Monday, January 30, 2006

Great Goblin Market Review on Dusted Site

There is a great review of the new Goblin Market CD at Dusted. Read Mason Jones' review of "Haunted" for the prestigious e-zine here.

More details of this release can be found at the Camera Obscura web site by selecting the item from the new releases section on the right-hand side of the main page.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Releases for First Half of 2006/Carnival Compilation

These are the discs I'm hoping to release in the first half of 2006. more details of the Fell release are further down the blog, and on the web site, and details of the other releases will be posted here as they get written up.

CAM074CD - Fell - s/t - Feb 06
CAM075CD - Christian Kiefer - "Czar Nicholas is Dead" - Feb/Mar 06
CAM076CD - Lucky Bishops - "Unexpect the Expected" - Mar/Apr 06
CAM077CD - Black Sun Ensemble - "Bolt of Apollo" - May 06

We're also working on a compilation on the theme of carnival for later in 2006. We've always thought of the traveling carnival as a sociological phenomenon that warps and shifts with whatever time period it is traveling through, existing as a conduit for freaks and misfits and hucksters to exploit and be exploited and as a metaphor for the beauty and terror of existence itself. "All human life is there" as someone once said. A mythological world of clowns and carnies, bearded ladies and strong men, dwarfs and giants, tent shows and side shows, arcades and Ferris wheels.

We were profoundly affected when we saw HBO's dust-bowl travelling carnival drama "Carnivale", but the planned compilation is not a tribute to that series. But if folks want to take away the dark magical realism of that series and use it as inspiration, that's more than OK. Tell the truth, we're just as influenced by the surreal world sketched by Jackson C. Frank in his astonishing song "My Name is Carnival". Might even call the compilation that. Or "In the Name of Carnival". Something like that.

Without being programmatic, the pieces we're looking for are probably along a song-based, psychedelic folk axis, with singer-songwriter, loner folk and experimental input also welcomed. And under five minutes, but that's totally open to suggestion and variation if good ideas are thrown at us. Enough material comes in and we'll expand beyond a single disc compilation, so pass on to whoever you think would be interested.

Contributors so far in alphabet order:
Above the Orange Trees
Devendra Banhart (tentative)
Nick Castro
Sean Connaughty (Salamander)
Current 93 (tentative)
Forgotten Works (Erik from Salamander)
Christian Kiefer
Sharron Kraus
Marissa Nadler
The North Sea (Brad Rose)
Marianne Nowottny
P.G. Six
Pothole Skinny
Alec Redfearn (and the Eyesores)
Timothy Renner
Damien Youth

Get in touch if you are interested!

Lady and Bird CD

I've only just discovered this 2003 CD, a collaboration between French chanteuse Keren Ann Zeidel and Icelandic pop star Bardi Johannsson, and it's simply extraordinary. It's incredibly French by virtue of Keren Ann's breathy vocal stylings and subtly strange also (no doubt) due to the Icelandic input. I feel already like I've known and loved this album all my life. It's mixture of oddness and accessibility is really interesting, and it's also a pretty outre artefact to have issued forth on a major label (EMI France) and I wish the majors were this adventurous in other territories. Many reviewers have noted the cover versions (altered images of Lou Reed's "Stephanie Says" and the MASH theme song "Suicide is Painless"), but these are not the main game - in fact the album would have been even stronger without them, ie focussing on the lady and bird dialogue concept running through the disc and culminating at the unforgettable final track "The Ballad of Lady and Bird".

Highly recommended, and obtainable from Amazon UK, USA and elsewhere, though best priced on Amazon UK, I think, especially with the rebate of VAT.

Latest Reviews for Terrascope On-Line

If you feel so inclined, please check out some of my latest scribings on new releases for the Terrascope UK site:

Alligator Crystal Moth CD-R "Solis" on Musicyourmindwillloveyou
Xenis Emputae Travelling Band CD-R "Goat Willow" on Barl Fire
Gary Higgins "Red Hash" CD on Drag City

Random quote from the Gary Higgins review:

What Higgins and various members of Random Concept and the Wooden Wheel
created during roughly 40 hours of recording in February 1973 was and is
remarkable. 'Red Hash' (the name given to Higgins by fellow inmates while
he was on remand) is bearded-loner-psych-folk of the highest water. The
record starts with the signature rural sounds of' 'Thicker than a Smokey',
recent covered on the Six Organs of Admittance CD 'School of the Flower', and
it's the kind of track that would have been a major hit if Higgins had been part
of the West Coast singer-songwriter scene. Seemingly effortless melodic and
rhythmic structures flow like fine wine though the arteries and veins of this
music as the lyrics somewhat map out elements of the then-dying hippie

Friday, January 27, 2006

Fell CD coming in February

Fell is a new project by Josh Wambeke of the Denver, Colorado psychedelic pop duo Phineas Gage (last heard in 2000 on their Camera Obscura CD "Reconsidered"). The band began life as a series of four-track tapes culled from a backlog of Josh Wambeke's demos - experimental odds and ends deemed unsuitable for inclusion in the Phineas Gage repertoire due to their heavy usage of electronics and drum machines. When Wambeke's colleague in Gage, Patrick Porter, embarked on an extensive globe-trot and started on a series of solo releases, Wambeke set out to combine the existing electro-ambient feel of these demo tracks with the heavily-reverbed space guitars and layered, subterranean vocals that had comprised the Phineas Gage sound. Recruiting local drummer Josh Cedillo and friends Zac Hilman, and Mike Dewey, Wambeke purchased home recording equipment and spent the next year in his grandmother's basement recording the songs for a first Fell album.

Heavy influences during the recordings included Joy Division and the Cure's "Disintegration". As sessions for the album progressed, Wambeke took on more and more of the recording himself, the creation of the songs becoming a kind of therapy during a time of uncertainty and depression. A year's worth of basement sessions gave birth to this CD. A number of shows were played, but eventually Hilman and Dewey left the band for other ventures. Currently the group consists of Wambeke and Cedillo, who are continuing to record new songs for future releases. The Fell CD runs the gamut from psych to space to post-rock with nods in the direction of early new wave and ambient electronics but in the end it is the band's effortless song craft and precise arrangements that propel tracks like the hypnotic "Data-Backspace=Error", the melancholy "End Forever", the haunting "Vacant Song" and the sublime acoustic closer "Cause of Cancer" into hearts and stratospheres

For more information, go here and click on Catalog menu option, then click on 2006. Check out an MP3 on our Sounds page too.

Mail order date should be 02 Feb, and and then later in February release dates in various territories. We'll keep you updated!

Best Buy Eats America

Best Buy Eats America. Read CTD supremo Patrick Monaghan's incisive analysis on the latest indie-destroying numbskulledness by the evildoers at Best Buy here:

A fascinating and necessary debate.