This is a great compilation of Constellation artists from 2004 and earlier. What makes it so good is that 13 of the 14 songs are released here for the first time. So it works not only as a sampler of the labels artists, it also works as a great rarities collection.
ELIZABETH ANKA VAJAGIC-“The Sky Lay Still” [stripped down version of album song]. This song starts with slow echoing guitars and Elizabeth’s voice which sounds a bit like Carla Bozulich (but cleaner). Two minutes in, it shifts tones to an awesomely catchy section with great vocals.
DO MAKE SAY THINK-“Winter Hymn Winter Hymn Winter Hymn” This is the entire Winter Hymn … album remixed into a 5 minute track. I’ve often complained that I dislike remixes but this one is great. It includes some big guitar chords, some quiet drums, some notes and maybe gives you a feel of the album, but maybe not. The end of the track plays some very fast heavy chords and then gets sped up out of existence.
EXHAUST-“Wool Fever Dub” [from their self-released cassette] This song has a big thumping beat and some cool echoed harmonics on the guitar. This basic song structure runs through a 3 minute instrumental with a different “chorus” and some intense drumming at the end.
HANGEDUP-“(Re)View From The Ground (remix)” This is a very catchy, fun remix. Noisy clattering drums and all kinds of feedback squalls keep this propulsive track moving—this is my kind of dance remix.
BLACK OX ORKESTAR-“Toyte Goyes In Shineln” This track comes from their album Ver Tanzt? And is one of my favorite of their songs from this disc. An Acoustic guitar and bass play a simple melody over what I assume is quiet Hebrew singing.
SACKVILLE-“This Machine” This is an unreleased track from the band. It is a simple downbeat folk song with a really catchy chorus. I like Sackville a lot but haven’t mentioned their full length yet–coming soon.
SILVER MT. ZION-“Iron Bridge To Thunder Bay” This is an unreleased track from the Rusted Satellites session, it begins with squealing feedback that slowly changes pitch until the thudding drums and bass come in. They play a rumbling rhythm underneath the otherwise noisy sounds. After 6 minutes, the song ends in squalls of feedback until the last minute just echoes until the end.
SOFA-“String Of Lights” [from the self released cassette]. I really like Sofa and wish they’d released more music. This song actually sounds a bit like the Black Ox Orkestar song above-a- slow broody acoustic piece, but I love the way the chorus brightens the song.
POLMO POLPO-“Dreaming (…Again)” This track is described as “constructed of materials from the Like Hearts Swelling sessions” It’s a pretty, upbeat song with some slide guitars and a groovy rhythm.
RE: “Slippage” [unreleased track from the Mnant sessions] This song has clanging percussion and oscillating keyboards which make this soundscape interesting and compelling.
FLY PAN AM-“Tres Tres ‘Avant'” is an improvisation with Tim Hecker and Christof Migone. There’s a funky bass and drums with some groovy keyboards.
1-SPEED BIKE-“Fair Warning” [ remix of “New Blue Monday” from their album]. The track starts with a person saying “Okay we’ll call this one Fair Warning.” You can hear the music (primarily the guitar echoed) and the riff from New Order’s “Blue Monday” and then he starts reciting passages in a great Canadian accent: “heroin crop in Afghanistan is 3 times higher this year than last year because the Taliban got taken out and replaced with the Americans.” “We don’t want funerals because people like to party too much, Capice?” The second half of the song is a lot of swirling statics and noise with repeated notes.
FRANKIE SPARO-“See My Film” [working mix of an unreleased song]. This song has a sprinkling of guitar notes and Sparo’s mellow but rough voice singing a cool melody. The addition of a violin melody really elevates the song. The end is even better as he adds another vocal line and some da das making it even catchier.
GODSPEED YOU! BLACK EMPEROR-“Outro” This is a live performance of a concert finale recorded in France on 14 May 2003. This slow song opens with glockenspiel and strings–a slow, pretty melody that evolves over 7 minutes to add a bigger string section. The last 2 minutes include a very nice violin solo that plays over the top of the rest of the band. GYBE has never officially released a live album, so this is a good opportunity to hear what they can do live.
[READ: August 20, 2016] Land
This is a book about Anthony Gormley’s five statues on Landmark Trust Property.
The five statues in this book are life-sized cast iron sculptures installed in five Landmark Trust sites across the British Isles from May 2015 to May 2016. Saddell Bay, Mull of Kintyre; South West Point, Lundy; Clavell Tower, Kimmeridge Bay; Martello Tower, Aldeburgh, and Lengthsman’s Cottage, Lowsonford.
The sculptures are by Antony Gormley, the photos of the sculptures are by Clare Richardson and the text is by Jeanette Winterson. Winterson is the only person I’d heard of in this book but as soon as I flipped through the pages, I was instantly struck by the sculptures.
Gormley works with the human form in very heavy sculptural designs. There’s another book about his work called Human that shows even more of his sculptures.
The photos are wonderfully done–showing the statues from far away and then zooming in. This way you can see them in context and then see their exquisite detail. Gormley’s states are very blocky (in one photo it looks pixelated). And yes with these slabs of iron. He is able to create some really excellent intentions in his people.
Winterson writes poetic observations about each sculpture, and although the sculptures do speak for themselves, her observations and context are wonderful.
The first observation is that these sculptures were temporary–placed there for but one year. A travesty, but also a fair approximation of our own lives. The butterfly who lands there will be dead when the sculpture is removed anyhow.
Some keen observations from Winterson:
“Standing modestly at their posts, the Gormley bodies are guides. They have something of ancient earth about them–as though they have erupted out of the iron core of the world. They are, with one exception, turned away from the buildings where they find themselves. They are not domestic, these guides, we have to go out and meet them.”
Clavell Tower: The Wounded Man.
He also stands in the surf. He stands arms at his side, seemingly alone.
Lengthman’s Cottage: The Wanderer.
This man stands looking into the canal. He’s a very public statue because boats sail the canal and people can walk up and touch him. His legs stand slightly bent as if in motion. The one has some people in the photos which shows tourists staring at him from across the shallow canal.
South West Point: The Woman.
Of the five, she is the only woman. She stands atop a hill within easy sight of the old lighthouse. As Winterson describes her, she is like a lighthouse of the mind.
These sculptures are wonderful and while I would have loved to have seen them in person, I would have preferred even more top just happen upon them on a walk. How cool would that have been?