I promise I don't set out with the intention of writing about Barn Owl every single month, but they seem to release a never ending stream of incredible stuff.
Will definitely check it out, based on that description though. Sounds excellent. Still need to hear the new MSOTT one too.
Just been sent the new Roll The Dice record, which is sounding pretty nice. Seem to remember you were bigging up their first one, which I really really like.
I'd not heard that re Grouper, but it totally makes sense. They're coming from the same kind of place, but I don't think it's derivative in any way.
You'd probably dig the Father cassette that RS have just released too. They're on fire right now, and judging by the Winter Solstice preview Jefre posted a while back, they've got some absolutely killer stuff coming out later in the year (the new Ulaan Khol track sounded especially amazing).
I'm in two minds to be honest...I know there are a lot of good people in Reading, and a fair few who'd come along and very probably dig it but I wouldn't want to make any promises that I couldn't keep to a band I like that much, especially if they're touring the UK for the first time. There are some great gigs that go down in Reading these days (got Flower-Corsano duo in a couple of weeks), but they're generally pretty poorly attended and pretty much funded by Pink Floyd tribute nights.
So glad I've turned a few people onto them. They deserve a much, much wider audience than they currently have.
I'd say the best place to start is their last record, The Conjurer. Probably the most complete of their records (and the only one still available).
I'd seriously, seriously recommend picking up West Winds by Evan too though, and also Nemcatacoa and Woven Into Light by Elm (Jon from Barn Owl). All stunning.
As for Barn Owl, I cant agree enough. Those two guys have been responsible for so much incredible music over the past two years. It's great that the Thrill Jockey deal should mean they have more scope to play over here now (I'd hope, anyway). Was half thinking about trying to book them in Reading, but I doubt they'd be much of an appreciative audience.
I've just pre-ordered Evan Caminiti's new one, which sounds like a blinder judging from the mp3 sample.
Re NSB, I still think Dance Of The Moon... is my favourite. I still find Shadow Kingdom a bit overwhelming - I don't really know where to start with it. And there's so much new music to check out and records I already own to listen to that I'm not sure I'd be able to give yet another NSB double album the attention it requires, especially if it's just gonna exist as a bunch of files on my itunes. Still, it's really cool of them to release something like this for free.
Yeah, you definitely need to check out The Conjurer. Hope I haven't given you unrealistic expectations, but it really is an amazing record.
Really glad people are digging this column.
Re the new Emeralds, it is indeed a new full-length - 12 tracks iirc, which is pretty intriguing given that they usually go in for a few really extended pieces.
The FNS record is fantastic...shame it's been released now in a way though...would have been a perfect October/November release. So bleak. I held off on picking up The Conjurer on vinyl too, didn't think it would sell out so quickly. But the CD packaging is really nice so def worth picking up. There are another three Barn Owl-related records out this summer too...seriously cannot wait, probably my favourite group of musicians right now.
That Root Strata festival is absolutely ridiculous...would love to do something similar over here. I wanna move to San Francisco...some of the shows they advertise on their blog are crazy enough (think the last one was Grouper, John Wiese, Ilyas Ahmed and Infinite Body!).
You should definitely check out his debut if you haven't already. And he releases some lovely material under his own name too...just put out a vinyl only album a couple of weeks before IAFA with an amazing Arvo Part cover on it.
Yeah that Forest Swords record is awesome...I think the label said it was like Burial meets Morricone, which I was pretty sceptical about but the more I listen, the more I can hear it. Interested to see where he goes from here. Will check out Bleeding Heart Narrative, and thanks for the heads up re Emeralds - just saw your thread. Can't wait to hear that...
and like you said, he definitely wasn't re-opening the debate either, which was my main issue with the review (reading it back, I really didn't make that clear in the column at all). The way I read it, he just seemed to summarise some pretty tired arguments re laptop performances that I don't really think need reiterating. Aside from his slightly snobby remark about bloggers, I have no problem with him deciding not to spunk a load of adjectives up the wall in a bid to describe the music, but I just didn't really see why he needed to re-hash some pretty anachronistic arguments, especially as In Stereo is the first Fenn O'Berg album to incorporate 'organic' instruments and was made in a studio environment, rather than from live edits.
But yeah, I think my point was that, given the prevalence of lap top performances, surely these issues don't need to be discussed at all anymore. Certainly, when I saw Fennesz in November, the crowd didn't seem to be overly concerned with 'optic anxiety' (admittedly that's not the greatest example given that he still strums a guitar during the performance, but I'd say it's still pretty difficult to draw a connection between the sounds you hear and the chord shapes etc you can see him making).
Well worth checking him out. Incredibly jealous you caught that Cafe Oto show...probably the best line-up I've seen all year, but Cafe Oto on a Sunday just isn't viable unless you live in London. Sounds absolutely amazing though...did Simon Scott not play in the end, then?
Big thanks for the heads up re Emeralds - you have to be so on the ball with those dudes. Pretty surprised to see this one cropping up on Editions Mego though...wasn't aware they didn't consider What Happened to be a 'proper' album either, but hey ho...can't wait to hear it! 12 tracks suggests they've gone for a more concise sound this time around.
Re Fenn O'Berg, I was pretty much in the same boat as you up until recently, but In Stereo is definitely a more welcoming listen than they're previous output. Not an easy listen by any means, but there's certainly more to love.
Totally agree about Loscil - there's something very 'damp' and watery about his music. Maybe it's a result of him being based in Vancouver. You should check out his digital EP on Ghostly International called Strathcona Variations if you haven't already...kinda slipped under the radar but it's great.
Great news about Murcof! Cosmos is an absolutely stunning record, and I'm still kicking myself for missing the Versailles Sessions tour, so I can't wait to see what he's got planned.
Such a positive response has really made my day, and I really hope I'll be able to continue this in the future. I'm hoping to include interviews and whatever else I might be able to organise into any prospective future editions, so hopefully they'll be a little more variety in content to go alongside the round-up.
I agree totally about the new Eluvium record - the vocals work brilliantly, especially given that like you said, the music's this kind of amniotic drift. The penultimate track kills me every time I hear it, too.
Never thought I'd see Anduin, Zelienople etc mentioned on DiS. This should get so much more attention than it will.
Probably not quite as good as Spirit, but then few records are. As for claiming Spirit was primarily instrumental and mentioning Muse and Placebo. Wut?
but don't ever, ever compare them to Muse ever again.
Seriously, Muse...what the fuck?
but how the fuck can you mention Tortoise in the same breath as that?
I fucking love this band, wish I could have been there. The record stall sounds incredible...
although I'm fairly sure the term holocaust has probably been used in reference to their live show. Which is equally shitty really.
I didn't put a huge amount of thought into my username; think I was listening to the track when I registered.
Having said that, I wasn't aware of the holocaust reference...what's the story behind it? My initial reaction is that I'm not particularly comfortable with it if, as I assume, it's just a throwaway reference to the volume of their live shows, but I'd like to hear the reasoning before I make any decision.
and I'm amazed that this review, and that line in particular, got past the sub editing process. The references to Stockhausen are facile in the extreme and like I said above, the Auschwitz line is beyond tasteless, especially in the context of this review. I could write a fucking thesis on it, but you don't go comparing a fucking noise record to the holocaust, and if you do then at least try to justify it. I'd go as far as to say this is the worst review of a noise record I've ever read; it fails on just about every single level.
That's a fairly tasteless line.
Jesus, the hyperbole surrounding this record is ridiculous. I don't think anyone should be making claims like that for at least another five years.
For what it's worth, I thought Hissing Fauna was OK, but hardly mind-blowing. Barnes obviously has a very singular vision, but to claim he's omgz the most innovative musician lyk ever kind of suggests a lot of people don't listen to anything other than classic American college rock. No doubt I'll be accused of snobbery, but given that the Olivia Tremor Control did something very, very similar within the same genre a good few years ago, I'm fairly suspicious of all these claims of innovation.
I love this album. I think a lot of people are just disappointed they didn't rehash Apologies... but this is a superior album. Fine Young Cannibals is heartbreaking, and the way they use synths throughout the record is fucking brilliant. I've always thought their vocal melodies were wonderful, but they've really stepped it up for this album, and besides, I could listen to anything delivered by Dan Boeckner; I adore his voice.
Wonderful, wonderful stuff.
up on pitchfork, if you're interested. Pretty meh imo; much like the last album, the dude's Che's got in to replace Williams et al just sound like a Don Cab tribute band with a bit of metal on the side.
good. That is all.
I interviewed them in 05 and it happened prior to the release of Future Perfect. It put them out of action for over a year. I think they're just taking their time with the new record.
Peter Kember. A.K.A Sonic Boom? Possibly?
awesome band. they clearly know their stuff when it comes to recording and it's fascinating to read about it.
the velvet underground and the stooges would disagree.
the day previously. at no point did i take it to imply they'd split. i'd say the reaction is fairly expected, and basically justified.
or at least in the one i received.
in your mailout. but then i know 'DiS exclusive - godspeed split' is always going to be an attractive way of spinning things.
but at no point does he actually say they're splitting up.
on the diwphalanx site. sounds amazing, as expected. artwork looks brilliant as well.
then hex and hibernaculum. before that they were a lot doomier, with more distortion and less melody.
for this album to arrive in the post.
It's a good review aside from that bizarre opening paragraph. I'm not sure anyone takes Anton Newcombe seriously aside from the man himself and as for modern pysch being "quaint and sketchy," I'd say recent efforts from Wooden Shjips, Grails and AMT might suggest otherwise.
this album is immense. No Age comparison is a bit flavour of the month too; I love both bands, but this album seems to more in debt to Windy & Carl, Flying Saucer Attack etc.
Improves on their debut in every possible way...definitely a grower too, I've had it for a couple of months now and it only really clicked the other day. The organ solo on Wucan gives me a monumental boner.
Sticking the knife in one of indie's sacred cows is always funny. Thing is, the review isn't even that negative, but you just know that any review with Neutral Mlik Hotel in the title and anything less than a 9 in the score box is going to generate howls of sanctimonious anguish. I've no great emotional investment in NMH like most people seem to have, so I'd like to take this opportunity to point out that Aeroplane is probably the nastiest sounding record in my collection; seriously, for a record held in such reverence it sounds FUCKING HORRENDOUS.