Like a breath from nowhere: three unheard Arthur Russell tracks emerge

Like a breath from nowhere: three unheard Arthur Russell tracks emerge

Arthur Russell… where to begin. Musically speaking, the guy was a renaissance man, a devastating (de)constructor of music, an amplifier of sounds, and engineer of imaginary worlds. (Deep inhale.) Russell was a formally trained cellist learned in Eastern classical music, an NYC underground music scene mainstay, a fluent mastermind of (mutant) disco singles (“Let’s Go Swimming,” “Is It All Over My Face,” “Go Bang!”), country ballads (Love Is Overtaking Me), new wave (Calling Out of Context), and whatever the hell World of Echo is. The last of which remains his most stirring statement.

World of Echo is an almost-too-personal portrait of a person frighteningly naked. It’s like peeking at someone’s soul through a keyhole. This is blues music for ghosts — a skeletal singer-songwriter blueprint all impossible cello patterns and narcotic, reverberating distortion. It is the most singular and individual of the lasting memories we have of the late Arthur Russell’s genius, though it is certainly not the only deep imprint he left behind. His heady brew of otherworldly compositions, always toying with spatial and temporal dimension, acted (acts) as a mutually beneficial catharsis for both himself and his audience. His music always had the hazy glaze of a dream state, easily lending itself to psychological escape and the capacity to provide an outlet for the moral and social burdens that accumulate during everyday life. In this way, Russell’s music is a therapeutic release of sorts, a purging of internal and external demons that transports the listener to uncommonly beautiful places.

In virtue of his immense variety and perpetually-in-flux approach, Russell showed himself to be an ever-shifting sonic puzzle with a body of work always in motion, always changing and always growing.

On that note, even in death his canon grows. Three new Arthur Russell tracks have been unearthed, and they are good, real good. As FACT report, these songs were spawned from a series of 1985 recording sessions with multi-instrumentalist Steven Hall. The story goes that Russell had been called in to mix and produce Hall’s own music, and ended up dominating the sessions (at least, that is what my ears are telling me). Like everything in his back catalog, these cuts have one foot in another world. The starkly dubby “Foxy Pup” is the most immediately recognizable as an Arthur Russell Product, and the best of the bunch as well.

You can hear “Foxy Pup” below, and stream all three tracks on Hollie Records’ SoundCloud page. “Foxy Pup” will be released on 12-inch via Hollie on April 20.

• Hollie:

Sun Araw’s European vacation: more guitars, less Chevy Chase (sadly)

You know, our own James Parker was right in his review of Sun Araw’s most recent effort The Inner Treaty (TMT review). Sun Araw do sort of lend themselves to verbose, ostentatious descriptions. That being said, the purveyors of languid, interstellar-island-psych jams (see? I know some words!) better known as Sun Araw are taking the show overseas to peddle the aforementioned jams to the Old World.

Hot off an appearance at Unisex Earplug, TMT’s first (unofficial) South by Southwest showcase, and collaborating on an art installation (I’m assuming this was a real story, I don’t really trust anything published on the internet on April 1, regardless of the source), Cameron Stallones is packing up his pedals, synths, and shit for Europe. The tour hits up a lot of those tiny countries I can’t find on a map — my sincerest apologies to our Latvian readers — so I did get a nice little geography lesson while writing this piece. It wraps up in Berlin at a venue called West Germany and I know just enough about history and geography to be confused by the venue’s name. The American public school system didn’t completely fail me in that regard, teaching me that the Berlin Wall fell in my lifetime.

Part-time Sun Araw member and fellow ambient dude (okay, I ran out of words) Deep Magic a.k.a. Alex Gray (a.k.a. DJ/PURPLE/IMAGE) will be joining Sun Araw on a bunch of the dates. A new Deep Magic album, titled Reflections of Most Forgotten Love, will be out on Preservation. It should be noted that Dracula Lewis, Love Cult and Diva + Matthewdavid are also making appearances on the tour.

The dates are as follows:

04.05.13 - Moscow, Russia - Artplay *
04.06.13 - St. Petersburg, Russia - Zoccolo *%
04.09.13 - Tallinn, Estonia - Kino Sõprus
04.10.13 - Valmiera, Latvia - Kafērīga
04.12.13 - Lisbon, Portugal - ZDB @
04.13.13 - Lisbon, Portugal - venue TBA
04.15.13 - Amsterdam, Netherlands - Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ *
04.16.13 - Belgium, Brussels - Les Ateliers Claus
04.18.13 - London, UK - Corsica Studios *
04.19.13 - Bologna, Italy - Bologna Live Arts Week Festival
04.20.13 - Madrid, Spain - Electronica En Abril
04.21.13 - Barcelona, Spain - Upload
04.23.13 - Lausanne, Switzerland - Le Bourg *
04.24.13 - Milan, Italy - Spazio Concept #
04.25.13 - Turin, Italy - Spazio 211 #
04.26.13 - Padua, Italy - Pulse #
04.27.13 - Ljubljana, Slovenia - Kino Siska #
04.29.13 - Rome, Italy - Dal Verme #
04.30.13 - Naples, Italy - venue TBA #
05.03.13 - Berlin, Germany - West Germany *

* Deep Magic
# Dracula Lewis
% Love Cult
@ Diva + Matthewdavid

• Sun Araw:

Light in The Attic to reissue Public Image Ltd’s First Issue, do a pretty good job of actually making a re-release interesting

Whenever I hear about an album being reissued, my first question is always “why should I buy that?” Even if it’s an album I love and it’s been remastered, I’m always hesitant. Only when I feel like my experience or understanding of the album can be enhanced do I indulge in one of the endless string of reissues that get brought out every month.

Well it seems like Light in the Attic is trying to grab the attention of discerning music buyers such as myself with their reissue of Public Image Ltd’s album First Issue. They’ve reproduced the original LP sleeve and included extras like a poster, news clipping, and stickers. A little more bang for your buck. Tack on that this is the first time this album has been properly released in the US and it sounds quite nearly like the perfect storm. The LP and 2CD editions are both up for preorder on Light in the Attic’s site, so they can be delivered straight to your doorstep upon June 18 release.

First Issue tracklisting:

01. Theme
02. Religion I
03. Religion II
04. Annalisa
05. Public Image
06. Low Life
07. Attack
08. Fodderstompf

• Public Image Ltd:
• Light in the Attic:

Robedoor releasing new album Primal Sphere on Hands in the Dark, attempting an apocalypse do-over

In a perverted, masochistic way, I enjoyed the sense of possibly-impending doom the supposed apocalypse brought to 2012. Somehow, even if I never really believed such a thing could or would occur, the pall of probably-not-but-what-if decimation felt novel bordering on epic. Brushing up against a sci-fi nightmare/dream brought a weight to things, for those of us disconnected enough from reality and with overactive imaginations.

The members of Robedoor seem to be similar overly-imaginative, end-of-the-world romantics. Their upcoming album Primal Sphere absolutely drips gritty SF; just check out the tracklisting. To me at least, the name of each track seems like a little snippet of a doomed world. There is also something poetic about being a year late to the cataclysm party, and I’m sure this has not escaped them. If I was a paranoid man I would say Hands in the Dark is, by releasing this album on May 14, attempting to start that catastrophe-clock again. This could just be wishful thinking on my part, though; the naïve part of me wants to live my sci-fi fantasy and Primal Sphere could be the perfect soundtrack.

Primal Sphere tracklisting:

01. Stagnant Venom
02. Blasted Orb
03. Flannel Shroud
04. Concrete Brother

• Robedoor:
• Hands in the Dark:

Black Francis is going on tour this spring to promote the comparative utility of future Pixies tours

Dear TMT Newswriters of the future:

If you’re reading this, then I am dead… tired of writing for this shit magazine. Congratulations on your overworked, underpaid, overlooked, under-appreciated position as an official journeyman TMT newswriter. Before I left, Mr P made me promise that I’d create a small list of pointers for future writers here, and even though I told him to go stick it, I’m such a goddamn font of productivity that I couldn’t help but think of a few, so I figured I’d jot them down for you. Good luck, suckers.

1) If you discover that an artist whom you’ve started writing about has tourdates listed that are not already formatted in the usual TMT way, don’t write that story. But don’t un-reserve it either. No one else will want it.

2) The editors “say” they want you to embed stuff rather than use gratuitous links that carry readers away from the TMT website, but that rule never applies to that Dave Grohl “Fresh Pots” video because every music fan always needs to see that right away.

3) Just leave Jeff Tweedy alone.

4) While it’s always funny and appropriate to make up fake nicknames for venerable Pixies frontman Frank “Black ‘Prankie Blackstar’ Francis” Black, it’s important to remember that that dude is huge and scary, and that he does tour the US every once in a while in support of some such frustratingly un-Pixies project or another. And He will not hesitate to totally find you and eat your fingers. If you don’t believe me, just ask my speech-to-text assistant program about the last time I jerk-off sleeping at the yuppie’s summer pudding, knishes?

Black Francis tourdates:

04.26.13 - Burlington, VT - Higher Ground Lounge ^
04.27.13 - Boston, MA - The Sinclair ^
05.02.13 - Harrisonburg, VA - Clementine Cafe *
05.03.13 - Chattanooga, TN - Rhythm & Brews *
05.04.13 - Jackson, MS - Martin’s *
05.05.13 - New Orleans - The Mint *
05.07.13 - Pensacola, FL - Vinyl Music Hall *
05.08.13 - Jacksonville, FL - Underbelly’s *
05.10.13 - Greenville, SC - The Handlebar *
05.11.13 - Charlotte, NC - Visualite Theater *
05.12.13 - Virginia Beach, VA - The Jewish Mother *
05.13.13 - Washington DC - The Birchmere *
05.14.13 - Asbury Park, NJ - Wonder Bar *

^ Dennis Crommett
* Reid Paley

• Black Francis:

Mount Kimbie announce new LP Cold Spring Fault Less Youth on Warp, appeal to feral animals with new single “Made To Stray”

Whether you couldn’t help but stare hypnotically at the gigantic ass on the front cover, or you were left completely awe-struck by the album’s evolutionary take on the dubstep (non-brostep) genre, 2010’s Crooks and Lovers (TMT Review) from British duo Mount Kimbie for sure entered your purview at some point during that particular year. Reviewers were almost universally smitten, and therein may lie the reason for the almost three-year lapse in between that album and their just-announced LP for Warp, Cold Spring Fault Less Youth, due out May 28.

THE PRESSURE… to offer a worthwhile follow-up to a successful debut album would be enough on its own, but when you’re one of a handful of forerunners precipitating a post-genre movement, the pressure to keep up the post-ness, would, I imagine, tend to be overwhelming. Or maybe it just comes creatively natural to them. Or definitely it comes creatively natural to them, as you’ll undoubtedly hear if you listen to the new single, “Made to Stray,” below.

Those sure sound like original vocals. And going even further in terms of deviations from their debut, the album features two collaborations with British singer-songwriter (and part-time Rick Astley doppelganger) King Krule, on the tracks, “You Took Your Time” and “Meter, Pale, Tone.” Past the tracklisting, peruse the plethora of tourdates, many of which have Holy Other supporting. Pass that up, I surely shan’t.

Cold Spring Fault Less Youth tracklisting:

01. Home Recording
02. You Took Your Time (feat. King Krule)
03. Break Well
04. Blood and Form
05. Made To Stray
06. So Many Times, So Many Ways
07. Lie Near
08. Meter, Pale, Tone (feat. King Krule)
09. Slow
10. Sullen Ground
11. Fall Out


05.02.13 - Berlin, Germany - Certain People, Berghain
05.04.13 - Liverpool, UK - Sound City Festival
05.05.13 - Lisbon, Portugal - Night + Day Festival
05.10.13 - Vienna, Austria - Poolbar mit Pratersauna
05.11.13 - Basel, Switzerland - Imagine Festival Kaserne
05.18.13 - Berlin, Germany - Night + Day Festival
05.24.13 - Paradiso, Amsterdam, Netherlands - London Calling
05.25.13 - London, UK - Field Day Festival
05.30.13 - New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom *
05.31.13 - Philadelphia, PA - Union Transfer *
06.01.13 - Washington, D.C. - Black Cat *
06.02.13 - Cambridge, MA - The Sinclair *
06.04.13 - Montreal, QC - SAT *
06.05.13 - Toronto, ON - The Hoxton *
06.07.13 - Detroit, MI - Magic Stick *
06.08.13 - Chicago, IL - Lincoln *
06.09.13 - Milwaukee, WI - Turner Hall Ballroom *
06.10.13 - Minneapolis, MN - Fine Line Music Cafe *
06.13.13 - Vancouver, BC - Fortune Sound Club *
06.14.13 - Seattle, WA - Neumos *
06.15.13 - Portland, OR - Doug Fir Lounge *
06.17.13 - San Francisco, CA - The Independent *
06.18.13 - Los Angeles, CA - Echoplex *
06.23.13 - London, UK - Osterley Park (Night + Day Festival)

* Holy Other

• Mount Kimbie:
• Warp:


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