D. Charles Speer – Arghiledes – Thrill Jockey
We don’t claim to know much of the history of Greek music, but if it sounded like this (apparently this is steeped in it) then we fully endorse the toga and laurel-wearing brigade.
Blatant disregard for historical periods and accuracy there but who cares, this is great music. Relying on an impressive array of traditional Greek instruments (trichordo bouzouki, baglamas, worry bead percussion etc), brings the sound of the underground dens of early 20th century Greece to fruition, where otherwise if we’re be honest, it would have gone unnoticed by a large portion of us. The package is equally as impressive as Shuford’s work. Housed in paste on thick card cover, 11” comprehensive sleeve notes and that winning extra download coupon I can’t see why anyone wouldn’t want it.
For some reason its reminding us of Ilyas Ahmeds’ otherworldly guitar pickings or the eastern flecked work of Dr. Lloyd Miller, it seems like it could sit in with some of the work coming from the Honest Jons camp just as well. Superb record.
Ed Askew – Imperfiction – Drag City
Drag City going backwards to add to their forwards moving outsider folk roster. Does that make sense? Askews recording at the turn of the 60’s have never really penetrated the ground they so easily could have, another collection of lost test pressings and tapes that never saw the light of day. In fact up until recent re-issues and a resurgence of interest in Askews work only his 1968 album ‘Ask The Unicorn’ saw a commercial release, that being on the relatively jazz based ESP-Disk, perhaps ill timing and label association causing it to fall into relative obscurity.
However, over the following decades Askews music has percolated through the conscious of weirdo folksters and…er…not so weirdo music fans due to its undoubted enduring quality. Drag City being us more of Askews forgotten works that he pieced together in the early 80’s with a 2-track recorder, a harpsichord and a tiple. The tape hiss is prevalent but it’s that sonic quality, that every second new chillwave group are trying so hard to capture, that adds to its lo-fi greatness. Fans of Smog and the likes should be checking this out.
Gary Higgins – A Dream A While Back – Drag City
Two nil to the city this week. Should I write the same story as above again and substitute in Higgins? You get the picture and what Drag City are up to in these last few months. They have gone back to a period before the ‘Red Hash’ re-issue of Higgins work that they released a few years back. Perhaps with more in common with the psychedelic rock/folk worlds that Ed Askews folk leanings, it’s a collection of calm and immeasurably listen-able psyche tinged 70’s folk…and its beautiful. Its sounding like a more tripped out Dennis Wilson right at this very second.
Buy From Dragcity
All the above are available from Plugd Records temporary home at an Realt Dearg on Barrack Street between the trading and boozing hours of 4 and 8pm on Friday and Saturdays. Come say hello and get some folk on.