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What I like about the current vinyl craze is that artists and labels are doing some adventurous things with covers, graphics, and the records themselves. Case in point: the debut album by Evelyn Evelyn, released on March 30th on their own Eleven label. While double albums are not new, it is interesting that they should to release their album on vinyl as a double 10″, on yellow and blue vinyl. The vinyl version comes with the obligatory lyric sheet, along with a CD of the album. You can order it from the official Evelyn Evelyn web store,where they have some really good bundles that you can purchase (along with some peculiar bundles that will be great for everyone involved).
You may have heard the story on Evelyn Evelyn, who are conjoined twins named Evelyn & Evelyn Neville. They live in nearby Walla Walla, which means all I have to do is drive less than an hour to see them? Awesome. Unfortunately, Evelyn Evelyn are about to go on tour with the help of Amanda Palmer and Jason Webley, so perhaps I’ll be able to meet up with them at Hot Poop when they return.
The folks at Record Breakin’ have a new 7″ single ready to put on sale tomorrow (Tuesday, March 30th). This one is by La Melodia, and is called “Chemistry” b/w “Working On It”. To order a copy, and to download a sample of “Working On It”, head to Record Breakin’.
When it comes to sound collage, especially in the 1980′s, one can’t talk about the music/pieces without talking about the technology, they go hand in hand. Some may look to Art Of Noise and their sonic soundscapes for being able to create cool and funky sounds in a syncopated matter, and then look forward to what John Oswald did with plunderphonics. But to only look at these two artists would mean you would be missing a lot of other innovators who were creating their own library of sounds, when some technologies were still primitive and when very few people heard about circuit bending. Nicolas Collins has dabbled in various technologies and also created his own soundmakers, and 1985′s Devil’s Music (Em) is an example of what he was doing to not so much be innovative, but to create and discover.
Imagine finding a radio station and hearing familiar sounds, or at least sounds that are pleasing to the ear. Now imagine someone wanting to find more sounds, or wanting to throw away those sounds, someone wanting to reverse, trigger, manipulate, play with, and fondle with those sounds. With a number of familiar sounds heard in the 19 minute title track, it is very much of its time (1985) as you’ll hear electronic beats, hi-hats, basslines, and keyboard stabs that may bring back a lot of memories. However, you don’t get to hear them in the manner as originally presented, nor will you get a chance to hear them rhythmically. All Collins does is play these sounds as if they’re ammunition in a video game he can only play in his mind, and while it’s audio decoupage, it’s great to hear these sounds used in this way, especially when they’re isolated on the left and/or right channels and they’ll spin around for a few seconds, only for you to find yourself lost in the mix. It is far from easy listening, and this is not meant to tap your feet to (although you could try), but from a far he’s just building a sound building, and I for one wondered if and when it was going to crash. I remember when I created my first sample-based productions with the silly Casio SK-1 that I thought was revolutionary. For Collins, each sample had to be triggered manually, and each sample had a finite amount of time so if he wanted to loop something, he had to do it in real time. But he doesn’t loop, in fact just as you might think he’ll loop a Loose Ends song, it goes into the blender and doesn’t come back. Remember the first time you bought turntables to become a DJ, and you had no idea how to scratch a record? It sounds a bit like that at first, only for Collins to create sounds not originally intended. In this case, this was his intention.
Unfortunately, the first minute of “Devil’s Music B” has been removed, but to make up for it, the CD features the previously unreleased “The Spark Heart ‘Round The World”, which clocks in at a mindblowing 25;28. “Real Landscape” begins with what sounds like classical music, and it seems to be moving in a pace that is more accessible, but once a distant voice enters the realm and stutters, Collins starts his exploration in creating a conversation that doesn’t begin or end. Think of Art Of Noise’s “Opus 4″, but more psychotic. Then it seems the voices get hungry and want to grab a bag of churros. It goes on like this for 26 minutes, as sounds speed up, are stretched, filtered, and made to be the most ridiculous yet delightful things you’ve heard.
Disc 2 also includes software so you can create your own mixes of “Devil’s Music”, along with a video clip of him performing “Devil’s Music” in concert. If you seek audio manipulation at its best, Devil’s Music is an exciting listen, especially when you allow yourself to hear sounds that bubble, beeble, and bobble.
Japanese residents can order it directly from Em Records.
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Discovered this book review blog when someone had posted a review of a music book. Went through it and saw a number of books I immediately put on my want list. Created by Maria Popova and features a number of contributors.
Cool slew of goodies from books and diaries to T-shirts, bags and soaps. Now based in Portland.
The show is no more, but you may explore the archives of this great Portland-based podcast while you can. You may now listen to Cort & Bobby in Welcome To That Whole Thing, listed below.