Gather round friends for a menagerie of songs inspired by the British band Broadcast and assorted loose associations. The sound of simulated wood grain and shag carpeting, reel-to-reels and tube amplifiers. Homegrown oscillating synthesizers that pulsate over the beat of an iridescent Gretsch trap set. Simultaneously from the future and the past, decked out in the accoutrements of 1960’s post-modernity.
Vanishing Twin (“Cryogenics Will Save Your Life”) are good candidates for carrying on the sound that Broadcast had exemplified – a prominent rhythm section with well defined and melodic bass lines, overlaid with bloops, bleeps, chimes and chords – with a mysterious chanteuse leading the whole thing. Their 2019 release The Age Of Immunology is probably one of my top faves of last year.
Heya! and welcome to a new year new decade. I’ve decided to revive a series started with the Outersound Underground blog that was once called Weekly Orbitings, compiling some latest releases and news in an easily digestible post. This is changing to a more vaguely titled Random Orbitings, publishing when there’s enough good material to post. With that, here’s some good material that’s been playing around here lately.
Last week saw a new release from Matthew Shaw, once known as Tex La Homa – with an offering called Into the Unknown. Matt has shed the Tex moniker and is going under his given name. After a few years of producing mostly ambient and found sounds work, he returns to a style that harkens back to his more structured sound from the early 2000s.
Next up is an improvised soundtrack to the silent film Nosferatu, by Argentina’s Bosques. Back in 2015, the band “had the opportunity to play live music at the sold out screening of ‘Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens’ (1922) by Friedrich Wilhlelm Murnau, during the Independent Film Festival Festifreak No. 11.” The captured performance – Cómo sanar de lo monstruoso: Música para ‘Nosferatu‘ – is finally seeing a release, and it’s a mesmerizing blend of dark and light that will definitely creep you out if listened to alone.
Meanwhile over in Manchester, the 5-piece Purple Heart Parade offer up a new EP, entitled Desolation Angel, to kick off the year. Staying with the venerable Club AC30 (who pressed a short-run of 250 copies on 180g 12″ orange and purple split vinyl), these guys continue to hone a guitar-driven sound that echoes earlier bands like (the) Verve. Here’s a video for the lead single “Petrichor”.
Lorelle Meets the Obsoletehave announced a month-long US tour with The Underground Youth, starting in early March. I’m hoping to catch them at the Cleveland stop, and they’ll also be playing shows at SXSW and the Treefort Music Festival in Boise, Idaho. The full list of dates are posted on their Facebook page.
Stay tuned for my best of 2019 list, as well as a roundup of my favorite bands of the 2010’s in the coming weeks – thanks for reading, and until next time, pleasant orbitings…
This article was originally published in the fifth issue of Masstransfer, 2002.
“local Detroit shoegazers that seem to have come out of nowhere to become the most talked about band in town”
Once in awhile, a band comes along that catches you by surprise, both by the quality their music and their ability to walk right into a scene and make an impact. Such is Au Revoir Borealis, who after only releasing 1 EP, has many people interested in following their progression.
I asked guitarist Steve Swartz how long it took them to break into the biz. “Well, we’ve actually been together for years, but only as a band for about 3 or 4 years. I (Steve) met Michael Carian, our drummer while in college. We shared a common obsession of music and went to tons of shows almost on a weekly basis. Through Michael, I met Justin VanSlembrouck who primarily plays bass in the band. Justin and Mike sort of grew up together.
Now at this point, I had been actively playing music for about 10 years. Justin had only been actively playing for about 2 years and Michael had never played drums actively ever. He always wanted to play drums, but never really had a chance to dig in. One day, Justin called me and wanted to get together and just jam out for a while. When we did, I think we played for about 8 hours straight! It was crazy! We had so much fun though. Justin and I kept playing for kicks. Michael eventually wanted to join the fun and Justin happened to have a drum kit in his basement. That’s basically how Au Revoir Borealis formed.”
“I think every human needs a creative outlet, some means of self expression. Music happens to be mine.” Meet Adrien Capozzi, the musical mastermind behind some of the most inventive indielectronic music of the past 2 decades. “But really what keeps me going is the nagging feeling that I can make something more interesting than last time. I just have to try again!”
Originally part of the NYC-based Carpetbomb records crew, he has recently picked up the mantle again after a few years in the wilderness, and hasn’t skipped a beat, so to speak – in 2018, he released no fewer than 4 full-length albums, with another album and EP so far in 2019.
Take a road trip down memory lane as I throw in a virtual mixtape of sun baked tracks pulled from the archives.
This episode is inspired by those late summer jaunts we would take around Labor Day weekend, grabbing at the last straws of summer, trying to enjoy a little bit of warm freedom before fall and winter hit in Michigan. Usually we would drive east towards New York, New Jersey, Boston, just to get away and there would always be lots and lots of music because there was lots and lots of time. We would dub some mixtapes before we would go so we’d have things to listen to in the car.
This article was originally published in the third issue of Masstransfer, 1999.
It has been said that in order to produce a great work of art, the creator must struggle and suffer to achieve the breakthrough that will make their art unique. If this is true, then Perplexa’s new CD is a masterpiece, representing a leap forward in both song quality and musicianship. Sustained by guitarist Rob Schurgin and drummer Jon Wald, Perplexa has survived 4 years of personnel changes, studio relocations and a general life of poverty in order to truly express the music within them.
From the moment I first heard them on the “Psych For Sore Eyes” compilation EP 6 years ago, and up to today – Lorelle Meets the Obsolete remain one of my favorite bands of the decade. The songs they produce are so genuinely unique, there are no direct comparisons or sonic competitors.
After hearing the track, I had to look for more – and I found Corruptible Faces, a swirly amalgam of guitar-noise-drone mixed with hypnotic beats and acoustic treats, layered with the hazy alternating male and female vocals of Lorena and Beto. It took a few months for that album to really sink in, with each passing week revealing a new favorite track.
This article was originally published in the sixth issue of Masstransfer, 2003.
I couldn’t pass this one up – going to another country to see a band from across the Atlantic, one of my favorites at the moment.Sure going to another country was actually just crossing the tunnel to Canada, but since the band was Malory, I would have gone to Mexico to see them!Their sound, which blends early 90’s shoegazing (a la Slowdive) with modern mechanics and technology, is instantly engaging.That said, I was really surprised that hardly anybody showed up!
Malory was playing shows in North America this year as part of the Alison Records tour, that included Skywave, Mellonova, and about five other bands.They played in Windsor, Ontario, at a place called The Diesel Lounge – somewhere that Ratt or Poison likely played at the week before.
Hello, and thanks for joining me on another audio-go-round of cosmic bliss. In this episode, I’m revisiting some of my favorite bands and albums from 2018 – starting off with probably my favorite band of the moment, Ulrika Spacek. In fact, many of the artists in the episode have only flown across my radar in the past few years or so, including , Listening Center, and The Advisory Circle.
Sprinkled in among the new blood are some long-time favorites like I Am Robot And Proud – who released a kickin’ album late last year called Lucky Static; and My Autumn Empire – aka Ben Holton, one-half of the classic British post-rock duo Epic45, with the epic title track from his latest album “Oh, Leaking Universe”.
Rounding out this episode, and easing you into oblivion, comes “A Living Thing” – the title track of the recent album from ambient kingpin Steve Swartz (Swartz Et), who has been immersed in the Detroit space/ambient/folk scene for close to two decades now. At one time, he was part of the dreampop group Au Revoir Borealis, who achieved some success in the early 2000’s. From there he went on to a more acoustic sound with his solo project For Wishes, and in the last few years has gone in a more ambient and conceptual direction. Stay tuned for a Masstransfer Rewind on Au Revoir Borealis in the coming weeks.
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