Monday, November 29, 2004


Just a quick note to let you all know that I am in Australia right now. 25 degrees and sun! Do I sense some jealousness here and there? Take care everone...


Friday, November 26, 2004

Instal 04
16-17 october @ the arches, glasgow

This is an event I'd love to pay a visit...

"Equal parts live music, avant-garde cinema and visual art, KYTN is a celebration of artists whose vision transgresses traditional boundaries of media or genre; be that cinematic auteurs with notions of synaesthesic noise or free folk hipsters with a penchant for radical moving imagery, KYTN offers a unique insight into some of the most exciting experiments in performance and cinema today.

Performances include AMM+ Malcolm Le Grice, Mirror w/ a film by Bill Morrison, Thuja + Keith Evans, a Charlemagne Palestine film programme, Text of Light, Tower Recordings, La Cellule d'Intervention Metamkine, Jürgen Reble + Thomas Köner and Sachiko M + Anthony McCall plus a wide-ranging selection of experimental celluloid magic."

More information: www.killyourtimidnotion.org


Thursday, November 25, 2004

Råd Kjetil & the Loving Eye of the God S/t
(Goddamn I’m a Countryman Records)

It’s seems like the Spacious Mind-related Goddamn I’m a Countryman imprint can do nothing wrong. The lastest cosmic addition to their already impressive catalogue is by no means an expception, as the inward-spiraling darkness of the drift-scapes presented on Råd Kjetil & the Loving Eye of the God’s debut album, transcends most of today's musical boundaries and limitations.

The lengthy opening number ”Now Cover Your Body With Black Light” sets the reflective and mellow atmosphere right away with tasteful acoustic guitar work placed against a tapestry of abstract keyboard washes. In “I Dauflom” the flickering dronescapes move like dark cosmic clouds across a dense galactic plane and I can pretty much guarantee that you’ll find yourself sucked into this detailed aural maze before you know it. It creates a dark and even foreboding feel but what’s really scary is that the following “They Use To Be Like Children, Carefree…Always Happy And Laughing” is even better. It’s a slow transporting floater laced with a fair dose of forested beauty and ethnicity. The track is not really going anywhere but I am comfortable right here as long as it continues to weave its mysterious aural web so beautifully. “Dal-Jani Väta” starts somewhere deep down in the ocean of static drones but soon swells into a pleasingly authentic lysergic psych jam that is likely to leave you with the mouth wide open. The closing “Deleirs Dess” finds the band weaving phosphorescent webs of glowing beauty and spiritual release, before settling down to a peculiarly dissolving space whisper. All in all we get to hear a deep sound with an amazing ear for detail, so carefully crafted and impeccably performed that it’s hard to not just lay back and listen in stunned wonder. Fans of the Spacious Mind, Discolor and fellow space/folk/psych/drone/minimalism explorers will love this one to death.


Wednesday, November 24, 2004

After the goldrush

Here’s a short rundown of things that have arrived at the Broken Face headquarters in the last cpl of weeks. First out is the twisted banjo world of Uncle Woody Sullender and his Nothing Is Certain But Death album on the Dead Ceo imprint. Just like the title indicates, this is an album that moves across unexplored territories with its unexpected twists and turns. Sullender unleashes a myriad of takes on how to play the banjo and the ones expected forested Appalachian folk will only partly find what they’re looking for. The banjo is indiscriminately scraped, plucked, hit or simply played more traditionally and the results walk across improvised folk, free jazz, noise as well as drone terrains. As a whole, the album works like an ocean of sounds that has different characteristics depending on where you decide to dive in. That being said, this disc doesn’t necessarily hold together all the way through but broken down to pieces it’s a very interesting and rewarding listen.

Austrian Peter Rehberg (AKA Pita) is back with his fourth album, this one on the always-impressive Stockholm label Häpna. Get Off pulls you in quietly with drones and disturbing clicks and cracks but don’t do the same mistake as I did and turn up the volume to hear every detail as things soon explode into a rousing blast of highest possible noise caliber. Over the course of the disc’s 35 minutes Pita turns on a pretty fantastic drone machine that conjures spacious yet harsh sounds, which land somewhere in the thermal pools between drone and noise. But it’s always much more spacious and mysterious to be mistaken for the plain shit that is most noise today. Although remaining on the difficult side of fringe music, this one still works like balsam for the warped mind, and its organic qualities are as mesmerizing as they are surprising.

Norwegian one-man combo Short Circuits is similar to Pita in the regard that he (Vegard Waske) utilizes lots of electronics to create sounds and soundscapes that manage to be droney, noisy and full of unrestrained energy at the same time. The main difference is that the Rebel Sound of Hate & Fucking 7” (Electro Policy Sound) is decidedly more rhythmic and at times even melodious. But don’t get me wrong, this ‘in your face’ electronica attack doesn’t have an awful lot to do with traditional song structures. This is on the contrary another fascinating addition to the ever-expanding range of Norwegian musicians that explore the experimental side of things.

Floorian’s (out of Cleveland) What the Buzzing is something completely different with its spellbinding and sometimes catchy psych rock songs. Imagine a mix of My Blood Valentine/Spacemen 3 era late ‘80s psych, Pink Floyd, build up rock a la Mogwai and New Zealand pop and you’re in the right ballpark. It could be argued that Floorian’s hallucinogenic, highly atmospheric and feedback-laced take on pop/rock has been heard before but when performed with this sort of talent I am not the one that’s going to complain.


Tuesday, November 23, 2004


I was recently asked to compile a list of my favorite albums from year 2000 and onward. It took about five seconds before I realized that it’s an impossible task. But at this very minute my list looks like this…

1. Six Organs of Admittance “Dark Noontide” (Holy Mountain)
2. Pelt “Ayahuasca” (VHF)
3. Alastair Galbraith “Cry” (Emperor Jones)
4. Jack Rose “Red Horse, White Mule” (Eclipse)
5. Hala Strana ”S/t” (Emperor Jones)
6. Tom Carter “Monument” CD (Wholly Other)
7. Ponys “Shishimumu” (Time-Lag)
8. Jackie-O-Motherfucker “Fig. 5” (Road Cone)
9. The Lost Domain “Something Is…” (Rhizome)
10. Pärsson Sound “S/t” (Subliminal Sounds)
11. Volebeats “Mosquito Spiral” (Blue Rose)
12. Hush Arbors "Since We Have Fallen" (Digitalis)
13. Of “The Infants Paths” (Jewelled Antler)
14. Acid Mothers Temple “La Novia” (Eclipse)
15. Charalambides "Joy Shapes" (Kranky)
16. Kemialliset Ystävät “Kellaru Juniversumi” (Fonal)
17. Tower Recordings “Folk Scene” (Shrat Field)
18. Oddfellows Casino “Yellow Bellied Wonderland” (Pickled Egg)
19. Sunroof! “Bliss” (VHF)
20. Bardo Pond “Dilate” (Matador)


Thursday, November 18, 2004

Some comments about the Lost Domain disc…

"Six tracks in thirty eight minutes; but it's all fully saturated and quite vivid in an ectoplasmic way. This remarkable band out of Brisbane, Australia have been slowly stirring the cultural dust for some time, though little has sifted through to the ears of many who would, and will enjoy what they experience here. Mats and Brad of their respective labels have joined forces to to unleash this strange outfit upon the wider unsuspecting world. Spacious whispery psychic distances, blurring instrumental interacations, like streams of varicolored paint running in a river. Ghostly fogbanks and gradually evolving soundscapes are carved out of an array of real and unreal instruments. When there are vocals it's akin to some sort of Jandek with full band form of muted narrative telepathy. There are also distinct elements of free jazz, acoustic folk, science fiction, industrial desolation, warm neon lights, fading sunsets, and empathic weather. Opening and closing with two different and radical reconsiderations of John Lee Hooker's The Waterfront. This is a subtle, nuanced and deeply rewarding listening experience."

“This is a beautiful record full of emotion. You can taste the sea-spray as it plays. Fantastic stuff.”

“If a tree falls in a forest when no one is around, does it make a sound? It would appear that this group of Australian woodsmen have been felling the metaphorical trees for some time now. It's good new for us then that we are finally allowed to hear the amazing sound that they make, as this exceptional album falls sonically somewhere between the lands between the No-Neck Blues Band and the Art Ensemble of Chicago, which can only be a good thing. Guitars, percussion, saxophone, pocket trumpet, organ and violin sit alongside a whole bunch of other weird and wonderful instrumentation in the Lost Domain's vast arsenal of sounds and the end result sees elements of free-jazz, folk, noise and drone combine to form an undeniably pleasing whole.”

“A beautiful listen, a lot for the money and it’s overall really nice to see the development since Something Is…”

“The Lost Domain's Sailor, Home from the Sea is a mysterious reverie. Even if some names come to my mind (Jewelled Antler stuff, Jackie-O, Scott Tuma... for example), it's a very singular music.”

“really beautiful”

“The collective from Brisbane have been weaving their freeform magic for over a decade but this is their first release outside of Australia: mysterious windswept drones, hushed devotional organ, the distant rumble of saxophone, the rambling preacher murmurs in the last track; beautiful and spellbinding folk/jazz/drone.”

"......i just finished listening to 'the lost domain'........very nice..more mellow than i was expecting......i almost drifted off there .....perfect for a hot afternoon"

“The ones who are familiar with the Broken Face fanzine don’t want to miss the fact that they’re re-activating their label in order to release the new album from Brisbane ensemble The Lost Domain. We were blown away by "Something Is…" and don’t hesitate to recommend this essential item as much. Guitars, organ, percussion, violin and pocket trumpet is placed side by side with weird and wonderful sounds, seemingly taken from another world. This is the kind of music that is impossibly to categorize, but takes elements from folk, new folk, free jazz, avant-garde and drones. I guess it’s natural to link this to a lot of what Glenn Donaldson is doing, but also No Neck Blues Band and the freeest part of the Art Ensemble Of Chicago repertoire should be seen as references. Recommended.”

"the lost domain cd is very nice, super mellow..."

“Just a quick word to say I GOT IT (the Lost Domain) and it is really a trip. I've listened to it three times mow and it keeps on unfolding like some weird series of spooky ghost stories made out of sound, if Jandek had a full and eloquent telepathic backing band maybe...”

“Gentle, pastoral meditations on the sea & sky …. drifting through the etheric solitude of this Lost (& ghostly) Domain; bookended by 2 unearthly tributes to John Lee Hooker’s “The Waterfront”. If this album is setting the tone for further releases on Broken Face Recordings and Digital Industries, bring it all on !!!”


Friday, November 12, 2004

The Ivytree Winged Leaves (Catsup Plate)

San Francisco musician Glenn Donaldson has already demonstrated his musical abilities in favorite bands such as Mirza, Knit Separates, Thuja, Blithe Sons and Skygreen Leopards but he has also released solo material under the Birdtree moniker. His new solo release could be mistaken as a Birdtree release as it blends the same kind of warm, organic arrangements with intoxicating field recordings and subdued collages but this time out he has chosen to call himself the Ivytree. Some people probably think it would be a good idea to keep all solo projects under one moniker as it might confuse people, but as far myself is concerned I don’t really care if it’s confusing or not as long as the end results are this wondrous. Winged Leaves is packed with elegantly crafted outsider psych/folk numbers that is more traditional than most fellow Jewelled Antler combos but by no means less interesting. Wonderfully focused and distilled, yet free acoustic folk songs wrestle gently with found sounds, drones and field recordings and make up an eerie sound world, which will hit you deep with its beautiful rainbow of emotions.

One thing that is particularly impressive is how it’s bind together to one functioning whole. It almost feels like an insult when you have to turn the stereo off before you’ve listened to all tracks in one sitting. It’s all like a dreamy and surreal fairy-tale that won’t make sense until you’ve absorbed it all. If it weren't for the fact that The Ivytree’s Winged Leaves is such a low-key release, I wouldn't be surprised to see this stunning album at the top of at least a dozen 2004 sum ups. I know where it will be when it’s time to write my own.


Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Playlist #11
Tanakh s/t (Alien8)
The Ivytree Winged Leaves (Catsup Plate)
Dead Raven Choir Death to Dead Wolves (Jewelled Antler)
Various Artists A Houseguest's Wish (Words On Music)
Ny Akustik s/t (Hypermusic.net)
Mats Gustafsson & Sonic Youth Hidros 3 (Smalltown Supersound)
Thurston Moore/My Cat Is An Alien s/t (Opax /Very Friendly)
Carter & Arn/The Moglass Snake-Tounged Swallow-Tailed (Nexsound)
Xenis Emputae Travelling Band New Etheric Muse (Larkfall)
The Lost Domain Sailor, Home from the Sea (Broken Face/Digitalis)


Monday, November 08, 2004

Dead Raven Choir Death to Dead Wolves (Jewelled Antler)
My feelings about Dead Raven Choir’s barbaric psych-folk have always been somewhat mixed but if there is one release that despite its fractured, damaged and fucked up structures really works as a whole it got to be this one for the highly-esteemed Jewelled Antler label. Imagine a metal fan finding his way to the wonderful world of bleak free folk and this is what it might sound like. The music is at times disturbingly raw and overly melodramatic, but at other occasions beautifully mysterious and pleasantly loose. Poland born (now living in Texas) Smolken AKA Dead Raven Choir walks the the thin line where humor, pretention and shadowy forest imagery come to meet and although it’s hardly for everyone I still find myself returning to this one time after time.