Every Friday, Dusted Magazine publishes a series of music-related lists determined by our favorite artists. This week: Appalachian spacemen Pelt and Kiwi shoegazer Tamaryn.
Listed: Pelt + Tamaryn
Pelt began in Virginia in the mid-1990s, as Jack Rose (R.I.P.), Patrick Best and Mike Gangloff joined sprawling psychedelia to Appalachian folk in a kind of music dubbed “the theater of eternal hillbilly drone.” Over the band’s long run, the line-up fluctuated. Rose left mid-way through the ‘00s to concentrate on his solo work, while Mikal Dimmick and Nathan Bowles stepped in as full-time members. Still the outfit remained prolific, recording more than a dozen albums from 1995 to 2009. After a three-year lay-off, the surviving members of Pelt recently reconvened to record a new album, Effigy, due Oct. 29 from London’s MIE Music. Pelt is scheduled to perform at the Tusk Festival in England in early October 2012.
1. Terry Riley - Persian Surgery Dervishes
I’m not certain where, but I had heard pieces of Persian Surgery Dervishes at some point, but had never been able to get my hands on the record itself. I think Mike had a copy and introduced it into the tour van in ‘98 or so as we were trekking across the continent, bound for Terrastock. And this is fitting, because there is something tectonic about those sides, something, the rolling sounds have a geography of their own. It had - I should say still has - a certain mythos about it: it breeds new stories, rolling into your psyche and taking over, infusing your body with these delirious rhythms, bubbling over, pulsing, always some new manifestation. I can remember driving through the Rockies, snow coming down, and fighting with Riley’s low end to stay on the road. [Mikel Dimmick]
2. Various Artists - Old Originals Vols. 1 & 2
Woefully out-of-print two-LP set on Rounder that is a skeleton key to the gnarly puzzle box of the traditional music world of Southwest Virginia and Western North Carolina. Folklorists-in-training Tom Carter (a different Tom Carter than the one featured elsewhere in this magazine) and Blanton Owen set out in the mid-’70s to document local variations in how fiddles and banjos (and pianos and jaw harps and fifes and drums and more) were manipulated and came back with a portrait of a world that hasn’t vanished, but has definitely slipped farther out of casual view. Players like Dent Wimmer, Sam Conner and Munsey Gaultney were recorded on porches and in living rooms. Most received what I think was their only commercial exposure on this set, and we’re all better off for it. [Mike Gangloff]
3. Joe McPhee - The Willisau Concert
This was an early discovery in my jazz collecting that turned my ear on its ass, so to speak, after finding an original Hat Hut pressing on the cheap (thanks, "water damaged sleeve"). While not my initial introduction to McPhee’s incredibly personal, soulful, and always-in-the-moment playing, it was my first exposure to ‘70s jazz that incorporated synthesizer. The drones and warbles of John Snyder’s synth provide the undulating foundation for McPhee to delve deep into the zone, and Mayaka Ntshoko’s propulsive drumming just takes it over the top. The combination of hive-buzz synth and high-flying sax helped me reconcile the ideas of free skronk and deep drone while still a relatively young buck. For another synth/horn bomb, check out the Teitelbaum/Braxton Time Zones LP and put on your X-ray specs. [Nathan Bowles]
4. Sun City Girls - Torch Of The Mystics
This album still gives me chills when I hear those first few chords on "Blue Mamba." It is the gate way to a musical odyssey with the SCG that has not ended... this album is so fucking punk rock! So basic in its approach, but it spins the psyche around in till one vomits Shiva colored bile that forms into harpies that eat your brain through your butthole. Yikes and keep it coming! Again, this one made many revolutions on the road and in our homes in the early days of Pelt. [Patrick Best]
5. Mayo Thompson - Corky’s Debt To His Father
Is there anything I can say about this magnificent record that even possibly do it justice? This is the American outsider rock album, a shuffling, stumbling testament to awkward loves, fervent romances, and over-our-shoulder late ‘60s paranoia. Mayo’s bizarre vocal delivery and cubist guitar lines provide the wonk that balances out the stone-cold fuckin’ GROOVES that run throughout the entire album. Barrellhouse saloon music down the rabbit hole, for sure - probably the one record that most convinced me that songwriting and rock music could be simultaneously infectious and confounding, the ultimate in non-compromise. Be sure to check out the Saddlesore 7-inch, another Mayo-fronted band from this period that may actually just be the same line-up. [Nathan Bowles]
6. Stephanie Kiwitt - Capital Décor
Surprise spoken word blast voiced by Belgian actor and sonic explorer Christophe Piette. On his debut release, created to accompany an exhibit by photographer Stephanie Kiwitt, Piette intones a sort of verbal collage in French and English and ends up with a Beat-inflected, minimalist sound sculpture at once unsettling and tranquilizing. Playing with the sounds of words and shunning all electronic processing beyond the basic act of recording, Piette relies on precisely controlled enunciation, repetition and a relentless cataloging of imagery to craft an acoustic take on what could be called a musique concrete of the mouth. “Six pack, six pack / Freedom of speech dealer, Sony, Erickson / Rock odyssey, hot snack / Paranormal activity, the children, Madonna, nouveau, new, new, new.” [Mike Gangloff]
7. John Coltrane - A Love Supreme
For many years I considered this my morning record. Roll out of bed, set needle on platter, play, testify to the richness of life, celebrate the vitality of love. Coltrane’s flights have a visual component - you can see this sound pushing forward, searching, singing aloud, the discovery of a new vocabulary, new language. Tyner’s piano dancing in and out, around. Jones’ rumbling across the canyons. Garrison’s bass playing, mapping a pervasive rhythmic throb for the foundation. More than a sound, somehow this thing is life itself. I’m not certain any record has ever felt as pure, as perfect, as A Love Supreme. [Mikel Dimmick]
8. Master Musicians Of Jajouka - Apocalypse Across The Sky
Otherworldly, hypnotic, heavy dead acoustic music from the Rif Mountains. Rolling sounds, thunder claps from distant mountains, this was a morning, mid-day and many many late nights with a head of mead and mary. The music is uplifting, ceremonial, intense. "A Habibi Ouajee T’Allel Allaiya" is one of the greatest songs ever written. An explosion of culture that was the gateway to many new and exciting North African records. Wonderfully recorded! Every musician in the world should hear this record. [Patrick Best]
9. Senior Dagar Brothers - Bihag Kamboji Malkosh: Calcutta 1955
Mikel introduced me to the Senior Dagar Brothers about a decade ago, and I still regularly listen to this recording from a garden house concert. There’s a gorgeous, but spare, grace and intensity to these long, detailed versions of three ragas that’s absolutely inspiring - plus there’s an amazing array of environmental sound going on around the singing and tanpuras that is amazingly appealing. The bell that starts frantically ringing about five minutes into Bihag (from the street outside? Or a neighboring house?) is probably more of an influence on Pelt than we want to admit. [Mike Gangloff]
10. Borbetomagus - Snuff Jazz
I knew there was something wrong with the world when I listened to this record. [Patrick Best]
New Zealand-born, California-based Tamaryn makes music that aurally approximates the experience of sleeping on the beach. Working in collaboration with Rex John Shelverton, she sings low, ethereal lines that emerge from washes of delayed guitars. Her upcoming record on Mexican Summer, Tender New Signs (out Oct. 16), harks back to classic shoegaze records while maintaining enough restraint to be distinctly poppy. It’s a sound clearly rooted in the dark, dreamy records she selected for her installment in our Listed series.
1. Care - Diamonds and Emeralds
Paul Simpson’s bands Care and The Wild Swans have been the dominant sounds echoing throughout my head while making Tender New Signs. Both bands have been tragically overlooked in their importance in the history books. Paul is a testament to the argument that some truly great artists no matter how good the songs or production they may have, just don’t get their deserved recognition. I find him to be the best lyricist to ever grace my ears. He just captures the perfect combination of flowery romance, literary reference and individual isolation and reflection, all tied together in perfect pop songs. Oh, and THAT VOICE! Underrated is an understatement.
2. Cranes - Forever
Cranes have been my favorite band since I was a teenager. I think their influence is obvious in everything I have done so far. What a weird and wonderful band. Over their career they managed to make a catalogue of music that spans from incredibly challenging Neubauten-inflicted chaos to dreamy pop songs that sound like the tears of angels. They really defy genre without sounding alienating and Alison Shaw’s voice is an anomaly. Forever is their second LP from ‘93 and sort of feels like a summation of their work up until that point. It’s a really sophisticated album and I’d recommend it as an introduction to new listeners. "Jewel" should be a crushed out mixtape staple.
3. Strawberry Switchblade - Strawberry Switchblade
"Go Away" is one of the most beautiful songs I have ever heard. I listened to a few tracks from a session they did before the self titled album of the same songs but with guitars and produced by Robin Millar. Both versions just go to show these ladies wrote fantastic songs and were a great band from the start, not just some wild polka dot-adorned pop act.
4. A.R. Kane - Americana
The true original dream pop, shoegaze whatever you want to call it, act. Starting in 1986 by Alex Ayuli and Rudy Tambala. They made three amazing records for Rough Trade. Americana is a compilation that David Byrne’s label released in ‘92 of some of their best stuff. All time best track has to be "Up." My ex-boyfriend sent it to me with the instructions "must play in complete darkness." I urge others to do the same.
4. Suede - Sci-Fi Lullabies
I love this band with an obsessive fervor. Sometimes I like to refer to Brett Anderson as my spirit animal. This B-side collection just goes to show what sort of catalogue they really have. "Every Monday Morning Comes" sounds like it should have been a single to me!
5. The Wake - Here Comes Everybody and Harmony
Two totally different sounding albums that are equally fun to listen to. I never get sick of this stuff. They just make me feel good and set the scene in my room when I’m trying to shut out the outside world.
6. Violens - Amoral
Jorge Elbrecht is one of my favorite modern songwriters/producers. He seems to take from so many different influences all the time and reinterpret them in a fresh and personal way. I loved his band Lansing Dreiden and his recent project Violens is a total gem. I chose the album Amoral because it captures a sound I think they may have already moved on from that still feels really special to me. My Favorite tracks are "Trance-Like Turn" and "Until it’s Unlit."
7. Primal Scream - Sonic Flower Groove
Both Rex and I adore this album. Bobby Gillespie is just the coolest ever. In my opinion Sonic Flower Groove is the best Primal Scream record and obviously influenced a lot of important bands to come. I like to listen to "Imperial" and spin around in my my room until I fall over/come down.
8. Biff, Bang, Pow! - Songs for the Sad Eyed Girl & Oblivion
Bobby Gillespie’s BFF, Alan McGee and Biff, Bang Pow! I love this band! Groups like this and their west coast Paisley Underground counterparts are so interesting to me. Eighties bands influenced by the ‘60s, makes for a really interesting blend of sounds. I treasure these two records and in particular the song "Baby You Just Don’t Care." Turn it up and feel blissfully sorry for yourself.
9. John Cale - Artificial Intelligence
John Cale is pure class. This is a record I only got into this past year that has become a favorite. I love that there is an endless supply of amazing albums, films and people to discover in this world. The best thing ever is to find out you missed something that should have already been a favorite. I love the song "Dying on The Vine." I have been living in exile in Los Angeles for the past year and whenever this song comes on I catch the words…
I was thinking about my mother
I was thinking about what’s mine
I was living my life like a Hollywood
But I was dying on the vine
10. Swans - Children of God
I was just listening to Swans last night thinking about what people choose to tap into and express in their music. Michael Gira has made a career of expressing primordial instincts and the depths of his humanity or lack of. He is such an intense archetype that he seems to be able to be a bit of a musical chameleon and still have such a clear message. I chose Children of God because it has Jarboe singing "In My Garden." A beacon of light coming out of the abyss.
By Dusted Magazine