R (Keyhole)
Skygreen Leopards “One Thousand Bird Ceremony” CD (Soft Abuse)
Black Forest / Black Sea “Forcefields and Constellations” CD (BlueSanct)
The Lost Domain “Something Is…” CD-R (Rhizome)
Stuart Busby ”Breathe” 3" CD-R (Kindling)
Leighton Craig / Eugene Carchesio 3" CD-R (Kindling)
Ghost “Hypnotic Underworld” CD (Drag City)
Moon Trotskij “I Fell But Andromeda Rose To The Stars” CD (Goddamn I Am...)
Phosphene “Projection” CD (Secret Eye)
Jens Lekman “Maple Leaves” CD EP (Secretly Canadian)
Douglas Ferguson “Lexical Passages” 2CD (Evelyn Records)
Steffen Basho-Junghans “7 Books” CD (Strange Attractors Audio House)
Dead Letters Spell Out Dead Words “11 Instances...” CD (Ideal)

I guess this is the time when I should have this grand master plan regarding what I’d like to write about on this blog, and maybe I do but that’ll be my secret for a little longer. I’ll just settle with saying that I’m going to write about the stuff that I care about, things that can stir the soul and open the mind, and in some cases just flat-out blow me away. In many cases that means the world of peripheral sounds and music on the fringe but it's really as likely that I write about current happenings in my neck of the woods.