MAGIC MIX

folk . americana . blues . rock&roll

WEEK STARTING 31 Jul

Genre pick of the week Cover of Love Lives Where Rules Die by Suzanne Vallie.

Suzanne Vallie

Love Lives Where Rules Die

    After a hard spell, heartbroken and drifting, Suzanne Vallie aimed to make a driving record rich with sympathy, high romance, and dedicated to the magic of good-timing. Other themes on the album include dogs, surfers, and the supernatural.

    Vallie, a sorta-recluse living in rural Big Sur, California, is known for her improvisational performances where she freestyles lyrics and tells stories, both mythical and rowdy. She wrote the bulk of Love Lives Where Rules Die during the bummer summer after a breakup. It was a time when she drove up and down Highway 1 trying to blow out the speakers of her 94’ Honda. (bummer summer playlist).

    The 11 songs of Love Lives Where Rules Die were largely live-tracked over five days. Suzanne Vallie and a core band of California col-laborators flew out to upstate New York during the last warm days of September 2019. Vallie and her producer, Rob Shelton, chose Dream-land Recording in Hurley, New York, for many reasons. The analog signal flow sounded embracing. The studio, a hundred-some-year-old church, had room for the whole crew to live-track. Some said a ghost might come around. What’s more, much of the band was already on tour out East, playing a run of shows with both Luke Temple and Meerna, double duty every night. They were plenty warmed-up.
    Opening with “Ocean Cliff Drive”, Vallie sings of driving on the winding cliff side of Highway 1, blinded by fog and rain, all the same singing, “I can't see the road ahead of me, but I’m coming.”

    The title track, "Love Lives Where Rules Die", begins with baritone guitar calling in a story of a broken heart among good company. With no way out in a three-day storm, Vallie asks friends to sing her love songs, and flies "on a wild light" with a “heart on borrowed wings.”

    The party anthems, “Morro Bay” and “High With You”, celebrate friendship and the delicious urge for fun with Springsteen length lyric sheets. For Vallie, recording the sing-along "High With You" was also a “high” point in the making of Love Lives Where Rules Die. “It was midnight. We were real loose. Everybody got a tambourine!”

    The album features production and keys by Rob Shelton (Meernaa, Sis, Luke Temple, Kacey Johansing), guitar by Blake Kennedy (The Range of Light Wilderness), guitar and vocals by Carly Bond (Meerna, Sis), guitar and bass by Doug Stuart (Meerna, Brijean), percussion and drums by Andrew Maguire (Mirah, Vetiver, Meerna) with contributions from violin virtuoso, Edwin Huizinga (Acronym, Dark Watchers), percussion by Mark Clifford and Bob Ladue, and backing vocals by Paul Spring, Emily Ritz (Yesway, Honeycomb), and Molly Sarle´ (Moun-tain Man).


    STAFF COMMENTS

    Barry says: Shimmering folky ballads, rich with glowing strings and slide guitar, all topped with Vallie's softly enunciated vocals. A perfect mix of haze and melody.

    FORMAT INFORMATION

    Ltd LP includes MP3 Download Code.

    Daniel Blumberg

    On&On

      On&On, is the brand new album from Daniel Blumberg. A 9-track song-cycle that confirms the London musician and visual artist as a unique creative force, pushing the art of song into expansive new territories.

      On&On - which follows 2018’s Minus, Blumberg’s debut for Mute - is a consolidation of the deconstructed song aesthetic he has developed, operating at the intersection between conventional song structures and free improvisation. Now he takes this further, incorporating recurring, shape-shifting motifs and at times dissolving the boundaries between songs altogether.

      Born out of live sessions with the same core group of players as Minus: Daniel Blumberg (vocals, guitar, harmonica), Ute Kanngiesser (cello), Billy Steiger (violin), Tom Wheatley (double bass) and Jim White (drums), with the addition of electronic maverick Elvin Brandhi (vocals). As such it represents a deepening of relationships and distillation of techniques for this tight-knit group of free-playing musicians, who are loosely based around Café OTO.

      The album is recorded by Peter Walsh (Scott Walker), who has captured the group’s extraordinary performances - encompassing the full expressive range of their instruments from softly-bowed melodies and tender vocal harmonies to rough-hewn scrapes, plucks and rattles - while the sound of the room and the outside world spill naturally into the sound field.

      FORMAT INFORMATION

      Coloured LP Info: Initial copies pressed on clear vinyl and includes a free lyric sheet.

      Land Of Talk

      Indistinct Conversations

        Indistinct Conversations is the new album from Land of Talk - the Montreal-based band led by Elizabeth Powell. The album’s first single “Weight of That Weekend,” finds Powell delivering a soulful, impassioned plea over an expansive musical terrain. “‘Weight of That Weekend’ is a recognition of having been on the receiving end of a lifetime of sexual coercion, assault, boundary violations, and subsequent gaslighting. It all just came to light after an especially heavy weekend a few summers back,” explains Powell. “I was so sick of carrying all this weight that wasn't mine to bear. So sick of being owned by all of this. Imposed on me mostly by men. I grew so sick of suffering and being slowed-down by this weight. The song is a prayer for a lightness of being. A prayer for capital ‘L’ Love.”

        All 11 songs on Indistinct Conversations were written by Powell (vocals/guitar/keys), and share the hallmarks of the Land of Talk sound: her silvery vocals; masterful, at times cacophonous guitar playing; and a stream-of-conscious lyricism—here perhaps at her most emotionally vulnerable and honest. Powell produced and arranged the tracks together with her bandmates Mark “Bucky” Wheaton (drums/keys) and Christopher McCarron (bass), and the trio recorded the album in a studio built by McCarron in Wheaton’s apartment basement.


        FORMAT INFORMATION

        Coloured LP Info: Gatefold jacket opaque red vinyl.

        Sven Wunder

        Eastern Flowers

          US issue of 2019’s "Doğu Çiçekleri” – This record is produced with financial support from the Swedish Arts Council .

          Appeals to both psych and prog listeners, folk or jazz aficionados and as well the gourmet hip hop connoisseurs.

          A vivid bouquet where Wunder fuses colours and pigments by using traditional and modern instruments merged with arrangements and melodies that stretches from popular to folk music.

          This is the first stop on Sven Wunder’s musical journey. Wunder takes the listener somewhere around the easternmost part of the Mediterranean Sea, around the Levantine Sea, where he paints a colourful portrait and illustrates the regions flora through sound. The fruitage is a vivid bouquet where Wunder fuses colours and pigments by using traditional and modern instruments merged with arrangements and melodies that stretches from popular to folk music by portraying tulips, red roses, hibiscus, hyacinths, chamomile, magnolia, daisies etcetera. With both fine and thick brushes are these flowers being pictured in a both modern and classic idiom. The outcome is prismatic. It stands between Anatolian rock and European jazz-funk with ponderous drum patterns, groovy organs, far-out synthesizers, enchanting Saz and impetuous bass lines. Eastern Flowers sweeps through time and space and points towards the future. 


          Sven Wunder

          Wabi Sabi

            Second release on Piano Piano from Sven Wunder.
            Appeals to both psych and prog listeners, folk or jazz aficionados and as well the gourmet hip hop connoisseurs.

            By welcoming the beauty of imperfection and simplicity, Sven Wunder applies the timeless wisdom of wabi sabi on this musical journey. What you can hear is filtered through Ukiyo-e (which translates as “pictures of the floating world”), which illustrates everyday life, as well as through Japonism, the study of Japanese art, and more specifically its influence on European works. The result is a surface that creates an illusion by sound. The infusion of Min’yō with jazz rock, this hazy scene evokes the landscape of Monet’s ”The Water Lily Pond”, which depicts the painter’s Giverny garden, with a Japanese bridge, bamboo, ginkgo trees and the reflection of the sky in the pond. This illusion constructs both time and space.

            The surface of the music, like the canvas of the painting, invents a journey between now and then by interpreting the idiom of folkloric and western art instruments. In this composition, the sound of the Western concert flute, which stretches back to the Renaissance and Baroque periods, evokes the sound of the bamboo-flute (”shakuchachi”), which reached its peak during the Edo period. The guzheng, also known as the Chinese zither, with a more than 2,500 year history, joins traditional Japanese folk melodies with modern pop percussion and 20th century electronic instruments such as the Moog synthesizer, Wurlitzer electric piano and electric bass.

            This is the illusion that celebrates the fleeting nature of all things. A journey. A deep inhale and a slow exhale. It has a mix of jazz (both funky and progressive), East Asian and South Asian sounds. The idea of fusing these styles and reframing them with the aesthetic of wabi sabi is to reconnect with nature and concentrate on asymmetries and emphasize ornamentation to generate new ways of looking at the world, here and now.

            This record is produced with financial support from the Swedish Arts Council.



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