i-N Session with i-D Magazine
Roll up a sleeve and bare your main line: Chelsea Wolfe wants to get right in your blood. I’ve been listening to Apokalypsis for a few weeks now, and while it has immediate merits (it’s calamitous but not abrasive, creepy but still analgesic), I’ve wondered how much of my admiration was infatuation, how much Wolfe’s dark art would eventually prove to be artifice. Well, let no one question the power of an outstanding live show. Having watched Wolfe’s recent session with i-D mag, my faith has surged and I’m in a happy daze, ready to give the album another listen with new, hypnotized ears.
The video is three songs, three of the album’s finest: “Tracks,” “Mer,” and “Movie Screen.” “Mer” is a personal favorite — incredible for its primal, consistent guitar line, like the gentle but potentially drowning pitch of waves. “Movie Screen” seems less about any single film and more about the haunting white of a screen in a dark room; the hymnal buildup mimics that glow. The Vimeo page offers credits for make up, hair, and wardrobe, to whom we owe thanks for the innovation of Jesus-crotch. Just listen for yourself, in that dim red room.
All this is pretty much a primer for Wolfe’s six upcoming NYC/CMJ shows, where I’m sure sharp sound will flay scores of new fans.
For years, Leslie Keffer has been the indefatigable queen of American noise and the lifeblood of the Nashville music scene, booking almost every interesting show that comes through the city (from Thurston to R. Stevie Moore) at Betty’s Bar where she worked. She even has her own noise tabloid. Give It Up, her second LP on Ecstatic Peace, debuted earlier this year. With this material and her other recent tracks, she has been slowly digging a secret tunnel between the noise underground and the dance scene. Good idea to keep an eye on her; whether she’s partnering with other artists like Unicorn Hard-On or writing a wildflower advice column, she is always up to something fascinating.
• Leslie Keffer: http://soundcloud.com/lesliekeffer
“Un chanson si vieille”
At an exhibit last year in Paris featuring the artwork of Jacob Kassay, multi-instrumentalist and visionary composer Rhys Chatham created beaming ambience to serve as the soundtrack to the visual experience. The art consisted simply of tarnished mirrors on stark white walls. Chatham’s addition to the scene mimics the brightness and minimalism in the gallery, as he improvises freely on a barely-processed trumpet over a shining synth glare.
For all of us who missed the show, small time label Primary Information has released the recording of the performance in the form of a four-track LP, with sleek and simple cover art designed by Kassay. It is entitled Rêve Parisien.
Chatham has been producing excellent experimental music since the early 1980s, as this is his 19th release (or so). He has collaborated with greats such as Charlemagne Palestine and Tony Conrad, and has orchestrated fantastic live performances of his music throughout the years (such as 200-guitar-army, which he has gathered several times to perform his powerful piece entitled Crimson Grail). Rêve Parisien is a little more subtle and intimate than some of Chatham’s previous live productions, but proves to be as equally poignant.
Rêve Parisien is available through Primary Information’s site, which also features two teasers from the recording, including the clip below.
• Primary Information: http://primaryinformation.org/index.php?/upcoming/rhys-chathamreve-parisien
• Rhys Chatham: http://www.rhyschatham.net
• Jacob Kassay: http://jacobkassay.com
Astro Nautico has released a new EP from fresh Baltimore-based producer howse, entitled Trakz. The music on Trakz contains a truly unique blend of rough samples and glowing synth textures, iced with a thick layer of juked-out hi-hat beats. It’s like that crazy footwork music for uncoordinated pothead white kids. No, not really; it’s tight. From the first few gratifying beats of “Porch,” to the unexpected drum storm in “Jinglst,” to the heartaching “Resin,” the EP is a trek from what is dance music to what it could be. We are streaming the EP from Soundcloud, but you can also listen to the whole thing on Astro Nautico’s Bandcamp, which includes a fantastic remix of each track.
Trakz is howse’s third release. His other two are called Undizputed (which contains a mind-boggling whacked out version of TLC’s “No Scrubs”) and JSTCHLLN; you can “name your price” for a copy of each of these on his Bandcamp.
Kevin Greenspon is a thoughtful, precise, and conceptual composer. You will rarely see an experimental/ambient musician play tracks live exactly as they sound on record, but that is what you might get at a Kevin Greenspon show. He has recently released a short tape containing the standalone piece Waypoint on his own Bridgetown label (which has been pumping out tapes, CD-Rs, and DVDs at breakneck speed this year), and though you might have to see him in person to fully realize it, the piece isn’t blissed-out or mindless in any way. It is a focused beam of emotion made with guitar and effects.
“Better When You Flow”
So, I’ve mentioned something like this before, but to reiterate: Matthewdavid is a magician to me. Aside from his musical talent and unmatched production skills, he knows how to pick winners on his own Leaving Records. New Julia Holter (repress coming soon) jam in the spotlight? Check. Working on Ras G and LIVEPHREAXXX!!!! cassette volumes, what? Double Check. Matthewdavid bumping up Serengeti? TKO! “Better When You Flow” got me mad prop-points on turntable.fm and hawt looks on the LIE. But listen to them production cuts, that throb-throb baaaaaass, and sick snare scratch vocals. What do you think hits home in hip/hop these days? “It obvious u dont hav 2 ask.” Once again, Leaving Records’ beats brake more cassette players across the globe thanks to Davis. Reel it around and.
• Leaving Records: http://leavingrecords.com