Monday, March 5, 2012

EIC's 10Q's w/ Mike Wexler

"..laid back, somewhat dizzying & enchanting.."

Mike Wexler
Prognosticate Black Vertigo

Mike Wexler Bio:
Almost perversely skilled in the Jansch-ian school of acoustic guitar picking, Mike Wexler snake-charmed the Brooklyn underground in the mid-2000s with his free-form songs and druidic Robyn Hitchcock voice. A startlingly affecting and spare debut released on I and Ear Records in 2005 immediately placed Wexler far above his dronier freak-folk peers. He pursued more expansive territory with full band instrumentation and captivating arrangements on Sun Wheel, the elliptical 2007 release on Amish Records. Wexler returned in 2012 with Dispossession. His first recording for Mexican Summer, Dispossession was the result of over two years of intermittent recording, an eerily beautiful sound world featuring guest appearances from members of White Magic and the Occasion as well as a host of N.Y.C. improvisers.

Hello, how are you?

What are you currently listening to?

I just picked up the re-issue of 'Sonanze' by Roberto Cacciapaglia. That and the new "Blue" Gene Tyranny LP are getting a lot of spins around here.

Whom were your biggest influences when it came to sculpting your sound?
Well I think as far as songwriters go you can probably guess. I've been listening to a lot of "new music" in the old sense, like records released by lovely music or New Albion, Scelsi & The Spectralists, the revolutionary ensemble--those sorts of things have had an impact on the sound of this record.

Is there an overall theme on 'Dispossession'?
There are themes, yeah. I wanted to say something about the present-- which I think inspires hope & dread in equal measure. It's about humanity at a crossroads, technology and the mythic dimension of science & materialism, the expansion of our capacity to understand the world and to see (literally--I'm thinking of tele/microscopes), history on the scale of geological time, and then human history, prehistory, post-history. And I'm always thinking about Utopian energy as a player on the world stage, sometimes for the good, sometimes not.
We're looking at a complicated state of affairs. There's the danger of reducing it to rhetoric. I don't want to tell you what to think, or attempt to solve any superhuman problem, but I feel it would be dishonest not to try to reckon with the real because in any event there's no escaping it. A song feels real to me when it sounds less like a statement and more like a picture of the world, with all of its ambiguity intact.

Is there one track on said album that is more personal than the rest and why?

It's all really personal, tho I get to "the personal" in a roundabout way. I don't really sing about myself, but then the feeling that comes through, I hope, is very much to do with me, very personal, and I hope to tap into some universality on that level.

How did you get connected with Mexican Summer?
A mutual friend was kind enough to pass on the record & we went from there.

Got any strange/unusual talents?

What movie would work best on mute with your music as it's soundtrack?

You can only keep/listen to ONE album for the rest of your life ..which album would it be?
It's all or nothing. But I guess if I could hear 'On the Beach' once in awhile that would be ok.

Are you living your dream?
A dream--yes. It's not always mine.

Thanx Mike and Julie!

Mike Wexler recently released his debut Mexican Summer album 'Dispossession', I highly recommend you get that NOW...

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