Blues Control & Laraaji collaborate for FRKWYS series, introduce Americans to the concept of “stillness”

Blues Control & Laraaji collaborate for FRKWYS series, introduce Americans to the concept of "stillness"

Welcome back to Tiny Mix Tapes, your most trusted source for news, tips, and gossip relating to zithers, laughter therapy, abstract hard rock, and white baseball caps. Last we left Blues Control, it was 2009 and they’d just released Local Flavor (TMT Review) on Siltbreeze, which later received props for being a really good record. Last we left Laraaji, it was 1980 and he’d just released Day of Radiance, the third entry in Brian Eno’s Ambient series, which was followed up by many other albums that we all ignored since they weren’t entries in Brian Eno’s Ambient series and instead simply offered “deep centering and calm.” Now it’s 2011, the year that all things must converge, and so Blues Control and Laraaji chose to collaborate on an album as part of RVNG Intl.’s ongoing FRKWYS series, to be released on November 15 on LP, CD, and double-cassette. Previous FRKWYS volumes have paired up Julianna Barwick/Ikue Mori, Arp/Anthony Moore, and James Ferraro/Daniel Lopatin/Laurel Halo/Sam Godin/David Borden, but this might be the Laraajiest entry yet.

Keyboard conjurer and wearer of flannel Lea Cho spoke with Andy Beta earlier this year about working with Laraaji, describing it as “an emotional, spiritual, positive, healing experience. I really can’t convey the immensity in words… It’s rare that I cry from sheer joy, gratitude, and awe of beauty, but I was holding back tears at one point during the session.” The album was edited down from a single-day, four-hour improvisation at Black Dirt Studio with the three musicians + occasional contributions from Laraaji’s pal Arji Cakouros, and since there was way more bliss produced than could be contained on a single record, a couple download-only tracks are going to be included as a bonus (such as the 35-minute “Somebody Scream” zither megajam). Listen to the opening track over at RVNG’s SoundCloud and get your pre-order in here.

In other news, Blues Control are currently in the studio finishing up their next album, to be released by Drag City sometime in 2012. You can check out a home recording from earlier this summer right now at their own SoundCloud. Turns out it’s even prettier than that framed Chickenfoot setlist on your wall.

FRKWYS Vol. 8 tracklisting:

01. Awakening Day
02. Light Ships
03. City of Love
04. Freeflow
05. Somebody Scream *
06. Astral Jam *

* bonus tracks

• Blues Control:
• Laraaji:
• RVNG Intl.: