Month: March, 2014

Son Lux

holy cow, it seems like spring decided to grant us generous sunbeams and quite fine and exquisite surprises. and today we are in company with La Blogothèque (again).

you may know that La Blogothèque invented two types of original music shows entitled Les Soirées de Poche / Pocket Parties and Les Concerts à Emporter / Take-Away Shows.

the Take-Away Shows are video podcasts that present musicians and bands interpreting a few songs in the street, in a pub, in a public place – mostly while they promote a new album or offer a public concert in the evening.
in this manner, you go long with the bands who stroll in the street or enter a pub for a song time.

with the Pocket Parties, you slip into someone’s apartment to experience music as you never did before. the music scene is the apartment itself, kindly loaned by a gentle music enthusiast, and generously pierces the intimacy of a band.

these very videos are pretty magical and unique. through them, you experience a real closeness and warmth, and share a very precious instant.
and today we would like to offer you some precious moment.

Son-Lux

with a fantastic Soirée de Poche dedicated to the amazing Son Lux.
for the occasion, Ryan Lott, aka Son Lux, revisited his repertoire and proposed six alternative tracks taken from his last album Lanterns – among which a magnificent cover of Easy.
this music session evinces that Ryan Lott is not just a talented and skilful music laboratory assistant, but a brilliant cover master and composer as well.

the following video will probably make you drool and you just need to click on the above picture to attend the full thirty-minute show.

constellation(s)

constellation

how about starting the week spending about forty-five minutes with a few members of one of the best music labels ever? today, we would like to tell you about a record label that highly deserves to be under the spotlights, a small and mythical independent music label from Montréal, Québec.

And We Made The Room Shine is a very enjoyable film made by François Clos and Thomas Lallier from La Blogothèque to commemorate Constellation Records‘ 15th birthday in 2012.

shot in Vienna, Austria, it offers us a little journey to six acoustically bewitching places.
Emi Honda and Jordan McKenzie from Elfin Saddle take us to a small kitchen with Reed/Rise, Eric Chenaux mesmerises us at Red Theatre where he interprets a very inspired and beautiful version of Dull Light (White Or Grey).
Mike Moya (both Hrsta and GY!BE) invites us to a short but magnificent meditative guitar experience before three pairs of legs lead us to the Franziskanerplatz fountain, where Do Make Say Think give a delicate and fantastic intro to the excellent The Land Lord Is Dead.
we may also sing along Libation For Mr. Brown: Bid Em In with Mantana Roberts at Porgy & Bess, an exhibition room.
the journey ends with a treasure hunt in an abandoned post office in company with Gen Heistek and Eric Craven from HangedUp.

colin stetson

this exciting and short insight in Constellation presents a wise selection of its catalogue, far from the usual sticky post-rock label. do not hesitate to let your mouse stroll on the images of this post to discover full albums you may listen to while reading to this first home-sweet-home article.

elfin_saddle

Constellation Records is the holy home of an opencast mine of astounding musicians – among others Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Do Make Say Think, A Silver Mount Zion, Hanged Up, Colin Stetson, Eric Chenaux, Pacha, Jerusalem In My Hear, Hrsta, Elfin Saddle, Mantana Roberts, Esmerine. you may know that the label headed to Europe two years ago to celebrate its 15th birthday and offer us quite a few exquisite moments.

the frog’s eyes are still filled with wonder, remembering two days of concerts in the clouds at UT Connewitz in november 2012, in the company of three music addicted toads. on this occasion, Do Make Say Think killed me with their cold but exhilarating gig (and came back to my top 10 ever), not to mention Jerusalem In My Heart’s flamboyant foggy experiment and Thee Silver Mount Zion’s tremendous concert. what a blast!

dmst

founded in 1997 in Montréal by Ian Illavsky and Don Wilkie, Constellation first aimed at supporting underground and experimental musicians from Montréal, offering them a concert platform. however, some bureaucratic difficulties forced Constellation Records to convert to a record label instead and to launch the live performance series called Musique Fragile simultaneously.

despite the challenging times the music industry went through, Constellation Records’ ideals remain untouched: anti-capitalist and anti-globalist, the label’s idea was originally to

enact a mode of cultural production that critiques the worst tendencies of the music industry, artistic commodification, and perhaps in some tiny way, the world at large.

that is to say, producing independent music and turning one’s back on the biggest and powerful major labels, with a focus on experimental music and without compromising.
as the label started releasing instrumentalist bands such as GY!BE, Sofa, Exhaust, Do Make Say Think and Fly Pan Am, it was (too) easily pigeonholed to post-rock.

gybe_yanqui

but if you take a close look at Constellation’s catalogue, you will find more adventurous projects such as saxophone experimentalists (Colin Stetson, Mantana Roberts), alternative rock project (HangedUp, Carla Bozulich), jazz-fusion and instrumental rock (Do Make Say Think),  apocalyptic post-rock (GY!BE), dark ambiant electro (Sandro Perri/Polmo Polpo), songwriters and guitarists (Elizabeth Anka Vajagic, Eric Chenaux), contemporary chamber group (Esmerine, Saltland), poly-ethnic music experiments (Jerusalem In My Heart, Elfin Saddle), choir post-rock (Thee Silver Mt. Zion), rock with added vitamins (Ought), etc.

ericchenaux

vinyls and CDs released on the label are made with a certain idea of artistic work. no ugly damn plastic jewel case, but real piece-of-art jewels, under the form of unique hand-designed cardboard packages produced, whenever possible, by local artists or artisans.

would you remain unconvinced that Constellation greatly deserves your attention, we prepared a play list that will perfectly complete And We Made The Room Shine. open your ears and do not forget to buy Constellation’s records at your record shop, an independent and committed one, or even here if you are close to Canada.

Maserati

would you believe Maserati is an automotive brand mark, we are pleased today to offer you a change of scenery and a killing journey through instrumental music – mixing post, math, space and psychedelic rock influences.

maserati

a four-piece ensemble, Maserati is a standard drums-guitar-bass band, with added-value synthesizers, from Athens (Georgia) that was formed in 2010. if the band went through various personnel configurations over the years, today both guitars are still under the responsibility of Coley Dennis and Matt Cherry. Chris McNeal excels at bass and Mike Albanese, who brilliantly took over for the late Jerry Fuchs‘ impressive compositions, is an absolute master of booming drums.

Maserati released an ambitious first album in 2002, The Language of Cities on Kindercore Records, which lurked without blushing behind beautiful and quiet post-rock influences.
previous to their union with Temporary Residence in 2007 that gave birth to Inventions for the New Season, the band also took part in two splits with The Mercury Program and We Versus The Shark.
in 2009, Maserati published a collection of rarities called Passages (2009) introducing the amazing Monolith which already showed electronic notes, and three more disputable remixes. it was followed, the very same year, by a split with the fantastic Zombi.
the outstanding and definitely more aggressive Pyramid of the Sun (on which Zombi’s Steve Moore appears) saw the light one year later, succeeded by Maserati VII in 2012. this latter left aside post-rock influences to reach a tremendous sound, more space-rock inspired, and the first vocoded voices.

i am afraid that i couldn’t describe the band better than Temporary Residence Ltd does:

Maserati is as sleek, sexy and sophisticated as the legendary Italian sports car it takes its name from. It is fitting, then, that the band has dragged the glory years of psychedelic arena rock kicking and screaming into the 21st Century, with the pomposity (and vocals) carefully removed. In its place are white hot flashes of light pulsing to an unstoppable rhythm that makes us want to punch air and drive really fast in a car with wings instead of doors.

so if you are ready to take a fast ride in the air, put your seat belt on and enjoy this 2011 KEXP’s session.