Jul 16, 2008

ulaan khol

ulaan khol [steve r. smith] - i (soft abuse, 2008)

Throughout his career as a solo artist, and through membership with the celebrated ensembles Thuja and Mirza, Steven R. Smith has had a hand in creating some of the most compelling and singular instrumental psychedelic music of the past ten years. Smith's latest project, Ulaan Khol, moves beyond the Eastern European-inspired sources and scales employed by his work as Hala Strana towards an approach alternately true to his personal musical lineage and in a realm beyond any pre-existing work. As Ulaan Khol, Smith digs in deep with a palette of drums/guitar/organ to craft a monolithic & expansive free form, feedback-heavy atmospheric din that bonds the disparate realms of Fushitsusha and High Rise with Popul Vuh and Flying Saucer Attack.

As Ulaan Khol, Smith has planned a maximalist three-part suite, 'Ceremony.' In the first installment of the trilogy, I, the tone is overwhelming bleak as the pieces (all untitled) caterwaul, moan and crumble. Dripping with basement doom, Ulaan Khol's cosmic histrionics emanate with the raw essence of White Light/White Heat jettisoned by Harmonia's amorphous drifts.

Jul 9, 2008

y desde hoy son 3

Lluvia, vapor y velocidad, Joseph Mallord William Turner (1884)

Tal día como hoy hace tres años, puse las primeras piedras en aldea f. y parece que los cimientos aún aguantan. Quizá en este tiempo, f. no haya crecido demasiado pero las historias siguen y, espero, seguirán narrándose. Os dejo el relato de Juan José Arreola que inspiró el nombre del blog y cierta dosis de imaginación, la cual, he tratado de imprimir al blog, encarnada en el fantástico mundo que recrea y en esa figura del viajero con destino a T.

Pd.: gracias a quienes observan desde la sombra y, sobre todo, a esos pocos con quienes tengo el placer de compartir.

Jul 1, 2008


rusalnaia [sharron kraus & gillian chadwick]- rusalnaia (camera obscura, 2008)

Rusalnaia is about honouring (some would say placating) the Rusalki - mischievous water nymphs capable of tickling victims to death - with song, dance, tree-decorating and wreath-making. Rusalnaia is what happened when Sharron Kraus and Gillian Chadwick, then neighbours in Fishtown, Philadelphia, became friends and decided to honour the Rusalki in each other! The two, coming from very different musical backgrounds, made journeys into each other's terrain until it was no longer clear what the boundaries were. In the collaborative process they became as close as sisters and found their way to the shared musical aesthetic that is Rusalnaia. Rusalnaia's album was recorded at Hexham Head Studios in Philadelphia, engineered by Greg Weeks (Espers, The Valerie Project) in two sessions through 2007 that corresponded with Sharron's extended visits to the country. Weeks helped capture the duo's organic and sometimes unusual instrumentation, from dulcimer and guitar to pennywhistles and goat's nail shakers, and contributed his own accents to a few tracks: acid Les Paul leads and vintage 70's synths. Eight tracks of haunting, ritualistic, magical pagan-folk were the result, varying from the darkly processional tale of dispossession "Shifting Sands", though the Comus-like ceremonies of the title track to the extended forest-folk trance of the concluding "Wild Summer".

La voz de Sharron Kraus me insipira soledad y abandono, pero su torturado folk siempre ha querido verse rodeado y adornado de otras perspectivas. Unos meses después de su debut colaboró con el maravilloso snow-folk de The Iditarod de los que ya nada sabemos, después vendría más sonriente con Christian Kiefer, luego el bellísimo traditional-folk con Meg Baird & Helena Espvall y este año la estelar colaboración con Tara Burke. Ahora vuelve al inicio, a Camera Obscura, al lado de Gillian Chadwick.
¿Qué nos depara esta vez?