Monday, June 14, 2004

New release on the Broken Face imprint
I am not going to reveal too much at this early stage but it looks like The Broken Face label will be involved in a new release sometime during 2004. The band in question is one of my current favorites and to say I am excited about all this is probably the understatement of the year. Stay tuned for further details as things progress.


Friday, June 11, 2004

Playlist #4
Islaja ”Meritie” CD (Fonal)
Kemialliset Ystävät ”Alkuhärkä” (Fonal)
Marissa Nadler ”Ballads of Living and Dying” CD-R (Self-released)
Langtry ”As Upon the Road Thereto” CD (Soft Abuse)
Glenn Jones ”This Is the Wind That Blows It Out” CD (Strange Attractors)
Sagor & Swing ”Orgelplaneten” CD (Häpna)
The Green Pajamas ”Essence of Carol” CD EP (Luna Music)
Eric Barber ”Maybeck Constructions” CD (pfMentum)
Dreamcatcher ”…but now” mp3


Friday, June 04, 2004

My admiration of Finnish underground music just swells every single day, and one of the key reasons for this reaching way beyond just another crush are the consistently stunning (although criminally limited) releases from psych-folk-space-drone-noise ensemble Avarus. Taking cues from pretty much every sonic vista that the Broken Face refers to as home offers the perfect foundation for my affection to flourish. What in the beginning seemed like another stumbling psych-folk outfit along the lines of the mighty Tower Recordings and the more tribal No Neck Blues Band has in a short time developed into something a whole lot more complex. When picking up your first Avarus release you’re as likely to find yourself digging motorik free rock jams as getting your head stuck in a never-ending spin of rhythmic mysticism and hypnotism. I can already hear the skeptics asking, what’s new about all this?, as bands like Ash Ra Tempel and Harvester/International Harvester already explored similar terrain back in the early ‘70s. Well, for a start, these guys are Finnish, and I'm not really sure how to explain it, but you really can tell. There's no way this could have been recorded in Germany, or in Sweden for that matter, but what’s even more important is that this is here and now and definitely no retro trip back to the commune. Sure they’ve studied the trippier sides of late-'60s/early ’70s psychedelia thoroughly, but there is something modern and demented about all this that feels especially relevant these days. A fucked-up world is inevitably the birthplace for such surreal musical journeys and boarding Avarus’ vessle through historic times and into the present certainly offers a different projection of all that madness. To find out where they’re coming from and where they might be heading in the future make sure to check out any of their shows on the current European tour. Check the Lal Lal Lal website for dates.


Thursday, June 03, 2004

At one time I had this grandiose idea of writing a series of articles reflecting on the burgeoning number of interesting Australian sound makers. And since I still have some ideas buried under a thick layer of commitments and real-life responsibilities I am not going to reveal too much at this point. While waiting for such an article to come true don’t hesitate to buy everything with these tags on the back…

Nature Strip
Kindling and Shytone (no websites that I am aware of)

Any other recommendations when it comes to fine underground labels from downunder?


Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Eric Barber “Maybeck Constructions (pfMentum)
Do you ever enter a state of mind where you’re just not up to listening to a certain kind of music? I do and the physical results around the Broken Face residence has recently been a growing tower of improv CDs that I haven’t even listened through one single time. What often happens when I actually listen is that I wonder where the hell my mind was at for taking so long to give the discs in question a fair chance. One such album is Eric Barber’s Maybeck Constructions on pfMentum. It’s an entirely improvised set of saxophone pieces which only briefly flows into obvious eruptions but most of the time rather concentrates on moving things forward with small gestures and a deconstructive way of putting multi-directional rhythms together to a functioning (or non-functioning depending on who you ask) whole. Barber brings a genre-defying approach to music and it’s with great pleasure that I can sense influences ranging from sheer improv and free jazz to Balkan and Indian music in his way of playing the saxophone. It’s not a remarkable record all the way through but has enough unexpected sonic twists as well as a surprisingly strong sense for composition to find its way back to the stereo more than twice.


Tuesday, June 01, 2004

The latest update of the QRD ’zine includes among other things an interview with former Broken Face editor, Mats Gustafsson. Feel free to check it out.