listen.camp / episode 006 / 26.02.21
episode 006 includes some live music, spoken word, ambient, field recordings, and edited loops. And a couple of "normal" musics. Headphones are highly recommended. Approximately 90% DIY recordings. Strap it on. All the typos are mine.
01. Elf Power (no provenience)
This is an undated live recording of Elf Power doing a cover of Brian Eno's Needle in the Camel's Eye. This has been kicking around on my hard drive for a while and I love this recording. Great thrashing energy. A reminder of another time with hot nights and loud music.
02. Sweet Benfica (2021)
Kaleidoscope is from a soon to be released album by Sweet Benfica. They're the new sound of Neath! In this song, Stefan James drops layers of guitar tones and synth textures. It is hazy, in a warm psychedelic sort of way. The beat is strong. The multi-tracked vocals put you in the middle of a dream in progress.
03. Martin Johnson / Stephen McLeod Blythe (2021)
Unexpected Martin is an unplanned collaboration. In preparing for this broadcast, I separately asked Martin and Stephen to send me any random sounds/words they had on hand or wanted to make. I heavily edited Martin Johnson's reading of the Turner chapter from the book Portraits: John Berger on Artists was woven with sounds Stephen McLeod Blythe recorded from his bank of electronic text equipment. They paired nicely. The swelling sea sounds fit the nautical theme of many of Turner's paintings.
04. Robyn Hitchcock (1990)
Satellite is a short but intense song. The arrangement is simple: voice, guitar, piano, and a carboard box drum kit. The writing and performance are classic Hitchcock: impeccable.
05. Emperor X (2004)
Florencia Tropicana was included in episode 006 because it is a master-class for DIY musicians. This is just one, very impactful, track from the sprawling album Tectonic Membrane / Thin Strip on an Edgeless Platform. Florencia is a great mix of electronic beats and tones with bass, guitar, and drums. This is a song and album not just for listening, but for studying.
06. SARN (2017)
Drust Jive is more of a groove than a song. That is why it's a brilliant piece of music. It has that classic northern California vibe. Sonically adventurous through the engineering and mix by John Vanderslice but completely uniquely guided by SARN's words, composition, and performance. This song is like a long, lazy, summer evening. The synths twinkle around the edges. The beat is relaxed. The guitar riff is stoner solid- pushed to the back, played with no sense of urgency- but still there. Drust Jive has the perfect blend of sparse elements that come together and take you some where.
07. John Vanderslice (2002)
Much like Robyn Hitchcock, John Vanderslice knows how to write a song that is short, simple, and strong. Greyound is from a brilliant album Life and Death of an American Fourtracker. This is another DIY instructional piece that has been on the experimental trash syllabus since it was released. One guitar, one voice, that are engineered into a mix that hits you like a rock. Minimal is good.
08. Atlas Sound (2010)
The Bedroom Databank series by Atlas Sound / Bradford Cox is a sketchbook of songs- some of which were later re-recorded, and others- not. This is an archive of the early and personal work of Bradford Cox. Moonlight on Verlaine is a misty and slowly wandering piece. The entire collection is genius level writing.
09. Tremolo Ghosts (2016)
The Tremolo Ghosts entire catoluge has some very unique gems. This recording, 40-degrees North, 73-degrees West combines field recordings, found sounds, and drone organ. It's a seascape collage of sounds. Harsh ambient in the best possible way. And this piece is the perfect segue to:
10. Abby Newton (2001)
The Myrtle, as presented here, is an edited and looped version of a piece by Abby Newton. Newton is a performer and teacher of cello-folk music. Her pieces space the 16th-19th century and roam from Scotland, to Ireland, to Newfoundland, and Nova Scotia. The visceral sound of the bow scraping across the string is both harmonic and textural. This piece is just a looped version of the introduction to The Myrtle. I used the DearVR Pro software to add reflections to this solo recording. Occasionally the phrase is pitch shifted. Basically, I tried to take a fragment of a traditional folk piece and make it a more ambient space.
11. Wrightoid (2013)
Kid Kipling is one track from the brilliant album Modular Pursuits - where a number of very talented artists re-recorded songs written by Ash Cooke. This track by Wrightoid is one of the standouts and is the album closer. This song is like a quiet walk through a meadow. Field recordings of birds, a nylon string guitar, a soft voice, and comforting words. This is what I need to hear at the moment.
12. Clara Engel (2016)
Once a White Owl is a remix from Engel's 2016 album Visitors Are Allowed One Kiss. This song is long and hypnotic. Drone, psychedelic, folk, nearly ambient, and noise (yes, the ending is pretty awesome.) Another amazing DIY artist with a deep catalogue. Google it.
13. Nat Lyon (2021)
This is a work-in-progress for my next release. Field recordings from hospital visits as my mother slipped away. Bass and drums as a funeral march. What it is. What it was. The piano-like sounds are actually elevator gongs.
14. rift|fault (2019)
Cello, electric piano, drums with too much reverb, and ambient floorboards. That is what one does in the lower Connecticut River valley during winter madness. From the album The Swamp Yankee Ethnographic Series, Volume 1.