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dimanche 24 avril 2016

Album de la Semaine : Tales of Murder and Dust - The Flow In Between

Tales of Murder and Dust
The Flow In Between

Interview de Tales of Murder and Dust, par Tomatrax

When and how did the band form?
Four of us met in high-school in the North of Denmark in 2003 and started playing together in different constellations. After high-school we relocated the band to Aarhus and in 2007 Kasper and Kathrine joined and completed our current constellation.
Where did the name Tales of Murder and Dust come from?
The name emerged in a period when we were playing a lot of Ennio Morricone and surf-inspired music. We wanted to find a name reflecting our filmic soundscapes and after sitting down talking back and forth the name just sort of appeared.
Your album combines a number of styles and sounds, was it hard to get the different sounds to work together?
We have definitely put a lot of work into this aspect of our music. Giving we are a 6-piece band and everyone has different inspirations it’s only natural that the music pulls in different directions. Our approach to building up the sound has been to try out a lot of different things on each song. Some things work better than others and these are the things that have survived in the three year long process of making the album.
You named the album Hallucination of beauty, was it the intention for listeners to hallucinate when listening to the album?
This was not originally the intention but as the album has come out it does offer the opportunity to do so. We believe the title encapsulates the songs and the feeling of the album very well. The word “Hallucination” holds a certain negative quality, which is elaborated in the title of the first song on the album – “The Disillusion”. But also a positive aspect, in the sense of freedom that comes with not being under the same illusions anymore.
What was the inspiration behind the video for Hypnotized Narcissist?
Actually all the videos you can find on the web have been made by fans. Our fans have been a great help in communicating the music around and it’s because of this viral spread people all over the world know of our music. All we’ve done is to put the music out there.
A six-piece is quite a large size for a band, is it hard for everyone to work together?
The biggest problem with being a large band is the practical things like transport to gigs and finding time where we are all available to rehearse, since we all study or work on the side. We have developed a good way of working together without any major problems. The two songwriters take a sketch of a song, more or less finished, to the rehearsal space and we all give inputs and ideas to the shape and the sound.
Given you’re from Denmark, why do you sing in English?
Just about all the bands we are inspired by sing in English, so this was just what felt most natural.
When writing what comes first, the lyrics or the music?
It depends on who has written the song. With Kristoffer it can be either way and with Christian it is always the music. It mostly starts with an idea of a mood or a feeling, then the music develops and then the words adapt to the ambience of the song.
We don’t get to hear much music from Denmark in Australia, what is the music scene like over there?
The most dominant genre in the Danish scene is indie/synth-rock/pop and right now Dance-hall for some strange reason. The biggest export successes of Danish music that holds some quality would be Raveonettes and Efterklang. There are a lot of genres represented in the underground, but the psychedelic scene in Denmark is pretty much non-existent. Although there are a few great bands like “Get Your Gun” and “The Woken Trees”.
Do you ever listen to your own music?Occasionally, but it is hard to listen to it and enjoy it, without thinking about what we could have done better or coming across details we would like to have changed.
What music do you listen to?
The bands that have had the most influence on our sound and songwriting are The Velvet Underground, Blue Angel Lounge and The Black Angels. Every one in the band has different preferences but we can all agree on listening to anything Neo-pscyhedelic and Shoegaze.
What does Tales of Murder and Dust have planned for 2013?
We have just come out of the studio recording what will become an EP set to be released in the spring of 2013. We’ve made an EP instead of full album to try out different genres and directions for our sound. Also the Vinyl edition of “HOB” will be released mid-January and is available for pre-sale now. Other than that we have a small tour in Greece on February 7-9and other gigs in Denmark during Spring and Summer. And of course we will also be writing material for the second full-length album.
Line Up :
Christian Sinding Søndergaard 
Kristoffer Vilsgaard 
Simon Toftdahl Olesen 
Jacob Korsgaard Jensen 
Stine Kloster

Label :
Fuzz Club

Tracklist :
01 – Tidal Waves
02 – Black Reflections
03 – The Devil Is A Poet
04 – Mirror
05 – Sisters
06 – Distored Ways
07 – Endless Repetition

dimanche 17 avril 2016

Album de la Semaine : Explosions In the Sky - The Wilderness

Explosions In the Sky
The Wilderness

Interview d'Explosions In the Sky, par Sonaluna de One Small Window

With your music – as a listener – one can go from 0 to 100 in a few minutes in terms of emotion. Having played these songs so many times now, what is the experience like for you as a band? 
Michael: When you’re on a tour and you’re playing 30 shows in a row or something like that sometimes it becomes a challenge to find the emotion that was in the song the first time you played it, when you wrote it. The hundredth time or the five hundredth time, you have to work at it a little bit but that’s what being an artist I think is all about. Finding that special feeling even on the five hundredth time because it can be found. You have to look for it and find it but you know, playing the song can just be a way for me to work through my emotional life that I’m living that particular day. So there’s always something to be found in the music I think.
Munaf: Absolutely, it is very emotional stuff that we write and Michael just said it quite nicely – even if we’ve played it ten thousand times there is still great meaning in the song to us, it’s just how do we kind of relay that, on that millionth go around. But yeah, it’s there every time, it’s just working towards how we feel it.
In an old interview, you said ‘It’s not easy to write a good song’ which is absolutely true. It also often takes time. How do you stay true to that ideal in the present environment where music has become about quantity and putting as much as you can out quickly? 
Munaf: I think that people appreciate quality over quantity, absolutely. Many others might think ‘You need to do it now, you need to go go go!’ but as quickly as it took you to write a song like that, is how quickly, more often than not, it is forgotten. So somebody who sits and crafts anything, there’s not a guarantee that that is going to be great either but in my opinion there is a better chance it will have a lasting impression. So yeah, I don’t think we’ve ever worried about getting a song written by next week or having an album out by next year. This is why we take as much time as we do because we are comfortable in who we are, we are comfortable in what we’re trying to achieve and some of these marks that we’ve placed on ourselves take a little while to get to.
Michael: I think we’d rather not put out an album than put out an album that we weren’t completely happy with and that for us takes time. I think we’d be willing to not be a band anymore as opposed to crank out an album every year.
Do the demands of the music business allow for that?
Munaf: Not for everybody! Somehow – it’s not exclusively for us that it is allowed that, others try this too – but we weren’t even concerned with what it would be that the music industry allowed or now. We are very lucky we are on indie labels throughout the world. We’ve made well by our previous records that we have bought a little bit of… what’s the word I’m looking for? It’s not ‘time’…
Michael: ‘Goodwill’?
Munaf: Yeah, goodwill, from those who are kind of supporting us in those regards. It’s like ‘Okay, they’ve done it before let’s see if they can get there again’. And we’ve met the mark for the five records that we’ve written so I feel very lucky for that because it’s not that way for everybody and that’s the mentality when they take on ‘Go go go, your record has to be out by fall, you need to be on the road by spring…’ Some others have to really abide by these rules to play the game. It’s just since day one we didn’t adhere to any rule and very luckily we made it far. We could have quite easily been forgotten about but then that ties back to the previous question. If you write something good there’s no expiration date on it. There is no time frame on that because quality will outdo quantity nine times out of ten.
I hope that stays the case for a long time.
Munaf: [Laughs] I hope so too!
Over the years I’ve found myself drawn to music by bands that come from various parts of Texas and also from Nashville. I have now decided that there is something special about those places and you can hear it in the music. That’s probably not a fair assessment, right?
Munaf: No, that’s very fair and it does [impact the music] in ways that we’re probably not even aware of because I think every one of us is a product of our environments so if we were coming from say Washington State or California, I think we would sound a little different than we do. Even if we were playing the same music it would have a variation on it you know? If we were coming from New York it would have this other feel to it but because we come from Texas, when we were starting to write music and coming from a place at that time molded this sound. For us, growing up in west Texas – Michael and I have known each other almost all of our lives. We grew up in a place that was quite desolate you know… well, ‘desolate’ is maybe not the right word but it was a bit off on its own in west Texas, ‘deserty’ is too strong of a word, but flatlands and not much happening… those I think subconsciously have placed an impression in our minds that when we write melodies this is what we were calling on, these are the pictures that we saw. So the pictures that we saw made this sound and absolutely, coming from Texas has an effect.
Michael: I think that’s absolutely true. As Munaf said, west Texas life can be kind of maybe slow and contemplative and there are definitely elements of that in our music as well but there’s also like say the sunsets in west Texas are still the most spectacular sunsets I’ve ever seen because the sky is very wide open, there’s nothing, it’s very flat. And there’s a lot of clouds and so there can be these beautiful sunsets where the sky looks like it’s on fire and that sort of coupled with this kind of slow lifestyle… I think it really relates to the music itself a little bit. That kind of change from very slow to very grand, I think it can be attributed to growing up in Texas.
Your music has been used in a lot of films and TV shows – what’s it like hearing your songs in that context?
Munaf: It’s quite remarkable every time because it’s different every time. So the song that we wrote and the pictures that we had are very different from whoever heard the music and said ‘You know what, this goes with this’. That always kind of blew my mind and made me appreciate the song that much more because it allowed it to have more layers than the ones that we saw. It’s a bit strange but then I think it’s all strange because we never dreamed that people would listen to our music the way they do and then apply it to the things in their life the way they do.
You also create score for films. How do you walk the fine line between big, sweeping & cinematic, and noisy when it comes to background score?
Michael: I think a lot of it has to do with instrumentation, like how much is going on at any one time. Particularly when you’re writing for a movie, that’s sort of something that you take into consideration the entire time. Like how many instruments are playing versus how many things are going on onscreen, how much dialogue is being spoken. You can’t overwhelm the dialogue. For a film the dialogue is the melody and that’s what you have to hear first, that’s the most important thing. A lot of times it’s like ‘We can’t have three guitars going right here, we have to pull it back to one guitar and maybe a bass or something else’. It is a very fine line you have to walk because you want to add something to what’s happening but you cannot overwhelm. It’s a fine line, it’s a challenge and it’s such a big collaboration with a director that you are constantly working with them and trying to figure it out. It’s fun, it’s really fun.
Last question, is there a set of chords or a pedal that you have that you know will guarantee an emotional response when you use it?
Michael and Munaf: No! No way! [Laugh]
Michael: I think there is something very sort of simple about that and that is something we probably actively try not to do because it becomes a very by-the-numbers thing to do and it can be effective and it can be like ‘Oh this is how we can finish the song, finish it up big with a bang’ but we try not to do that, we really don’t because we don’t like hearing that music. It’s just too easy. As an artist you always want to push yourself.

Line Up :
Chris Hrasky
Michael James
Munaf Rayani
Mark Smith
Label :
Temporary Residence
Tracklist :
01 – Wilderness
02 – The Ecstatics
03 – Tangle Formations
04 – Logic of a Dream
05 – Disintegration Anxiety
06 – Losing the Light
07 – Infinite Orbit
08 – Colors in Space
09 – Landing Cliffs

samedi 9 avril 2016

Album de la Semaine : Jealousy - Paid For It

Paid For It

Chronique de Jealousy, par Sam Lefebvre de Pitchfork

Paid For It is Mark Treise's second album as Jealousy. The San Francisco songwriter—who also plays bass in the leaden, woozy rock outfit CCR Headcleaner—issued Vilesin 2011, which featured similarly elliptical lyricism and oblong, idiosyncratic grooves. Paid For It, which was recorded in Los Angeles, features Don Bolles, best known as drummer of The Germs, behind the kit on some songs. Otherwise, Treise is responsible for the sounds, including power drill, broken bottle, gurgling electronics, and field recordings, but principally bass guitar, which he’d loop live in the studio and ply with effects until sufficiently forbidding.   
The emphasis on overlaid bass lines rather than chord patterns lends Jealousy songs strange, shifty shapes. "Doin’ a Little Time" is typical of the strongest tracks on account of its consistent, pulsing bass motif, which anchors an ebb and flow of hiss and noise. There are deceivingly few sonic components to Paid For It, but their nightmarish dub reflections swell to fill what feel like massive chambers. The six-minute highlight "Fresh Kill," for instance, features little more than rhythmic pitter-patter augmented by two-or-three note melodic gestures. Like Paid For It overall, the song eschews conventional structure and development in favor of cyclical, rippling bass beneath Treise’s eerily enchanting voice.  
On Paid For It, Treise yearns for visceral, elemental experiences. The title track, which invokes goddesses and autoeroticism alike, seems like a fraught meditation on personal identity. Florid mythical imagery recurs throughout, but passion most often dovetails with destruction: "And I loved hard like iron," goes "Fresh Kill." "And bent the word ‘love’ into a crescent moon / terminal swoon." He's a glutton for self-loathing: In one song, Treise is "sucked up and fucked up" and a "sleazebag scumbag scumfuck" whose face is a "wretched cliché." And yet, the track is called, "I Want It." If indulgence is paramount to Paid For It, the next most important theme is guilt. 
Generous reverb and delay tends to render vocals soothing or spooky but indistinct. Not for Jealousy. The effects warp Treise’s weary incantations, moisten his lisp, and lend his leering murmur a sense of bleary, opiated oblivion. That means Paid For It is a druggy album, but few druggy albums capture the balance between blissful stupor and nausea so well. And while dull gloom is often peddled under the pretenses of chic austerity, Paid For It evades the trappings of stylish-but-innocuous miserablism. A couple songs feel impenetrable to a fault (including the vertiginous opener "Been Wrong"), but the album's overall pleasures—in the terms of Treise’s spiritually conflicted lyrics—are akin to a rewarding séance: shock and awe before the medium’s ritual flair, followed by an uneasy, lingering sense of connection.
Line Up :
Mark Treise
Don Bolles

Label :
Moniker Records

Tracklist :
01 – Been Wrong
02 – Sentenced to Life
03 – I Want It
04 – Doin’ a Little Time
05 – Fresh Kill
06 – E
07 – The Eyes of My Love
08 – Give Me My Money
09 – Svengali Sins
10 – Go Away