“Fürst Mitternacht” is the latest track from the debut record from Munich-based artist Thomas Schamann’s dark pop outfit Grotto Terrazza. The project’s art-punk industrial tones glow in a similar hue as Dada vanguards Cabaret Voltaire with their grease-stained musique concrete pulse surging through the track.
The first solo full length from Mark Trecka, Everything Falling Crosses Over, uses handmade cassette loops and ambient piano behind Trecka’s demanding chamber style vocals that provokes a widescreen meditative experience that floats from serene stillness to thundering intensity.
North Carolina based folk music interpreter Jake Xerxes Fussell released two new tracks from his upcoming full length record Out of Sight due June 7th via Paradise of Bachelors. The instrumental piece of the record “Three Ravens” is inspired by a Ruth Crawford Seeger arrangement heard on a copy of Carl Sandburg’s The American Songbag discovered by Fussell at an estate sale in Oxford, Mississippi. The other release from Out of Sight, “Oh Captain,” is an homage to the work of Willis Laurence James who spent his life collecting and interpreting African American songbooks.
On top of the new tracks, Fussell has announced a slew of North American tour dates supporting the wonderful Daniel Norgren.
Before Trey Gruber’s songwriting potential could be realized with his band Parent, a years-long battle with addiction tragically paused his trajectory. Since his passing, Gruber’s partner Jessica Viscius and his mother have combed the hundreds of unreleased and unfinished recordings and compiled them into a posthumous collection, Herculean House of Cards, a 26-song, double LP covering years of the young Chicago artist’s home recordings, studio sessions, and audio captured during his last live performance at The Hideout with net proceeds from the record being donated to Gateway Foundation treatment center.
Learn more about Trey Gruber’s life and music at his website. The preorder for the LP has sold out, but more copies will be available on the release date June 28, 2019. A digital release will be made available via Numero Group on June 28, 2019.
Transmitting live from Black Mountain at 2,500 feet above sea level is Floating Action with the first single “Burst of Ordinary Light” from an upcoming full-length Old World Camels. Join in on some hydrotherapy in the new video for the single filmed by Kevin Ratterman starring frontman Seth Kauffman, David Givan, and Jim James.
Stay tuned for more information on the LP release.
Arranging sequences of minimalist electronics, lo-fi spiritual jazz, and pastel hip-hop loops, Will Miller returns with a full-length dose as Resavoir. The debut, self-titled record is out June 28th via International Anthem, the authority in exposing Chicago’s deep class of boundary-defying young artists.
Following their self-titled EP released earlier this year, Modern Nature, the new project from Jack Cooper (Ultimate Painting, Mazes) and members of BEAK>, Woods, and Sunwatchers, the band has announced their debut full-length How To Live and a video for the first single “Peradam.”
Modern Nature’s namesake focal point reacts to the congruence of the natural world and the colossal infrastructure of an advancing human race equated in their recordings as pastoral folk arrangements harmonize with synthesized electronics and motorik drum tempos.
Watch the video for the latest single “For The Old World” from the fifth full length record Dolphine from Erin Birgy as Mega Bog and first on Paradise of Bachelors. The record features contributions from members of Big Thief, Hand Habits, and iji.
The cult 1977 album from Akiko Yano, Iroha Ni Konpeitou, is scheduled for its first international vinyl repressing equipped with an OBI card due May 31st via the Paris-based WEWANTSOUNDS who have already outdone themselves with two other Yano repressings as well as Hiroshi Sato’s Orient and Jack Wilkins’ Windows, all of which were long overdue for their second birth onto wax.
Tick tock the clock of eternity, marks off the moments on by one. Unlock the time temporarily. Today was meant for everyone to see the shining of the sun.
Marj Snyder // Let The Son Shine (1971)
Scott Gilmore’s latest release, Two Roomed Motel, has the magnetic tonality of Eno or Yellow Magic Orchestra crafted with the lovable quirk and offbeat personality of home-recording messiahs like R. Stevie Moore or Ariel Pink.
Two Roomed Motel is your latest release and first on the Belgian label Crammed Discs. How does the records title accompany the tone of the record?
I wasn’t thinking of the tone of the music in relation to the title. My ideas about the music pertained to its composition and production. I don’t feel as though I can accurately say what the tone of the record is. The title is an acknowledgement of a specific feeling of sterility that colors the neighborhood I live in. I think this feeling is very common to most suburbs. They are always eerily empty. The forms of living are present here, houses, cars, occasionally a person, but feelings of vitality are ever absent. To feel alive in the suburbs is to feel at odds with them. To me there is a similar feeling that exists in motels. In a motel you're granted an intimate experience with a room that is utterly sterile. It appears to offer the comforts of home, but remains eternally uninhabitable. To fully inhabit the room as it exists, you must become as dull as the paintings on the walls - the room acts as an audience to the experiences within it.
You're based in the San Fernando Valley on the edges of Los Angeles. Your music has always felt like it exists on the fringes or outer rim of other genres whether that's pop, experimental, or ambient. How is your physical relation to a city with the magnitude of Los Angeles reflected in your work?
There are so many people making music in LA. I have a lot of friends who make music completely different than my own. It doesn’t feel like there is a scene, just tons of people scattered about the city working on art. I enjoy this disconnected feeling. It makes it feel like there isn’t any single overarching paradigm. Because I live so far out in the Valley, I’m constantly reminded of how vast LA really is. It takes a lot of effort for me to drive into the city, so many nights I end up staying home and recording. I think my physical distance from most other musicians adds to this disconnected feeling I experience. I’ve come to appreciate how being out in the Valley creates a sense of mental space to exist around my creative pursuits.
Your records have always featured a wide mix of synthesizers, drum machines, and non-traditional instruments. Did you approach the new record differently as far as recording equipment and instrumentation goes?
On my previous albums I recorded eight tracks onto tape and would then transfer those onto the computer where I would continue layering. On Two Roomed Motel, I recorded everything into the computer. Working this way from the beginning opened up a lot of possibilities. I got into writing melodies in the computer and then sending the midi messages out to external synthesizers. This process allowed me to get really detailed with sequencing modular synths, which opened up a whole new realm of exploration for me.
When some artists are working on a record, it helps to isolate themselves from outside influences and social media distractions. What’s your ideal scenario for recording an album?
I don't set aside time to work on an album, I'm always recording. Having my studio at home makes it very integrated into my daily life. There is never a question of whether I'm inspired or not. It’s just about maintaining the habit of recording every day. For reasons of productivity, I definitely find that distance from social media is helpful. I consciously don't engage with it too often. It disturbs me when I am suddenly, without making a conscious decision, staring at some social media app on my phone. I think repetitive use of social media makes us all forget how to sit and do nothing. Boredom is a very good motivator for an artist. The use of social media for purposes of entertainment lulls a person into a thoughtless state in which they only seek a distraction from boredom - in effect, extinguishing a moment, which would have potentially led to the idea for a new song. To scroll away at a stream of completely unrelated images is a very thoughtless act. It seems like this type of behavior and thinking is the antithesis of art making; which in a way is the practice of making a series of intentional decisions.
How are your influences or creative fuels consumed and digested while you’re working on new material?
While making this album I wasn't listening to much music at all. I could only listen to one or two songs before I would feel overwhelmed by ideas and I would have to go back to the studio and record. I didn't listen to much except for the classical radio station. Classical music was easier at the time to digest because I would mostly hear the melodies and the harmonic structures. When I would listen to something produced in a studio, there was so much for me to analyze in regard to production that it was very overwhelming for me. Since I wasn’t listening to much when I recorded Two Roomed Motel I was also using faulty memories of songs to help me come up with original ideas. I would be riffing off of an idea of some song I used to listen to all the time, but since it had been so long since I actually listened to it, I would be referencing an incorrect memory. In effect I was referencing something that actually didn’t exist. This process was helpful in coming up with some interesting ideas. I don't like it when my music sounds too familiar. I enjoy feeling as though I am exploring and discovering something new. For that reason, it’s helpful for me to not have an endless encyclopedia of music in my mind. If I did, there would be too many walls around me when I am creating. I enjoy at least believing in the fallacy that I am making something new.
Do you go off-the-grid or rather immerse yourself in the sounds and environments your art is born from?
The environment that my music is born from is the studio and all the instruments and machines inside. I don't go into my surroundings for inspiration. I am actually disturbed by the neighborhood I live in. The suburbs are an absurd, lifeless place. In a way my studio is somewhat off the grid, in the sense that it feels as though it exists apart from the environment outside. But, I am definitely not isolating myself. I am regularly collaborating with several musicians and have just finished an album with Eddie Ruscha V (aka, Secret Circuit). I have many ongoing musical collaborations, all of which sound very different from each other.
As an artist who experiments visually and sonically for each recording, do you feel pressure to think obscurely about how music is created?
No, I don't feel pressure to think obscurely about music. Often the quality in music that attracts me is something that is unexpected. I am not attempting to be obscure. I am trying to write music that is engaging and enjoyable to listen to.
Has being associated with experimental music had any impact on how you create and release your art?
I’m glad to be associated with experimental music. I have no desire to make one type of sound, or to make something that is easily classified. It allows me a sense of creative freedom when I’m recording and working on new material. If you’re labeled an experimental artist there is essentially nothing that exists externally to tell you when you can't do something. The only barriers that you have to confront are internal.
As you’ve gotten older, how have the things that motivate you to create changed?
My motivation for making music hasn’t changed. In high school, when I started to really get into recording my own music, I was listening to a lot of R. Stevie Moore, Sensations Fix, Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti, Arthur Russell, and the outtakes from the Beach Boys Smile sessions. I’d drive around listening to all of that music and this feeling close to euphoria would come over me when a song I really loved would come on. What most moved me about those artists is how their music seemed to exist in its own world. Whenever I came across another song that had this quality, I would be so happy, and I’d listen to it endlessly. Those moments have always been a source of inspiration for me. My motivation for recording lies in my appreciation for these types of songs - songs that don’t do what the listener expects and the overall sound isn’t immediately familiar - songs that take risks.
Had you developed any new fascinations while writing and recording Two Roomed Motel?
I really got into the sounds of the vocoder when making this album. It was a long process to find the one that I ended up using on the record. The sound I was going after was very clear in my head, but difficult to achieve. I went through a lot of different models before I settled on an old Roland Vocoder. I got pretty close to the sound I was after. I’m still curious about the Sennheiser vocoder, but I think those are upwards of several thousand dollars...