What you see above is a representation of the cold virus. It does nasty things to a 5-month old baby, and wreaks havoc on a parent’s sleep cycle. Needless to say, I managed to discover a few items in between night wakings – and the sounds are definitely on the stranger side due to the lack of sleep. Also, I’m working on interviews with The History of Colour TV and The Stargazer Lilies which should be up on the site in the next week or two, very excited about those!
Somehow I stumbled upon an interesting group emanating from the Netherlands called Dion and the Magic Chords. With a sound that’s been hanging out in the Ghost Box side of town, just across the tracks from Broadcast, they’ve put together a debut LP, Curiosa, that was released back in late December. Dischordant, a bit vintage, with funky overtones – I’ll certainly be keeping an eye on these guys.
It’s been quite the week in the land of shoegaze, with two events serving as virtual bookends. Last weekend, the scene lost a major player with the death of Danny Lackey, the co-founder of the blog When The Sun Hits and driving force behind the band Deepfieldview who finally succumbed to cancer. His passing has created an outpouring of emotion, and has led a group of musicians to create the Fund For Danny, a Bandcamp page where listeners can buy tracks with the proceeds going to help Danny’s wife Barbie through this difficult time. I strongly encourage you to check out the site and help out.
On the other end of the spectrum was the release of MBV by (of course) My Bloody Valentine. I’m sure you’ve heard all the details, so I won’t go to into it, but it’s quite the BFD. Mr. Shields released it almost under the cover of night (midnight to be exact) and led to a complete server overload – with some saying he “broke the internet”. You can buy the album now, with an immediate digital download, as well as CD and vinyl options to be shipped later.
Fuxa/Cheval Sombre split 7-inch
It’s a new month and time for another subscriber music giveaway. For this go around, you could win the brand new Fuxa/Cheval Sombre split 7-inch on red vinyl, the upcoming Asteroid #4 mini-LP The Windmill of the Setting Sun on vinyl, and a copy of each of the Mind Expansion 2xCD compilations (vols 1 & 2). The giveaway is for subscribers to our email newsletter and the winner will be chosen and notified by email on March 1. To qualify, you must be an active subscriber as of February 28. If you’re not already a subscriber, head over to the Subscribe page and enter your email address.
There’s a lot to be said about applying Occam’s Razor to music production. Sometimes bands opt for such complicated multi-track recording that the vibe of the music is almost lost. Forma have chosen a more direct approach: early analog synths and sequencers going straight into a digital recorder, all in real-time – the result is a timeless electronic sound, contemporary with an ear to classic German synth artists.
Photo © Ethan Goldwater
Hardly a synth to be found – that’s how I would describe alternative music as of 1993. Of course there was grunge, but we also had lo-fi slacker rock of Pavement/Dinosaur Jr./etc, and then there was shoegaze. Much of the music I’m hearing lately reminds me of those early 90’s days – big sweeping guitar sounds with lots of energy, and a noticeable absence of keys (think Lush, Swervedriver, and even Swirlies and Lilys). Many new bands appearing on comps recently have fit that 1993 sound, and these bands are bringing this now classic sound to the ears of a new generation, much the same way Stereolab exposed Krautrock to my cohort back in the early 90s. It’s the musical cycle, and it ebbs and flows in 20-year intervals. Hello again, 1993.
Hailing from Glasgow, The Cherry Wave play “fuzzed out Shoegaze” with barely audible, submerged vocals and a wall of guitars. The now 5-piece ensemble have released the Blush EP this week on Bandcamp, which so far has met with an overwhelming response from the community. They were included on the recent 300,000 Compilation, contributing the track “Doe Eyes” and elevating their presence in the scene.