Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Stellar Tracks of the Moment

Since some of you have been patiently awaiting the answer to last week's Plain Brown Wrappers, I decided to reveal that for you today. Like I said before, those of you who guessed that this was not an American band were definitely on the right track. Nathan (N0) knew the answer right away, but was kind enough not to spoil the fun for the rest of the readers out there.
Drumroll please... The answer is:

Dun- Eros-
Way Out-of Print
This record was originally released in 1981, but it received a brief reissue in 2000 with four bonus tracks, and then again in 2006 as a French import. Three of the bonus tracks are early live takes from the original album. Unfortunately, this was to be the first and last album to surface from this complex prog band from France. When I checked Amazon, it only came up with one new copy at $122.61, and one used copy at $49.95. If you have the coin, this one is obviously well worth the money. Otherwise, just enjoy this copy I have uploaded for your listening pleasure.

I debated whether it was best to post the following tracks on Ear Fuzz or Eclectic Grooves, and I just decided to bless the Eclectic Grooves readers with a batch of stellar tracks. These are songs that I would consider showstoppers, facemelters, mind-blowers( Insert your own adjective for what you would call them). I would love to hear what some of the tracks are that you would consider to be in this category.

Eddie Fisher-
Jeremiah Puckett
Lavice and Company- Thoughs Were the Days
Association P.C- Phenis
JD & The Evil's Dynamite Band- Kalhari
The Mayfair Set- Desert Fun

Please click here to download these songs in one file.

Two things that are on the horizon: a long overdue I Hear a New World podcast focusing on the talented female musicians that are currently shaking my foundation, and some full-album downloads that are sure to bring a smile to your face.

Until, then, enjoy the tunes I have posted today.

Your comments are always appreciated!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Plain Brown Wrappers #5- Sounds from the Fractured Universe

I know that you all have been eagerly awaiting the next episode of Plain Brown Wrappers, and I think that you will be more than satisfied with the sounds I have prepared for your ears today.

This record literally landed in my sonic universe a little over two months ago, but it was as if it had always been there, simply waiting for me to acknowledge its existence. Upon first hearing this record, I will say that is nearly impossible to discern what era it was recorded, thus making it a perfect candidate for the Plain Brown Wrappers series. Considering the breadth of music that I consume in a given day, it would be understandable if an astoundingly complex record like this didn't grab my attention on the first listen. It would also be understandable that after repeated listens, I would discover that this record is an ultra mind-blower.

It is the type of record that makes you grateful you have two ears to experience the goodness within. The music itself is difficult to describe when all of the major touchstones might be a giveaway. I will say that the music falls somewhere in-between prog, jazz and electronic, but this really doesn't even prepare you for what you are about to experience. Tempos have more stops and starts than the L.A. freeway during rush hour, and the musicians act as mechanical robots, responding to each other's parts with an impeccable sense of timing. I really feel that you need to experience this music without any descriptions clouding your mind, so dive in and experience something new.

Until next time...

Download here

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Rats Drifting Through the Music of Our Soul

While perusing through a back-issue of Wire magazine from January 2006, I came across a fascinating article showcasing the artist-run record label Rat Drifting. Since then, I have been hard pressed to find any additional information about Rat Drifting or the artists featured on the label, short of the label's website and a few reviews scattered throughout the web. Therefore, I felt that it would be fitting to provide some more exposure to this enterprising label on Eclectic Grooves.

Rat Drifting is essentially the brainchild of Eric Chenaux, the singer and guitarist who plays in several of the bands on Rat Drifting while overseeing the operations of the label along with co-founder Martin Arnold. The seeds of Rat Drifting were planted when Arnold was visiting York University to collaborate with Casey Sokol on the production of Cornelius Cardew's The Great Learning. During this time, Arnold met up with two of Sokol's students, Ryan Driver and Doug Tielli, and eventually crossed paths with Eric Chenaux, the former bassist of indie pop band Crash Vegas. This friendship with Cheanux blossomed into the beginning of the formation of the Rat Drifting label in 2002.

This enigmatic collective of musicians from Toronto have started to make a name for themselves by way of a loyal underground following who eagerly await each live performance with bated breath. These performances are considered to be real "happenings," where a sense of community is established, and the crowd feel like they are an integral part of the performance.

The Reveries performances in particular are astoundingly original. Sketches of classic jazz standards are skewed by an interconnected set of cell phone speakers hung inside each member's mouth, thus projecting the sound of their instruments into each other's mouths via a contact mic. Since each member is using their mouth to play an instrument or sing, a series of psychedelic wah-wah effects are created when the mouth cavity changes shape. Those of you who are familiar with the "talk box" sound popularized by Peter Frampton and Sly Stone in the 70's will undoubtedly be intrigued by The Reveries.

Presently, Rat Drifting has been moderately successful with building a roster of like-minded musicians who have a community spirit reminiscent of the the late sixties "Jazz loft" scene. The label features a dizzying variety of music: from the improvisational vocal jazz excursions on the Reveries "You've Changed", to the straightforward melodic folk on The Silt's " Here We Go"; from the "slow waltz in a fever dream" sound of Michelle McAdorey and Eric Chenaux's "Amazing Backgrounds" to the hypnotic, mind altering aural tapestry that unfolds in Josh Thorpe's "Flocklight". There is literally something here for all types of music lovers to enjoy.

Since all of the recordings are available to be purchased via the Rat Drifting website, I am only featuring tracks from a few of the bands to give you an idea of what to expect. I hope you enjoy what you hear and are introduced to a new world of truly unique music.

The Reveries: You've Changed
The Silt- Here We Go
Michelle McAdorey and Eric Chenaux- Amazing Backgrounds
Josh Thorpe- Flocklight