Tagged: birdengine

Rob St. John & Ian Humberstone – Your Phantom Limb/House on the Hill

I sometimes find myself sceptical of a split single or EP. I find that on many occasions the bands don’t particularly compliment one another or they are completely different styles or just plainly that I like one band and not the other, probably with no real reason.

However, with the above release, I most definitely like the whole release. I’m familiar with Rob St.John by name and not a huge amount of his music and I’m not familiar with Ian Humberstone at all, although I get the feeling that shouldn’t be the case and it’s probably completely through fault of my own. There is a cohesion to the 7″ which kind of tallies up when I read the accompanying press release to find that the pair have collaborated together in the past and

that both tracks were recorded in Humberstone’s kitchen on a Tascam reel to reel.

There’s something about Ian Humberstone’s voice which reminds me a bit of Bill Callahan but I’m not really one for making observations and comparisons so we’ll leave it at that. It is a subtle and gently crafted release, both songs different but very much alike. It meanders along beautifully and if truth be told, I get a bit disappointed when we reach the end, although, I can always go back to the start and listen again.

The 7″ is available now from Song, By Toad records and various other outlets. You can peruse and make your purchase here.

‘Your Phantom Limb’ is the first single from Rob St John’s album which is due for release on Song, By Toad Records in November. He takes off to London, Oxford and lands back in Edinburgh for a couple of release shows. We’d like to point out here that if you are in London, he’s playing with the fantastic Birdengine, so it should be quite a gig. Full dates are below;

14th Oct London – King’s Place with Viking Moses and Birdengine
15th Oct Oxford – Modern Art Oxford with Viking Moses and Petrels
22nd Oct Edinburgh – Pilrig St. Paul’s with Meursault, eagleowl & Viking Moses

Rob St. John & Ian Humberstone Split 7″ by Song, by Toad

Plugging shamelessly, and other assorted stories…

The title says it all, we’ve got a few things to mention and tell you about, so look sharp.

You may remember a few months back we talked about a couple of releases from South Coast based Lynched Recordings. We thoroughly enjoyed the Clowns 7″ and you can still pick up a free Masked Eldorados of the Americas track here. Anyhoo, the label has come up trumps with a lovely little EP by Birdengine. Turn your pointers here for a little listen and more importantly to buy the digital or 7″ version.

Closer to home, Olive Grove Records have released details of the forthcoming album by The Moth & The Mirror. ‘Honestly, This World’ will be released on October 10th through the usual good record buying channels.

It’s been a while since we dipped our toes in the promoting waters, nearly a year since our voluntary sabbatical, but news of a return to gigging is imminent, so keep your peepers open for that.

In the past, The Liquid Ship has been our home and hopefully we’ll return one day but alas, The Ship has closed and is undergoing a bit of a refurb. We hear it will open again soon under the name The Roxy 171. You can keep up to date with happenings on their facebook page.

We’ve got a theme going here, so, even closer to home, Elba Studio’s have let us know about a wee autumn deal they are running, should you be looking to get some stuff recorded. I’ll leave it to Stephen, heid honcho at the studio, to tell all…

“Hey folks, we are running an Autumn recording deal of 3 days in The

Tracking Room at Elba Studios for £450 (usual price £540) or 2 days in The Tracking Room at Elba Studios and 1 day mixing at Underworld Mixing & Production for £480.”

Sounds like a good deal and it’s a cosy wee studio to work in. We record our podcast s there which brings us on to the final piece of housekeeping.

You can hear September’s podcast with Andrea Marini on the mixcloud player below and look out for October’s podcast with Sparrow & The Workshop who are popping down to Elba tomorrow before their jaunt to Europe.

There’s always plenty to tell but that’ll do us for now. Look out in the next few days though, for a post about the aforementioned gig we’re helping to put on with one of our favourite bands and labels. It’s exciting stuff!

Bring The Noise

I quite liked that it was appropriate for me to use the title of a Public Enemy track for this post, y’know the song that Anthrax featured on?

Anyway, the title of the post isn’t about rap music, it’s about noisy stuff.

Firstly, we were delighted to see that our friends at Brain Burner, after a brief hiatus, have returned to The Liquid Ship for some more experimental noise gigs. The first in the current run will take place on Aug 14th with a 9pm start. On the bill are Now Wakes The Sea whose ‘lush ambient folk drones’ we gave a live debut to at one of our Elba gigs last year. There’s some free NWTS downloads here if you wish to have a listen. Also in the line-up is Boom Edan, Neil A.Simpson, Falconry and Uzuruzu. These nights are always ‘a little different’ and they’re free so get yourself along to it if you’re stuck for something

to do on the 14th! The event page is here.

Keeping on the same lines, we picked up this free download by The Masked Eldorados of the Americas recorded at the School of Noise in Falmouth. Now, that’s the second mention of Falmouth on this blog in the past few weeks, which is a bit strange for a blog based in Glasgow, but we came by this download after a recommendation from Lynch(ed) Records who are based down there. It turns out now that Lynch(ed) have ‘signed’ them up and they’ve got an EP out called If You Are Prepared To Eat It You Can Kill It.

The members of the band have been kept under lock and key with their live performance being performed by two men behind animal masks. Their numbers have now swelled to four and the EP sounds rather different to the live drone improvisation mentioned earlier. What we have on the E.P. is four instrumental ‘pop’ tracks lasting around 3-5 minutes each. It was absolutely not what I expected to sound like but it’s enjoyable listening with riffs and hooks abound. The tracks were all recorded remotely with each member retreating to their own home studio to bash out their parts of the record. It’s a worthy listen from a label who seem to really be putting out a really varying selection of music.

As a footnote, after going on to Lynch(ed) bandcamp I notice that they have the new single from Birdengine coming out at the end of this month. If you aren’t already familiar with Birdengine, we’d recommend you right that wrong.

Record Store Day 2011 – The Drift Record Shop

As I am sure most of you are aware, Record Store Day takes place next Saturday, 16th of April. We’ve decided here at Elba to scout around a bit and bring you some thoughts from Record Stores out with our locale. Today, we feature Drift Record Shop from Totnes in Devon. I’ve only ever made a ‘record store day purchase’ once before, I didn’t get up early last year to get the limited 7″‘s or anything but a couple of years ago, Drift Record Store gave away the Drift Records back catalogue, around eight albums, along with a few other bits and pieces. The majority of the artists I’d never heard of before but I now count several of these albums as some of my favourite albums, Tandy Hard – Tandy Hard, Birdengine and Thirty Pounds of Bone included.

We caught up with Rupert to get a bit more of a lowdown on Drift as well as getting his opinion on his favourite record store.

– Firstly, tell us a little about Drift and how you got started.

Drift has been in Totnes (small town in Devon) high-street since 1994, originally as a world music specialist but for the last decade specializing in contemporary rock/pop/indie/avant-garde/house/electronicia/minimalist/soundcape/disco… amongst others.

The label was a cottage industry that got too big too soon and got all caught up in the merky outskirts of the commercial music industry. We should have seen it coming, we should have know better.

The shop has always been run on a rolling 12/18 month schedule of the best new music we here and love to promote. We’re very lucky that we have such a good set of customers (or perhaps good fortune in that we’re one of only about five record shops in 600 square miles) and it has enabled us to get behind labels like Woodsist, Souterrain Transmissions, K, Holy Mountain, Anticon, Tri-Angle… support and stock people doing really special things. Not too bad for an indie record store in a tiny little conservative safe heaven in the farming countryside. We can pretty much do what we want and I think that people recognize that we care about… so keep coming back!

– You have an online store as well as the shop. Is it important for a

record shop to offer an online option in this day and age and do you find you get orders from all over the place?

We went online about 9 months back and it has been nice to meet more people that way also.

We decided that if we were to go online we’d have to keep up the friendly chit chat we do in the shop, so we concurrently launched a blog with audio samples, chit chat, videos… just all the good stuff we tell people about in the physical shop.

shop: www.thedriftrecordshop.co.uk
blog: www.driftrecordshop.com

– Does Drift have any plans for Record Store Day?

We’ve got a SMASH load of new music coming in so we’ll be trying to keep calm amongst the chaos of guys in denim looking for the illusive Queen 7″. Besides this we’ve been stock piling some great treats and we’re going to be dishing out (amongst other warehouse finds) Some rare Dungen vinyl, a couple of Warp Box Sets and a few copies of Thom York + Burial + Four Tet… so there’ll be some rare stuff flying about in the shop come Saturday 16th.

We broadcast a weekly radio show (www.radiohour.co.uk) and we’ll be doing a live show between 12pm – 1pm, covering a lot of the exclusive RSD releases.

In the night we’re taking the Drift Pop Up Shop to neighboring Dartington and putting on the first collaborative ‘Soundproof’ night. Headlining are the brilliant Zun Zun Egui.

Drift Record Shop DJ sets till late also

Come Sunday morning we’ll drunk still and have empty wallets and full record bags I am sure.

– You also have a label, Drift Records. How did this come about and do you find having it alongside the shop mutually benefits each endeavour?

The label came about primarily as a means to releasing my first album (The R.G.Morrison – Learning About Loathing) and just got a lot of good support. We’d put out Thirty Pounds of Bone and Birdengine pretty quick after that and we got some good momentum.

We’ve got some good support for what we do in Totnes and we’ve shifted thousands of the Collective album (compilation) we put out about five years ago; so it’s nice to have that local interest.

I think running the label made me very sympathetic in running the shop; I listen to all promos we get, I take things on sound not press release, spread the shelf space out a little… get behind things that maybe other shops don’t have the opportunity to. We root for the little guys!

– Some of my favourite albums in my collection were actually released on Drift, Tandy Hard and Thirty Pounds of Bone, do you have any future releases planned?

Thank you!

Well John (TPoB) is now working on his own label (Lynched) and recently put out an album on Armellodie (Le Reno Amps label in Glasgow). Birdengine is about to put out his own new album, Le Reno Amps also. Matt Eaton, Mary Hampton and Tandy Hard are all writing, Tom White is as busy as ever and I just licensed my new album out… so all doing things… just less collectively!

Drift Records is hibernating I guess; I certainly don’t doubt there will be a release we’ll want to put out again at some point, but to be honest I get much more of a kick out of running the shop. This coming Monday we have releases by; Alexander Tucker, Autechre, D Charles Speer and the Helix, Hauschka, The High Llamas, Little Scream, Low, Liturgy, Mazes, Old Calf, Ponytail, Sarabeth Tucek, Vivian Girls, Zomes, Metronomy, Robbie Robertson, Cat’s Eyes and TV On The Radio… it’s just so fast moving and a real joy to be involved in some small part with all of those albums… I am not sure I have the concentration for a three months press campaigns anymore!

… Having said all that I did only this week start looking into licensing Townes Van Zandt material plus I saw band called ‘Barr Brothers’ who really blow me away… so you never know!

– Other than Drift, of course, what’s your favourite record store and where is it located?

I am and have always been a huge fan of Rough Trade (“west” now). It’s just such a great outlet. Waterloo records in Austin Texas is very thorough and very friendly. Amoeba Music in LA is just something else… be careful!

I love record shops… I always make a point of going and meeting people in them. Spencer at Rough Trade is tireless, Simon Pure Groove is a genius and Stephen at Mono is a great guy also.

– Do you remember the first record store you visited and what you bought?

‘Our Price’ in Torquay – I remember going to buy Blur ‘Leisure’ … I did own ‘Substance’ before that… mmmm James maybe? Frank and Walters maybe? I also had ‘should I stay or should I go’ on 7″… that was quite early?

– What’s your preferred format?

Vinyl… A nice heavyweight 10″ always gets me most excited. I bought two copies of the ‘Factory Floor – Wooden Box 10″ ‘ as it was just so pretty.

Elba Annual 2010 – Thirty Pounds Of Bone

Instalment two in this year’s Elba Annual features one of our favourite musicians/persons/wanderer (delete as applicable) here at Elba. I came across Johny a few years ago when a friends band released a record on the same label as Johny had released his first album ‘The Homesick Children of Migrant Mothers‘. His music has since featured prominently at my wedding, we’ve had him and King James cohort Laurence up to play one of our nights at the aptly named Liquid Ship and now he’s gone and released an album on Armellodie Records. The record is called Method and it doesn’t need us to tell you that it’s bloody good.

If you haven’t yet sampled Thirty Pounds of Bone, we’d really urge you to. As a wee treat, and we don’t do this often round these parts, you can download The Jonah Shanty which Johny recorded at Elba Studios during our podcast in February. This track is taken from his EP released last year on Woodland Recordings. And apologies for the size of the file. The blame firmly lies with Stephen at Elba Studios for that!!!

Hello Elba Sessions, I’ll probably change my mind about all of this tomorrow, but nevertheless:

Album of The YearThis is really tough…. Not because there’s a lot to choose from, but because I’ve not paid attention. I’ve listened to a lot of Harry Parch, and lots of really old field recordings. Will that do? No? Ok. Both ‘The Scottish Enlightenment’ and the ‘Super Adventure Club’ albums are great, and I’m not just saying that. Oh, I don’t know, the three records I like the most aren’t out yet but I suppose I’ll big them up anyway. ‘Lakes, Meres, Ponds and Waters’ by the Diamond Family Archive, ‘Music at Court’ by Birdengine, and SBL. Worthy of a mention also are Chris T-T’s ‘Love is Not Rescue’ and the Great Park’s ‘If You Can Hold It You Can Throw It’.

Best GigI had a great gig in Berlin, but I’m ashamed to say I can’t remember the name of the venue. cheap uk viagra It was the first night of a run of shows and I was nervous and tipsy, and I jabbered and stuttered like a fool. Luckily the audience forgave me and were great. It was one of those gigs that could collapse at any moment, so you have to concentrate almost till you pass out. Those are the best. I should also mention Hasenschaukel in Hamburg. The Audience and Staff were just impossibly kind. A great night.

Best Gig (by someone else…) Absolutely no question on this one and I’m sorry to those people who also did amazing shows, but this was just amazing. Bygrayvpartynmyrytarm at the Performance Centre at Tremough in Cornwall. Jaw droppingly brilliant. Possibly the best guitarist on earth as well, which is to not even get to the drummer and extraordinary frontman/ synth player.

Favourite New Band(s)See above. There’s also a young songwriter down here I’ve got my eye on. Proper writer.

Musical Memories of 2010mostly E flat major and all associated minor chords in and around that key. Drones in C. Not singing quite as well as I’d like. Harry Parch, and Ewan Macoll singing ‘Isles O Sicily’.

Hopes/Plans (music) for 2011Tour in the UK as much as possible, sell out of copies of this new album, finish writing and most of the recording of the next one. I’m very excited about it. It’s in three different places. There’s lot’s of field recording and guest players. A much more complicated kind of thing. I’d like to do another King James album. Laurence and I are discussing another, slightly different collaboration. There’ll be loads. Oh, and an album of trad songs for Woodland Recordings, some recording with ‘Danny Kendal’, maybe something exciting with Le Reno Amps and hopefully a full band album for Chris T-T too. Busy busy.

‘Method’ is released on Armellodie on Monday 6th December and you can pick up your copy at the Armellodie store.

Thanks to Stephen at Woodland for the following link! Most kind!

Download The Jonah Shanty – mp3 – 5.54mb

The Jonah Shanty (Elba Sessions – Feb 2010) by elbasessions