Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Rest easy, Benoit Sonnette

Don't know how many of you knew Benoit from Textile Records, but just
received this terrible news...

Dear Friends, Textile partners

I'm really sad to announce that Benoit died yesterday at the Pitié Salpétrière Hospital in Paris after a lengthy fight with cancer. He passed away very peacefully surrounded by friends and family. Benoit was 32 years old.

Benoit founded Textile Rds 5 years ago. His label and people he worked with were a really important thing in his life. When I saw him for the last time last week, we spoke about Textile, he was always thinking about new releases, new bands, >and was always wondering how were the musicians, if I had news about them and if everything was ok for them. Everything was possible with Benoit, working 8hours a day in his daily job, booking some gigs in the evening, doing 400km to bring me some records!! He was always smiling, joking, and was always cheering us up. All this hard work was about one goal, hang out with people he loved, and work with people who inspired him.

>Benoit was not a business partner for me, he was my best friend. And I've probably didn't tell him enough how wonderfull he was and how much he was loved by us. I loved him dearly and will miss terribly.Textile will never be the same without you Ben.

My heart breaks for Agnes and their little baby Nicolas



Saturday, January 27, 2007

Moodring s/t (Nillacat)

Portland, Oregon musicians Mae Starr and Monte Trent Allen construct toxic clusters and thick webs of grainy ambience and psychedelic primitivism under the Moodring moniker. The opening ”Barcelona” is an entrancing funereal drone that borders almost industrial soundscapes, while “Seer” offers glacial, primitive noise. The remaining two tracks of this hand-made 3” CD-R are slightly less bent and offers reflection and even collage-like grooves rather than haunting vibes. All in all impressive sound portals to the inner mind. Contact Nillacat though rllrbll@yahoo.com.


Thursday, January 25, 2007

Dream Magazine #7

Dream Magazine number 7 features a wonderful archival interview with the late great Ivor Cutler conducted by John Cavanagh (Phosphene/BBC), Mats Gustafsson talked to Lanterns and Antony Milton of PseudoArcana. Steve Sawada interviewed the legendary Linda Perhacs, Lee Jackson wrote about and chatted with Josephine Foster, Ned Raggett covered Yellow6, George Parsons interviewed Henry Flynt, Larkin Grimm, Turkish band Ayyuka, Loren Connors, Mayo Thompson of Red Krayola, Bert Jansch, Absalom, P.G. Six, Function, The Left Outsides, The Moon Upstairs, Sharron Kraus, St. Mary’s, Tor Lundvall, Powell St. John (songwriter for 13th Floor Elevators, Mother Earth, Janis Joplin, etc.) , Mark Brend of Fariña, and Frans de Waard and Freek Kinkelaar of Beequeen.

The complimentary CD features previously unreleased music by: Function, Lumeny, Tor Lundvall, Adrian Crowley, Crashing Dreams, Mike Tamburo, Keenan Lawler, Sharron Kraus, the Kitchen Cynics, the Left Outsides, Yellow6, Fariña, the Moon Upstairs, St. Mary’s, Freiband, and Absalom.

96 pages $8 cover price,
$10 postpaid in the U.S.

George Parsons
Dream Magazine
P.O. Box 2027
Nevada City, CA95959-1941


Get it, folks!!


Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Fabio Orsi South of Me (Foxglove)
Taiga Remains Ribbons of Dust (Students of Decay)
Taiga Remains Ribbons of Dust pt 2 (Students of Decay)

There’s no secret that I love the 3” format, and these three releases reminds me exactly why that is. There’s something so concise about 20 minutes of music. As a musician you simply have to focus more than in the full-length format to get the message told. Add to all this that there seems to be a great tradition amongst labels that releases 3” discs to pay a lot of attention to the artwork as well and you got me hooked.

Italian Fabio Orsi’s South of Me is no exception and its organic drones, lulling soundscapes and all sorts of repetitious tones are also something well worth writing home about. Gentle guitar washes and cerebral organ notes hangs beautifully in the air like a flock of birds heading south. This is the kind of music that will have you staring at the stars, watch the tiny movements of a river meandering through pastoral farmlands or just watching drifting clouds for hours and hours. Well, 20 minutes that is.

We have praised Taiga Remains (the solo moniker of Cincinnati, Ohio’s Alex Cobb who runs the Students Of Decay label) before and these two discs will do nothing but increase my appreciation. Dense clusters of vibrating guitar drones and drawn-out tones construct an almost Popol Vuh-like atmosphere, something wondrous and spiritual, a rarely seen hazy grace that desperately needs to be heard.


Monday, January 22, 2007

2006 at Deep Water

Deep Water has published it's end of 2006 round-up. If you fancy reading Kevin Moist, Lee Jackson, Tony Dale and myself blathering on about the year that was, check it out here: http://www.dwacres.com/


Saturday, January 20, 2007

Tarentel Live Edits: Natoma (Root Strata)
Tarentel Home Ruckus (Root Strata)

I have to admit that my interest in Tarentel has gradually decreased after 2001’s phenomenal The Order of Things. That’s until I heard this masterfully packaged live disc, apparently the first in a row of live documents on the Root Strata imprint.

This disc is a muffled manifestation of minimal piano and hypnotic jazz flourishes meeting all kinds of guitar abstraction, ranging from the tranquilizing to the frazzled. Aural darkness doesn't really do them justice; this one holds the tension of standing on that cliff, deciding whether to stay or to take the big jump into nothingness. Beauty and tension walks hand in hand and in that way this is one of the finest discs I’ve heard in terms of illustrating what life really is like.

Live Edits: Natoma finds the band exploring the wider spaces between minimalism and free jazz with compelling and unique results. Especially satisfying is the attention for details and the haunting textures present in its most glacial moments but to be honest everything here brings something interesting to the table, and more often then not the final results amaze. Here’s a 2006 release that should have been on my end of the year list if I had written it today.

Whilst shopping from Root Strata make sure to also grab a copy of Tarentel’s Home Ruckus LP. Not only because it’s lovely packaged but because it’s flickering atmosphere is so hypnotizing and soothing for the soul. Given the history of this band these two recordings feel like lost, nearly forgotten gems from vault but no matter when and where these were done it gives us hope of what is to come. Highly recommended.


Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Javelin Oh Centra (Lal Lal Lal)

One of the great things with moving has been that I’ve been able to find a more prominent position for the vinyl player and its accompanying music collection. As a result I’ve found myself listening a great deal more to vinyl recently and the most recent fave is easily this tasty bit of Providence music from the always-impressive Lal Lal Lal imprint. Fucked up beats and spliced samples make up a surprisingly groovy and goofy 7” that I just don’t seem to be able to get too much of.

After the goldrush #21

Things have been insanely busy and given the somewhat chaotic situation here at the moment you’ll have to excuse me for being a bit rushed in my writings. But I still wanted to give the thumbs up for a few releases I’ve heard the last cpl of months. Here we go:

Spires that in the Sunset Rise did an amazing performance at Terrastock 6 and everything I’ve heard from these eclectic, pagan-inspired and oh so damaged free folk queens have been top class. That’s very much the case with their most recent outing for Secret Eye as well. Although This Is Fire bears traces of their experimental past this one strikes me as richer, more traditional and direct. Probably a great place for newcomers. The same goes for Larkin Grimm’s The Last Tree, another potent contribution to a folk scene where it’s becoming harder and harder to find the true treasures among all the trash. Rustic and fierce folk all draped in moss and forested morning mist.

It took me a few listens to fully enjoy the neo psych of the Lucky Bishops’ Unexpect the Expected (Camera Obscura) but when the Gorky Zygotic Mynci-like pop sensibilities and harmonies takes a quick right at prog avenue there’s simply no turning back. Add to all this a considerable dose of psychedelic folk rock ingredients and power pop characteristics and you got yourself a record it’s easy to get addicted to. The same goes for Anton Barbeau’s In the Village of the Apple Sun (Four-Way Records) which was an inch away to make it to my end of the year list of 2006 (published elsewhere any day now). This disc is overflowing with the same kind of classic old school power pop songs that characterized this Sacramento musician’s debut album but it’s at the same time as much about British psychedelia and regularly ornamented with all sorts of experimental tendencies. Quirky and surrealistic lyrics are just the icing of the cake of this highly recommended disc. I almost feel ashamed for not writing an entire page about this fabulous collection of songs but I just don’t have the time right now. Just pick it up, ok?

Howlin’ Magic s/t (Azul Discográfica)

Some months back we praised a self-released and very limited CD-R from Howlin’ Magic. Luckily we were not the only one that liked this guy’s music as it’s now been reissued by New York label Azul Discográfica. Here’s what we wrote about the CD-R:

What we get from this Californian one-man ensemble is a kind of ferocious guitar noise that probably is equally inspired by the screeching guitar fuzz of Japanese High Rise and the Dead C’s towering feedback explorations. That being said, this is brain-melting distortion, maniacal percussion, whooshing electronics and howling magic at its very best. Try to listen to this disk in headphones and you’ll find yourself in the middle of a tunnel packed with all your regular nightmares, all presented to you at the same time and at high speed. Send a note to azuldiscografica@gmail.com if this sounds like your cup of tea.


Sunday, January 14, 2007

Miriam Erika Gustafsson
We're pleased to announce the arrival of Miriam Erika Gustafsson. She saw the light of the day (well, since it was at 1AM it was to be honest not that light...) on January 12th. Everything went smoothly and both Anna and Miriam are already at the top of their game.

Some important numbers:Weight: 4,474 kg
Length: 53 cm

all the best,
Mats, Anna, Katja and Miriam