FRACTURED AIR

The universe is making music all the time

Posts Tagged ‘Glenn Jones

Fractured Air x Blogothèque – S01E08 | August mix

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We’re proud to present an exclusive unreleased track by Christina Vantzou for August’s mixtape.The Kansas City-born and Brussels-based composer has released three solo full-length LP’s to date (‘N°1’, ‘N°2’ and ‘N°3’) via illustrious Chicago-based independent label Kranky.

Vantzou’s formidable body of work also spans the mediums of both visual art and film-making while her own music career began with duo The Dead Texan (alongside Adam Wiltzie) as the hybrid role of keyboardist/animator/video artist. The pair released their debut self-titled album in 2004 via Kranky. Through her preferred composing set-up of laptop, midi keyboard and headphones and an ever-present curiosity and tireless passion for exploring new sonic territories, Vantzou is among the the finest contemporary composers making music in the modern classical realm today.

Also featured on August’s edition are selections from the awe-inspiring Guerssen Records, a record label based in Catalonia, Spain. Set up in 1996, Guerrsen’s ever-expanding catalogue specialises in the reissuing of rare and obscure psychedelic, progressive, folk and garage albums from the 60s to early 80s.

Featured here are tracks from Paul Martin’s mid-sixties timeless opus “It Happened”; We The People’s fascinating compilation “Visions of Time: Complete Recordings” (a 60s teen band from L.A. who also recorded 45s under the American Zoo alias) and Oberon’s “A Midsummer’s Night Dream”, a classic in the British psych-folk genre (it was originally released in 1971 as a private edition of only 99 copies).

August’s mixtape also features new releases from MJ Guider’s stunning debut album “Precious Systems” (Kranky), hype williams’ “10/10” (Bandcamp); the return of legendary duo Xylouris White (Australia’s Jim White and Greece’s George Xylouris) with “Black Peak” (Bella Union) and Peter Broderick’s latest masterful record, “Partners” (Erased Tapes).

Fractured Air x Blogothèque – S1E8 | August mix

To Read/listen on La Blogothèque:

http://www.blogotheque.net/2016/08/29/fractured-air-x-blogotheque-s01e08-august-mix/

 

Tracklisting:

01. Christina Vantzou“juno loop 200 BC” (Unreleased)
02. Tomorrow The Rain Will Fall Upwards“…And I Tried” (Blackest Ever Black)
03. Spiritualized“Let It Flow” (Dedicated)
04. The Velvet Underground & Nico“Venus In Furs” (Polydor)
05. Dirty Three “Furnace Skies” (Anchor And Hope / Bella Union)
06. Xylouris White“Black Peak” (Bella Union)
07. Trader Horne“Jenny May” (Earth)
08. Dieterich & Barnes“Parasol Gigante” (LM Duplication)
09. Kamuran Akkor“Kabahat Seni Sevende” (Pharaway Sounds)
10. Mulatu Astatke“Nètsanèt (Liberty)” (Buda Musique)
11. The Avalanches“Because I’m Me” (XL Recordings)
12. Kamasi Washington“Change Of The Guard” (excerpt) (Brainfeeder)
13. hype williams“DIVA” (Bandcamp)
14. Jenny Hval“Female Vampire” (Sacred Bones)
15. MJ Guider“Triple Black” (Kranky)
16. Julian Winding“The Demon Dance” (The Neon Demon OST, Milan)
17. Rival Consoles“Lone” (Erased Tapes)
18. Bibio“Wren Tails” (Warp)
19. Benoît Pioulard“Layette” (Kranky)
20. Roj – “Attaining The Third State” (Ghost Box)
21. Oberon“Nottamun Town” (Guerssen)
22. Georges Delerue“Au Revoir Mon Amour!” (Cartouche OST, EmArcy)
23. We The People“Back Street Thoughts” (Guerssen)
24. Robert Wyatt“At Last I Am Free” (Rough Trade)
25. Jóhann Jóhannsson“Flight from the City” (Deutsche Grammophon)
26. Peter Broderick“Up Niek Mountain” (Erased Tapes)
27. Glenn Jones“Spokane River Falls” (Thrill Jockey)
28. Brigid Mae Power“Sometimes” (Tompkins Square)
29. Fiona Brice“Glastonbury” (Bella Union)
30. Paul Martin“This Is The End” (Guerssen)

Compiled by Fractured Air, August 2016. The copyright in these recordings is the property of the individual artists and/or record labels. If you like the music, please support the artist by buying their records.

http://www.blogotheque.net/
https://fracturedair.com/

Chosen One: Glenn Jones

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Interview with Glenn Jones.

“My closest friendships have been with people who share my love for the instrument — John Fahey, Jack Rose. I think about them everyday and every time I pick up the guitar.”

—Glenn Jones

Words: Mark Carry, Illustration: Craig Carry

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The steel-string acoustic guitar as a solo instrument is one of those treasured sounds where a kaleidoscope of colour and feeling illuminates from the embers of a past not yet arrived upon. The timeless sound dispelled by this age-old tradition is nothing short of staggering, whose trajectory — some would say — points back to one pivotal figure, namely John Fahey. The late American fingerstyle guitarist has played a hugely influential role in developing the American Primitivism movement that, in turn, has led to a seamless array of awe-inspiring guitar talent. The self-taught nature of the music and its minimalist style lies at the heart of Fahey’s work that flows effortlessly into the new generation of guitarists such as William Tyler (Merge), Daniel Bachman (Tompkins Square), Cian Nugent (No Quarter Rex) and not-too-distant generations such as Mark Fosson (Tompkins Square) and not least, Glenn Jones (Thrill Jockey). The devotees of the Takoma School of guitarists are a joy to behold.

2013 marked the release of several indispensable instrumental guitar records: the latest opus from Nashville native William Tyler (‘Impossible Truth’), a new batch of transcendent psychedelic appalachia courtesy of Virginia’s Daniel Bachman (‘Jesus I’m A Sinner’) and the latest masterpiece from guitar luminary Glenn Jones (‘My Garden State’). His latest Thrill Jockey full-length release is a tour de force of storytelling greatness — expressed by the steel strings of Jones’ beloved acoustic guitar rather than the mere usage of words — where a vivid sense of longing, joy, sorrow and hope is cast by the guitarist’s deft touch of hand.

‘My Garden State’ is the follow-up to 2011’s ‘The Wanting’. Two years previously, ‘Barbecue Bob In Fishtown’ was unleashed into the world, following on from Jones’ prolific psych-folk based outfit of Cul De Sac. Over the course of a twenty year history, the nine albums released by the Boston-based collective (Jones on guitar joined Robin Amos on synthesizer, sampler, production and engineering) wonderfully experimented with the folk tradition and farther reaches of psychedelia and ambient terrain. Esteemed collaborations included Damo Suzuki (Can) and guitarist John Fahey. One of their towering achievements must be the band’s fifth studio album, entitled ‘Death Of The Sun’. Album closer ‘I Remember Nothing More’ – built from the sample of an old Cajun 78 — a ghostly voice is repeated over a meditative drumbeat and swirling acoustic guitar notes. A breathtaking moment that serves one of the many pinnacles of this very special band. Jones’ solo work has spanned naturally from those remarkable records.

‘My Garden State’ was written in the New Jersey home where Glenn Jones’ family moved in 1966, while he was caring for his mother who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease. This newest collection of pieces for guitar and banjo represents a further evolution of Jones’ achingly beautiful instrumental music, whose combination of expressive playing and technical skill transcends space and time. Recorded by Laura Baird in Allentown, NJ, Laura joins Jones on ‘Across The Tappan Zee’ on banjo, interweaving her plaintive melodies with the delicate guitar playing by Jones. The piece is a journey that crosses the vast plains of America, crossing the great Mississippi River and into the heartland of Jones’ home-state of Jersey. A family tree is forged deep in the imprint of the sacred guitar melodies. ‘Going Back To East Montgomery’ is a sublime piece of music built upon a beautiful series of chord progressions — gradual and evocative — that indeed conjures up the sound of returning home. To something familiar yet somewhat unknown. The passing of time I feel is etched across the mid-section of the drone-guitar notes that are wonderfully sustained throughout. A gorgeous rise occurs later that serves one of the record’s many epiphanies. The spirits of mentor John Fahey and Robbie Basho are present across the eight or so heavenly minutes. Laura Baird’s sister Meg, who was a founding member of Espers and plays with Laura as the Baird Sisters, joins in on the closing minutes of ‘Going Back To East Montgomery’.

‘Alcouer Gardens’ contains use of field recordings where a crackling thunderstorm is bubbling underneath the mournful guitar melody. Despite the rain, there is something quite calming produced here. A dialogue — deep and personal — is on hand here, which in fact could well be a source of solace and shelter from the storm. A ballad to soothe your heart. Similar to ‘Alcouer Gardens’, the preceding instrumental cut ‘The Vernal Pool’ were composed spontaneously in the studio, a technique Jones developed on tour with Damo Suzuki with his former band Cul De Sac. ‘Like A Sick Eagle Looking At The Sky’ is a brooding lament that captures emotion in its rawest state. The alternate tunings are utilized to stunning effect here. ‘Bergen County Farewell’ serves the ideal counterpoint — like that of a colourful rainbow slowly forming after a torrential downpour — whose upbeat tempo and melodic refrain brings ‘My Garden State’ to a stunning close. Field recordings of chimes and the music of birds singing are the final notes you hear (‘Chimes II’) as Jones’ deeply personal and beautifully enriching journey reaches its end.

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‘My Garden State’ is out now on Thrill Jockey.

As part of Record Store Day this year, Thrill Jockey issued ‘Welcomed Wherever I Go’ EP (vinyl-only, limited to 1000 copies) by Glenn Jones, comprising a brand new EP of archival and live recordings. ‘From A Forgotten Session’, taken from the EP, can be downloaded from Thrill Jockey’s Soundcloud page HERE.

http://www.thrilljockey.com

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Interview with Glenn Jones.

Congratulations on the truly stunning ‘My Garden State’, Glenn. The album really plays out like such a beautiful journey and such a special sense of place and much emotion is distilled across each of the album’s ten tracks. The songs were written in the house you and your family had moved into and lived since 1966 and the house itself (and also your mother of course) act very much as the focal point for these songs; ‘Bergen County Farewell’ being written after the sale of your mother’s house. I would love to gain an insight into this writing process and the space in time in which these songs were written?

Glenn Jones: The album is a collection of my newest pieces for guitar and banjo and not much more than that, really. When I was recording the album, I still hadn’t thought of a title. In thinking about it, I realized that what the pieces had in common was that they were mostly written in the house in northern New Jersey where our family had moved to in 1966. Over a period of about two years, while my sisters and I took turns looking after my mom, the pieces were born, in part, in that house.

This, and the fact that the album was recorded in New Jersey as well gave me the idea for the title. I don’t know if its true for most composers, but I tend to associate a piece of music with where I was when I wrote it, who I was with, what I was doing, a season, a recollection of a time of day, the way the light came through the window, what I might have been feeling, even with the instrument it was written on, because sometimes the instrument tells you where to go.

So when I play ‘Across the Tappan Zee,’ for instance, I’m thinking of the drive south from Massachusetts, where I live, into New Jersey — a trip I’ve made so many times, it’s positively boring! Crossing the Tappan Zee bridge over the Hudson River and finally into northern Jersey — it’s a feeling of “journey’s end.”

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You recorded the album with Laura and Meg Baird at their home studio who also add their wonderful touches to the album; adding banjo, guitar, and various sound recordings which add such a beautiful sense of texture and mood to the album and your own guitar playing. What was your experience like working and recording there and playing music with the Baird Sisters? I imagine it must have been the ideal setting to make the album itself?

GJ: Actually the home studio belongs to Les and Laura Baird; Meg is a frequent visitor, but doesn’t live there. (Meg was living in Philadelphia at the time I recorded the album, and has recently moved to San Francisco.)

But I take your point and yes, Forest Hill Farm was an idyllic spot to record. Its about a quarter mile off the main road, so it’s quiet, laid back — there’s that energizing feeling of being away from it all.

Which wouldn’t in itself mean much if the person I was working with wasn’t also supportive and indulgent — Laura was both those things and more. It was a terrific recording experience, one of the best I’ve had, and I think the feel of the album reflects that.

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In terms of naming the album ‘My Garden State’, as well as the fact it obviously provided the location for where you both wrote and later recorded the album, it is also your home. Could you talk about New Jersey itself; what are your favorite places to see and things to do there?

GJ: No, my home is in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where I live with Nora and our two cats, Django and Hopscotch. Most of us grow up and leave our family homes, visiting it now and then, on holidays and such. Same with me. My visits there since I moved out in 1974 have tended to be short — a weekend, rarely longer. I’m not a particularly nostalgic person, so it wasn’t like I went out of my way to revisit my old high school or such scenes of former humiliations.

But suddenly I found myself forced by circumstances to be in places I didn’t typically make a point of visiting: the railroad tracks that pass through the town where I spent many hours with my boyhood friends; the neighborhood where my first girlfriend lived; the stores nearby (or what’s left of them) where I bought my books, my comics and records; the streets where I made the rounds as a teenager, delivering newspapers, my first job.

Waldwick is just another suburban town, but it was freighted with memories, whether I wanted to revisit them or not. This was the house where I came of age, where I was living when I became obsessed with music, where I got my first guitar at age 14, where so many cats, dogs, mice, hermit crabs and goldfish lived and died — where my father lived and died. This was my bedroom, where I listened to Bob Fas and Steve Post on WBAI, out of NYC, under the covers, on headphones, afraid to go to sleep for fear I’d miss something. Where I first listened to Love, Jimi Hendrix, Captain Beefheart, the Incredible String Band, as well as John Cage, Stockhausen, Xenakis and, most important for the future me, my first John Fahey and Robbie Basho albums.

Whether one is especially nostalgic or not, it’s hard not to feel something in such a place.

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In terms of your writing practice, your songs — whether improvised or not — are always so expansive and contain so much substance and real feeling. What tends to be your preferred method for writing your music? Can the pieces be worked on laboriously over a long time or can they be written spontaneously?

GJ: Both, but I rarely improvise in concert, because I’m just not good enough to pull it off reliably. I always record some improvised pieces for each album however. Though not all of them make it onto the album, because not all of them are good enough. ‘My Garden State’ includes two improvised pieces, ‘The Vernal Pool’ and ‘Alcoeur Gardens,’ which were made up on the spot. Some of the composed pieces, ‘Like a Sick Eagle Looking at the Sky’ for instance, took more than a year to finish.

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My favourite piece at the moment is ‘Alcoeur Gardens’, it seems to embody so much feeling and such a wonderful spirit, while the sounds of a thunderstorm is in the background behind your gentle, stunning guitar playing. I would love to gain an insight into this song’s construction?

GJ: Something I often do in the studio is to play along to something else, ambient sounds or whatever, something I can hear in the headphones as I’m playing, but which aren’t part of the finished piece. The listener is left with just half of the “dialogue.” It’s a way of building “space” into a performance. That was true of both improvised pieces on ‘My Garden State’, but I decided to include the ambient track — a recording of a thunderstorm that Laura had made — on ‘Alcoeur Gardens,’ to “reveal the device” so to speak.

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Can you recount your first time picking up a guitar? What are your fondest memories of learning this instrument? What drew you to music to begin with?

GJ: Yes, it was my high school friend Mischa Falkenburg’s Goya classical guitar. I knew nothing about playing it, per se, but I loved the sound. I think he still has it!

Music was so important to young people of my generation, it was so exciting, there was so much to hear. For me and my friends, music was no casual interest, or just for entertainment. It was something we were obsessed with, that we listened to all our waking hours, something we debated and argued over.

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There’s such a wealth of wonderful guitarists out there who are making such incredibly moving and evocative music, for example William Tyler, Daniel Bachman and Ryan Francesconi to name only a few. What do you think it is about instrumental guitar music that makes it so magical and special for musicians to play?

GJ: I can’t speak for anyone else, but for me, writing for guitar and playing guitar gives me what little feeling of self-worth I have. The guitar has always lent itself to a personal expression, it’s small, easy to carry, suitable to so many, various styles.

My closest friendships have been with people who share my love for the instrument — John Fahey, Jack Rose. I think about them everyday and every time I pick up the guitar.

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‘My Garden State’ LP and ‘Welcomed Wherever I Go’ EP are available now on Thrill Jockey.

http://www.thrilljockey.com

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Written by admin

May 20, 2014 at 2:27 pm

Mixtape: Early Blue (A Fractured Air Mix)

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To listen on Mixcloud:

http://www.mixcloud.com/Fractured_Air/early-blue-a-fractured-air-mix/

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Tracklisting:

01. Ed Askew – ‘Drum Song’ (Tin Angel)
02. Áine O’Dwyer – ‘Albion Awake/Lifeboy’ (Second Language)
03. Harold Budd – ‘Wanderer’ (All Saints)
04. Calexico – ‘No Doze’ (Quarterstick)
05. This Is How We Fly – ‘Pelargonens Död’ (Playing With Music)
06. Glenn Jones – ‘My Garden State’ (Thrill Jockey)
07. Karen Dalton – ‘Katie Cruel’ (Light In The Attic)
08. Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh – ‘Fead an Iolar’ (State Of Chassis)
09. Sarah Neufeld – ‘You Are The Field’ (Constellation)
10. Julia Kent – ‘Tourbillon’ (Leaf)
11. Colleen – ‘Geometría Del Universo’ (Second Language)
12. Moondog – ‘Symphonique #6 (Good For Goodie)’ (Columbia)
13. Julia Holter – ‘In The Green Wild’ (Domino)
14. Lucrecia Dalt – ‘Mahán’ (Human Ear Music)
15. Yo La Tengo – ‘Green Arrow’ (Matador)
16. F.J. McMahon – ‘Early Blue’ (Rev-Ola / Sacred Bones)
17. Richmond Fontaine – ‘Valediction’ (El Cortez)
18. Gram Parsons – ‘Love Hurts’ (Reprise)
19. Lambchop – ‘The Book I Haven’t Read’ (City Slang / Merge)
20. Ludovico Einaudi – ‘Fuori Dal Mondo’ (‘This Is England’ OST / Warp)
21. Lou Reed & John Cale – ‘Hello It’s Me’ (Sire / Warner Bros.)

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The copyright in these recordings is the property of the individual artists and/or their respective record labels. If you like the music, please support the artist by buying their records.

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Fractured Air. The universe is making music all the time.

http://www.mixcloud.com/Fractured_Air

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Ten Mile Stereo

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Glenn Jones “My Garden State” (Thrill Jockey)
One of the hidden gems of the year so far came courtesy of the forever dependable Thrill Jockey Label; Glenn Jones’s “My Garden State”, an album of understated and fragile beauty. The album was written in Jones’s family home in Northern Jersey prior to the sale of the house due to his mother’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis. A strong spirit of memory and nostalgia are evoked throughout. Glenn Jones’s guitar playing prowess is (as ever) on full display where a deep sense of warm intimacy and a myriad of feelings are captured effortlessly. The album features sisters Laura and Meg Baird on accompaniment and was recorded in the home studio of Les and Laura Baird in New Jersey, keeping with the album’s Garden State theme.

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John Murry “Miss Magdalena” (Forthcoming LP)
“The Graceless Age”, John Murry’s debut solo LP, was a deeply moving and a life-affirming experience. Written after Murry had overdosed on heroin and was left clinically dead, “The Graceless Age” is an album of pain and suffering, while – ultimately – one that exudes a moving spirit of redemption and hope while Murry’s soul is laid bare. “Miss Magdalena” would see the light of day while Murry – and band – toured extensively this spring and summer in both Europe and the US. The song will be released on forthcoming LP and follow-up to the internationally-acclaimed “The Graceless Age”. John is currently recording the follow-up and has appealed for funding on his kickstarter initiative (ONLY 36 HOURS TO GO!) with many special prizes on offer: All details on Kickstarter here.

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Daniel Bachman “Seven Pines” (Tompkins Square)
My first time discovering Virginia-born Daniel Bachman came courtesy of an intimate performance at Cork’s Gulpd Cafe courtesy of Plugd Records where Bachman showcased material from his current Tompkins Square LP “Seven Pines”. Bachman’s guitar playing is astonishing to witness and all the more astonishing to behold in a live setting. The album was written over a 12 month period while living in Philadelphia and shares the same spirit of William Tyler’s “Behold The Spirit” as well as such guitar luminaries as Roy Harper and John Fahey. At only 22 years of age, Daniel Bachman has the world at his feet.

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Torres “Torres” (Self-Released)
Released at the beginning of the year, Mackenzie Scott’s Torres’ self titled album is one of the year’s outstanding achievements. Mackenzie hails from Nashville, Tennessee and – like Bachman – is only 22 years of age. The album’s ten songs are direct and stark and continue to linger long after repeated listens. The album recalls Sharon Van Etten’s personal and affecting songs – where folk, indie and rock traditions merge wonderfully with Mackenzie’s stunning voice.

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Charles Bradley “Victim Of Love” (Dunham Records)
Few albums have garnered such wide cross-over appeal as soul maverick Bradley’s stunning “Victim Of Love” LP. Released on Dunham – a label belonging to the legendary Daptone Records label – “Victim Of Love” is a modern-day soul masterpiece. Bradley’s amazing “success” story (and, indeed, remarkable backstory) has kindled a spark in many a music fan’s heart over the last year or two (similar in some respects to last year’s celebration of the legendary Sixto Rodriguez) and has captured the imaginations of people across musical genres – and generations. As Bradley writes in the album’s inlay: “To all of you with God’s love. Thank you. I love you always. Charles Bradley. P.S. See you soon.”

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KÖLSCH “1977” (Kompakt)
I only recently came across the incredible talents of Copenhagen’s KÖLSCH (via the wonderful musical institution that is Galway-based An Taobh Tuathail) and “1977” has provided a constant source of headphone listening for the small hours ever since. KÖLSCH is Rune Reilly Kölsch, a renowned producer who has been responsible for a whole host of records under various monikers over the last fifteen years, most notably the internationally successful dancefloor hit “Calabria” from 2003. Kölsch ran his own monthly Club Smile parties at VEGA Natklub in Copenhagen, while also running bimonthly parties at legendary Culture box.

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Tree “Sunday School II: When Church Lets Out” (Creative Control)
My first introduction to the incredible “Sunday School II: When Church Lets Out” LP came courtesy of Pitchfork’s Overlooked Records list for 2013. Tree is the alias for Chicago rapper/producer Tremaine “Tree” Johnson. The album is a hip hop tour-de-force featuring a myriad of inspired samples including Elvis Presley’s “Can’t Help Fallin In Love” (as Johnson says on the intro to “The King”, “I had to go get The King for this one”). The sheer range of sounds serves to recall those wonderful “mixtape” vibes from DJ Shadow’s seminal “The Private Press” LP. Lyrically, the album is as powerful as they can come, featuring tracks of raw power delivered straight from the soul of Johnson.

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Karen Gwyer “Needs Continuum” (No Pain In Pop)
From the incredible drum/bass/synth opening of “Sugar Tots”, the nine tracks on “Needs Continuum” showcases the wonderful talents and breathtaking sounds of London-based Karen Gwyer. Released this year on the wonderfully eclectic and ever-reliable “polystylistic” independent label No Pain In Pop, also based in London. My current favourite is “Lentil” which begins with softly textured vocal layers before gradually building to a stunning, ethereal and multi-layered climax. Also available is a remix EP of Gwyer’s “Needs Continuum” featuring Toronto’s Doom Squad, Not Not Fun’s Samantha Glass and Australian Neon Pulse.

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Sorcha Richardson “Sleep Will Set Me Free” (Self-Released)
I first crossed paths with Sorcha Richardson courtesy of the Irish Times’ “The Ticket”. Delving into Richardson’s stunning songbook has proved an unforgettable experience. The Dublin-born composer – now based in New York – has recorded a number of E.P’s to date (including the mesmerizing “Sleep Will Set Me Free” EP), containing fragile folk treasures recalling such spirits as Karen Dalton, David Pajo, Vashti Bunyan and Lisa Germano. Whether featuring arrangements of guitar or piano, it is Richardson’s poetic and truly captivating lyrics and breathtaking vocal delivery that casts such a deeply affecting spell on the listener, one which will never be broken.

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Minutemen “Double Nickels On The Dime” (SST)
An album that proved a key catalyst for Calexico’s Joey Burns on his musical journey (the band often cover both “Corona” and “Jesus and Tequila” live), Minutemen’s “Double Nickels On The Dime” album was released on the legendary Californian independent label SST in 1984 and continues to inspire new generations of musicians. The double album, containing a stunning 45 songs, was the third studio LP released by the band who consisted of D. Boon, Mike Watt and George Hurley. Tragically, in December of 1985, Boon was killed in a van accident. However, Boon’s legacy and Minutemen’s songbook will live on forever.

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