microphones in the trees: March 2008

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

inca ore

"This one has been a dream since the start. Literally, as Eva Saelens wrote us one day out of the clearest blue saying she had a dream one night that she sent us her brand new album and that we fell in love with it and released it. Well the dream’s become reality, as her latest spirit quest in pursuit of the inmost voice dazzled us instantly and lingered like déjà vu. An 11-song slideshow of psychedelic secrecy, rippling whispers, and private ghost ballads, Birthday of Bless You finds Inca Ore at her most lithe and longing, shifting focus from microscopic mood meditations to wide-lens surrealist romance fantasies in a heartbeat, then back again. A black-lit bedroom soon forgotten, a midnight garden of lucid sound, an LP to have and to hold. Mastered for wax by Pete Swanson. Black vinyl in jackets with collage-art by IO, plus a full-color 11x11 collage insert. Edition of 500." nnf

Sunday, March 16, 2008

the ray pacino ensemble

the ray pacino ensemble - be my lonely night/golden greats (lal lal lal 2008)

"And speaking of Lal Lal Lal and its documentation of some of the sicker sounds of new Sweden, they've also gone and released a gatefold double LP by the one and only Ray Pacino Ensemble. Their Be My Lonely Night cassette was one of the best things Lal Lal Lal put out in 2006, and that whole thing has been reissued here as the first record, with all new songs on the second slab. I'm not quite sure how to describe this band from the village of Järna except to say that they sound like 2000s post-punk weirdos possessed simultaneously by the spirits of a 1930s Scandinavian dancehall oompah band and some cracked 1960s folk troubadours. Ten listens later and I can't do any better than that, but no matter how strange it gets, The Ray pacino Ensemble is always there to play another song, and they're all surprising catchy and avant-garde and inexplicably effective. As is the hand-sewn gatefold sleeve, with its art by Jelle Crama and totally incomprehensible liner notes...." blastitude


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

spires that in the sunset rise

"The fourth album by Chicago avant rock trio Spires That in the Sunset Rise is the group's most musically direct and immediately accessible work yet. The album was recorded in Philadelphia in collaboration with the Philly acid folk veteran Greg Weeks at his own Hexham Head Studio; members of Weeks' band, Espers, contribute as well. Gone is the deliberately noisy "free folk" aesthetic, in favor of a more controlled blend of folk, psychedelia, and Sun City Girls-like world music explorations, like the dramatic "Equus Haar" which weaves influences that echo Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe, and North Africa at the same time. Even at the album's most chaotic points, such as the dissonant interludes of oddly tuned harmonies and gamelan-like percussion that recur throughout the nearly ten-minute epic "Party Favors" there is a sense of restraint that was rarely a factor in earlier Spires That in the Sunset Rise releases. One song, "Java Pop", is so direct and tuneful (with backing vocals by Weeks and a hypnotic central riff) that it's easily the closest the group has ever come to a straightforward pop song. Those who liked singer/guitarist Kathleen Baird's more measured solo work (under her own name and as Traveling Bell) but found earlier Spires That in the Sunset Rise forbiddingly impenetrable will certainly find Curse the Traced Bird more to their liking. ~ Stewart Mason, All Music Guide

es casi lo más bonito que han hecho nunca, tremendamente bonito. tengo mi primera favorita y es Pouring mind, un pastel rosa y suave que me recuerda a Pocahaunted. y Black earth, tan decadente, tan hipnótica, con esa voz casi monacal de Kathleen Baird. no sé qué más decir, sólo que como siempre me encanta

Saturday, March 08, 2008

donovan quinn

donovan quinn - october lanterns (soft abuse 2008)

donovan quinn is a singer-songwriter from san francisco, california. since 2001 he’s performed his songs with the skygreen leopards (collaborating with glenn donaldson) & under the name verdure. currently he can be found operating solo, occasionally being joined by various friends & collaborators, under the umbrella of the 13th month. donovan’s first solo record, produced in collaboration with jason quever (papercuts), will be released in the spring of 2008.” bruno schulz

"Sean Penn’s “Into the Wild” would have been a much better movie if, for its soundtrack, Penn had replaced Eddie Vedder by Donovan Quinn. For the ten tracks on “October Lanterns” show just the right degree of hinterwaldlerdom without ever venturing too far off the beaten track. Sure, when Quinn recorded these fine songs in ‘02 and ’03, he used a wide array of folk instruments. But whether hammond organ, melodica, mouth harp, or mandolin: They all blissfully sound as if the still wore the price tag of the music supply store. That, however, is not a problem at all, but provides track like “At the tent revival” with an awkward quality not to be found elsewhere. Recorded at his former home studio on a horse ranch in Walnut Creek, CA, “October Lanterns” is Quinn’s debut under his own name. He has recorded with The Skygreen Leopards and solo under the Verdure moniker. This cd-r, limited as it is to handmade 100 copies, should help him to get established further in a field ruled by the likes of Hala Strana or Hush Arbors." foxy digitalis