Monday, April 30, 2012

EIC's 10Q's w/ Christina Vantzou

"..minimal/basic beauty.."

(Photo Credit: Julie Calbert)

Christina Vantzou
Quiescent Grace

Christina Vantzou Bio:
Christina Vantzou is an artist, musician, and composer. Born in Kansas City, she attended the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore (1997-2001) and moved to Brussels in 2003 where she currently resides. Over the past decade Christina has made drawings, prints, animations, videos, and video installations. In recent years sound has become a key aspect of her artistic identity. In 2003, Christina met Stars of the Lid's Adam Wiltzie and together they formed The Dead Texan (Kranky). After several years of touring with The Dead Texan becoming a touring member of Sparklehorse (summer 2007) Christina started making music of her own. Over a three-year period, using synthesizers, samples, her own voice, and working by ear, with Reason, and a homemade library of orchestral samples, Christina meticulously pieced together a 45-minute music composition. In 2010 she began working with Minna Choi (director of Magik*Magik orchestra), who translated the digital score to sheet music for a seven-piece ensemble. This collaboration culminated in recording sessions with Magik*Magik at Tiny Telephone in San Francisco. The album was mixed and mastered in Brussels and was released on Kranky on October 24, 2011. Titled Nº1, it is the first installment of a planned series of recordings by Christina with an orchestra component. As a whole, Nº1 includes the release of a CD, a film, and a selection of remixes by various artists.

Hello, how are you?
I'm very fine thank you.

What are you currently listening to?
In the last 24 hours I've listened to Debussy, Fuck Buttons, Laurie Spiegel and Danzig.

Why the length of time between The Dead Texan and now, what prompted your "return"?
I didn't really seem like a timeout to me....I've been working steadily, nose to the grindstone, it just wasn't publicly visible until the release of Nº1.

Speaking of The Dead Texan.. I gotta ask, will that project ever see the light of day again?
Dream on Dead Texan fans....

I love the remix companion you just put out, how did you go about choosing the artists to contribute?
I first asked White Rainbow to do a remix because I'm a fan of his music and we had recently met and i intuitively thought it would be an interesting experiment. When he said he would do it I pondered who else might be into it. I started emailing friends and acquaintances with remix requests....sometimes I got a yes and sometimes a no. I just kept writing people until I had 10 who were in.

Is there another solo LP in the makes?
Yes!!! Nº2 is in the works.

Who is your favorite Kranky artist of all time?
There are many, too many over the years to pick a favorite. I've clocked in hours and hours of Low, Godspeed.., Labradford, Pan American, Loscil, Atlas Sound, White Rainbow, Stars Of The Lid...Ken Camden is a newly discovered favorite.

Got any other projects we should know about?
Well....I'm working on an album made of synth samples only. I've spoken about making a dance record but I keep churning out the slow jams. Can't help it.

You can only keep/listen to ONE album for the rest of your life ..which album would it be?
Big Boi's 'Sir Luscious Left Foot The Son of Chico Dusty'. And I'd sneak in the B side of Laurie Spiegel's 'The Expanding Universe' for contrast.

Are you living your dream?
My dream changes every minute.

Thanx Christina!

Christina V. is currently on tour in Europe, make sure to check out a live show if you're in the area..

REVIEW: Christina Vantzou - Nº1 Remixes

7.5 out of 10

Christina Vantzou first came across my radar (and probably yours too) with the 2004 Kranky release 'The Dead Texan', which was a project with her and Adam Wiltzie (Stars Of The Lid/A Winged Victory For The Sullen). To this day I still think "Glen's Goo" is one of the best Kranky songs of all time. Needless to say I will be in this/these artists debt(s) for as long as they record/I live. After Dead Texan Christina went on tour (as a traveling member) with Sparkling Horse (whom I miss:() and began writing material for her debut release 'Nº1'.

This is the remix companion to 'Nº1', Christina asked some artists (Loscil, Dustin O'Halloran, White Rainbow name a few) if they were interested in remixing her work. Some said yes, some said no. The first 10 (and best probable) choices were picked. Judging by the artists on here, I'd say Christina hangs out with a pretty interesting/awesome crew. The original intention of Ms. Vantzou's work was minimal/basic beauty generated from a synthesizer (or something close to it in nature). That same "theme"/overall tone is still present on 'Nº1 Remixes', only as seen or heard rather through other perspectives. I will say that the original songs felt "almost darker" than this release, the remixes are a little more "light and airy" I suppose. But I think that the choices for the remixes were chosen well, they all "pay homage" to Christina's sound quite perfectly. Slow moving synths, drones, white noises, etc. meets Neo Classical Ambiance mixed with a few vocals (which I found surprising and inviting) + a few minimal structures built on top (I don't want to say "beats"), and just that "nice-niceness" that you'd come to expect from anyone related to the Kranky family. You know how it goes, new Kranky = happier EIC.

Nuthin' here but gorgeous stuff, hear to lull you. Recommended.

Standout Tracks: And Instantly Take Affect (Loscil Remix), Prelude For Juan (Montgomery Knott Remix), Small Choir (Ben Vida Remix), 1111 (Dustin O'Halloran Remix), Steady Beamin (White Rainbow Remix) <-LOVE THIS SONG., Homemade Mountains (ISAN Remix), The Adversary Of Evil Budd (Bonus Track From The Dead Texan) <-!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Bandcamp Theme Time: "Mellow Tranquility"










I just wanted to ease into this morning, these guys helped me out with that ..just thought I'd share.

Cool Video Funtime #314 - OJ (+Bonus Video)

+ Bonus Video:) ..because Alcoholic Faith Mission are awesome and I'm slightly hung over..

Monday, April 23, 2012

REVIEW: Fotoshop - Lifeforms

8.25 out of 10

I can't remember when or how I stumbled across Fotoshop, but I'm certainly glad I did. So far Fotoshop (aka Jarno-Erik) has this album and an EP under his belt, both are pretty much equally amazing, but I lean towards 'Lifeforms' because it has more ..and I'm greedy for good sound:)

I guess Chill Wave is the quickest way to explain Fotoshop's sound, but don't pigeonhole him yet. The music has a really strong Pop sensibility to it that at some points kind of reminds me of Duran Duran. Fotoshop, to say the very least is pretty catchy, like REALLY catchy actually. A few other bands Fotoshop sort of resembles are; Sinner DC, Teeel (#29), and Radio Dept., so all that + catchy = awesome for you. 'Lifeforms' is a "Bright & Futuristic" journey through a "Hazy Dream Sequence". The mood can range from upbeat midnight techno drive scores to 80's Radio Friendly "ballads". All done on a computer, all you (computer composed melody) haters out there need to recognize. Wrrd.

A really strong debut, I can't (and hopefully won't have to) wait to hear more from this artist.. Definitely Recommended for the masses.

Standout Tracks: Do I have to? They're all pretty awesome to be honest, but if I HAD TO; Too Little Too Late, Speed Vs Distance, Summer, The Door

EIC's 10Q's w/ Fotoshop

"..bright & futuristic journey through a hazy dream sequence.."

Reverie Reformed & Restructured

Fotoshop Bio:
Heavily disoriented synthethizers, basslines and beats, not unlike in Shoegaze, Trip Hop or Techno combined create the atmosphere of Fotoshop. Mostly everything, from composing, instruments, vocals, programming, mixing, mastering to graphics and some videos is made by Jarno-Erik at his home studio (a macbook and, well, not much more).

Hello, how are you?
I'm good, thanks for asking. Right now recording vocals for a new track. I'm not sure yet when it's going to be released.

What are you currently listening to?
I got excited about At The Drive-In when I heard about their comeback. So that and Jonsi from Sigur Ros. And always Elliott Smith!

What's with the band name?
I'm sorry about it (*laughs*). I don't really know, I thought it would be clever. Maybe it suited better the direction I went with my old demos. I use Photoshop a lot though. If I'm not making music, I'm making some retro sci-fi artwork.

Did you know what kind of sound you were going for when you began writing for it?
Sometimes. But mostly it evolves while I'm working with it. I love to try out different sounds and atmospheres.

What do you do when you're not being a musician?
In addition to artwork, I love to follow scientific publications and new studies. Psychology and space exploration, I'm very excited about the speed of new planets being found. I guess it's just a matter of few years until we have found a big number of planets that could be supporting life. And let's not forget what they are doing in laboratories testing their theories in quantum physics.

When should we expect another album from you?
This year, no doubt. Maybe I'm going to do an EP first.

If you could choose any 3 artists to remake/remix the album whom would you pick and why?
Caribou, because it's so lovely! Damon Albarn, because I have listened his sounds for a long long time. Com Truise would be cool too, I like his synths very much.

Got any other projects we should know about?
Helsinki has some very nice things going on right now. I should mention at least French Films which is getting pretty much attention already, Zebra and Snake is really good, and I love the sound of Aves.

You can only keep/listen to ONE album for the rest of your life ..which album would it be?
Then I guess I'd have to make a choice between Belle and Sebastian's 'Tigermilk' and/or Radiohead's 'Kid A'. They are so different, I'd have to let a coin decide.

Are you living your dream?
In a way, yes. But it's more of a path than a place, so it's not that hard!

Thanx Jarno-Erik!

Fotoshop is currently under the radar and shouldn't be, maybe tell a friend or two and get the word out...?;)

Sunday, April 22, 2012

EverythingIsChemical Virtual 7" No. 19 - Colin Nance

"When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your Eyes Turned Skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return." ~Leonardo da Vinci

Next release comes out May 20th.