Posts Tagged ‘recording’

Gold Record Studio – “Live at Laney Flea Market”

April 18, 2008

Up until now, I thought Negativland had the market cornered on bizarre covers of “My Favorite Things.” That was true until I heard Mary, Jon, Jonathan, Priya, Elembe, and Lisa do their version. Alongside a plodding waltz beat; the sextet calls out global warming, noses, and schnitzel-covered space geese. Are they poised at the brink of fame? Probably not– they just happened to be down at the Laney Flea Market last year, when some fun-loving folks decided to set up the Gold Record Studio.

The studio, in reality a record cutting machine plopped in the midst of an otherwise-mundane flea market, offered free recording to anyone who wanted it, and the instruments to make it happen. From the presence of the “sales pitch” opening the first disc (it’s a double set!), it is clear that most market attendants were in capitalism mode. “What’s the catch?” was surely heard many times over by all involved.

Enough about that– there’s a lot of fun music here. I can’t pick out all the names, but there’s more than one track sporting a known musician or two. Rent Romus, Eddie the Rat, Inca Ore, and a former DJ for the Ghetto Boyz all make appearances. Completists take note!

Now I don’t know about you, but if something like this happened in Southern Illinois, you’d have one disc of people singing “Jesus Take the Wheel,” and another split between wannabee rappers and some guy trying repeatedly to pick out the opening bars to “Sweet Child of Mine.” This doesn’t seem to be the case in Oakland. Aside from a handful of American Idol castoffs who go for the “big finish,” and the tone-deaf guy absolutely butchering “Let It Be,” the 83 tracks of “Gold Record Studio” are filled with nothing but originality.

Naturally, there are numerous sub-audiophile moments– bass guitar peaking, a dog barking at one bit of electronic improvisation, and at least one stubborn youngster who will only sing when the art moves her– but that’s all part of the fun. This is a weird ride through eight weeks of Sundays, surely one of the more entertaining compilations you can get your hands on.

Annea Lockwood – “A Sound Map of the Danube”

April 17, 2008

On this formidable 3-disc release for Lovely Music, Annea Lockwood revisits techniques utilized in her “Sound Map of the Hudson;” albeit in far greater depth and the inclusion of interviews with Danube bank inhabitants.

Annea Lockwood, \

Spanning five separate trips to the Danube, and comprising 59 sites and 13 interviews, Lockwood is able to convey not only some of the majesty of this exercise, but provide a fascinating voice to her subject. Most interesting is Lockwood’s willingness to allow her work to be shaped and informed by the Danube itself– rather than stressing the ordinary role of the “artist-as-communicator,” Lockwood acts as more of a translator and sounding board– posing the question, “what is a river?” Lockwood allows the Danube (and those nearby) to answer.

In a society where we all too often impart our own desires for relaxation on every natural recording, “A Sound Map of the Danube” is a refreshing assertion of sounds’ own life and drive, in contrast to the usual belief in field recordings as mere raw material for later manipulation. Even the personal interviews reflect this to a point. Without an audible translator, listeners are free to consider the voices musically, and seem encouraged to by their being interwoven with the natural sounds. Later on, the liner notes can be consulted, revealing a full-size foldout map of the recording sites along the Danube and English-language translations of all interview subjects.

As can be expected, I am highly impressed with this release, and eagerly encourage you to check it out. As a musical document, Lockwood subtly demonstrates the power of listening; and as a sort of impressionistic journalism, she has gathered evidence of not only our influence upon the river, but its workings upon us.

Degradation, decay, and a download

November 27, 2007

I’ve been preparing a small recording for Tony’s upcoming broadcast, which he informs me will have a theme of “degeneration.” I decided to send him a copy of my February 25, 2006 “It’s Too Damn Early,” which dealt with decay in ways both obvious and oblique.

This has always been one of my favorite broadcasts, but I have never shared it outside Soulseek– mostly because I recorded it nearly nine months before starting this blog. Now is the chance to get your copy!

If there seems to be some interest in these older episodes of “It’s Too Damn Early,” I may have to start going through my personal archives for some of the better old shows. If you’re interested, let me know in the comments!