Spring ´s almost there in berlin and here are some sunday short cuts about some new beloved releases and yet discovered artists.
So first let´s talk about norwegian´s C.Strøm, who has released since 2005 some amazing tracks on cd´s, cd-r´s and digital tracks via bandcamp. Dying for bad music has fortunately in the end of 2016 released some collected tracks in a lovely packaged cd with screen printed artwork in an edition of 55.
Songs like sail away or I have heard of the land up are truly incredible gems comparable to young adrian orange´s thanksgiving. Hope we get the chance to see Christian playing in berlin soon.
Continuing with singer / songwriter and american primitive music, Tompkins Square released a few weeks ago Philip Lewin´s outstanding loner folk private press debut Am I Really Here All Alone? Songs like unusual day or touch are timeless.
In his own words, today:
In 1967 I began my life in the student union of a university. In other words, I was in school. But, classes definitely took a back seat to people-watching and attempts at relationships. I would not say that I was particularly good at the latter, but I made a great observer. I even stayed near the school community for an extra year until an opportunity came up to move in with friends in Toronto, Canada, which turned out to be a pivotal opportunity for me.
I was once told that one should first write about one’s own experiences, then, expand to documenting the observed experiences of those around, and, finally write about what one imagines. Am I Really Here All Alone? encompasses all of the above. Something else I realized in writing lyrics is that sometimes it is good to be transparent about the meaning and others times, not so much. “Unusual Day” is an example of me being honest struggling to develop and maintain a relationship, but ultimately realizing it was not going to succeed. “Watercolours” documents a crushing experience, but is couched in metaphor. I hope that listeners will relate through their own experiences, and because my reality is implied, not specified, will not be limited to mine. “Sweet Georgia” is an example of me, as a writer, leaving my personal space. I think of it as an attempt to clone William Faulkner to Bobbie Gentry. “The Magic Within You” is actually a commission where I was asked to write a song for a benefit to be performed by Doug Henning, the groundbreaking stage magician and friend. I once heard John Prine complain that there was no point in writing a ‘train song’ because Steve Goodman had already written the perfect one with “City of New Orleans”. Naturally, I had to write “Back Home, To You”, my idea of a train song where I tried to capture the movement of the train in the rhythm of the guitar. As for the other six songs, to me, they all reflect realities, experienced, observed and imagined. Descartes said, “I think, therefore I am.” However my question is, “Am I Really Here All Alone?”
-Philip Lewin, 2017
1975 Private-press LP (only 300 signed and numbered copies pressed at the time) now remastered from the original tapes.
Group Doueh & Cheveu
Now to something complete different: French wave post punk heroes cheveu – I played some 7″ of them as well in my last radio show – did some collaboration with moroccan desert blues band Group Doueh called la mémoire vive du saber out via born bad records. Seldom I had the felling while listening, that there are two bands playing in different corners to an 8 track tape without at all finding a common tune together – but after a while exactly this sound clash of french wave and desert rock is somehow hypnotic and new.
Another stange but amazing hybrid is luka productions´fasokan out on sahel sounds.
New age meets west african sounds:
New age music from West Africa. Lush and hypnotic dreamscapes combine traditional instrumentation with sweeping electronics, field recordings, and soothing affirmations in these original compositions. Cut up Kora and Balafon are layered over software percussion, flute, horns, and synthesizer. Meditative and cosmic, Fasokan guides the listener through ways of living, from the village life into the modern world.
Luka Productions is Luka Guindo, rapper, producer, and multi-instrumentalist. One of the most sought after producers in Bamako, he has worked with Supreme Talent Show, Ami Yerewolo, Iba One, Van Baxy, and many more. Here Luka Productions channels his avant-griot, transforming ancient music into the 21st century.
So let´s go for some pop sounds in the end:
Stephin Merrit´s magnetic fields and their epochal 69 love songs was a revelation in 2001. Now he did it again : 50 song memoir is a collection of 5 lp´s for every year of his 50 years.
Another amazing outstanding song (and sexy video by the way, rated N) “quite like” is from french band called simply Her who released an interesting eclectic Ep tape # 1 in 2015 which is expanded now as an Lp with live songs.
And at last two great garage sounds from california out via innovative leisure records,
smells like it´s 1965, yeah!
Hanni el Khatib (savage times) and the Molochs (american velvet glory)
Listen to these songs and more next thursday at the little dog radio #34 at www.piradio.de
88.4 fm (Berlin) 22 pm cet till 24 pm
listen to sweet great sri lankian pop and folk tunes: (akuphone records)