Klaus Johann Grobe

Krautpop. Speaking of Trouble In Mind Records, earlier this month the Chicago label released Spagat der Liebe, the Zürich based Klaus Johann Grobe’s second LP. Comprised of Sevi Landolt (organ/synths/vocals) and Daniel Bachmann (drums/vocals), the pair continue down the path set out on their initial self-produced singles and 2014’s Im Sinne der Zeit – a groove laden Autobahn equally rooted in their German krautrock forebears, ’90s Stereolab explorations and lo-fi jazz/funk.

Klaus Johann Grobe :: Ein Guter Tag

yasimintape

Los Angeles-based label Leaving Records been been responsible for releasing some of 2016’s most blissful sound explorations, like Matthewdavid’s Trust the Guide and Glide and Carlos Niño & Friends’ Flutes, Echoes, It’s All Happening (the latter pairing the Spaceways Radio deejay with saxophonist Kamasi Washington, legendary beatmaker Madlib, cosmic channel Iasos, and the Aztec-evoking avant-garde composer Luis Pérez Ixoneztli).

For its latest New Age entry, Leaving is going back to the early 1980s, with Dream Music by SunPath, the recording name of one Jeff Berry. Collecting material from 1980’s Yasimin and the Snowflake Dragon and 1984’s SunPath 2, the sounds here are deeply melodic and zone deeply inward, featuring Berry on Prophet synthesizer, incorporating natural sounds — streams recorded in the open and in caves, storms — and augmented by the inclusion of homemade flutes, drums, and stringed instruments.

The tape is out now. We spoke with Berry about his sound and approaching the “magic of the multiverse.”

bethorton2016_1240

Beth Orton has spent 20-some years walking the margins between folk rock and electronic music. Before her 1996 classic Trailer Park, she recorded an entirely electronic debut, SuperpinkyMandy, but even then, she covered cosmic balladeer John Martyn’s “Don’t Want to Know About Evil.” In Orton’s hands, the lines between the genres have always been smudged — she’s collaborated with everyone from Terry Callier to William Orbit to Ben Watt — but with her new album, Kidsticks, Orton makes a decisive statement.

“…I would go as far as to say this resolutely is not a folk record,” Orton says via the phone from her home in Los Angeles, her accent making plain her English roots.

She has a point. Kidsticks has more in common with Stereolab or Four Tet than the gentle folk of 2006’s Jim O’Rourke-produced Comfort of Strangers or Sugaring Season, the album that followed it six years later. Built on loops engineered by Orton and Andrew Hung of Fuck Buttons, the new album is vivid and neon-colored. “Wave” rides a funky, shimmering pulse; “Flesh and Blood” bursts with interlocked melodies; “Petals” rises and falls with tremendous swells of synthesized bass. Orton’s hardly abandoned her lyrical focus. These songs, concerning the passage of time and exploring concepts of identity, feature some of her best lyrical work, not obscured, but enhanced, by the dense sounds that flutter around it. “There’s starlight burning in our hearts tonight,” Orton sings on the slow motion ballad “Dawnstar,” a line which encapsulates the vividness of her prose on the record.

Orton spoke with AD about building the album’s framework from rhythm loops, the influence of shuffle mode, and why this feels like the album she’s been waiting to make for a long time.

Aquarium Drunkard: You start off “Snow” singing, “I’ll astrally project myself into the life of someone else.” That’s one of my favorite metaphors for the act of releasing music. When you put out a record, that’s what you’re doing: releasing your voice and experiences into the lives of people listening. Where did that lyric come from?

Beth Orton: That’s a lovely way of interpreting it. I like that way of interpreting better than any. I don’t know, I was just playing with that idea. The themes that come up a lot on this record deal with time: a sense of time travel, a sense of shifting time, of time not being quite real.

AD: A shared illusion, at least.

Beth Orton: We sort of slip between time without really realizing it. We’re always traveling through time, our daily space is constantly between dreams. I play around with identity a lot on the record, and I just love the idea of astral projection. What the fuck does it actually mean, you know? Time travel — that’s definitely a theme of the record.

I’ve been waiting nearly a year for this record to come out – Omni’s debut lp, Deluxe. – and this track, “Wire”, was my initial introduction. Clocking in at just over three minutes, the track neatly encapsulates the best of late 70s / early 80s jittery post-punk, all without muddying the waters with unnecessary pastiche. Omni, like its namesake, hail from Atlanta and are comprised of former members of Carnivores/Deerhunter.

The album drops July 8th, via Trouble In Mind Records. And, by the way — it was worth the wait.

Carsten-MeinertOur weekly two hour show on SIRIUS/XMU, channel 35, can be heard twice every Friday – Noon EST with an encore broadcast at Midnight EST.

SIRIUS 434: Jean-Michel Bernard – Générique Stéphane ++ Jean Jacques Dexter – Be Quite ++ Stomu Yamash’ta’s Red Buddha Theatre – Awa Odori ++ Faust – It’s A Bit Of A Pain ++ Bohannon – Save Their Souls ++ Lennie Hibbert – Rose Len ++ Gandalf – Nature Boy ++ Funkadelic – Music For My Mother ++ Nina Simone – Be My Husband ++ Carsten Meinert Kvartet – One For Alice ++ Can – Mother Sky ++ Curtis Knight (w/ Jimi Hendrix) – Happy Birthday ++ Jimmy Stone – Family Affair ++ Alan Hawkshaw – Ski Bird ++ These Trails – Garden Botanum ++ Henri Texier – Les “là-bas” ++ Joni Mitchell – Jungle Line ++ John Carpenter – Main Title ++ Woods – Sun City Creeps ++ Headhunters – Mugic ++ Third Wave – Eleanor Rigby ++ Norma Tanega – You’re Dead ++ Blossom Dearie – That’s Just The Way I Want To Be ++ King Crimson – Peace (An End) ++ Pink Floyd – San Tropez ++ Lightmyth – Across The Universe ++ Takuro Yoshida – I Live On ++ The Beach Boys – Passing By ++ The Limiñanas – 3 Migas 2000 ++ Bob Azzam & His Orchestra – The Last Time ++ The Clique – Pretty Thing (demo) ++ Paul McCartney – Momma Miss America ++ John Martyn – Solid Air ++ The Rolling Stones – Some Things Just Stick in Your Mind

*You can listen, for free, online with the SIRIUS three day trial — just submit an email address and they will send you a password.
__________________________________________________________________________________

bleached

On its latest LP, Welcome to Worms, Los Angeles band Bleached pulls off everything you want great rock songs to do. Led by sisters Jennifer and Jessica Calvin, the album’s funny and loud, as well as reflective and self-aware. It’s fun, effervescent, and catchy, but it rewards repeated spins, inviting the listener deeper into singer Jennifer’s often dark head space, which she explores without pretension. “Trying to lose myself again,” she sings on the song of the same name, allowing her direct lines to just sit with the listener the same way the sugar-rush fuzz guitar does.

“Trying to understand myself was the biggest thing,” Jennifer says of the writing process. “I would have one day where I thought I was amazing, and then the next, I would hate myself. But I just knew what I had was my writing and being honest with myself, so I just went there every time I’d write…We’re really scared to face the darkness in life, but when we just accept that’s part of the package, the good and and the bad, then I think it’s easier to be happier.”

The contrast between the gleeful strut of these songs and intimate lyrical reflections is underscored by — as bone-headed as the observation might read — the power of the album’s riffs, meaty, Joan Jett-plays-Cheap Trick slabs of heavy guitar.

“We definitely wanted to up our game from the last record,” Jennifer says. To that aim, they worked with established producer Joe Chiccarelli, pushing the band to make the sonic feel of the record “scary and hard.”

That heaviness “made this record possible,” Jessica says.

image

Welcome to the second episode of Aquarium Drunkard’s newly rebooted Transmissions podcast, our recurring series of unique discussions and extraño sounds.

On this episode, we spoke with Will Toledo of Car Seat Headrest, whose new album Teens of Denial comes out this Friday via Matador Records. It’s a fantastic record, bigger and more fully realized than before, and it reflects the transition from solo project to full band. We also spoke to author Bob Mehr about Trouble Boys, his affecting book on the Replacements. Mehr’s one of the best music writers working, and his book dives deep and comes up with even more than one could expect. Onwards . . .

Transmissions Podcast: Car Seat Headrest / Bob Mehr

Subscribe to the Aquarium Drunkard podcast on iTunes or via RSS feed.

KRANO_PACKSHOT_HI

Lost records come of many vintages. By comparison to long-lost ’60s and ’70s nuggets, Requiescat In Plavem, recorded only as far back as 2012, might seem a bit too fresh for “lost classic” status, but damn if there isn’t some mystical appeal at work in these songs.

Recorded by Italian songwriter Marco Spigariol, singing in the Italian dialect of in the hills of Valdobbiadene on a Tascam 8-track, the album taps into uncorked Neil Young vibes on album opener “Mi E Ti,” offers up woozy folk on “Busiero,” and goes arcane places with the creeping “Vergine De Luce,” Spigariol saying as much with a fuzzed-out guitar as he does with his far off vocals, sung in the Vento dialect.

Krano :: Mi E Ti

“When I received this record I had no idea what I was getting myself into,” Jonathan Clancy of Maple Death Records says. “It came with no notes, just a letter in broken English. For days I made up lyrics to it trying to crack and uncover the language, dreaming of some Latin American retreat. Little did I know I was actually taking a stroll up the Piave river, plunging through pre-war cascades, seeing feverish trees set mountains in motion and a Veneto valley full of psychedelic beauty naked in front of my eyes.”

Luckily, Maple Death has rescued and reissued this gem, laden with Morricone dread and Shakey looseness; it’s low key and deeply-felt, and after recording the album Spigariol hung up his music hat, leaving behind this spooky thing, suitably humid listening as we ease into summer. words / j woodbury

BenWatt_DeepFolkMixtape6_Art

Ben Watt’s a lifer — one-half of electronic duo Everything But the Girl, a producer, DJ, and author. His latest record, Fever Dream, features collaborations with MC Taylor of Hiss Golden Messenger and Marissa Nadler, and finds him mining inspirations he’s cultivated over two decades, its hazy, soulful songs unfurling with ease and calm confidence.

For the last few years, he’s assembled “Deep Folk” mixtapes, blending field recordings and effects with haunting songs. Below, Watt shared his latest (the sixth installment in the series) as well as a few words about the mixtape’s origins, with AD.

I Am Here After All: Deep Folk Mixtape 6

I began my Deep Folk Mixtape series about three years ago. I had recently pressed the pause button on my DJ life. After my band with Tracey Thorn, Everything But The Girl went on hiatus in 2000 I spent the next twelve years immersed in underground electronic music, which had had hit me as a new way of hearing and playing music to me after years writing in a similar way – like a long-term painter being introduced to collage. It felt fresh. I ran club nights, launched two labels, co-owned two venues for a while, and traveled many weekends of the year at home and abroad to play deep underground house in basements and ballrooms.