sexta-feira, 20 de julho de 2018

The City Gates, "Forever Orbiter" - Track by Track

Os canadenses de Montreal, The City Gates são daquelas bandas que o TBTCI teve um verdadeiro caso de amor desde os primeiros contatos, isso lá no distante 2013, quando do lançamento de "Collapse", primeiro trabalho dos caras.

De lá pra cá, os caras amadureçam, criando uma rede de admiradores muito além de Montreal, cidade Natal dos caras, tocaram com alguns dos principais nomes da atual avalanche gazer que ronda os quatro cantos do mundo, leia-se The Stargazer Lilies, The Veldt, Nothing, entre outros tantos.

E, novamente o The City Gates retorna as páginas do TBTCI, por conta do novíssimo, "Forever Orbiter", lançado no final de Abril.

No disco, as características principais estão todas inseridas, o shoegaze clássico, a muralha de distorções ora, sonhadora, ora fritante, e o ponto de distinção entre eles e boa parte dos demais gazers, a veia pós punk, o que contempla um ar denso, hipnótico e sempre misterioso.

Sedutoramente "Forever Orbiter" vicia, e para entender melhor os segredos dessa pequena pérola, nada melhor do que seus criadores desvendá-la, música a música.

Alguém deveria encaminhar o material do The City Gates a Robert Smith do The Cure, certamente seria paixão a primeira audição, eu aposto.

***** The City Gates, "Forever Orbiter" - Track by Track *****

This is the making of The City Gates’ Forever Orbiter, released on April 27th 2018 via Northern Light Records. We couldn’t ask for a better label than Northern Light Records to release our album, especially since the label is Canadian like ourselves! The label is based out west in British Colombia and releases a ton of great albums, including records by Rev Rev Rev and ACTORS. We also dig Northern Light Records because they showcase a really cool mix of genres we love, such as shoegaze, post-punk and dream pop.

So here we go…

1. Checkpoint Charlie
This was the first « single » we recorded for 'Forever Orbiter' back in 2015. I think that this song defines how we like to create songs and the chemistry between band members. Like 'Sound Better with Reberb' says it, “Checkpoint is an expansive tune, shifting from introverted to anthemic.” It also has that kind of Krautrock influence, since the song was created and came out of a two chords 15 minute jam we did at our rehearsal place. The final version is almost an exact replica of that first version, without the 10 minutes at the end of it. Well, we cut it down a little for the album version.

Oh man! We really had a blast while we recording that song! I won’t talk too much about how Checkpoint Charlie was recorded while we were all “hungover”. To record the song, we went to Gautier Marinof's studio. He's a really good friend of ours and, in my opinion, one of the best Montreal sound engineers around. As we are all gears addicts, we brought everything we thought could be used during the recording session. Then, we put up a wall of guitar amps, including an AC 30, a Jazz Chorus 120, a Fender Tonemaster, a Fender Bandmaster, all while using different mics in different spots in the room (and outside as well). We also used a bunch of different guitars to get altered tones: 1996 Fender Jaguar, Gretsch Tennessee Rose hollowbody, German 1960s electric Framous guitar model. Frank also used his old 1955 Gibson ES-225 and a 1950-1960s Stella acoustic guitar to add some more rhythm guitar layers. Justin also played for the first time on his new Sakae drums set that he just brought back straight from Japan. John also played his P-bass bass into his 1970s Ampeg amp, which sounds like a ton of bricks right in your face.

To get a more “human feel”, Gautier asked us to play the whole song without any metronome and without any cuts. So, that's exactly what we did. The main song was entirely recorded in one take, including the end of the song where you can hear Maxime doing some guitar loops and playing with the knobs on his pedals, while John did the same with his bass pedals. If you want to get the whole sensation of Checkpoint Charlie, well, just turn up the volume!

I also love the lyrics. The story behind them takes place during the Berlin Wall and the Cold War era. It talks about someone who crosses the border between East Berlin and West Berlin. We are big fans of History. You can definitely see this if you listen carefully to the lyrics of in our songs.

2. London
London is actually an “old” song that we wrote in 2012-2013. It refers to the “Battle of England” and the German Blitz bombing offensive during the Second World War. Indeed, in September 1940, the Luftwaffe (German aircrafts during WWII) bombed London for 56 out of 57 days and nights. We wanted to recreate that atmosphere on our tune London. We can almost feel the bombs falling on London at the end of the song, right after the bridge (3:36 to 4:30), while Maxime crashes his Jaguar guitar straight on the floor with his hands and feet.

The song was also recorded at Gautier’s studio. I do like the lead guitar on that one, some of which was recorded on tape. You can definitely hear them if you turn up the volume. Likewise, Frank does a great job on rhythm guitar, with his down-tuned vintage Aria Diamond 1532T Japanese guitar. I also love that dirty bass tone and the reverb on Juice’s Sakae snare drum.

3. Maddening Ride
This is one of my favorites on the album. I am pretty happy how the final mix version turned out. Thanks to our guitarist Frank for that. He did a great job. I like that obscure dark melancholy sound which kind of reminds me a little bit of JAMC and The Sisters of Mercy. The lyrics, which were written by John’s hand, are also pretty deep. Love them! I also like these shimmering Gretsch Tennessee Rose hollowbody guitars melting into reverb and a vintage Aria PS-10 Phase Shifter pedal. I also like the guitar “solo” vibe, which was a total spur of the moment, on the spot I came up with during the very first take!

4. Phantom
I already mentioned earlier in this interview that we are big fans of history so far. Well, this song talks about the famous RAF World War II Avro Lancaster heavy bomber aircraft called “The Phantom of the Rhur” (EE139). Phantom was one of just 35 – out of 7,373 – to survive 100 flights in the war and becoming a Lancaster “Centurion”, as you can read in a nice article on veteran Lancaster WWII pilot’s Ron Clark ( In total, 3,345 out of 7,373 vanished while on operations, with the loss of more than 21,000 crew members. The Phantom participated in many city bombings taken by the Germans, in particular for avenging the London city bombing. Thrilling to have London and Phantom on the same album.

The making of Phantom has also a typical Montreal story. The draft and the first recordings of the song were made while Frank and John were listening a Montreal Canadiens hockey game. John was sitting on a couch with his bass and did a great bass line. Frank say something to John like: “Hey! That's freaking good. Let’s record that shit”. The result was that heavy fuzzy Fender Precision bassline that you can hear in throughout the whole song. Phantom also features sections with unique musical builds that make the song more interesting. It’s a cool song to play live.

5. Echo Radio
This is an old song that we started to record a while ago. It has that kind of 80’s straight-forward post-punk vibe. We are huge fans of that scene, with such bands as The Sisters of Mercy, The Chameleons, Clan of Xymox, Red Lorry Yellow Lorry, etc. While I use baritone vocals, I thought it would be great to add some vocal textures in the bridge/chorus. So, I ask my friend Krissy Vanderwoude from Whimsical if she would be interested to sing some mesmerising vocals on the song. Glad that she said “yes” right away. The result is pretty great. That being said, I has also like that GCB95 Crybaby Wah pedal on the bridge/chorus.

6. Dead Calm
Dead Calm is a minimalist song that comes out directly out of an improvised recording session that I did at home when I was trying a vintage 1960’s Japanese-made Zen-On electric guitar that I had just bought for a penny or so. Few weeks after, I came across this two single track recording when I realized I was listening to them in loop while I was reading Tolstoy’s War and Peace. A mystical atmosphere it was. So, I decided to send the song to our friend sound engineer Chris Cline, (whose previous work includes Explosions in the Sky, And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead and The Foreign Resort) to do some editing, keys and to mix the song. The final result comes out in an ethereal dream pop, darkwave sound that reminds me a little bit of The Cocteau Twins, Brian Eno, This Mortal Coil and other early 4AD bands.

Moreover, Dead Calm strikes a pause, and offers a nice segway between Echo Radio and the song that closes the album: Sad Sad Surf.

7. Sad Sad Surf
Sad Sad Surf was the last song that was written for Forever Orbiter. This is a kind of post-punk/jangle pop tune that makes me want to go on a strange road trip. The song title goes well with the mood of the tune: something like a dichotomy between blissful and melancholy.

The recording of Sad Sad Surf was also cool to do. There are a so many guitar layers on this one, that the IMac that we used for the recording almost shut down. I also like that vintage Japanese Teisco electric guitar tone that we used to add more bass tone on the chorus/bridges.

quarta-feira, 18 de julho de 2018

Big Skies with Mere Women - An Interview

Sempre me perguntam sobre resenhas, bem o TBTCI não faz resenhas, o TBTCI apenas induz e, principalmente, introduz você, ao submundo dos bons sons, realizando conexões e conectando o que tem impressionado este que vos escreve.

Não é de hoje que a Austrália vem despejando uma enxurrada de grandes e promissoras bandas, independentemente do estilo, psych, shoegaze, dreampop, post punk, art noise, e, certamente outros tantos nichos sonoros que não são explorados por aqui devem estar sofrendo esta avalanche aussie.

A mais nova, mas note, não se trata de uma nova banda, mas a tardia descoberta pelo TBTCI, faz do quarteto Mere Women, uma das grandes "revelações" por aqui.

Imagine você, o Autolux se envolvendo com Siouxsie Sioux, cantos tribais penetrando soturnamente em nossas mentes, conduzidos por bases de noise e pós punk tribal.

Assim o Mere Women, já tem no currículo uma vasta coleção de singles e três discos que devem ser degustados o mais breve possível. O TBTCI sugere que a iniciação deva ser feita pelo terceiro trabalho da banda, "Big Skies", lançado no passado, o disco é caótico, angustiante e frenético.

Se você precisava de um bom motivo para conhecer algo novo, o Mere Women é certamente uma pedida imperdível. Ah sim, escute alto.

***** Interview with Mere Women *****

Q. When did Mere Women begin? Tell us about the history...
Amy, Flyn and former drummer, Kat started the band back in 2011 in Marrickville NSW Australia. We mainly played warehouses and record stores finding our feet until we released our first record "Old life" in 2012. In 2015 we released "Your town" on Poison city records, a record themed in nostalgia and heartache which we recorded in a cold storage warehouse used to store wine located out in country NSW. Over the years we've toured extensively around Australia and New Zealand with a few spontaneous shows in New York in 2016. Later in 2016 we added Trischelle on bass, formerly of another Sydney band called No art. For our latest album "Big Skies" we found ourselves living in different parts of Australia. Amy moved to country Australia for 6 months while the rest of us were city bound. This move became integral to themes imbedded throughout the album which we released in 2017 also on Poison city records. After we toured "Big skies" Kat decided she couldn't play live anymore and we replaced her with new drummer, Mac.

Q: Who are your influences?
Our influences are really varied, each of us come from different backgrounds and hold influences in punk,hardcore to electronic. To name a few I'd say The Smiths,Kate Bush,David Bowie,Bjork,Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Walkmen, Liars, The Drones,Propagandhi, Blood Brothers, The Go-betweens

Q. Make a list of 5 albums of all time…
Radiohead-Kid A
At the Drive in-Relationship of command
The Smiths-Hatful of Hollow
David Bowie-Ziggy stardust
Yeah Yeah Yeahs-Fever to tell

Q. How do you feel playing live?
We love playing live. Although we are really proud of our records there aren't many feelings like when the audience is right in your face singing along and clapping at something you played a part in creating

Q. How do you describe Mere Women´s sounds?
We cover many genres and just play what we play, we don't ever go into a song thinking we need a punk song or a pop song, every memeber brings something different to make a mash up of Gothic infused post punk rooted in pop.

Q: Tell us about the process of recording the songs ?
Tim G Carr has recorded mostly all of our songs. Every record is different, location wise but we attack it in the same way. We record everything live except vocals and maybe some guitar overdubs we try to capture the energy created when a band is all playing together. I don't believe a record have the same feel when recorded seperately when you aren't looking at or feeling the other members in the band

Q. Which new bands do you recommend?
Den, Orion, Cat heaven (members of Mere women), Gravel Pit, Tropical Fuck storm, Shady Nasty

Q: Which band would you love to made a cover version of?
I think we'd really suit covering Pat Benatar-Love is a battlefield ahaha!

Q: What are your plans for the future?
We are about to bunker down to write the next record. We've got a few songs already on the boil and we are looking forward to writing the rest. The next releases will follow much more international touring and we look forward to that.

Q: Any parting words?
The Music industry is a tough ride for everybody but more so minorities. Treat everyone with the same respect and always remember to be inclusive in lineups and try to be diverse in your music selection.

terça-feira, 17 de julho de 2018

La verdad blanda with Martes Niebla - An Interview

Durante o verão passado, o Blacanova, uma das mais queridas bandas shoegaze espanholas, decidiu dar um tempo indefinido em suas atividades, e assim, alguns de seus integrantes resolveram convidar amigos de outras belas bandas de lá, leia-se Terry vs. Tori e Escuelas Pias, e assim nasceu o Martes Niebla.

O primeiro resultado de união de expoentes da cena gazer espanhola, é o EP homônimo dos caras. Um passeio sutil e cintilante pelo universo sonhador das influências de todos, aproximando-se de novas bandas como DIIV, Tamaryn e Beach House.

Dreampop em letras maiúsculas para levitar preguiçosamente.

***** Interview with Martes Niebla *****

Q: When did Martes Niebla start? Tell us about the history...
Last summer, when Blacanova decided to take an indefinite break, some members of the band wanted to continue making dream pop and shoegaze songs, but with a more luminous approach. Two friends from other bands joined this new project soon. So, the band’s definitive line-up is Erica (also in Terry vs. Tori), Davis (Escuelas Pías) and Cristian, Inés & Paco (from Blacanova).

Q: Who are your influences?
We are influenced by classic shoegaze and dream pop bands (Slowdive, My bloody Valentine, Ride ...), but also by groups such as DIIV, Beach Fossils, Tamaryn, Alvvays, Beach House or the first School of Seven Bells and Deerhunter.

Q. Make a list of 5 albums of all time…
Low (Bowie)
Disintegration (The Cure)
For your pleasure (Roxy Music)
Souvlaki (Slowdive)
Somnium (SIANspheric)

Q. How do you feel playing live?
As Martes Niebla we are just beginning, but our idea is to enjoy playing live and mix a good creative vocal work (we have three singers) with infinite layers of guitars and acoustic and electronic drums. We are working on it.

Q. How do you describe Martes Niebla´s sounds?
Dream pop, shoegaze and post punk, combined into a blurred, foggy, yet shiny sound. Even the name of the band (Tuesday Mist) suggest this hazy feeling.

Q: Tell us about the process of recording the songs
We did a lot of recording and production work by ourselves. Then, in a second phase we continued at La Mina Studio with producer Raúl Perez, who also worked with the mixes.

Q. Which new bands do you recommend?
Pool Shop, Hatchie, Wild Honey, Day Wave, Hazel English, Monte Terror, Still Parade, Terry vs. Tori, Escuelas Pías…

Q: Which band would you love to made a cover version of?
It would be nice to make a dreamy / dark drone cover of Taylor Swift.

Q: What are your plans for the future?
Make beautiful songs and play in beautiful places all around the world

Q: Any parting words?
Lots of kisses and hugs for all the The Blog That Celebrates Itself’s followers!

segunda-feira, 16 de julho de 2018

Echo Ladies, "Pink Noise" - Track by Track

O trio sueco de Malmö, Echo Ladies, retorna as páginas do TBTCI em grande estilo, o motivo, o debute deles.

"Pink Noise", o álbum, sequencia os dois primeiros, e, bombásticos singles da banda, chegando no tal , amadurecimento sonoro dos caras, não que isso represente lá muita coisa. Passeando por clássicos dos cultuados selos, 4AD e Creation, os suecos acrescentam na receita, uma certa fascinação por Kate Bush e elementos tipicamente krautianos, deixando o caldeirão ainda mais saboroso.

O resultado é um menu deliciosamente viciante, principalmente por conta do inegável apelo pop do Echo Ladies. Oito pérolas que são devidamente desvendadas pelos seus criadores nessa apetitosa track by track.

Bon appetit !!!!

***** Echo Ladies, "Pink Noise" - Track by Track *****

We wanted to have a intro for the album that was a bit different from the rest of the songs. Maybe a bit missleading but we wanted people to get interested as soon as they put on the record, not knowing what to expect.

Almost Happy
We wanted to write an aggressive song with a big chorus. Aggressive drums and aggressive synths. Great song to open up the album with, after ”Intro”. The titel is also like a statement. We feel like everyone’s always expected to be happy and satisfied with things. It should be more accepted to be ”Almost Happy”!

Apart wasn’t even finished when we entered the studio. It’s a song about fear of growing up and having to let things go. And it truly came alive when we plugged in the Juno. We tweaked it for 15 minutes or so until we got this big, sad sound that glued the whole song together. Really sounds like the world is ending, in a good way.

It’s about the need to be left alone and to be isolated. But after too much time on your own maybe you go a bit nuts... We’re really happy with how the sound of the song turned out and even happier with the GREAT video our dear friend Ebba Ågren directed. It really adds something to the song.

With Darklands we really flirt with krautrock, which all three of us love. It’s about what you see from the stage while preforming. The darkness, the lights and what the crowd really look like when they’re watching you. It’s inspired from when Joar worked as an extra at the opera house here in Malmö.

Hard Ending
Hard Ending is about stupid love. When you know you should end something with another person but you just keep coming back to echother. Time after time.

The most ”shoegazy” song of the album! It’s a slow but steady going song about how being in love can feel overrated sometimes. That you shouldn’t feel like a mess-up or a loser if you’re not in a relationship.

Waiting For A Sign
The first song we wrote for ”Pink Noise”! It’s about the feeling of being missplaced, not belonging anywhere. And that feeling safe isn’t necessarily the feeling to strive for. Sometimes you feel stuck and you want something to change. Waiting for something new and exciting to happen.”

sexta-feira, 13 de julho de 2018

Deaden Me with Aviaries - An Interview

O cotidiano do mundo nos dias de hoje é cruel, caótico e perturbador, completamente diferente das aparências maquiadas pelas pessoas através das redes sociais, a falsa realidade de felicidade e alegria constante esconde uma complexa e estressante realidade, onde, cada vez mais, a intolerância em todos os aspectos impera, beirando o caos completo.

É justamente com estas verdades que os poloneses do Aviaries se alimentam. Sonoramente fundem-se entre o pós punk soturno mais sombrio e, um certo doomgaze, ou algo que sintetize tudo isso. Certamente a conexão mais próxima e óbvia dos caras seja o Have A Nice Life.

O Aviaries soltou seu novo single "Deaden Me", que serve como aperitivo ao segundo álbum, 'There Is Nothing To Defend', ainda sem data de lançamento. O single segue, de certa maneira, o que os caras criaram no assustador disco homônimo, lançado há dois anos atrás.

Resumidamente, o Aviaries, ao lado de outros poucos anti heróis atuais, leia-se APTBS, o próprio Have A Nice Life, explicitam as feridas da dura realidade que é viver/sobreviver nos dias de hoje.

***** Interview with Aviaries *****

Q: When did Aviaries begin? Tell us about the history...
Mark Magick: We started playing together back in 2012. We were struggling trying not to kill ourselves playing each other solo projects. Frustration burst and we decided to take a break to catch a little fresh look on many things… In 2014, Marcin and Krzysiek came up with that flagship song titled „Cold” that turned out to be a turning point in Aviaries history. We’ve made a decision to try a band where everyone is involved at the same level and everyone can bring ideas.

Marcin Cieslak: Me, Mark and Krzysiek were living in the same flat and coherent emotional vibe between us has resulted in two or three spontaneous tracks. Few months later we've started rehearsals and met Bart - our drummer, who used to practice in the same place. We'd intended to use synthetic drums at the beginning, but we've changed our mind after first rehearsal in four.

Q: Who are your influences?
MC: The Cure, The Soft Moon, Have A Nice Life, Katatonia, A Place To Bury Strangers, Merzbow, Fennesz, Slowdive, Dinosaur Jr.

Krzysztof Mlynczak: I don't have any specific artist which I am influanced. I listen to a lot of different kinds of music and everything comes together when I play. When I am writing it's more about the mood. I usually play when I don't feel very well. Something bad must happen, then music comes.

MM: I guess everyone draws out from different source. I have indie/noise rock heart and that kind of music and emotions it carries always hit hard for me. Of course I’ve had metalcore or rock n’ roll episode – it changes all the time… Bands like O’Brother, Brand New, Nothing, Nirvana are my biggest influences. Marcin mentioned Have A Nice Life, Bart would mention Neurosis... This is that diversity that combines Aviaries sound.

Q. Make a list of 5 albums of all time…
MM: Shit, that’s a tricky question…

KM: It's hard to choose five. Maybe I will tell about the albums which I was listening a lot when I was 15, 16 years old. It probably created my music taste in some way.

Nine inch Nails - The Fragile and The Downard Spiral, Marilyn Manson - Mechanical Animals, The Cure - Pornography, Gary Numan - Pure.

I’m not listening to all of them right now, but I think they are worth to mention.

MM: For that moment:
Guns N’ Roses – „Use Your Illusion” Trilogy – that albums are like masterpiece for me. In context of production, mix, promotion, diversity of music - from acoustic to really dark and heavy tunes it beats any other album for me. I’ve been listening to „Use Your Illusion I” since I was 3 and still keep coming back to it.

John Frusciante - „Curtains” - quintessence of acoustic album. The most deppresive and saddest thing ever done?

O’Brother - „Disillusion”

Manchester Orchestra - „I’m Like A Virgin Losing A Child”

Brand New – „The Devil And God Are Raging Inside Me” - I’ve heard that album for the first time in 2006 and it chopped off my head. Really dark, hauting, noisy album. „Degausser” is the best song ever written – so simple, so heavy and strong, pumped up with emotions. That albums changes lives…

MC:  1. Fennesz - Venice / 2. Katatonia - The great Cold Distance / 3. The Soft Moon - Deeper / 4. Have A Nice Life - The Unnatural World / 5. Dinosaur Jr - You're living all over me

Q. How do you feel playing live?
MC: Focused and introvertic.

MM: I remember that before my first stage appearance with Aviaries, that was also my first ever, I thought I’ll be stressed as fuck, my fingers will freeze and I will be not able to make a single move. All those fears immediately disappeared when we hit the stage. Now it’s pleasant feeling. There is always something going on in your stomach but we call it excitement. I love playing live and sharing that time with guys.

KM: I am a little stressed and excited. I don't like the soundchecks. I am the person in the band who is always worried that something will go wrong, but when I am finally on stage I really enjoy it. I’m never looking at the crowd. It's only me and the sound and it is really magical feeling.

Q. How do you describe Aviaries´ sounds?
MM: Heavy, noisy, gloomy wall of overwhelming, hauting notes that leaves you in confused trance, sad and depressed.

MC: Our sound reminds me of being detached from the reality and being in it at the same time.

KM: Nostalgic, longing, without hope.

Q: Tell us about the process of recording the songs?
MM: We – Marcin, Krzysiek and me – were sharing the same flat through almost 5 years and almost every song had its start in those four walls. We were creating the spine of the song and then we were bringing it to the rehearsal room.

MC: We create whole songs at home, never jam. When it comes to recording and mixing, those are processes we do from various reasons - especially sound we prefer - on our own.

KM: From my side it's always starts from single riff. If the Marcin or Marek feel it and have any idea to keep it going, we sit together, work with a drums samples, vocals etc. We always have a draft before we start to play a new song together. During the rehearsals everyone can add a little something, for example Bartek makes drums a lot complicated and cool than our demo machine beats.

Q. Which new bands do you recommend?
KM: I am not really into checking new music everyday like I used to do before. However here is a few artist which I've been listening lately. Not all are really new bands: Glaare, Sally Didge, Ritual Howls, Thot, Drab Majesty, Emma Ruth Rundle.

MC: Actually I know none. I was recently introduced to Khanate - US drone doom band which is great, but that’s not a new one. Been there for about 10 years or something...

MM:  Death Bells – post-punk form Australia / Baasch – synth pop from Poland / HAELOS – trip hop from UK

Q: Which band would you love to made a cover version of?
MM: We used to make a cover of Have A Nice Life „Bloodhail”.  We are coming with crazy ideas for a cover from time to time, but it’s really not our thing I guess.

KM: There is a lot of 80s pop songs which I would like to cover. Probably „Send Me An Angel” by Real Life. Marcin even recorded a demo version of it. Maybe someday we will finish it.

MC: Katatonia and Blueneck come to my mind.

Q: What are your plans for the future?
MM: Finish the second album is the top priority. That’s the most important future point that eclipse any others.

KM: Finish the album – then we will see.

MC: New album.

Q: Any parting words?
MM: Check out our new single „Deaden Me”. You can download it for free through our bandcamp page:

MC: Thank you for the interview.

quinta-feira, 12 de julho de 2018

The Shallow Surface with Tidal Peak - An Interview

Envolto em delicadas texturas etéreas Kyle Lacko concebe suas pérolas sonoras. Passeando por entre o synth pop oitentista e o dream pop moderno, o Tidal Peak flutua.

Kyle é prolífico, desde 2015, vem aperfeiçoando seus devaneios sonhadores, onde o citado synth foi o pontapé inicial, até chegar em sua obra mais coesa, "The Shallow Surface", seu novo álbum, transborda pureza.

Dançando por entre sonhos, o disco paira por leves misturas onde sintetizadores e cândidas melodias se entrelaçam suavemente.

Se você é fã de The Go-Betweens, Blue Nile, Durutti Column, Talk Talk entre outros, faça sua lição de casa e imersa na beleza do Tidal Peak.

***** Interview with Tidal Peak *****

Q. When did Tidal Peak start? Tell us about the history...
1. Tidal Peak started in early 2015, formed in Toowoomba QLD, Australia after the breakup of an alternative rock band I was in. I had recently acquired a drum machine and gotten used to using a synthesiser, so I started to make demos which built up my experience of playing all the instruments myself. This set the standard to start a solo project where I could be the primary member to play all instruments on recordings, and assemble a live lineup of musicians to recreate the songs onstage, and so Tidal Peak was born.

Q: Who are your influences?
2. My main influences are Cocteau Twins, The Chameleons UK, Talk Talk, The Church, Lush, The Blue Nile, The Durutti Column, Rush, Peter Gabriel, Tame Impala and Scritti Politti, amongst many other artists.

Q. Make a list of 5 albuns of all time…
3. My five albums of all time are:
A) Hats by The Blue Nile.
B) Disintegration by The Cure.
C) Spirit Of Eden by Talk Talk.
D) Misplaced Childhood by Marillion.
E) Bringing Home The Ashes by The Wild Swans.

Q. How do you feel playing live?
4. Playing live has been great. It feels good to break the songs out onstage and give them a live feel. There have been various live members come and go as the sound changes but I'm hoping to take our live lineup to new places as the project builds momentum.

Q. How do you describe Tidal Peak´s sounds?
5. Sound-wise, Tidal Peak has evolved over the years. When I released the first single in 2015 the music was very much retro-synthpop, but in the time since then I've released one album, one mini-album and an EP, and the music has evolved more into a dreampop/post-punk/ethereal-wave style with the synthpop elements still in place as the drum machine and synths are integral alongside the reverbed guitars in Tidal Peak's sound. One key characteristic to finding the sound that fits Tidal Peak was playing an acoustic guitar through a reverb pedal and producing a cavernous, glistening noise which I've made sure to utilise, but the sound does change and I'm still always keen to experiment on new things. There is a neo-psychedelic sound to Tidal Peak as of recently.

Q: Tell us about the process of recording the songs ?
6. When it comes to recording the songs I either already have the full song in my head with all of the arrangements, or a basic idea of the song structure. In the studio I always begin with the drum machine to lay down the rhythm pattern and follow up with bass after. Some songs will use a bass guitar and others will use a synth bass, depending on the feel. Guitars will come next and this is probably where I spend the most time on recording to achieve certain effects or nuances in a song. I like to space and pan guitars across the channels to create an atmospheric feel to what the song is about. Majority of the time I play guitar arpeggios or light strums here or there. I used to be obsessed with the idea of being a guitar hero but now I'm only ever interested in making the song stand out rather than showing off my skills. I might play a solo here or there in a song but I won't do it for every single song if it isn't necessary.
Finally I'll add synths to add to the atmosphere. I mainly use pads for ethereal texture, but there may be a synth melody floating around at times.
After the instruments are done I start to experiment with panning and mixing, overdubbing any effect over the stop (I.e. handclaps, walls of noise, feedback, etc) and volume control. I want the instruments to sit in the right spot before I can get started on vocals.
I only write lyrics after the music is finalised. I can never do the other way around. I've found that double-tracking my vocals is a key element in recording, as well as applying some reverb to the voice to achieve that ethereal effect.

Q. Which new bands do you recommend?
7. In QLD Australia there are many fairly new bands and acts popping up. Some I definitely recommend are A.N.A, Lucy Korts, Big Whoops, Venice On Fire and Benny Nelson.
As for international bands Palm Haze is a good band, based in Vancouver, Canada, and I also enjoy Siobhan Wilson from the UK. There are a tonne of great new artists on the Z Tapes label also. There are so many good new acts popping up around the world that need to be discovered.

Q: Which band would you love to made a cover version of?
8. All of us in the live band can agree we would love to be able to do a cover of "Blue Monday" by New Order. I'd also love to do a cover of "Seven AM" by The Blue Nile and really nail that rainy, city lights and deserted streets feel with the song. Plus the song also uses a drum machine and synth bass - a big plus.

Q: What are your plans for the future?
9. Right now I'm in the process of working on another EP to release under the Innersea Records indie label, either at the end of 2018 or early next year. With each release I've seen the project gather more fans and it's wonderful to see that it's building up an audience. The last album I released ("The Shallow Surface") was pressed on cassette so this will happen again with the upcoming EP. I'd love to release on vinyl one day but goodness knows how expensive that is. In the meantime we'll keep playing live shows with the live lineup and I intend to take things in a more synthier direction onstage, sometime down the track.

Q: Any parting words?
10. Thank you so much for allowing me to share Tidal Peak with you. Hope you enjoy and you can find the project page on Facebook, as well as the music on Bandcamp at

quarta-feira, 11 de julho de 2018

Binary Code with Margaret - An Interview

O segundo EP dos franceses do Margaret, é uma pedrada bem no centro do crânio, e obviamente as sequelas são, e, serão profundas.

Matematicamente caótico, "Binary Code", o EP, é corrosivamente agressivo, sem extremismos mas com o enfoque direcionado diretamente para machucar tímpanos. Guitarra, baixo, bateria e vocal unidos para massacrar os ledos ouvintes a bigornadas sonoras.
Se você é chegado em Girls Against Boys, Steve Albini, SY, art noise, você não deve deixar o Margaret passar desapercebido nem fodendo.

Não recomendado a indie kids fofinhos.

***** Interview with Margaret *****

Q. When did Margaret start? Tell us about the history...
Well the story began in 2015 when Olivier (the bass player) and me came back in contact after few year. We played together in several bands years ago and I think we were a bit full on with our music projects at the time. He was in a kind of symphonic metal band and I was in a post-rock stuff. I'm pretty sure that I called him first. My post-rock experience was pretty intense with no results, no gigs no recordings at all. We did some and it was great but it demanded me just too much. So I wanted to make something much more simple the kind of stuff like "let's just plug and play". I thought just a three piece band could be nice and easy and I didn't want to play complicated parts on guitar. In the same mood or you know just because I didn't want to think too much about the guitar I thought maybe I can just sing words here and there. You know I'm not a singer, definitely not, but experimenting vocal sounded fun to me. So I had this idea then I called Olivier! I guess because I knew him quite well, was pretty aware about his skills on bass and mostly about his punk culture. Hopefully He said : "Fuck yeah!!!!" I'm glad he did. We needed to find a drummer to complete the band. Olivier had a good friend beginning drums. Clemence was, she still is, a nice person, kind and a hard worker! We began the project with her. We decided to records the first EP coz we had songs even if she was not ready to play them. I did the drums on the first EP "Everything Gets Closer". We recorded it in my house, in the attic precisely. I had got the gear to do it. I did the mix and we released it on 10 inches vinyl in 2016. I wanted a vinyl edition for the first one that's it! But soon after that Clemence had a great opportunity for dancing and honestly I'm happy she accepted it because she does absolutely awesome stuff now. I should say that having a she-drummer in the band was something was keen on. I didn't care that she was a proper drummer or not it was just great to have girl at the drums. Anyway she left the band and we had to find a drummer again. So, as usual, I called Baptiste. He's a top bloke, the best person ever, a man with a heart big as earth. He helped me in my post-rock band when I needed someone to hit the drums and he did it again. We were Three again so we made gigs here and there not so much but few. We continued to compose songs and we released at the end of 2017 the second EP "Binary Code". Same process, Recorded at home, the attic again, mixed by myself, no vinyl (coz we are broke!) this time it's a burned CD and a home made cover! Now coz you send us an email for an interview I'm answering to your questions! For a fucking Brazilian music blog!!!! hoohoo!!!! Man this is absolutely awesome!!!!!

Q: Who are your influences?
I can answer for me. Guess Olivier will give his own influences.
Well, it's a bit complicated to find what is the influences. It's much more like a digest of decades of sounds ( now you can guess how old I am! ;) ). I can list styles and maybe some bands can pop up in my mind while I reply. Krautrock, experimental music, classic rock, stoner rock, Swamp rock from Australia, progressive rock but not technically boring, American Folk music, Blues, proto punk, post punk, punk rock bands ( pretty fun that I can't say just punk), some psychedelic stuff, early post-rock bands, Thrash metal, power metal some death but not listening often or maybe when I'm fucked up with metal friends or if I wanted to go back to my teen, Indie bands of course. Anyway There are always some common points. A work around the texture of the sound, something a bit rough not always easy to listen to. It could be catchy but certainly "désinvolte" in French, pretty hard to translate. It could mean "doing something with the art of notdoing care about". So Guess you need bands! So with no order : Godspeed You Black Emperor!, Pantera, Tool, Sonic Youth, Faith no more and any project of Mike Patton, Radiohead, Suicide, Bauhaus, Pavement, Tortoise, King Crimsom, Steve Reich, Morphine, Microfilm, The Notwist, Calexico, Kyuss, Fugazi, Queen of The Stone Age, John Cage, Meshuggah, The Drones, Neil Young, Ligeti, Tom Waits, Mark Lanegan, The Kill Devil Hills, Portishead, Girls Vs Boys, Slint, The for Carnation. Some friends : El Madrigal, Ben Salter, Justin Cusack, The Gin Club, Paramount Styles, The Butcher Birds, The Black Diamond Heavies, Häne Brenecki, Alpha Strategy, Horst Du Noch, Ronan One man Band, We escape.... And so many more that I'm sad to forget!

Q. Make a list of 5 albuns of all time…
No Order again :
Morphine " Good"
Tool "Lateralus"
Godspeed you Black Emperor "F#A#"
Steve Reich "Music for 18 musicians"
Ravel "Le Gibet"
Nick Drake "Pink Moon"
But honestly I don't like top 5 stuff... Because tomorrow or in 5 minutes it's gonna be different!

Q. How do you feel playing live?

Q. How do you describe Margaret´s sounds?
Hard question. But I'll try to make it quick coz I was pretty long before. Textured, a bit fuzzy. We try to be rough but we are not enough yet I think.

Q: Tell us about the process of recording the songs ?
Mostly I composed but for few songs I took some riff from Olivier and make a song with it. On the first EP we did something I loved. Olivier had just a part of a song. I took the chords made something with it. He writes a bit too so I asked to him for a text. He can write long stuff. He gave me 2 or 3 pages he wrote roughly and I picked up sentences or a word here and there. We did the lyrics with that! I think it's "Everything Gets Closer" on the first EP. We should do it again!

Q. Which new bands do you recommend?
Now I listen quite often to Iddles, a band from England. I saw them in festival last year! A great show, "punkly" intense. So a really really good English punk rock band. The album is a bit too much well produced for my taste but the sounds are great! But Let's be serious! Just move your ass go to the gig, find your sound, support the local scene! This is the only thing I can recommend!

Q: Which band would you love to made a cover version of?
We did covers of The Butcher Birds and of Girls vs Boys. I thing that the next one will be Bauhaus

Q: What are your plans for the future?
Find a new drummer. Again! Yeah I know it's always a bit the same story! Baptiste left us 2 weeks ago for personal reason. No argue no trouble! It's just Life! So we've got a touch a friend I know! So we'll be ready soon

A LP that's for sure next year! On vinyl again!!!! Can't wait! Gigs! We are pretty bad to find gigs don't desperate to set up a network or find someone to help us. We all work so we don't have so much spare time to apply for a show!

Q: Any parting words?
Because we are such dickheads to book gigs maybe we can play in Brazil!!!!! But definitely thank you so much Renato to come to us for this interview. We are glad and very honoured about your attention!
Thanks! Thanks! Thanks!

Strange Transcendence with Transcendental Strangers? - An Interview

Prepare-se para levitar sem sair do chão, ou, sonhar com os olhos abertos. Sentir a mente transpirar, o coração bater tão lentamente que perigas parar. Essas sensações podem ser causadas ou por viagens alucinógenas, via o amargo sabor do ácido, ou, em alguns casos, através da música.

Neste limo pegajoso e delirante passeiam os caras do Transcendental Strangers?, sim com interrogação, a história do porque disso, você ao terminar de ler a introdução terá mais informações, por enquanto, foque leve seu dedo até o play, para iniciar a viagem que é "Strange Transcendence", debute dos caras.

Pegue Zappa, pegue o kraut mais prog e espacial, pegue a psicodelia moderna, acrescente doses poderosas de psilocibina e penetre lentamente no universo dos caras.

O ticket de ida, o TBTCI oferta a você, agora a volta, dependerá do seu envolvimento com o Transcendental Strangers?.

***** Interview with Transcendental Strangers? *****

Q. When did Transcendental Strangers? start? Tell us about the history...
Dr: This is a bit convoluted. TS? really evolved out of a different group that Mark and I had, which dissolved suddenly upon the 3rd member moving to Hawaii without notice. We happened to have just booked a last minute gig filling in for a group that cancelled. We got a last minute bass player, had a couple hour jam session where we wrote all new songs, and headed to the show. We got there, and the venue had a kitchy chalkboard marquee outside. The doorman asked what our band name was. Not entirely sure what to say, I paused then replied, "Transcendental... Stranger?"
He retorted, "With a comma and a question mark?"
So, we became Transcendental, Stranger?. However, for the next show we booked, the poster artist pluralized Stranger. We decided that had a better ring to it, so we dropped the comma and added the 's'. We kept the question mark for aesthetic value, which we won't ever get rid of. A lot of promoters hate it. They're of the opinion that people won't really know if we're playing or not, or some BS like that...

Anyway, we shifted through a couple members (added keys, lost our bassist, and then lost the keys) before adding Cody on guitar, which really solidified the group. He and I were in the process of starting a group with JP (who would become our 2nd bassist). Instead, they joined us. Technically this occurred before our keys player had an existential crisis and vanished for several months... That was almost 5 years ago? Wow, it doesn't seem like it has been that long... I know that Lou Reed had just died before the first jam session we had with Cody and JP. We wrote Tommy that day as sort of a tribute to him...

Q: Who are your influences?
Dr: Butthole Surfers, Syd Barrett, Captain Beefheart, Ween, Alejandro Jodorowsky, Stan Brakhage, Richard Brautigan, early Flaming Lips and Sonic Youth, Amon Duul II, The Paper Chase, The Cockettes...

Cody: Can, birds, electricity... Lots of dead people...

Mark: Early on, my drumming was very influenced by Danny Carey. Now, it's more influenced by my jam mate's, both in TS? and elsewhere.

Q. Make a list of 5 albums of all time…
Dr: Pink Floyd - Piper At the Gates Of Dawn, Funkadelic - Maggot Brain, Tim Buckley - Happy Sad, Harry Nilsson - Nilsson Shmilsson, Butthole Surfers - Hairway to Steven, Morphine - Cure for Pain, Flavor Crystals - Ambergris. (Sorry I can't get it down to 5...)

Cody: Tim Buckley - Goodbye Hello,
Sufjan Stevens - Come On Feel the Illinois, Nicolo Paganini - 24 Caprices,
Devendra Banhart - Cripple Crow,
Cocorosie - La Maison de Mon Reve

Mark: Radiohead - Kid A, Sufjan Stevens - Age of Adz, Cant - Dreams Come True, of Montreal - Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer, Why? - Alopecia

Q. How do you feel playing live?
Cody: The void.

Dr: On a good night, there's definitely a feeling of ascention, where the music takes hold and lifts you. You sort of "enter the void..." The best live shows I have been to have had the ability to just take you somewhere; we do our best to do the same. Ultimately though, playing live is very therapeutic for me.

Mark: I feel like I'm drifting in a sea of unlimited creativity...

Q. How do you describe Transcendental Strangers?´ sounds?
Dr: We've sort of settled on "freak rock" because it's vague yet encompasses the umbrella of sounds we have. Most of our songs are pretty different from one another, which makes it difficult to pigeonhole.

Cody: I like futuristic flashback...

Dr: Yeah, that is another good one. I love the way other people describe us. I was once compared to Charles Manson after a set, which was actually quite flattering. My favorite review was, "I don't usually like electronic music, but you guys do it right.", because apparently playing electric instruments is the only qualifying factor in making "electronic music."

Q: Tell us about the process of recording the songs ?
Dr: We recorded the album at Blue Bell Knoll studio. Neil Weir is an absolute wizard of sound. He made the recording go so smoothly, and his insights were invaluable. Bringing in our friend Marie from Driftwood Pyre to add some organ and flute was great too! The whole process was very fluid and natural.

Q. Which new bands do you recommend?
Cody: Psychic Lemon, Hibushibire, Heron Oblivion, Gypsy Sun Revival

Dr: Hibushibire, Nest Egg, MIEN... I'm still endlessly obsessed with Gnod's album from last year. (Although, the brand new one's great too...) While it isn't new, I recently discovered the Flower Travelin' Band. Their album Satori has been in heavy rotation for me. Also, lots of White Zombie lately since picking up It Came From New York.

Mark: Sóley, Sylvan Esso, Dirty Projectors

Q: Which band would you love to made a cover version of?
Cody: I only have nightmares of covers...

Dr: We've had a few disasters. "Magic Carpet Ride" was a bad idea... I still really want to cover "Monster" though. It's just as relevant as when it came out, if not more...

Mark: Radiohead's "Wolf at the Door"

Dr: Also, it's not a cover, but we've been talking about staging a live score to the Invasion of Thunderbolt Pagoda... Oh, and we used to do a sprawling 20 minute cover of Beck's "Loser"; that was generally pretty fun...

Q: What are your plans for the future?
Dr: We'll be recording our 2nd album very soon, which we hope to have out by the end of the summer.

Cody: I want us to record an album on top of a mountain...

Dr: Maybe on Rheasilvia Mons? Or Amon Darthir?

Q: Any parting words?
"Parting is all we know of heaven, and all we need of hell." ~ Emily Dickinson

terça-feira, 10 de julho de 2018

Tiny Rebels with The Cairo Gang - An Interview

Emmet Kelly é o comandante da deliciosa gangue chamada, The Cairo Gang. E a gangue ou o início dela, data do distante 1996, mais segredos sobre isso, o próprio Emmet desvendará na entrevista abaixo, mas o que deve e precisa ser dito sobre a The Cairo Gang, é o sentimento sessentista enraizado desde os primórdios, quando ficaram conhecidos como a banda de suporte de Bonnie “Prince” Billy, muito por conta do álbum "The Wondershow of The World". Mas a história é bem maior, já colaboraram com Will Oldham, andam tocando junto com gente do nível dos Flamin´ Groovies, só pra dar alguns exemplos.

Mas talvez, o grande segredo da The Cairo Gang, é o mix entre Byrds e Love. Melodicamente perfeitos, com pitadas de insanidade, os caras vão destilando pérolas da música pop, disco após disco.

Experimente, "Tiny Rebels" ou "Untouchable" e tente permanecer imune a magia psicodélica da The Cairo Gang.

Os bons tempos de certo, jamais foram embora, apenas retornaram ao submundo dos bons sons, e a The Cairo Gang comprova essa tese.

***** Interview with The Cairo Gang *****

Q. When did The Cairo Gang begin? Tell us about the history... 
The Cairo Gang began in 1996 in Reseda, California. It was my first venture outside of punk rock and was initially inspired by Slowdive and My Bloody Valentine, two bands that basically no one knew about except for the few friends of mine from school. We thought we were cool. It evolved over the years as life tends to deliver you lessons on how stupid you are over time. I became the only person in the band, and went down a rabbit hole for a while as a folk solo guy traveling around and playing for small audiences. I was never very industrious. I never thought of music as an industry I wanted to be a part of, mainly because I grew up in LA where everybody is trying to be some kinda star. It wasn’t until I moved to Chicago in 2004 that I opened Pandora’s box and started working the hustle as a guitar player, still rejecting the industry in relation to The Cairo Gang. In 2010 The Gang became known as the band backing Bonnie “Prince” Billy, which is slightly erroneous. The Gang(which is me) wrote songs in collaboration with Will Oldham and so we went on tour as Bonnie “Prince” Billy & The Cairo Gang in support of our album The Wondershow of The World. Lots happened in that period. I began focusing harder on making my own records since then making The Corner Man, Tiny Rebels, The Cairo Gang Goes Missing and Untouchable. In May 2018 The Cairo Gang’s live outfit consisting of myself on guitar, Ryan Weinstein, and Marc Riordan on bass and drums respectively played our last shows in support of The Flamin’ Groovies in California.

Q: Who are your influences?
Mainly my influences are the people I have played with or play with. At the moment I am playing a lot of music with Ty Segall and everyone in that band has been massively influential on me. Otherwise my favorite bands at the moment are The Soft Machine(first three albums and everything out of that, Robert Wyatt, Kevin Ayers, Gong etc.) and Faust, as well I have been listening a lot to Steve Lacy, Derek Bailey and Cecil Taylor.

Q. Make a list of 5 albuns of all time…
1. Soft Machine Volume Two
2. Old Rottenhat - Robert Wyatt
3. Everybody Digs Bill Evans
4. With The Beatles
5. Sticky Fingers

Q. How do you feel playing live?
Viscerally? I don’t know! I feel good, but it’s complicated because I also feel sorta naked which who knows how I feel if feeling naked is the raddest thing or not.. I am use to being naked I think.

Q. How do you describe The Cairo´s sounds?
I don’t know! I pretty much can’t answer that. It sounds like things I make. It probably sounds like a combination of things that people think we sound like. I have no idea. People have said we sound like Elvis Costello but I can’t understand that and don’t like Elvis Costello very much(except Shipbuilding). So who knows. One guy said to me once at a show(a solo show) I reminded him of Incubus. People are so creative! So basically we sound like whatever you think we sound like but mostly like stuff I make.

Q: Tell us about the process of recording the songs ?
I work on recording when I have the time to. There is no order of operations most of the time. After a while an album starts to form thru connections I make between songs. Then I start to sculpt it into something cohesive. I am a fan of records so I generally think of them as singular things as opposed to collections of work.

Q. Which new bands do you recommend?
I don’t know, man. I’m not even sure what bands do really! I love The Freedom Band, but that’s because it’s me and my friends. Most of the bands I see are not really my cup of tea. Although something pops thru every now and again. Forgive me if that sounds pretentious. Maybe it is. It’s just so lackluster in the world of the internet with all these bands and music streaming and the economy of it all. I don’t tend to trust much of it.. the shows I have seen lately that I really liked were of:
The Uranium Club
Chris Cohen
Double Morris
Xylouris White
Probably more I just can’t remember

Q: Which band would you love to made a cover version of?
Old Rottenhat

Q: What are your plans for the future?
Cover Old Rottenhat.. but also I am nearly finished with a new album. It’s sorta mellower than the last one.. and starting a new project called Clinamen

Q: Any parting words?
I love Brazil and want to go back! I saw the best music I ever saw in some little dance club in a sketchy neighborhood in Salvador. I couldn’t take my eyes off of the guy with the xequerê. I think about that guy all the time when I play.

segunda-feira, 9 de julho de 2018

Undone, "Everything Is New Under The Sun" - Track by Track

Não é de hoje que o combo da Macedônia, Undone, vem perpetuando trilhas sonoras psiquicamente eloquentes entorpecendo tanto seus ouvintes mais fiéis como novatos com a banda.

A mais nova viagem do Undone, atende pelo nome de "Everything Is New Under The Sun". O disco veio ao mundo no início de Junho, e segue as diretrizes dos trabalhos anteriores, psych em sua essência, com elementos de blues, prog, gaze, psicodelismo sessentista, sob uma aura melancólica e densa.

Um pesadelo desacelerado onde no fim sempre a luz poderá estar presente, depende muito do ângulo de visão.

"Everything Is New Under The Sun", é um dos grandes representantes do psych moderno lançados no ano e a banda, revela ao TBTCI, todos os segredos e mistérios desta odisseia.

Boa viagem....

*** Undone, "Everything Is New Under The Sun" - Track by Track ***

1. Look Around You Of course none of us in the band is immune to or is above the confusion, the sadness or the weird anxiety these strange days on earth bring, so we tuned into finding ways of expressing this rainbow of feelings truthfully and at the same time no complaining or causing anymore confusion... We didn’t work on it for like 5 years but the level of concentration was high - to do just, and exactly what we want to do. When we listened to the finished songs, their order came effortlessly. 3 song groups appeared and it was natural to start with ‘the present’, open the eyes, and Look around. It’s a long song, not your typical single or a classical album opener, but this time, here, it was. ’…Sun up sun down/ Just as real as you want it to be…Go and take what’s yours/Help yourself - you will be shown…’ say - it is our Right to Look, to explore.. Are the robots really coming? Maybe they (us?) are actually going.. Look around you..See what happened to our world.. This feeling… - when you Lift your eyes from the screen, (“It’s easy if you Try”…) lift your mind from ‘the facts’ (“it isn’t hard to do”) Understand what is going on.. see where you are, where humanity is.. Lennon said it’s easy, if you Try.. it seems not enough of us tried.. This song suggests that the very action of looking around might be more helpful than we can imagine. Sometimes a song takes you where it wants to go, sometimes you got to take it. In this case, we took it to a certain point, and took us.. Showed us around itself..Generously.. Insisting.. We were laughing so much when working on it that it might want to be 20 minutes this song. The longest song we ever did, we said it’s ‘8:30min feels like 20’..

2. You And Me Both This tune was born after visiting the amazing pagan Carnival of Vevcani. The powerful marching masks and costumes parade inspired the feel and rhythm of this song. Visiting the carnival was particularly special these days, when the monsters express the reality so powerfully. The tradition of expelling the demons of the past before continuing into a new period seems truer than ever. And it makes you think, those radical bloody customs look so much like the world’s reality in a way, that it is almost like we will have to expel reality if we want change. There is something loopy about the song; walking in circles of time, never realizing it. One might be like the cow that crossed the city and when asked what she saw, all she could tell was where there was hay. ‘Waited for the answers to fall down from the tree’ is about patience, but at the same time it’s about doing what you want, not waiting for someone to do it for you. Love came also here, asking for everything which we seem to be on a diet from.. being real. In time, in space, in love… (‘don’t talk about us.. just hold me..’).. feel less..

3. The Strong Song
Ronit is in bed with a devilish virus not getting better for 10 days.. Inspiration comes out of nowhere seeing her die.. so she tells the devil - her capturer, that she needs to use the toilet, and with her remaining energy finds her way to the guitar… The strong song (and Harmony Bomb) - twins, were born. Their birth released ronit from sickness. Ronit had very high temperature but could swear she saw Syd Barrett waving from the window. The name was immediately The Strong Song..The song about not giving up.. The lyrics, which came later, are about desperately trying to wake someone up, to warn from the approaching danger, loved ones who cannot but give up.. friends in stress and despair. ‘…Open a window/Open the door/I don’t mean to find you/Dead on the floor…”

4. Oh Friend! Using the phone sound moments for the 3 ‘commercials’ came naturally, a large part of the original ideas were first captured on the voice recorder of the phone. It was an interesting experience and even led to the idea of making an album this way one day, very open improvisation with given sounds from our lives. Darko and Ronit chose about 30 sound moments Ronit recorded on her phone whenever she heard a sound she liked (not pre planned) during the months of recording the album in different situations. They decided to improvise with the given sounds, just to put the sound ingredients and prepare something as lovely as possible with them. The commercials almost ‘made themselves’.. Oh Friend which was for first commercial, following the ‘present’ and starting the ‘past’, emphasizing the significance of being here for each other in this bizarre period.. Representing the divine aspect of friendship – one of the main issues of this album, as Shams is to Rumi... Always with you… an inspiring friend, who helps you meet yourself…

5. Harmony Bomb
Harmony Bomb is the twin of The Strong Song, but it is opening the ‘past’ part of the album. It’s called Harmony Bomb because it was like dropping a harmony bomb on the virus bed. The lyrics came later… about losing touch.. about a haunting absence.. emptiness a life leaves behind.. if in the Strong Song there was a cry out for a friend, in this one, it was too late.. … “I wish I’d known to help you.. I wish I’d known what to do…”. Accepting that sometimes we can be there for someone and sometimes we cannot and vice versa the wish someone will be here for you.

6. Pardon My French
A unique 4 weeks practice provoked a strong experience of something which can be described as a total Nirvana which side by side with being exposed to a precious melodic secret were how this song and the whole album were conceived. It first had a repeating singing chorus (which we later deleted) in the second part of the song with one of the lines being the first name of the song - ‘don’t fight with words’.. it carried an idea which became a main direction in the work on the album – talk less, feel more. It is about a beautiful communication without words, communications where words are indeed not welcomed. It’s about the experience of expansion made by love. A kind of stretch only love can do to the horizon of the mind, the heart... And, that if you try to force understanding it, it will hide..The verses talk about the difficulty in letting go of the words, and the talking which follows in English and then Hebrew are a love letter in the first part about various kinds of gravitation, then finally, describing how it felt.. to let go.. it talks about things which words are too wordi to describe. It expresses the feeling that words are too much and not enough. It was a focus from the beginning of work on the album, that words are not the weapon or an enemy, and that sometimes they just get in the way... at the same time there was something French about this song.. at least from a non-French point of view, the slow sensual tune was as French as we get..

7. All alone
Like in many of the songs, a private story and a global story meet. His heart is broken because him and his girlfriend are breaking up, and at the same time humanity, is separating from earth.. lost interest.. when you see everyone with their phones, especially in different situations, even like a rock concert, where people were enjoying and sharing a special togetherness, it’s not like this anymore when everyone is in fact Alone with their phone, down-up-loading their lives to the machine.. Even if not aware of it.. You think about the billions holding their phone as a part of their body, you think humanity and earth are going through a divorce. And don’t get us wrong..We all have phones we all use them.... but still.. Everyone can feel..That it’s like everyone left.. Like it’s a processes of not being here anymore.. When Edi came up with the drums we were smiling as it spiced it with a new spice which also made it slightly less sad and melancholic. There is something in this song which is catchy, we and friends who heard it easily connected to yet from a from a production point of view it is not developed as the rest, but, each time we spoke about the possibility of upgrading, we always felt ‘no, it is exactly how it should be’. Vlatche, the keyboardist is currently working on a remix for this song which will be on a project in progress of different artists remixing Undone songs.

8. Oh Wind!
In this second commercial break, between the past and the future, a fresh start, let the wind take what you don’t need.. let the wind bring change. Let the wind forgive…While recording an idea for the line in harmony bomb, the crow was crowing next to the window.. the streets of Berlin in the last new year eve.. the robot saying ‘radio’ in different languages and so on were merged into Oh wind, asking for the heaviness of a memory to be swept by the wind.. the carpet can’t fly with a huge safe full of info on it.. let the wind move us where we need to go.

9. Future Is Good
Future is good, whether we like it or not..future is good whether we are gonna be around or not.. if this time around humanity is at ‘terrible twos’ period we have a long way to go.. What’s people’s part in it? We can make the future good, if we recognize that we can make the future good J The present has the ingredients for the future, what are we gonna do? Mentally overweight..How r we gonna make it to the future.. Do you Have to eat trump everyday? If that is the only thing there is in the supermarket, can you be creative about what you might make from it? Can you ‘shop’ somewhere else? Can you fast one day? Maybe you can eat some music, art, eat love, eat help.. It doesn’t mean you don’t care.. It is actually Doing something. you help take a step above the duality, above war.. its not all just about choosing one side or the other, this is ok for good robots.. the evil thinks it is goodness also.. But maybe there are more options.. like rising above the Good and Evil thing makes the way to Future is good…you need to know how to cook for yourself, mentally, even more important than physical food… the lyrics and basic melody Did come from another dimension, where it was clear that humanity has tremendous capacity for love and harmony. Believing in it,is like a torch.. Yoram Gur who was with Ronit in Plastic Venus added the beautiful oriental-space guitar and the electronic tanpura always finds its way to scarf one of the songs in each album.

10. Tomorrow
In the verses there is concern of the morrow. Is it coming? Is anyone gonna Know? It wasn’t planned, but it communicates with Tomorrow Never Knows and the vast openness it offered, which might not be available for us anymore, (in fact it Is.. but a huge part of the time just doesn’t feel like it anymore) nowadays there is sometimes a feeling that the future is ‘done’.. That there is no more an option to “Turn off..Relax..And float down stream..” at the same time in the choruses, a new hope rises. Knowing that there is in fact the possibility of living more fully, of Being, that we don’t Have to be manipulated, that life is still beautiful…a reminder that the world didn’t end after all…

11. Questions to Answers
Questioning and pondering deeply on the constantly increasing flood of ‘answers and facts’ falling at our being..‘Search and find/Go in deep/Inside big mind…No one knows what is going to be/We’re not blind but it’s impossible to see…’ Is it really like this? Why is it like this?? We loved how Andrey - Ronit and Darko’s son sang here - an experience which we would like to repeat in future songs.. We also Loved the first version of this song but felt it too rocky for this album, and so enjoyed remixing it... We were laughing a lot on the last part where the children’s voices and funkadelic guitars Fillip added in the last moment come in, that that whole part is like an end of a concert where many bands played at, and members from all the bands go on stage and sing and play together… Last song of the future part of the album..Kissing the present on the back of neck...

12. Oh Light!To see clearly.. we need an inner flashlight… ‘Oh light’ bears a wish to be guided, to be shown the way, to remain on the path you choose to take..focus.. Mainly home sounds, the door bells, the dog, the first recording of the monochord Darko made, echoes in an hammam in the old bazaar…and more. Light that can reveal to us what we need to see.

quinta-feira, 5 de julho de 2018

June Dreaming, "Abandon The Mothership" - Track by Track

A terceira viagem do casal Bruce e Jamie, ou para os iniciados, June Dreaming, nasceu há pouco menos de uma semana.

Como de costume, o duo, não se apega a gêneros, o segredo do June Dreaming é navegar por águas onde o prog, shoegaze e e viagens espaciais encontram-se em uma tênue linha.

Partindo do conceito do wall of sound, "Abandon The Mothership" foi concebido. Extremo destaque para a deliciosa "The Unknown Show", onde Jamie mostra toda a beleza de sua voz, e claro, para as partes I e II de Zephyr, mas o disco reserva delírios por entre suas treze odisseias sonoras.

E são exatamente esses delírios, que Bruce e Jamie revelam os segredos mais secretos de "Abandon The Mothership".

Boa viagem.

***** June Dreaming, "Abandon The Mothership" - Track by Track ***** 

Bruce: The first three tracks on this album are literally the first three songs Jamie and I ever wrote together. We knew from the start that the music we would be creating would probably not be what most people were expecting from us, and this song was sort of created to not only convey that point to listeners, but also to encourage them to 'open up' their minds, not only in regards to the music that we were creating, but also to the world around them. It is a bit of a challenge to the world to re-examine its viewpoints and try to see the world around us through a clearer set of eyes. To see the world from the angle of truth and love, rather than through the eyes of fear or indoctrination. We wanted the first song on the album to set that tone, to let the listener know that this would not be familiar territory, and I think it serves that purpose well.

Jamie: When Bruce first played this song for me, we wanted it to be the opening song for this album. Not only was it the opener for the album, it was the introduction to me joining June Dreaming.

Bruce: This was, I think, the second song written for this album, and probably the easiest. The process of creating the song structure and recording the music took me just 2 days. It started with the harmonics at the start and the rest of the parts came very organically and easily. It is one of those wonderful songs that wrote itself.

Jamie: I've Been Sleeping is a poetic, fairytale letter written to myself and others to wake up. I wanted the vocals to be soft spoken and somewhat mirror the harmonics Bruce plays on the guitar. I also wanted the desperation of feeling like I had lost things because I’ve been sleeping. This is emphasized in the latter part of the song. The realization that closing our eyes to real issues or just plain selfishness had lulled us to sleep.

Bruce: The thing that most people grab onto when they first hear this song is the double-tracked vocals. The original idea was to use a single vocal track, but Jamie had a couple different vocal interpretations she brought to the table. My job was to mix and match from them and find the best combination, which I struggled with because I liked all of it. So in the end I just mixed both parts together. The two different takes really harmonize well throughout the song.

Jamie: This was the first song Bruce sent me to work on. I was not quite myself when I was working on this song. I was in some turmoil and emotionally drained. The 1st lyrics I wrote were not interpreted correctly. They were dark and angry. I also wanted to title the song “Repunzel Is Too Classy For Tattoos”, which came from a statement I had heard between a mother and daughter. The little girl asked her mother if Repunzel had tattoos and the religious mother shared that statement with her daughter. This was a manipulative way to brainwash a child into making judgements against others. In my anger, I chose that phrase to be the title. I remember when I submitted my part to Bruce his comment was “I just feel like this is more of a happy song.” I ended up agreeing with him. I am generally very optimistic, I was just in a bad place at the time. I told Bruce, “You’re right...I hear this song telling me to come home or I’m on my way home.” He said “How about Lights On The Way Home?” This was a reference to a song idea he had in a previous band and when he told me the story behind that phrase I erased all that I had worked on and allowed the song to share my pain of struggling to be heard, yet with the hope of knowing I am heard by those who feel the same way and can connect. That is when the song became what it is now.

Bruce: From a musical standpoint, most of this song is just a very, very compressed and distorted guitar grinding out one chord and being very subtly modulated to get snippets of feedback and allow certain notes to sort of bleed through the mix at the right time. It is a very chaotic song. The verse sections were designed to instill a sense of desperation via this giant wall of guitar noise. The chorus parts kick the song into a different gear, and bring a sense of defiance into the face of the storm, so to speak. The music owes a lot to guitarists like Billy Corgan and Kevin Shields, it is almost like a tribute to the tones they became famous for. In a moment of complete guitar overindulgence, I included a riff right at the end of the chorus where the lead guitar lick was run through a comb filter device, then fed back through again over and over. In essence what you hear there is a guitar being run through four or five flange pedals at the same time, which produced a horrible sounding mess, but it is a mess that fits perfectly in this specific song.

Jamie: I absolutely love the guitar sounds to this song. I could sing this song over and over. I shout it out but the music tries to drown my words. It’s a beautiful frustration of what this album is all about to me - screaming and shouting for people to change their perspective about the world, to realize that we are called. Do something. Don’t let this world drown you out! A lot of listeners complained that the vocals were low in this song, but there is an art to that. Imagine being on a ship at sea. The waves crashing all around, the storm rising. You try to be heard yet the waves are too loud. You’re trying to listen to those around you, but the chaos drowns it out. That is Zephyr Part 1.

Bruce: The Unknown Show is definitely the most light-hearted song on the album. It was created from a very old demo of music I had recorded years ago. It is a very upbeat, dream pop song, very vibrantly colored by the guitar tones. On the surface it appears to be a somewhat one-dimensional piece of music, but as always there is a lot going on beneath the surface. It is sort of an anti-anthem, it kind of pokes fun at the band itself. While we have managed to carve a bit of a niche for ourselves in far corners of the world, we remain relatively unknown in our hometown. Its about the idea of us playing a show here where most people would never even notice, hence 'the unknown show', two artists laying out their hearts to an empty room. But it is also about facing and exploring the unknown, which is an idea that also carries over into the next song.

Jamie: This song was a fun way to introduce ourselves to the world. I wanted the vocals to have a “vintage” feel. What I like about this song is an 1980’s flare with the instruments and hook. But I wanted to also have vocal harmonies inspired by 1940’s women’s trios as well. The lyrics mention seeing our unknown show located at the corner of Sells Road and East Main. This is the birthplace of June Dreaming, an actual location right next door to where Bruce lives to this day. We are an unknown show whether by choice or ignorance celebrating good times and receiving therapy while creating our music.

Bruce: In a lot of ways Through The Black is a continuation of The Unknown Show. It is sort of a galactic road trip song, encompassing the excitement and intrigue of experiencing something you've never experienced before. It is an empowering song. It isn't easy to stare into the dark void of the unknown and find the courage to step into it. Being afraid of the unknown is easy, being afraid of change, of the mysterious. But this song is for those who have the courage to face those fears and in the end, we hope, overcome them.

Jamie: This song started as a different concept and then Bruce changed up the tempo and a few other things. So, I went back to the drawing board and decided to write about time travel, heroism, teaming up to save those in need.

Bruce: Godspeed is another song that was written and fleshed out very quickly. I remember sitting down to tune a guitar and I was messing around moving some chord shapes around the neck and combining them with open strings, something I use a lot in our music. I hit on the verse parts first and it created an emotional feedback in my mind. Within an hour I had written the remaining guitar parts and built up the structure of the song. I think it was another few months before we recorded it but the song was designed literally overnight. It is a message the light-workers of this world, those whose mission is to build up the broken things and inspire hope in the hopeless. It is our tribute to those who lead with their heart.

Jamie: Following the song Through The Black, Godspeed is about reaching our destination to bring light to those who are broken. When I heard this song I immediately heard the words “faster than the speed of light” and the guitar sounds played at that particular moment sound like lights to me. That is the best way for me to explain it. Very beautiful and eye opening.

Bruce: Probably my favorite song on the album. Where Part 1 is about the struggle and despair, Part 2 is about the overcoming.

Jamie: Zephyr (Part 1) shows the struggle of sharing inspiration and Zephyr (Part 2) shows the reward of accomplishment. Finally being heard and teaching, inspiring those around to join in a world where we are more than conquerors. Altogether rise and lift up your eyes. The fight was a struggle but even when we felt defeated, we woke up and received victory. Everyday we fight just to get out of bed. We fight negative co-workers, family members, friends that have turned against us, and even our own guilty consciences. We battle our own minds to survive each and every day. So many people put others down to cover up their own flaws yet behind those covers they are just as naked and ugly as the perople that they expose. I want us to cover each other with love, kindness, and hope. Personally, I know that I have become a monster at times in my life. When I look back at choices I’ve made that were wrong, I see that my decisions were influenced by negative things spoken over me. When I was awakened to this and saw that God loves me no matter what people say, I no longer cared what others had to say anymore. In the end people are going to conjure up whatever they want to. No joke, I have been called a witch, a blasphemer, and a whore. Many false rumors have been spread me but the truth is I’ve only kissed two men in my life! It happens when your daily life is on display to the world. Stories are conjured up out of a thought or a perception. Lies. Close minded people. I’ve been guilty myself of making a judgement, but I strive to change. I hope that we all do. I’ve witnessed idle talk and accusations so many times tear a good person apart. This song is part of a plan to create the antidote to this disease.

Bruce: I wanted this song to have a vibe of urgency and worry as it is a song about doubt, about facing off against overwhelming odds. From a musical standpoint it is a bit of a return to the electronic roots of June Dreaming. During the mixing for this song I came to a point where I saw things going two different directions and decided to pursue both. This is obviously the version that ultimately made it onto the album, but there is also another version, we call it the 'Cloudy Mix', which used all of the same recorded parts but has a completely different feel, a very soft and almost ambient atmosphere. In the end we felt that the version on the album was a better fit but the Cloudy Mix can be found floating around the internet.

Jamie: This is the thought process that follows us after we begin a mission, whether it is a new project, job, relationship...we all question if we are making the right choices. It’s the battle our minds go through. The struggles of trying to move on or if we are doing the right thing. I ask myself all the time, “am I headed in the right direction?” Confidence sets in and I start out but then one setback makes me begn to question the entire mission. Sometimes it takes months for me to get back on track. Sometimes I dismiss the questions that arise. It’s a struggle.

Bruce: Mothership is another song that came about from an old demo I had recorded years ago. In fact, for the most part what you hear at the start of the song is the actual demo. As the song progresses the original recording slowly fades out, and the newer version of the song materializes. I really liked the idea of doing that, sort of like a piece of music shedding its skin and revealing something new beneath the surface or a butterfly emerging from its chrysalis. Many of our songs function on both a direct level as well as a metaphorical level, and Mothership is probably the best example of that.

Jamie: This song inspired the title of our album. It sums up the story of Abandon The Mothership - everyone marching along, eyes closed, boarding a ship as clones. Watching so many climb aboard to reach a destination of nothingness...never creating, never bringing hope or love...just walking in a line with eyes focused only on theirselves and what they can obtain, creating debt to build a fading kingdom of suburbia, utopia, escapism, whatever the case may be. Money is spent on fast food, digital games, television and/or fashion, and Mothership is a call to abandon all of these things that enslave us. It won’t be easy but in continuing this route we will face the gallows. I hope for a world where people are content with who they are and are happy for those around them. Jealousy, competition and negativity are causing us to march along to the mothership.

Bruce: To me Glimmer is a song that embodies hope. It is the song that comes after the storm has passed and left you with nothing but fragments.

Jamie: This is my love song. Calling out from far away I try to reach him. I need his strong arms to hold me. I need encouraged that I’m doing the right thing. I stepped out and began to wonder if it was the right thing. The only one I can put my confidence in I need at my side but it feel as though he’s so far. This song is how intimate love will make you know everything’s okay. Sometimes relationships struggle to get to a point of intimacy. Circumstances and struggles make us fall away from those that we love. In this song I’m speaking about going far away and how I realize I’ve walked too far and need to draw back to my first love to feel alive again.

Bruce: This is a song about longing for the moments of your past that for whatever reason cannot be recovered or re-lived in any way other than through the always-fading light of human memory. The word 'Hiraeth' is of Welsh origin, and loosely means 'to long for a place to which you cannot return'. At face value it is a song about homesickness, but applied more to people and emotions than an actual physical location. I think everyone can relate to that feeling.

Jamie: This love song is again showing the battle in my mind. Constantly struggling with my past and future, then coming to the realization that I should live in the moment. Take one day at a time and live unafraid. Don’t focus on past mistakes and don’t focus on the past being the best we ever had which in a way would make our future a failure. Instead, live today. I mention the names of songs in the lyrics as well – they were inspirations to focus on the 'now'. The constant harmonies in the vocals layered in different directions and sounds are also focus words. If I remind myself over and over of who I am and whom my soul loves then all those past hurts can be washed away.

Bruce: This song was originally created to be on the first June Dreaming album “The Dark Symphony”, which was a collection of instrumental music that I made before Jamie and I had ever met. The song didn't make it onto the album, but after Jamie joined the team she discovered it while going through some of my unused music. She added some vocals to it and here it is. It is a companion song in many ways to the first song on the album, “Open Up”. Where Open Up serves the function of setting the table for the rest of the album, Open Spaces closes out the album and sets the stage for whatever may come next for us.

Jamie: This song somewhat mirrors Hiraeth. The story is about trying to escape this world and its negativity, trying to escape my past and the thought that there is no hope for me. I begin to remind myself that I have a love searching for me as I search for him. With that knowledge I have a desire to share it with others. My humanity and my weakness at times interferes yet I do not give up.