microphones in the trees: August 2006

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

los combates cotidianos


[...]durante mucho tiempo, confundí al artista con su obra. en etapas sucesivas, gracias al psicoanálisis, he llegado a disociarlos de una forma clara: se puede ser un gran artista y un cabrón... una persona fea puede hacer cosas muy hermosas. es posible captar en el papel toda la belleza del mundo sin llegar a forma parte de ella... resulta extraño. ¿cómo puede verse uno tan superado por lo que hace? ahora bien, si la obra es mejor que el artista, ¿cómo es que no lo mejora? la mano roza lo divino mientras los pies chapotean en la mediocridad... puedes preferir el uno al otro, pero el mensajero y el mensaje rara vez se funden... mi carnicero es un tipo abominable, pero su jamón de pata negra es una delicia... el arte y la charcutería. [...]
tras leer el día a día del fotógrafo Marco, un superhéroe de esos que no llevan uniforme cuyo poder más notorio sería el de poder sobrevivir a los ataques de pánico, a un trabajo que reporta dinero pero destruye energía, gracias a la ayuda de su compañera sentimental, su hermano, un gato y de un buen puñado de compañeros. cuesta creer que Manu Larcenet no es uno de esos mensajeros que se funde con su mensaje. mirtamirta y ainhóula no mentían.
filed under: viñetas de celuloide.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Saturday, August 26, 2006

kuupuu

recopilatorio de algunas canciones de sus primeras grabaciones: "Sateen Suutelemat" en Nidnod, "I Can Walk the Earth" en Foxglove y los 3 cdr's autoeditados. otra portada mágica de Jonna Karanka...

'Jonna Karanka aka Kuupuu is one of the main movers of the (deservedly) much hyped Finnish Psychedelic Free Folk scene. Originally hailing from Tampere she is known as a core member of Avarus, Anaksimandros, Kukkkiva Poliisi and Maniacs Dream. Additionally, she has recently started Hertta Lussu Ässä with Lau Nau and Islaja and has collaborated with Tomutonttu (aka Jan Anderzen of Kemialliset Ystävät) and Paavi (as Lussu ja Paavi).
"Yökehrä" is the first of two vinyl-only LP's on Dekorder compiling the best material from her first four CD-R and cassette releases, all of which immediately became sought after collector's items, fetching ridiculous prices on eBay.

This LP is a beautiful collection of haunting (sometimes spooky) home baked freeform folk songs, incorporating strange lo-fi loops, vocal drones and psychedelic cut-ups, made using weirdly tuned plucked and strummed strings, bells, clattery percussion, unidentifiable wind instruments, backwards tape loops and a ton of other noisemakers all played and recorded by herself; accompanied by her distinctive voice (often looped and layered) with vocals sung and whispered in her native Finnish language, making the whole atmosphere even more haunting and mysterious. Jonna Karanka creates an intimate space where the listener feels like sitting next to her in a small chamber or outside in the woods where Kuupuu sings a lullaby just for them.'

sounds like: 'late night lullabies for forest folk'

Friday, August 25, 2006

miss capricho

grails

el nuevo disco de Grails es de esos que te redescubren la razón por la que sigues emocionándote con la música. posiblemente su mejor disco, Black Tar Prophecies prescinde de la etiqueta post para recrearse en texturas acústicas y pastorales. menos rocoso, más folk, pero sobre todo tremendamente original...suena a desierto, a habitaciones llenas de humo, a poblados gitanos. parece sacado de la banda sonora de una película de ciencia ficción, con referencias muy directas a Faust, Ghost o John Fahey. esos líricos diálogos entre el banjo y los teclados, esos toques de percusión tribal equilibrando el caos y la belleza, ese espléndido score relajado a lo Lalo Schifrin de 'Bad Bhang Recipe', ese melancólico fluir y esas voces lejanas de niños en la jazzística 'More Erosion'...y ese delicioso southern folk de 'Black Tar Prophecies'. Grails se proponen abarcar todo un mundo, el suyo, y lo consiguen plenamente. y sí, siguen siendo más imprevisibles y excitantes que Mogwai o Mars Volta... la guinda: 'Back to the Monastery'
Sounds Like: "Heavy Metal Fahey", or....Erkin Koray on a morphine binge.'
'sad but true....there's now a Grails Myspace page.'

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

larkin grimm / the beautiful babes in springtime brainwave band feat. earl monster


"holding on to the thick rain smelling black and white striped hairs of a wild cat these psychedelic prayer songs ride you all the way down a shadowy world of haunted forests and deep ice-cold lakes in which powerful otherworldly voices seduce you with some sweet melodies. handmade cover with lots of drawings in a black edition of 100 copies... both sides are actually larkin, so you know. very sweet stuff. numbered edition on the always awesome sloow tape imprint. sweet covers of course."

adicción! Josephine Foster meets Snow falls in November (distribuye Time-Lag)

the bastard wing

"Debut recording from this new group featuring Christina Carter of Charalambides and Andrew McGregor of Gown, last heard together on their duo split with My Cat Is An Alien. A slow storm of delayed/reverbed guitars marching towards an ever-receding horizon with some beautiful vocals and songwriting from Carter that combines high, acid folk stylings with a heavy, psychedelic atmosphere and Haino-esque shots of gothic electricity."
"...recorded during the winter months of 2005 in Western Massachusetts, Carter and MacGregor approached the album like a long-distance, it’s-in-the-mail collaboration, though in reality recording their parts across the hall from each other. Thematically, Crystal Thicket treads familiar ground for a Carter record: past life regressions, natural birth, growth, erosion, decay. Musically, however, there’s something new going on here. Imagine ’70s nostalgia, soul guitars and Studio 54. In other words, imagine Carter’s first pop album."
 

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Sunday, August 13, 2006

ov

no hay mucha información de The Moon is down, y las dos únicas referencias creo que dicen cosas distintas. en Aquarius hablan de un acontecimiento monumental, el regreso de Jewelled Antler después de un largo paréntesis, tras la publicación en el 2005 de The Quartz Pond de Of. sin embargo en Soft Abuse creo entender que ésta es una reedición de su debut para Jewelled Antler, y que en otoño se publicará en el propio Soft Abuse su segundo disco: 'Noctilucent Valleys'. no sé qué es exactamente...sí sé que The Moon is Down es otro disco escalofriante, el debut de una pareja de recién casados que ya conocíamos de otros proyectos: Loren Chasse (Thuja, Blithe Sons, Child Readers, Coelacanth, Of...) y Christine Boepple (Whysp, Skygreen Leopards, Kyrgyz...). todo transcurre y concuerda con lógica, ese sonido clásico y reconocible de todos los grupos que Jewelled Antler ha ido publicando a lo largo de estos años... paisajes a flor de piel donde el folk es tratado con elegancia, combinando campanillas y guitarras acústicas con flautas y gongs, percusiones y cuencos tibetanos con cánticos que flotan sobre un fondo de drones y reverberaciones. música apacible y ensoñadora cuyo mayor reclamo es 'Devoted Realms', romántico hasta la muerte, que surge en pleno viaje de novios, el que les lleva a pasear por calles alemanas. 'caminan tranquilos, de la mano, de repente empiezan a sonar las campanas de la iglesia, aquí y allá, parecen venir de muchas direcciones, una gloriosa cacofonía, un pequeño interludio que divide una canción en ciernes, el murmullo de un órgano melancólico, que se aleja con rapidez hacia el final del disco para dar paso al epílogo, de nuevo las campanas'. Inolvidable...y no necesita de muchos decibelios para mostrar todas sus cartas, tal vez por eso incluso la sigilosa Michiguitan State parece sentirse atraída por la cristalina The Chambers of The Hand. quiero creer que Jewelled Antler sigue en activo...
más: 'The first two tracks are lengthy abstract soundscapes of bells and chimes and gongs and percussion. The amazing thing is that the final result doesn't necessarily sound all that percussive, instead Chasse and Boepple manage to smooth the sounds into a dreamy billowy fog, with tinkling bells, reverberating chimes, it's like floating through a slowed down sculpture garden, huge pieces of metal slowly swinging, and gently rubbing up against each other, sending soft ringing tones to float softly across the gauzy landscape like dry leaves on a summer breeze, underpinned by slow low end pulses, smears of glistening shimmer and a constellation of glimmering tinkles. There are lilting guitars too, but plucked and strummed so sparely, they almost just sound like more chimes.The record shifts gears after that, drifting from one dreamlike sound to another, a rich and exotic tribal landscape, huge swells of crystalline fuzz beneath fluttering flute melodies, primitive shakers and hand drums, and what sounds like forest sounds, drifting in and out of the mix, a world of alien lullabies, super distorted melodies over warm warbling woodwinds and textural percussion that sounds more like the crinkle of plastic, a gentle stream of fuzzy organ, buzzing harmonica, plink plonk guitar melody, pocket full of coins jangle, all bathed in a soft focus shimmer and some Eno-esque melodic ambience constructed from a dense assemblage of notes and tones, rich and oversaturated.
Packaged in a beautiful hand printed sleeve, a strange angular crystalscape on the front, a mysterious symbol on the back, each sleeve with a different color ink and different colored paper. Includes an insert with liner notes and an image of some mysterious multi horned instrument on the other. As with most things like this, super limited!!!'

charalambides

en Glowing Raw Christina toca la guitarra acústica y canta, Tom hace lo mismo y le añade un saxo, campanillas, un piano harp ...en Emerald Message se repite el discurso pero acompañado de órganos y guitarras eléctricas. parece mentira que canciones como 'Power Carry Me', 'Swimming Pool', la acústica 'Curse of the Dust', que es como una versión de John Fahey pasada por el filtro élfico de The Iditarod, 'Dissapear into the Sky', Ben Chasny reencarnado en Tom Carter (esa voz...), la deuda espiritual y gospel de 'Give me Jesus', que es Mimi Parker en el cuerpo de Christina, o el influjo de Black Forest/Black Sea y Six Organs of Admittance en la preciosísima 'Do You Believe' (no hay palabras..)...como decía, parece mentira que todas sean material inédito de hace más de diez años de 'Houston', 'Internal Eternal' y 'Drilling the Curve'. menos mal que los mensajes esmeraldas, las revelaciones, las piscinas, los árboles caídos y las dos portadas pintadas a mano por Christina no han caído en el olvido. una apuesta menos convencional donde el estilo de grabación y la atmósfera ya no son superadas, para bien o para mal, por las melodías celestiales y perfectas. los Charalambides más Charalambides...

'Another new and equally jaw-dropping collection of archival material from the duo of Tom and Christina Carter with one track from the first trio line-up that also included Jason Bill (now of Migrantes). A huge amount of sonic territory covered here, featuring 1998 material drawn from the original Houston album sessions as well as tracks from late 95, unreleased material from 95's Drilling The Curve sessions and late 95 material from an aborted Siltbreeze album. Tom is on vocals, electric and acoustic guitar and saxophone, Christina on vocals, organ and guitar and Jason on acoustic guitar. Hand-numbered edition of 250 copies in beautiful individually painted hand-made sleeves.'

richard youngs

como Ben Reynolds o Brad Rose, Richard Youngs es un músico prolífico, no le basta con una identidad, necesita desdoblarse, colaborar en múltiples y diferentes proyectos, a veces solo, otras acompañado (casi siempre de Alex Neilson y Simon Wickham-Smith). en Untitled vuelve a experimentar con los límites de la fantasía y el minimalismo más absoluto, eleva una vez más su voz hasta el infinito, la mezcla, multiplica y ensucia con drones, platillos, flautas, guitarras acústicas y otros instrumentos exóticos: cifteli, dulcimer, electric slide bass, kazoo, thai harp y zither. todos las canciones duran nueve minutos aunque parecen una sola alargada durante casi una hora.

no hay rastro de la belleza formal de 'Trees that Fall', pero sí un oasis de atmósferas inquietantes al más puro estilo Jandek (la portada podría ser otra referencia u homenaje al misterioso artista) o Emerald Cloud Cobra. 'Hand in a dream' desvela su naturaleza salvaje, demuestra que Untitled no tiene título porque todos las canciones son restos de un incendio, libres, irracionales y transparentes como la pataleta de un niño. y como siempre cada experimento del joven Richard resulta tan imprescindible como los precedentes.


'Brand new limited, privately-pressed and hand-assembled album from Richard on his revitalised No Fans imprint. Beautiful collection of song-based material that reconciles his recent experiments involving miasmas of heart-fluttering shakuhachi with delayed vocals, acoustic guitar, cifteli, dulcimer, electric slide bass, kazoo, thai harp and zither. This last batch of No Fans releases has been one of Youngs' most consistently mind-blowing runs since the early Advent/New Angloid Sound/Ceaucescu series and this one feels like a coming together of a whole bunch of recently formulated moves. Very fragile atmosphere with the kind of disorientating F/X-heavy depth that will have record collectors puzzling over whether to file it next to Mark Fry, Martin Carthy, Jandek or The Grateful Dead circa Aoxomoxoa. Great cover shot in patented Summer Wanderer-style too. Apparently some of the basic tracks were recorded several years back at home in Harpenden but finally finished in the last month, a fact which only emphasises the general career-spanning feel of the sonics.' volcanic tongue

vlor

'Vlor was originally the guitar duo of Silber Records chief Brian John Mitchell (Remora) and his best friend, Russell Halasz experimenting with drones, loops, and reverbs between 1992 and 1998, culminating in the “Lavished” (1997) and “Luxate” (1998) EPs. The project ended when Halasz moved to Florida in ’98. Mitchell decided to revive the project last year while preparing archival releases for his label, so he sat down and composed and recorded nearly an hour and a half of guitar riffs and arpeggios and farmed them off to half a dozen friends and label mates to complete. So the release is essentially prepared by a virtual band comprised of Aarktica’s Jon DeRosa, Lycia’s Mike VanPortfleet, RivuletsNathan Amundson, Red Morning ChorusJesse Edwards, 6P.M.’s Paolo Messere and vocalist Jessica Bailiff. The delicate opener “Trust In Weapons” sets the table for a feast of minimalist guitar pluckings, drones, and sound manipulations, whereas “Wires” is a true supergroups extravaganza, with input from everyone (but VanPortFleet). The title refers to the guitar upon which Mitchell plays his base drones which he saved from a fire and restrung with steel wire. The sonic results are akin to the “Wire Music” collaborations between Alastair Galbraith and Matthew De Gennaro. As a huge fans of DeRosa’s work, I’m partial to his collaborative efforts here, which are among the most sedate on tracks like “Weakening Blows” and "Light At The Speed Of Sound" where he fills in the spaces between Mitchell’s original notes with complimentary strokes of glistening beauty. “Horses In Deserts as expected, gallops along and, whether subconsciously or not, actually did remind me of America’s “Horse With No Name,” as in, “I’ve been through the desert on a horse with no name.” “Potential New Sound” is a fluffy bed of electronic feathers…a marshmallow overcoat of Amundson’s keyboards, Bailiff’s acoustic guitar, Edwards’ Indian instruments and Messere’s percussives. The album works because, despite the rudimentary two-note riffage of a lot of Mitchell’s source material, his decision to have multiple collaborators adding layers onto his framework gives the album a full-band sound, making for an eclectic, yet exciting listen that might have otherwise languished in boxes like millions of other guitarists’ personal noodlings and peripheral creations. Bailiff’s breathy vocals on “Suncatcher” add an element of warmth, although I’m still impressed with the soft reflective, stroll-through-the-woods atmosphere of tracks like “Pale Lights” and “Days Like Smoke”. Overall, a beautiful album for late night or early morning navel gazing. ~ Jeff Penczak, Foxy Digitalis'
wires (mp3)

the singleman affair

Songs of Green Pheasant, The Clientele, The Big Huge, A Taste of Ra, Fred Neil, Skip Spence, Leonard Cohen, The Handsome Family... sítar, panderetas, melodías cristalinas, silbidos a lo Morricone, habitaciones de hotel, ciudades de paso, road movies...The Singleman Affair me recuerdan a tantas cosas. a aquel primer disco de los españoles Grupo Salvaje, si se hubieran mudado al campo, en 'Baby you've been on my mind', a Forever Changes en 'Sun in Your Eyes', a los Beachwood Sparks más silvestres...Dan Schneider es un maestro a la hora de hacer canciones como 'Dragonflies to Find', tan emocionantes y perfectas, soleadas como 'Little Sister' o 'Elaine', campestres y divertidas como 'Good to be with You again', y en todas ellas suena tan seguro y familiar que Let's kill the summer parece cualquier cosa menos un debut.

cursillistas

Cursillistas es en realidad Matthew John LaJoie, un duende de Portland con lazos y sentimientos británicos. en Thrush Times demuestra su fascinación por el pasado, por las grabaciones de Harry Smith, por el psych folk británico y la música tradicional india. construye su música, al igual que Joshua Burkett, Justin Vollmar, The Skygreen Leopards, Ethereal Planes Indian o Hush Arbors, sobre una montaña de folk psicodélico, rupestre, tribal, repleto de tonadillas desnudas que se inspiran por momentos en Palace Brothers o en Greg Ashley (esa voz tan dulce...). acústicas, organillo, vientos, títulos extraños, banjos a la deriva...y aunque para mí sea un desconocido, todo estaba escrito ya en el delicioso Rotary and Gems. sólo puedo recomendaros que hagáis todo lo posible por escuchar la preciosa Hands (haunt) Feet.


 
'Heard Palace Brothers' Days In The Wake. Made music. Interned at Time-Lag Records. Heard music. Made music. Recorded Rotary and Gems as gift for friends and family. Time-Lag distributed, and the 10 copies available sold out in two hours. Brad Rose heard Rotary and Gems. Wrote that it was "an excellent introduction to what promises to be one of my favorite folk-inspired projects around" and awarded it a 9 out of 10 in a foxydigitalis review. Wrote more songs. 14 songs finished for upcoming album Thrush Chimes in the Field Haunt, which was released by Time-Lag Records in July 2006.'

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

eastern fox squirrels

Eastern Fox Squirrels es para mí una de los discos más bonitos que ha hecho nunca Brad Rose. aquí están las entrañas de The North Sea y The Juniper Meadows, volcánicas, fulgurantes, brumosas, apacibles (como Hours, el momento más dulce del disco). lo mismo pero distinto, incorporando saxos y trompetas, prados de guitarras acústicas y flautas exóticas, manteniendo largas conversaciones con los árboles y las mariposas, con ardillas locas y ardillas lúcidas, advirtiéndonos que no vayamos a los bosques de noche. todas las canciones arropan y adormecen, y su enorme poder evocador convierte nuestras cabezas en pantallas llenas de paisajes, ambientes e historias. no sé si mis elogios vienen contaminados por la magia de los mismos músicos del proyecto pero...esto es una maravilla

"Dream Magazine has come to the same conclusion as I: Brad Rose does not sleep. He can't possibly. Here is a man who runs two labels (both highly prolific), an e-zine, blog, podcast, and who knows what else, and still manages to both work and be about half a dozen bands. He seems a one-man jewelled antler (in fact, he's revived their old e-mail group!), especially when it comes to pioneering some truly innovative and beautiful new groups.

Eastern Fox Squirrels is a collaboration between Brad, his wife Eden and Robert Horton. Along the way they are joined by the talents of Tom and Christina Carter (Charalambides), Dan Plonsey (a player in the company of Anthony Braxton and Eugene Chadbourne) and Jason Bill (Charalambides, also recording with Jack Rose.)

Sonically, Eastern Fox Squirrels has a varied pallet. Like the Jewelled Antler folks, we have bouzouki, glockenspiels, bowed banjos, weird exotic flutes and who knows what else being used to great effect. The results being very much like what you'd expect; experimental but with soft, round edges and nice, nearly ambient dirges that feel welcome but really aren't normal." lvd

Hours (con Christina Carter)

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

hala strana


"Hala Strana is a summation of Steven R. Smith's interest in the traditional folk musics of Central and Eastern Europe. Incorporating the melodies and scales of village music from Croatia, Hungary, Romania, the Czech Republic, and Poland, Smith pushes his music into new territories, using layered instruments like gourd guitar, clay flowerpots, glockenspiel, violin, and others."

"White Sleep delivers the first new Hala Strana recordings since These Villages. The three breathtaking new compositions rival the best Hala Strana offerings to date, and include a powerful cover version of 'Dream Forever' by Dog Faced Hermans. His compositions—combining 4/8-track recordings of live instruments with minidisk and boombox overdubs—conjure a dream symphony that defies easy categorization on the 7” lathe, White Sleep. Beset with wheezing ambient tones and degraded tape noise, these pieces sound positively ancient and fall somewhere between Eastern European traditional folk, the homemade primitive works of Harry Partch and the early noise drone of  Velvet Underground. An edition of 60 copies, with handmade sleeves."

entrevista a Steven R. Smith en Kid Shirt y una lista de sus discos favoritos en Dusted. dentro de poco debería salir su nuevo disco en Music Fellowship: "Heave the Gambrel Roof"

Thursday, August 03, 2006

eluvium

i will not forget that i have forgotten

tara jane o' neil

no se me ocurre nada que no sea lo que dije hace unos meses acerca de A Raveling: otro disco perfecto para quedarse dormida plácidamente mientras lo escuchas. hipnótico, relajante... plácido como una puesta de sol, como la brisa que entra ahora mismo por la ventana. como the letting go de Bonnie Prince Billy, o Meadow de Richard Buckner, o the year of the leopard de James Yorkston. la portada, la mar bonita de Tara Jane...casi, y pintada por ella

Blue Light Room