Monday, January 29, 2007

New Black Sun Ensemble Interview

Aural Innovations Webzine have posted a revealing interview with members of Black Sun Ensemble here. There is also an odd but ecstatic review of the "Bolt of Apollo" CD on the same page.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

2006 In Review for Deep Water Zine

Some thoughts on the best releases of 2006 are posted here. Also check out the thoughts of my fellow Deep Water scribes Kevin Moist, Mats Gustafsson and Lee Jackson.

A sample of the introduction is here:

This is the time of year I like to call "nailing smoke to a wall time". With the proliferation of releases on CD and LP on major and minor labels, and the explosion of artifacts issued by the handmade CD-R underground, chances of actually hearing more than an infinitesimal sample of what's going on are slim, and add to that the increasing impact of download only releases and you've got an exercise on par with sorting out the shenanigans of quantum particles. Nonetheless, here is a selection of ten releases that stayed with me more than briefly - works that in effect became invisible co-travelers in the hurtling rail cart that was my passage through 2006. More.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Tanakh CD Now Available for Mail Order

We're off and flying for the new year with our first 2007 release, Tanakh's "Saunders Hollow". We're particularly excited to bring you this, as it's the first release the band has done which hasn't been on the Alien8 label. Official street date is 14th Feb, but you can grab early bird copies by following the instructions at the end of this post.

Artist: Tanakh
Title: Saunders Hollow
Cat No: CAM078CD 8 tracks, 46:46 mins

About the release: Recorded the week before Ardent Fevers (already being hailed by critics as one of the best releases of 2006), in the same studio, with the same engineer (Bryan Hoffa), and with the same cast of musicians, Saunders Hollow, is not a collection of out-takes from those sessions, but a fully realised sister record to Ardent Fevers. Growing out of the song-writing explorations of Michele Poulos and Jesse Poe, Saunders Hollow is a record focusing on the songs of Poulos, who gave them to Poe in the form of thumb-strummed singer/songwriter demos. The results form a female Yin to the male Yang of recent Tanakh work. From the opening seconds of Poe's tortured guitar squalling to the final seconds of fading footsteps, bowed bass and saw that seal the record, the listener is treated to a million sounds all gently gelling into the world of sonic beauty we have come to expect from Tanakh, except for one thing…Tanakh in their ever changing exploration of sound have placed the lead vocals and songwriting in the ladybird hands of bassist and erstwhile backing vocalist Michele Poulos, leaving Poe in the musician/producer seat, dividing Poulos' previous backing vocal duties between himself and Isobel Campbell. What results is warm bouquet of songs that range from poppy-jazz, through renaissance remembrances, sweet folk, to dark drones and dreamy electronics and even straight up raunchy blues. Saunders Hollow is a place full of inviting mystery and rich texture, with musical twists and turns of every type, leaving the listener in a state of remembrance of all things past, like a stroll amongst Proustian Gardens. Gentle bass, scorching electric guitars, lilting tablas, Asian-strummed ukuleles, swirling electronics, lamenting violins, pulsing vibes, regal harpsichords, gospel organs and juke-joint pianos, sex-driven saxophones, folky acoustic guitars, sound-scaped lap steels, pulsing drums, and honeyed vocals grow together in an immense garden of sound and color that populates the dream landscape of Saunders Hollow.

About Tanakh: Tanakh is the banner for music written and improvised by a collective of musicians; music that is focused towards beauty and experimentation within structure instead of towards a particular musical genre or style. In the last six or so years this revolving collective has included a large number of musicians headed up by principle songwriter Jesse Poe. Although currently residing in Florence, Italy, Poe comes from a background of American rural music. His great-grandfather wrote country ballads and his great aunts and uncle had a live radio program broadcast out of Indiana. Tanakh has released a series of critically acclaimed CDs for the Alien8 label including "Villa Claustrophobia" (2002), "Dieu Deuil" and "s/t" (2004) and "Ardent Fevers" (2006).

Press for previous LB releases:

"Opulent and low key, gilded and grimy, humid and gorgeous." Ian Penman on "Villa Claustrophobia" for The Wire, July 2002. "Enhanced, groove-centered propulsion punctuated by the frequent Muscle Shoals-style horns, dustbowl lap steel, and a surprising abundance of hypercharged, Crazy Horse guitar soloing." Pitchfork reviewing "Ardent Fevers", April 06

Check out MP3s:

Go to the Camera Obscura Web Site and select "Sounds" from the menu. Or visit:

Price US$15.00/AU$22.00 including shipping.

Go to: Camera Obscura Web Site to purchase on-line via Paypal.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Agitated Radio Pilot Column for Deep Water

I just penned a column for Deep Water covering eight releases by Irish outfit Agitated Radio Pilot:

You can read it here.


Irishman Dave Colohan is a central figure in the United Bible Student movement, his voice unmistakable, his presence always felt. When you get your hands on an Agitated Radio Pilot release (they can be elusive) and wrap your ears around its melancholy pleasures, it's clear that the music of ARP is a conduit for Colohan's most personal thoughts and feelings, which are presented unfiltered (mostly) by the collaborative imperatives of other familial projects like United Bible Studies and Magickal Folk of the Faraway Tree. When seven ARP releases came across my desk in a quite short space of time, the opportunity to round 'em up and make some kind of sense of the project's progress seemed too good to pass up. For the sake of completeness Your Turn to Go It Alone, which was received somewhat earlier (though still in 2006), is included. More.