AIDAN BAKER UND DIE GEREMIXTEN NYMPHEN

Posted in Release on December 22nd, 2013 by D.K.

Anfang des Jahres ist “Already Drowning” über Gizeh Records erschienen. Ein Album auf dem Aidan Baker Songs vereint hat, für die er sich weibliche Stimmunterstützung eingeholt hat. Unser Interview zu jedem einzelnen Song könnt ihr hier nochmal nachlesen.

Jetzt gibt es mit “Tout Juste Sous La Surface, Je Guette & Selected Remixes from Already Drowning” eine digitale EP als Ergänzung, die schon im nicht grad kurzen Titel alle notwendigen Informationen enthält. Neben einem Track des Albums gibt es vier Remixe von Tracks des Albums. Der Titeltrack des Albums ist von thisquietarmy überarbeitet worden und kommt zunächst reduziert aufs Nötigste durch die Boxen, um nach hinten raus breitbeinig zu überraschen. “30 Days / 30 Nights (A.R.C. Soundtracks Remix)”, minimiert auf die klassischen Parts des Tracks gepaart mit tiefen Basssounds und sich wiederholenden Phrasen, ist betörend magisch. Schneider TM macht aus “Melusine” eine Art Elektroloop mit Nymphengesang oben drauf. Der “AB Heartbeats Remix” von “Ice” stammt aus der Feder des Hauptkünstlers und hat wirklich einen Beat und ist fast schon ein tanzbarer Track.

Die digitale EP gibt es für einen kleinen Beitrag via Gizeh Records.

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AIDAN BAKER LÄSST DIE FRAUEN SINGEN

Posted in INTERVIEWS, Release on April 12th, 2013 by D.K.

Aidan Baker ist ein fleißiger Musiker, der mittlerweile eine Diskografie im dreistelligen Bereich hat. Was bei anderen Musikern in der Belanglosigkeit endet, führt bei Aidan Baker zu stetigen Weiterentwicklungen in dessen Soundkosmos. Letztes Jahr überraschte Baker mit einem Album, auf dem gleich ein Dutzend bekannter Drummer spielte, dann wenig später ließ er mehrere Gitarristen seine Stücke einspielen und nun steht mit “Already Drowning” ein Album vor der Veröffentlichung, auf dem jeder Track von jeweils einer Sängerin (ein Track auch im Duett zweier Vocalistinnen) eingesungen wurde.

Thematisch geht es bei “Already Drowning” um die verschiedensten Mythen & Sagen rund um weibliche Fabelwesen aus dem Wasser. Das Artwork ziert eine Meerjungfrau (“Der seltene Fang” von Ernst Herter, fotografiert von Aidan Baker), die Songs zieren die Stimmen der Sängerinnen, die die Lyriks von Aidan Baker vortragen und teilweise auch in ihre eigenen Sprachen übersetzt haben. Musikalisch fällt die Platte schon allein wegen der opulenten Instrumentierung aus dem bekannten Schema. Baker spielt natürlich das Meiste selbst, Streich- und Blasinstrumente sind von Gastmusikern beigesteuert und Leah Buckareff von Nadja legt ein paar Akkordiontöne nieder. Die Platte folgt stilistisch keiner bestimmten Linie, sondern hat eher eine alles zusammenhaltende Atmosphere, ähnlich wie “Laughing Stock” von Talk Talk, das eine überraschende Reise zwischen Slowcore und Post-Rock bietet. Eigentlich ist alles zwischen Jazz, Blues und Drone auf “Already Drowning” vertreten.

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Wir haben mit Aidan Baker über seine Gastsängerinnen gesprochen und ihn gefragt, ob er sich noch daran erinnert, wie er mit den Damen zusammengekommen ist:

Clara Engel – “Already Drowning” – Bluesig und jazzig zugleich.
Clara and I first met 5 or 6 years ago when we worked together briefly at a bookstore in Toronto. We have since played a number of shows together in Toronto. Clara also sang and played guitar on my piece “Liminoid” performed and recorded live at The Music Gallery in Toronto in 2009.

Jessica Bailiff – “30 Days/30 Nights” – Streicher und treibende Gitarren- und Drumsounds.
I have listened to Jessica’s music for a number of years, as well as her partner Boduf Songs (with whom I collaborated for the Infinite Light Ltd. project), although I have yet to meet either of them in person. I got in touch with her through a mutual friend at Brainwashed.com to ask whether she would be interested in contributing to Already Drowning.

Maude Oswald & Valérie Niederoest – “Mélusine” – Unheimlich doppelstimmiger Sirenengesang mit improvisierter Instrumentierung.
I met Maude and Valérie after seeing their band Toboggan play in Berlin in 2009 and I really liked their music. I particularly liked the way they sang together, so asked them to do a duet on Already Drowning.

Joanna Kupnicka – “Mein Zwilling, Mein Verlorener” – Akustikgitarre und deutsche Lyrics. Folkig und ein bisschen skurril.
I wanted one of the songs on Already Drowning to be in German to represent my current home of Berlin and my identity as an ex-pat Berliner. Joanna was recommended to me by our mutual friend Stefan, co-owner of the Berlin record shop Bis Auf’s Messer. Joanna’s vocals with her band The Cold Hand have a bit of a Berliner cabaret feel, so that added (to my mind, at least) a bit of a historical connection to the Berlin music scene, beyond just the German-language lyrics.

Geneviève Castrée – “Tout Juste Sous La Surface, Je Guette” – Die perfekte Melange aus erhabenen Melodien und eigenwilligem französischsprachigem Gesang. Ein heimliches Highlight mit ergreifendem Refrain.
I first met Geneviève when she and her partner Phil Elvrum (Mount Eerie) came to see Nadja play in Seattle in 2009. Geneviève gave us a copy of her Ô Paon album “Courses” which I liked a lot. I also wanted to have a song on Already Drowning in French to reflect my Canadian background (Geneviève is also Canadian, although she lives in the US at the moment). This may not be readily apparent, but the lyrics of this song take some imagery from the Margaret Atwood poem ‘This Is A Photography Of Me’ which is something of a classic Canadian poem that everyone has to study in school. This poem also deals with drowning, which is something of a recurring theme within Canadian literature…so this song has a lot to do with Canadian identity…

Liz Hysen – “Ice” – Artrockiges Epos , mit einer einnehmenden Klimax.
I have known Liz the longest of all the singers on this album. We first met some time in the late 90s when the band I was playing with at that time (short-lived and long relegated to obscurity) opened for Liz’s band Picastro. We have since played a lot of shows together, toured together a few times in Europe, and released a semi-collaborative split album “Fool, Redeemer” (Broken Spine) together in 2011. Many times when we were touring together, I would play guitar in the band, but I had never had Liz sing on my music, so that was something I felt was missing from our musical relationship.

Carla Bozulich – “Lorelei” – Wie ein Selbstgespräch in einer Bar, in der ein schmierige Mariachiband im Hintergrund sitzt und Songs probt. Rauh und verwegen.
I discovered Carla’s band The Geraldine Fibbers in the early 90s and have since followed her work with her various projects. Carla’s contributions to Already Drowning were done via filesharing and we didn’t meet in person until 2010 when Evangelista performed in Berlin. She lived in Berlin for awhile last year, so we were able to play collaboratively together in person a few times, including one live performance opening for the Italian band Father Murphy.

Already Drowning erscheint über Gizeh Records und ist auf Vinyl, CD oder als Download vorbestellbar.

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MERE

Posted in Release on July 21st, 2012 by D.K.

Mere sind Gareth Davis an der Bassklarinette, Thomas Cruijsen an der Gitarre und Leo Fabriek an den Drums. Die drei Musiker sind eines Tages zusammengekommen, um den Soundtrack für eine niederländische Fernsehsendung aufzunehmen. Am Ende ist “mehr” entstanden, wie der holländische Projektname “Mere” verrät.

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Das Album besteht aus drei improvisierten Tracks, auf denen die drei Musiker ihre eigenen Ideen so unbekümmert einfließen lassen, dass genau aus diesem Grund eine Art magische neue Musikrichtung entstanden ist. Klar kann man hier von rockigem Freejazz oder jazzigem Dark-Ambient sprechen, aber Fakt ist, dass die drei hier nicht vorhatten, eine Schublade zu bedienen.

“I” fängt harmlos an, wie eine live mitgeschnittene Annäherung der einzelnen Musiker. Verhalten schön baut sich der Song langsam auf. “II” ist im Vergleich ein Freischein fürs “Drauflosspielen”. Während die Klarinette jazzige Klangakzente setzt, legt die Gitarre eine düsterbluesige Grundlage. Die Drums scheinen einer 70er Jahr Krautrockaufnahme entrissen zu sein. “III” setzt diese Reise fort und lässt sich viel Zeit für kleine Pausen, in denen die Sounds einfach nur vor sich hergleiten, um am Ende wieder anzuziehen und gemeinsam auszubrechen. Dieses Album ist gleichsam introvertiert, ausdrucksstark, improvisiert und strukturiert.

Mere ist über Gizeh Rercords erschienen.

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A-SUN AMISSA

Posted in Release on February 16th, 2012 by D.K.

A-Sun Amissa ist das neue instrumentale Projekt von Richard Knox und Angela Chan aus Leeds. Die beiden dürften als Glissando dem ein oder anderen bekannt sein. Idee für das neue Projekt war das Interesse an neuen Sounds, die nicht in den Glissando Piano-Shoegaze-Kosmos passen. Gemeinsam mit Owen Pegg haben sich A-Sun Amissa daher ins heimische Studio verzogen und eine Reihe von teilweise improvisierten Cello-Viola-Gitarre Songs aufgenommen. Das Ergebnis klingt wie ein Soundtrack für die Zombie-Horror-Version von James Bond (also wenn es so was gäbe…).

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Bei A-Sun Amissa erschaffen die Streichinstrumente Dronelandschaften und die Gitarre ergänzt das Gesamtbild durch bluesige Einschübe. In der Regel ist diese Rollenverteilung bei experimentellen Bands andersrum gegeben und genau das macht diese Band aus.

„Desperate In Her Heavy Sleep“ ist nach einer 3inch CD EP das Debütalbum von A Sun-Amissa, das Ende März über Gizeh Records erscheinen wird. Das Album ist unterteilt in fünf Songs, wovon vier in kleine Episoden aufgeteilt sind. Den Opener „Arm in Arm To A Full Awakening (i. Rusted Clocks Sing Faded Hymns / ii. Woven / iii. Nomere)” könnt ihr euch schon mal vorab anhören. Die restlichen vier Songs führen den Sound des Openers weiter aus und sind mal mehr Drone, mal mehr Klassik, mal mehr Blues, mal mehr Ambient mit einer stetigen Spannung, die diese Platte zu einem „haben müssen“-Album macht. Das Mastering von Lawrence English (Ambient-Noise-Musiker aus Australien) trägt sicherlich auch dazu bei, dieses Album zu mögen.

A-Sun Amissa sind derzeit mit Aidan Baker auf Tour, siehe Tourdaten auf unserer ONTHEROAD Seite.

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HER NAME IS CALLA INTERVIEW

Posted in DIE DENOVALI SWINGFEST BANDS 2010, INTERVIEWS, Release on August 26th, 2010 by D.K.

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Her Name Is Calla veröffentlichen im Oktober ihr erstes richtiges Full Length Album “The Quiet Lamb” über Denovali Records. Mit ihrer Mischung aus Alternative, Folk und experimentellem Rock haben sich die englischen Musiker in weit über sechs Jahren Bandbestehen einen festen Platz in der englischen Indieszene erspielt. Neben zahlreichen Liveauftritten in Europa hat die Band mehrere EPs und Singles veröffentlicht, unter anderem das Minialbum “The Heritage”, das zuerst bei Gizeh Records erschien und später von Denovali Records wiederveröffentlicht wurde.

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Die Preorder zum neuen Her Name Is Calla Album “The Quiet Lamb” startet am 29. August.  Passender Anlass für uns, Sänger Tom Morris einige Fragen zur neuen Platte und einigen weiteren Themen zu stellen:

Your first real full length album „The Quiet Lamb“ is ready to be released. What took you so long?
Heh, I’m not sure really. We had a few set backs along the way. We had all sorts of problems: relocations, breakdowns, money problems, drink problems, label problems. All sorts of shit. Eventually we found ourselves in the good hands of Denovali and at a point in our lives where we thought we were ready to make the album that we’d dreamed about for so long. I think in general, we probably recorded parts of The Quiet Lamb about four or five times, but would scrap it and start over. All in all, I think it was about a year to record and mix. We record everything at our homes and do it all ourselves. We can’t afford studios or to pay people to record or mix for us.

We all have different opinions in the band as to whether this is actually our first album. Some members think that The Heritage is an album. It’s a weird subject for us.

The record sounds like you locked yourself in a homely room and started rehearsing your songs together, while you recorded everything. The sound has a very private atmosphere. Tell us something about the recording sessions.
The songs are certainly very private. I write the lyrics and most of the basic song structures before we flesh them out fully as a band. We’d normally record the bass, drums and guitar live at someone’s house, normally Adams. Then we’d all go away and separately record our vocals/violins/trombones etc. There were a few times we’d come together again to do communal vocal parts and things, but mostly we recorded separately at our homes. We use Dropbox, so everyone would put their parts in there so I could access them easily and add to the mixes. Some of the songs such as The Union had been around for two years. It was only now that we felt it was ready to record and release.

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The epic Song “Condor and River” accompanies your musical career from the beginning. It is the center piece of the new album and was released twice before. The new version sounds more aggressive, with much more intimate vocals. What is the reason for your constant connection with this song?
Well, it wasn’t really at the start of our career. That was just the first main release that people picked up on. We’d been together about three years before we released that. Then it appeared on a minor release that was a vinyl only split with our friends Maybeshewill. This is the first major release that it’s had really. It was always planned to be on this album, but we didn’t realise that there would be such a big gap between The Heritage and The Quiet Lamb.
The original recording was very rushed; we’d only just written it when we recorded it. So we weren’t totally sure on how to play it. It was great to finally rerecord it as we were fed up of hearing the original that was full of mistakes and terrible vocals! Plus, we now had the experience of playing it all these years and managed to hone it to a certain quality that we felt was agreeable with us. I feel that the arrangement and the performance is stronger, as well as the recording quality. It was definitely an important song for us to get right.

There are also new versions of “Pour More Oil” and “A Blood Promise” on “The Quiet Lamb”. We saw you playing them live and we were hoping that you would put them on the album. Did you plan to release them on the album or was it a coincidental progress?
Both those songs were always meant to be on the album as well. Pour More Oil is a song that we really enjoy to play live and was one of the first songs that we finished during the mixing process. It now seems to be one of the songs that people really respond well to at shows, which is great. It’s nice to able to move onto newer material.

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The album ends with the three parted “The Union” which moves from an alternative song to an instrumental noise monster until it happens to end up as a drifty trumpet leaded rock song, that could easily be on a Robert Rodriguez movie soundtrack. Must have been an amusing recording session with many merged ideas?
Yeah, on paper it sounds as a random mish mash of ideas, but it actually had a lot of thought put into it. We’d played around with the suite of songs for around two years and the Mexicana part was always supposed to be the final part of the album. We’d talked about closing the album that way for some time and wanted the album to show some clear steps forward from our previous record. It definitely puts a smile on our faces playing The Union, though it’s really quite hard to play. Into the West is actually the hardest to play musically. The drums are pounding non- stop and the bass riff is so difficult! But it is very rewarding for us to play the whole thing; very enjoyable.

It seems that everyone of you is doing backing vocals live and on your releases. How did this develop, did everyone sing by choice or were there some of you cautious?
No, I don’t think anyone had a problem with it really. No one in the band is particularly shy and there’s certainly nothing any of us could do in front of each other to be embarrassed by. We’ve seen each other at our worst moments.
We’ve always had a lot of harmonies in our songs and it’s good to add an extra dimension live. It’s important in Calla to be as versatile as possible. We all want to progress as musicians. We’re always willing to try something new and different to expand our sound.

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What about the album artwork? On the first look it seems to be a positive motive with bright colours and a figure and a white lamb, but there are also these little black crosses and the ripped out face. Who designed it and what is the connection with the record?
A friend of Adam’s designed the front cover. She’s called Hannah McCague and she also did the artwork for Moss Giant. We used both pieces as the artwork for our tour t-shirts as well. We were really pleased with the work that she did; it looks really unique. We actually had a different artist for every song on the album. Stephen Clark, who was the artist for The Heritage and Long Grass also appears. There were submissions by fans of the band also as well as Tinhead who did the artwork for the first Foals album. It was great to have lots of different interpretations of the songs.

What are your expectations for your first performance at the Denovali Swingfest?
It will be great to hang out with Timo and Thomas our label bosses again. They’re really fun guys and great supporters of our music. Also it will be nice to see Heirs again, we had a good time with those guys last time we played together. They’re a really great band. It will also be great to hang out with some of the other Denovali bands. There’s a lot of quality across the label.

Will you come to Germany again this year to play some club shows to support the new album?
I don’t think we’ll come this year unfortunately; unless someone invites us to play something particularly great. After Swingfest I don’t think we’ll play any more shows in Europe until next year. We’ll see.

her name is calla

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