Monday, January 30, 2012

EIC'S10Q'S w/ S.C.U.M.

"'s about self indulging in your darkest moods and exploring every direction they can possibly take you.."

Gloom Pop

S.C.U.M. Bio
S.C.U.M’s debut album, Again Into Eyes is a triumphant arrival. This is a debut which has filtering through the collective unconscious long before its completion, and it already it feels burned into the cortex. Again Into Eyes reels from carnival-esque toughness to a second side that comes close to despair before mainlined redemption in the form of ‘Whitechapel’, a utopian, future-disco monolith, washed in otherworldly Mellotron and Choirs, it’s perhaps the biggest surprise on the record.

Then again, it has been the band’s capacity for reflexive cartwheels – an instinctive disregard and perhaps a faint disgust with what’s expected of them – that has defined their strange and captivating evolution.

When Thomas Cohen (vocal) and Bradley Baker (machines) met in 2008 and called themselves the Society for Cutting Up Men, they demonstrated a deft, offhanded affinity for self-annihilation. This act of effacement found expression with the addition of Melissa Rigby (drums), Huw Webb (bass) and Samuel Kilcoyne (Moog), who whipped their undisciplined, amp-blowing sound into a bass-driven electronic No Wave, engulfed live by acid-test smoke and lights. That, however, was less an incarnation of the group than an isotope, destined to decay and reform itself.

As the front room of their Shoreditch rehearsal space (where Situationist scrawls, lyrics and song ideas were once painted white on black walls) became a gallery, the pub next door was glossed into the 21st Century and luxury destinations for the tasteless sprung-up opposite, the band moved-out to Surrey Quays. As the musical landscape around them seemed to atomize, becoming increasingly light on heroic bands and heavy on Teflon memes, the five-piece consolidated. They learned how to play their instruments, got snapped-up as the first signing of a newly re-independent Mute and set about writing their debut album. ‘If you were to listen to our releases up to this point, they form a complete document of how we’ve developed,’ Bradley Baker reflects.

He’s not wrong. Predating the release single ‘Amber Hands’, the first from Again Into Eyes, was their debut on Loog: the instantly sold-out ‘Visions Arise’, a memory of a more detuned and spectral phase produced by Tom Furse. Also in the back-catalogue: the unique Signal series. ‘The beautiful thing about how that came about was that it was completely by accident,’ says Kilcoyne (brain behind the revolutionary Underage Festival before joining the band). ‘It just happened when we were away,’ adds Webb, ‘We booked some gigs in Poland and we had a day off so we went into a studio and we made this noise. Tom played drums, everything switched round.’

Springing out of the Petri dish that was ‘Warsaw’, the band continued their journey around Europe, adding the dreamscape ‘Berlin’, the piano-led ‘Paris’, and the soon-to-come ‘Athens’ Signal. The tracks show in increments the creative engine of the band finding a maturity and confidence. Drawn out on tour by the intense affection for the band in overlooked pockets of the continent, S.C.U.M were inspired to act as conduits for their surrounds, transplanting them almost unconsciously onto MP3. It’s a path that lies well outside that taken by most groups, just as their purpose and their aesthetic are diametrically opposed to those of schoolboy schlock-rock bands with nothing to say.

Once back in the UK, the band hit pre-production boot camp with legendary drummer and producer Jim Sclavunos (Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Teenage Jesus, Sonic Youth, Grinderman). Kilcoyne is readily appreciative of how formative the experience was: ‘We learned both from listening to other records and from being in a studio. Working with Jim, he really went “There’s no need for you to have that extra bar” and “Maybe if you just shut up for that bit and then came in here…” That blew our fucking minds, like ‘Oh, that’s how music works!’

Then followed the writing and recording of the debut album. In ‘the middle of nowhere’, as they put it, they paired-up with producers Ken and Jolyon Thomas (whose credits individually and together include Sigur Ros, M83, David Bowie, Psychic TV). The five’s listening habits in psychedelia, space-rock, avant-garde and ambient soundtracks collide to form a pop trip that neatly balances the innovative with what is rapturously danceable.

With the record set for release in September 2011, the band have been busy honing their skills live, asked on European and UK tours by The Kills and cutting a precocious figure on bills alongside top-draw label mates like Liars, Erasure and The Residents. On stage, the band have never stopped short of devastating audiences. Relying less than before on overwhelming visuals and more upon the weight of their sound, wrapped around frontman Thomas Cohen. With a style suggestive of a Nietzchian Madonna, Cohen is a tall, sardonic-faced art-house shaman contorting himself, finger-fucking the space around him or – at their church shows – blessing crowds with Holy Water.

While his lyrics trade in stacked abstracts and deal with transcendence, escapism and a submission to forces beyond his control, Cohen remains decidedly tied to reality in person, even in the midst of a grueling tour schedule: ‘Touring with The Kills has been really amazing and also takes away from the mysticism of being a band and playing venues like the Roundhouse. There’s so many stories about that place and so many gigs that we’ve seen there, since it’s been reopened, that have been seminal, but then you get there and you get as much space as you would in a pub. I think it’s definitely good at normalizing that experience. However, naivety is what’s created the songs and I think that’s what makes them good. It’s probably quite obvious that I didn’t have a concept of any sort of melody, I saw myself as having a part to play but I didn’t see that in any musical sense at all.’

However modern their sound might be, they are in this manner a very traditional band. Each member makes their own contribution; their trajectory shaped democratically by the different skills of each individual. Rigby in particular, dragged from the clutches of drum school, has helped reign in the chaos generated by Baker and Kilcoyne’s sound-beds and synth lines. The urge for experimentation though is still very much alive – the band count contemporary artists Matthew Stone, Tim Noble and Sue Webster as frequent collaborators – only this time they want it understood properly. With a record that feels like a ten track modern classic, they are set to expand massively upon their base of cult fans this year.

Hello, how are you?
Hello, really well thank you! We are just enjoying a few days off after playing a couple of shows in Portugal. We are also getting ready for two shows in Russia in a fortnights time.

What are you currently listening to?
I’m currently having a slight break from extensive listening. We are going to demo new ideas in the near future and I always like to go into these situations with a clarity to develop my own and my bands ideas.

What, if anything, is S.C.U.M an acronym for?
S.C.U.M is an acronym for the Society for Cutting Up Men. We never really spent too much time looking into names, and it was something that I just thought of early in the project, and then delved into it at a later date. The history is pretty interesting and I thoroughly advise looking into it.

When did you guys begin writing for this project? Did you know what kind of sound you were going for?
In terms of 'Again Into Eyes', we went into the studio with around 60% of the record written in one way or another. All of these ideas were then developed further and updated in terms of sound and structure. The remaining tracks were more spontaneous and came to surface through experimental sessions from the band, using a range of techniques. The sounds created in this process were then implemented into the other tracks to create a lush landscape around the structure of the songs.

Is there a theme on your debut full length?
The theme behind the record was to create a vast landscape of sound. The idea of this was to conjure a visual representation of the music and personal imagery of the listener. I think this was captured well through the experimental soundscapes and sometimes vague lyrical content.

Do you have a favorite track on said album and why?
Track 7 is my personal favorite. The song came from my initial riff, which Huw then put in key, and then we developed the idea on piano until we had a simple structure with which we could further with different instruments. After the double bass and drums were recorded, we set about manipulating sounds to fit around the song. This was a personal highlight of mine during the time spent in the studio.

Got any side projects/collabs coming up?
Not personally but my bandmates enjoy collaborating with other musical artists. As a band we have been spending time remixing bands other tracks such as Spector, Cloud Control, and Big Pink

You can only keep/listen to one album for the rest of your life ..Which album would it be?
'Another Green World'. I always divide this track into two sides in terms of pop and ambient. One thing that interests me about Brian Eno is his interpretation of pop music. I really like his vocals on these tracks, I find the way he uses his voice fascinating. His Ambient music is one of my favorite forms of music. I adore the timelessness of them and the way they can remove you from your surroundings, physically and mentally.

Are you living your dream?

My dreams have been a bit weird recently, so I hope not.

Thanx Chris & Bradley!

S.C.U.M. just released the latest single off of their stunning debut 'Again Into Eyes' called 'Faith Unfolds', go get that and every other single/album they've put out because this band deserves your full attention NOW..

REVIEW: S.C.U.M. - Again Into Eyes

8 out 0f 10

The debut album by S.C.U.M. is exactly everything you (should be) looking for when it comes to Dark/Moapy (semi-electronic) "Rock sounds". "Rock" may not be the best terminology to use when it comes to describing S.C.U.M.'s sound, so how's about this; (and I'm sure they've heard these comparisons somewhere before--sorry) mix Interpol with The Horrors, there you have it:) I know, I know, I'm really behind on reviewing this one, it's been out for a while. In-fact, it already made it's way onto my year-end list, but I couldn't sleep right knowing I hadn't said just a little bit more about it..

'Again Into Eyes' starts off with a distant "chimey/Xmas like" bell/synth slowly fading into Thomas Cohen's "signature vocals (super reminiscent to previous mentioned bands/maybe a modern day Ian Curtis?--I like his vocals A LOT actually) followed shortly by some "psychedelic-esque" bass lines, humming synthesizers/piano chords, and reverby/washed out guitar riffs. Before you know an entire "epic stadium-sized" Rock Anthem has evolved before your ears. Don't start throwing your fist in the air quite yet, the band is just getting started, "Cast Into Seasons" is a modern day Gothic masterpiece, the mood is grim the tone is bleak. What's this? S.C.U.M. like to experiment with their sound a little bit? It's not just about looking good on stage and being monotonous? S.C.U.M. are/seem to be about self indulging in your darkest moods and exploring every direction they can possibly take you.. Or maybe, it's whatever it makes you feel.. 'Again Into Eyes' has it's fair share of both the light and dark, all very easy to follow/swallow assuming you're in a "Rockier" mood. Me, being the person I am, I tend to grasp onto the darker parts of this release. Either way though, give 'em a go (especially if you like "Gloom Pop")..

I absolutely adore this project. This is everything I wanted Interpol to be but weren't "dark or experimental" enough to pull off. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED (#53/100 2011)

Standout Tracks: Cast Into Seasons, Sentinal Bloom (such a great build up), Paris (perfectionner)

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Cool Video Funtime #297 - Aviva Pastoral

REVIEW: Der Golem - Zmet

Der Golem, a turn of the millennium Russian Post-Punk trio, has seen their legacy fall into the hands of only a few cult followers. Though shadows may be the perfect resting place for a band with such a stern and somber image, music of this caliber is just too good to go unheard. Take the band out of the shadows a bit. View their records through a modern lens, and you're bound to feel as if you're resurrecting some ghost of the past – a feeling which makes their records all the more sublime.

'Zmet', the band's debut and only enduring release, is a painfully enticing sketch of post-Soviet malaise. Every track is steeped in an atmosphere of decay, even from first listen of their ethereal guitars. What really crystallizes this spirit is frontman Roman Sidorov's vocals which embody a prayerlike craze reminiscent of Ian Curtis. Roman guides the listener straight into his troubled soul, reflecting the suffering that drove him to suicide only four years after recording 'Zmet', in September, 2003. It's the vocals along with the instrumentation, structure, and Industrial elements which submerse the album in gray. This by no means means the work is monotonous. In fact, it's far from it. All the way from the beautiful falsettos and reverb trailed guitars of “Солнце Мёртвых” to the minimal synths, teetering violins, and spoken word of “Исход I,” 'Zmet' escapes the redundancy that often impairs such bands.

Since I don't speak Russian, 'Zmet's' lyrics and song titles are gibberish to me – a fact which I don't know magnifies their mystique or diminishes their value. Nevertheless, I was able to decipher a few lines, including a verse from “Нет (No)”: “Behind a window the dawn/ Melts the neon light / But I am not present / No me anymore.” These lines reveal exactly what I expected them to: nihilism and a spiritual poeticism. Though such central tensions may at first constrain the album's emotional range and resonance, listen with open ears and you will wonder how Der Golem's unfettered passion and honesty ever eclipsed the press.

Standout Tracks: Нет, Древние Звёзды, Солнце Мёртвых, Птицы

If only I lived here..(!)

Wishful Thinking: In Remembrance of Peter Christopherson (1955–2010)
Peter 'Sleazy' Christopherson was best known as a founder member of Throbbing Gristle and Coil, a designer at Hipgnosis, and a videomaker for Greenback Films. In summer 2010, AV Festival commissioned him to compose a work for the 2012 spring Equinox, to be staged at Durham Cathedral, where his father was University Vice-Chancellor from 1960–1979. Christopherson died in his sleep at home in Thailand on 24 November 2010 before completing the work.

This music, film and performance event is a celebratory remembrance of his life and work. It includes the premiere of three performance sketches with Christopherson‘s original collaborators for the commission: visual artist Alex Rose, sound recordist Chris Watson and vocalist Attila Csihar. Special guests Chris Carter and Cosey Fanni Tutti premiere live remixes from Throbbing Gristle’s nascent, and final, studio album: a 'cover' of Nico’s Desertshore, preceded by a rare screening of Philippe Garrel’s The Inner Scar for which Desertshore was soundtrack and inspiration. The evening comes to a poetic close with Derek Jarman’s The Angelic Conversation, with a soundtrack by Coil, Christopherson considered the film “truly, a timeless work of art”.

We miss ya Peter:..(

"Check into" Jacques Lu Cont..

Jacques Lu Cont - Reload

Jacques Lu Cont has had many monikers (this one being the best) and this is (much like the rest) pretty terrific. Guess I'm on a French kick lately..

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Oh Sébastien, you've done it again..

You've gone and put my heart in a flutter.. Sébastien Tellier's "My God Is Blue" comes out soon (possibly March 20th!)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Cool Video Funtime #296 - Le Dome Du Plaisir De Bilitis

Check into Sobrenadar..

Sobrenadar - Physeos

From the (always impressive) Absent Fever comes another blissed out Dream Wave album from up and comer Paula Garcia (Sobrenadar).

REVIEW: From The Mouth Of The Sun - Woven Tide

7 out of 10

From the Mouth of the Sun marks the first time the visions of musicians Aaron Martin and Jag Rosenqvist (Jasper TX) come together. If you know the background of each of these artists, this collaboration is no surprise. For years Martin and Rosenqvist have sculpted their work in the ambient scene with the same brand of wintry soundscapes, each taking their own approach. Martin strips his work of limitation, using the language of music at its most free and expressive, following the unbounded voice of his cello. Rosenqvist flirts with realtime layering and organic beats, retaining a more Classical form. These aesthetics merge on W'oven Tide' to create an album that reigns among the pair's greatest works.

On 'Woven Tide', we are immediately thrown into a place far from home. “The Crossing” paints a surreal world full of white noise and melancholic drones, but the pastoral strings give the song an eerie familiarity. All familiarity is thrown out the window, however, on “Color Loss.” A claustrophobic Industrial beat layered against a spectral voice stretching like a wind instrument sounds so otherworldly it's scary. Imagine a futuristic, industrial wasteland, and you're on the right track. “Like Shadows In An Empty Cathedral” abandons any staunch Minimalism. Droning organs punctuated with epic brass leads mimic the scope of Sigur Ros, until the intimacy maintained on the rest of the album pulls through with whirring violins and bands of static. A mythic, majestic landscape fading into the dark fog is all that comes to mind.

It's crucial to mention 'Woven Tide' began as a soundtrack for the film, 'Remember Me, My Ghost'. I'm not positive on the documentary's subject, and honestly, this album doesn't give much insight. Its array of aesthetic investigations give us a world of worlds, but without the guideline of the film, the story behind 'Woven Tide' lies hidden. View From The Mouth Of The Sun's debut as a template for your own movie; that's the best way to enjoy it. Fall back, listen, and paint the scenes in your head. You're bound to be taken on a journey.

Standout Tracks: Pools of Rust, Sitting In A Roofless Room, Like Shadows In An Empty Cathedral

New/F-r-e-e Dntel EP..!

A bit more "Experimental/Ambient & Noisy" for Dntel, but trying new things (especially when they cost you nothing) is never a bad thing right?

Monday, January 23, 2012

EIC'S10Q'S w/ Morgan Kibby

"..flows between Romantic Dreamy Pop sounds to club-like Dance tracks (almost "Goldfrappy"), to "slow and rustic".."

Morgan Kibby
Symphonic Astral Paladin

Morgan Kibby Bio:
There is a veil, a shadow that White Sea creates and inhabits. The landscape is vast and perhaps enigmatic, but at its center is Morgan Kibby, and she’s not just a pretty voice. That pretty voice was made known on the near unanimously acclaimed Saturdays = Youth album by M83, which spawned the runaway anthem, “Kim & Jessie.” The dreamy synth-pop collection played out like a soundtrack for a generation with a John Hughes hangover. The mystery of the voice, once revealed, is that of a writer, lyricist, producer, composer, remixer, classically trained pianist, and ultimately, White Sea. Borrowing from her near three-year stint writing, singing and performing on stage with M83, Kibby returned to address This Frontier… not just the title of her debut EP, but the artistic universe she endeavors to create. “When I went on tour with M83 I was exposed to so many new things,” Kibby begins. “When I returned home, I sat down and taught myself Pro Tools, taught myself how to produce... I’ve really spent the last year figuring out what music I’m excited about making.” Fueled by an intense desire to create and determined to be self-contained, Kibby plunged into the role of producer and engineer as she completed new material. The result is a five-song indie-pop EP exploding with cinematic crescendos, tinkling chimes, shining harmonies, dramatic bass lines, party beats, tempered synthesizers, threaded by Kibby’s unmistakable angelic voice. “Because it’s an EP and my first solo project, I really felt strongly about not being constrained by the idea of cohesiveness,” she reveals. “The EP ultimately, hopefully, ends up feeling connected, but I didn’t want to limit myself while writing, to start thinking, ‘oh I’m trying to write a dance song or I’m trying to write a ballad.’ When I tried to rationalize, I would lose the initial impetus.” Anthemic, dancey, and rich with harmonies, This Frontier embodies the multifaceted nature of Kibby’s cosmos, which draws inspiration from disco bass lines, ‘60s spaghetti westerns and the envelope-pushing work of Ennio Morricone’s soundtracks. “The more I started layering vocals, the songs seemed to take on a very cinematic vibe,” Kibby reveals. “It was very visual for me. I kept seeing the canyons, and songs like Cannibal Love started to evoke images of the American west.” The range of material defies categorization yet it distinctly showcases Kibby’s range, fused in layered textural complexity and cascading vocals. To fully realize her vision, she enlisted the help of friends Jonathan Leahy on guitar and bass, Jonathan Bates (of Big Black Delta and formerly of Mellowdrone ) with mixes of Ladykiller and Mountaineer and Ray Suen (who she met on tour with the Killers) with string arrangements for Ladykiller and Oljato. “Mountaineer” begins with stacked vocal harmonies, dreamy and euphoric, continually building into synths that climb, then climax in the chorus, as the evocative harmonies steer. The dancey party anthem “Ladykiller” bumps from start to end, oozing with sexual undertones and strings that would make Donna Summer jealous, while “Overdrawn” is a breezy sugar-coated pop gem that pogos with hand claps and soft, breathy vocals. The ominous intro to “Cannibal Love” unravels with a menacing guitar lick, into Kibby’s delicate vocals looped, topped with an eerie choral chant. It gradually evolves with guitar and steady drums, until the chorus, when a spaghetti western-like guitar unexpectedly emerges and steadily accompanies her delicate voice and a haunting whistle. The lush and ethereal, “Oljato,” is so immediate, lyrics aren’t needed to convey the emotionally gripping instrumental. Finding her voice as an artist and producer was a challenge at first, but Kibby welcomed it: “I feel like a lot of the time, I’m inspired by great records but I can't seem to bring that inspiration to the music I write. I really just wanted to find a way to make the music I like to listen to.” Now, over the hurdles and brimming with innumerable skills, she has set out to challenge herself further. “The last couple months I’ve been doing remixes… and now it’s like I have a full toolbox,” she exclaims. Her most recent triumph: a bouncy remix of School of Seven Bells’ “Dust Devil,” that percolates with her signature moody synth sound. White Sea will take precedence until Kibby rejoins M83 in the studio and on the road, but meanwhile, there’s plenty of sonic waters to cover. “I want to create a universe for listeners. That is my ultimate goal and I’ll probably be chasing that for the rest of my career.”

Hello, how are you?
Excited. Just started tour!

What are you currently listening to?

New St. Vincent, soundtrack to 'Drive'.

What are you up to these days, any new releases on the horizon?
I'm remixing like crazy and really just getting ready to write my new record. Unfortunately / fortunately I'm going to be constantly on the road for the next year so it should be a challenge but simultaneously inspiring I would hope…

When/where did you meet Anthony Gonzalez, how did the idea of you joining M83 come up?
Anthony and I have a mutual friend who showed him my music. He liked my voice and asked me to sing on 'Saturdays=Youth'.

What do you think of the latest M83 album?

Well, I wrote parts of it so I'm partial :) I think Anthony is brilliant, I'm thrilled to be a part of the next chapter of his project.

Do you have any other projects we should know about?

Aside from M83 and White Sea, I've started a duet project called Mohawk and Elsinore. The vibe is very 1960's french soundtrack

Your favorite Morgan Kibby track is ...?

I have yet to write it.

If you could re-record/re-write any soundtrack of your choice, which one would you pick and why?
I don't know about re-write, but I would have loved to participate in the recording of the soundtrack to "The Good, The Bad and The Ugly". It's just perfect and I frequently listen to it for inspiration.

You can only keep/listen to ONE album for the rest of your life ..which album would it be?
Joni Mitchell 'Blue'

Are you living your dream?

Thanx Morgan!

Morgan is currently on tour with M83, she is also working on a follow up White Sea album which should see the light of day soon(ish)..

REVIEW: White Sea - This Frontier

7 out of 10

I'll be honest I don't know if I can avoid the inevitable here, I will reference M83 in this review, hopefully you're OK with this? Because, much like the rest of the world, I wasn't really familiar with Morgan Kibby until she joined M83/wrote a good portion of 'Saturdays = Youth'. (Of course) When I found out that the keyboardist from M83 had her own project I dropped everything I was doing and went on a hunt.. and (of course) I'm hooked/love it/need more NOW.

White Sea is definitely "different" from M83, but you'll still hear/feel the connection.
Her music is a little more "dreary and desolate" (only in a few parts), it's also somewhat 'Poppier' (and kind of "dancey" too) but a little less "epic synth" driven (still synthy though). Ms. Kibby's music flows between Romantic Dreamy Pop sounds to club-like Dance tracks (almost "Goldfrappy"), to "slow and rustic". On her debut release Morgan shows us a wide range of styles that indeed do play off of each other well. It's a little short, but impressive none the less, I just hopeknow on her debut full length she will bring this EP to the "next level"..

recomMendedx83. A VERY STRONG debut indeed. (Oh! also check out the remix companion..)

Standout Tracks: Cannibal Love (would fit quite nicely on a SVIIB album), Mountaineer (sounds like another band shes in towards the end;)

Sunday, January 22, 2012

EverythingIsChemical Virtual 7" No. 16 - Ike Yard

"If the origin of my work is a scandal, it is because, for me, the world is a scandal..." ~Hans Bellmer

Next release comes out February 19th.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Cool Video Funtime #295 - Pleasure Palaces (+Bonus Video)

+ Bonus Video:) ..because I haven't heard from Ms. Wolfe in a while.. (new self-titled album later this year though!)..

REVIEW: Errors - Have Some Faith In Magic

7.5 out of 10
Find it here.

"Post-Electro". It's the label of the music Errors seems to so closely mirror, whether as a conscious effort of the band or not. But while many would fear subscription to the image of "Post-Electro", this Glasgow-based quartet in their seven years of existence have proven the depth of a genre too often underestimated. Every work of theirs is a fresh reminder that styles with the prefix "Post" these days don't always mean susceptibility to formula.

Errors's third album, 'Have Some Faith in Magic', is the product of none other than Rock Action Records. It seems logical for the Mogwai-ran label to foster a band like Errors, because in the ten tracks constructing their latest work, Errors finds themselves exploring as many styles as does their label. “Tusk” opens the album with a taste of blissed-out trance beats until a sonic flurry throws the listener into an epic world of heavy guitars and glistening synths. “Earthscore” pummels with tribal percussion and "Battles-esque" programmed vocals. “Blank Media” takes you back twenty-years with the dreamy guitar style of Pale Saints before mimicking the electronic melodrama and shine of M83. “Canon” parodies Errors's own curious brand of dance music as a slowed-down, minimal version of itself. However, nothing prepares the listener for “Holus Bolus.” It closes the album on the highest of notes: an anthem combining all of the band's spirits into one powerful and melodic ride.

Highly recommended. The newest full length from Errors proves that constant exploration still remains in their bloodstream. Don't let the stereotype of "Post-Electro" – or "Post-Rock" for that matter – hold you down. Stay loyal to the album's name, and "have faith in some magic" that a band's sonic pursuits can defy expectations and thrill the mind. Hear for yourself how Errors once again have proven themselves to be one of the most spellbinding acts in their field.

Standout Tracks: Magna Encarta, Earthscore, Barton Spring, Holus Bolus

Here's the cover art for the upcoming Jesse Ruins "debut"..

Jesse Ruins' "Dream Analysis" comes out February 21st via Captured Tracks.

This WILL be on my year end list (guaranteed).

Monday, January 16, 2012

EIC'S10Q'S w/ Charalambides

"..perverse western atmospheres, and the fine tuning of a Space Folk Opera.."

Seventh Heaven Bucolics

Charalambides Bio:
Despite occasional attempts by yardstick-makers to place them in any of the various genres that rose & fell in their musical proximity, Charalambides have remained dedicated to a vision of spiritual music (in all its forms) as transformative force. Their sound is uniquely personal and consistent, even through some outwardly extreme shifts in tactics.

Charalambides formed in Houston in 1991 amid a flock of fearlessly exploratory (and often drug-induced) rock bands, when Tom, Christina, and Kyle Silfer put down their beers and picked up their instruments. Eventually Kyle went home to New York, and Christina & Tom assumed the name Charalambides for what eventually turned into a flood of releases- beginning with 1992's Our Bed Is Green on their own Wholly Other label, and continuing with dozens of LPs, CDs, and cassettes on labels such as Siltbreeze, Eclipse, Time-Lag, and Kranky.

Despite occasional stints as a trio (first with guitarist Jason Bill and then with pedal steel guitarist & vocalist Heather Leigh Murray) and flourishing solo projects, Charalambides remains constant as the core duo of Tom & Christina Carter.

From their 2006 & 2007 Kranky releases A Vintage Burden & Likeness onwards, Charalambides has renewed their concentration on song-as-mantra (with intermittent guitar solos). But earlier recordings (like 2001's Unknown Spin) whisper of interstellar voids full of silence, or howl with ecstatically-received gnosis (2004's Joy Shapes).

Charalambides' live shows sometimes (and unpredictably) continue this latter thread, which often startles fans familiar only with the band's deceptively low-key reputation. Charalambides began playing sporadic gigs in 1992, making annual or semi-annual forays into other parts of the world from 1993 to 2005 (with the occasional year or two off). In 2006, Charalambides hit the road in earnest, touring the US/UK and making appearances at that year's Terrastock, Arthurfest and the Thurston Moore curated All Tomorrow's Parties: A Nightmare Before Christmas.

In 2008, after months of incessant solo and duo touring in the US and Europe, Tom settled in New York City, and Christina went to Austin, leaving touring aside (for a finite yet undetermined period of time) to concentrate on writing and recording. Their upcoming shows in Amsterdam and Hasselt (Belgium) are their first European performances since 2008.

Charalambides continue their recorded collaboration with Exile, a double LP of new recordings now available on Kranky.

Hello, how are you?
How indeed?

What are you currently listening to?

Christina: Last night I listened to Cesar Franck “Prelude, Chorale and Fugue” and “Prelude, Aria and Finale” as played by pianist Joerg Demus.

Who were your biggest influences when it comes to sculpting your current sound?
C: We don’t have a current sound. We have a permanent sound - and that is our sound. Our biggest influences have been all of the artists who have been driven to find out what their sound is/can be/will be, and who have done what it takes to realize that vision.

Is there a theme on your latest release?

C: Yes, 'Exile' has to do with subversion, inversion, decadence, dissolution, withering, extinction… A lot of reviewers try to find messages of hope on the record, but there really aren’t any messages of hope, per se. There is human fortitude in the face of these things, like on “Pity, Pity Me” the protagonist is not going to work at the factory any more because she has been physically crushed by the conditions of the job, and is dying. She begins the song seeming, yes, like she is asking for pity in a conventional sense, but by the end she is demanding pity, transformed into acknowledgement, from a position of right-minded anger. She is a ghost-voice haunting us with her death and her anger…. But, she still was only able to find release in death.

Will you be doing some extensive touring for said release?
C: No, we might do a couple of short jaunts in the late spring, early summer. Touring costs too much money these days and takes too much time away from earning money at our jobs and living actual day-to-day life. We’re done spending our own money to support touring at this point. I went into debt in order to travel and do what I love to do, but that isn’t sustainable over time. So now, we will play festivals and do a few geographically strategic shows and a few limited tours every so often. It will be interesting, I think, because it will create a different playing dynamic. The high-energy shows are best, when we, with the audience, are creating this feeling. My legs shake and I feel like we are all about to levitate. But maybe a new, different feeling will come out of this more limited travel.

Got any side projects/collabs coming up?
Tom: Christina doesn't do them so much but I do:
Tom Carter/ Dora Bleu / Sam Shalabi "Circle Of Crosses" LP on Tequila Sunrise / Bardo Pond/ Tom Carter 2xLP+CD reissue on 3 Lobed / Tetuzi Akiyama/Tom Carter/ Christian Kiefer LP on Monotype / still trying to find a home for Tom carter/ Robert horton "Nyida Days" ...and a whole bunch of solo LP projects I can't quite solidify yet. Also, looking forward to playing a live trio with Sandy Ewen and Sabir Mateen on 11/21 in Brooklyn... and releasing me & Sandy's next album (project name: Spiderwebs). I'm also doing some more recordings with Eleven Twenty-Nine (my project with Marc Orleans and Michael Evans, first LP on Northern Spy).

If you could re-score a movie soundtrack which movie would you pick?

T: Cocksucker Blues

Got any weird/interesting talents?
C: Yes. Singing, playing guitar, writing, spending time making and creating… seems to be weird and interesting in this place and time… United States, 2012.

You can only keep/listen to ONE album for the rest of your life. which album would it be?

T: John Coltrane 'Meditations'

Are you living your dream?
T: I'm balancing my own dreams and others' nightmares.

Thanx Brian, Christina & Tom Carter!

Charalambides are currently taking a breather from music, but I'm sure once they return ours ears will be graced with bliss yet again...

REVIEW: Charalambides - Exile

7.5 out of 10

Hey look, another Kranky review on EverythingIsChemical! Yay! I knew you were having withdrawals.. So, here it is; Charalambides' newest LP 'Exile', which is another (yes, another) notch in Kranky's "sexy audial bedpost".

'Exile' starts reeeeal slow, plucked acoustics slowly fiddled to minimal "reverbial" ambiance, eventually the plucks become more consistent and "obviously laying the tone" for whats about to come.. The bass slowly comes in, creating an "even more bleak" atmosphere, and that's when Christina comes in. Sultry/somewhat smokey and adorable vocals (almost) gives Charalambides all the structure it needs, it is the gorgeous link between Tom's "perverse western atmospheres", and the fine tuning of a Space Folk Opera (that's a thing). The whole album is very droney and proper for the Kranky catalog, if you know that sound you probably already got this album a while back. If you are still unaware of Kranky, STOP coming here, this blog is obviously pointless to you.

Almost 20 years later (yeah, they've been doing this for a while) Charalambides are still breath taking. If you're into desolate western tinged Pastoral Folk-Space bliss (ala Kranky). Recommended for those with hearing.

Standout Tracks: Before You Go, Immovable, Into The Earth (this is relaxing.), Pity Pity Me (so delicate), Words Inside (is my brain melting?)

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Cool Video Funtime #294 - Bulbform

EICV7" No. 16 - Ike Yard ..coming soon!

EverythingIsChemical Virtual 7" No. 16 - Ike Yard comes out January 22nd!

"..Mr. Halloway talks about this time of night as "soul's midnight", when men are closest to death, locked in the depths of despair.." ~Ray Bradbury "Something Wicked This Way Comes"

(hopefully you checked out the last v7"?)