Goldmund’s “Sometimes”

goladmund - sometimes

Dave S. SoDo

My first encounter with Goldmund’s entrancing piano ballads came in late 2005. Months after his debut release, “Corduroy Road,” a slow-paced stroll through the vast fields of a reflective, sentimental mind of a man and, almost exclusively, his piano. In the years following, he went on to create a few similarly cerebral, yet indescribably relatable and nostalgic works which placed a magnifying glass on the piano and its timeless ability to convey wide-ranging emotion and build powerful, distinctive narratives. By eschewing lyrical explanation and large-scale ensemble arrangements, Goldmund came to rely, time and time again, on a single instrument to deliver stories, moods, and sketches of sound that appeared superficially devoid of personality and purpose. However, as with books depriving us of sight or silent film depriving us of voice or its tone, we are provided a blank sheet of dots which we are asked as listeners to connect, to illustrate our own distinctly recognizable, personal forms.
With his newest work, entitled “Sometimes,” Goldmund has managed to create what I would consider to be the spiritual successor to Jon Hopkins and King Creosote’s five-year-old masterpiece and achingly beautiful ode to autumn, “Diamond Mine.” While a newer generation of neoclassical talents, such as the aforementioned Jon Hopkins, as well as Ólafur Arnolds, Nils Frahm, etc., have been known to integrate the majesty of thought-provoking ambience with their predilection for beat-oriented, bass-driven dance music, soundscape veterans like William Basinski, Wolfgang Voigt, for instance, have continued to expand on their minimalist admiration of the instruments and techniques they hold so dear, and have done so with astonishingly brilliant results. Goldmund seeks to follow in the footsteps of the latter group of artists, expounding the dynamic folk instrumentation of “Diamond Mine,” replacing its serene, sepia-toned landscape with a drenched, grayed-out grandeur, evoking many of the feelings and imagery I personally receive from the wet, wonderful city in which I reside. This album is the quintessential rainy day rover – a slow-burning, murky and sensuous journey through the marshes of one’s soul; if ever there were an official soundtrack to the lush nature of this gorgeous state of Washington, this is it.
Wandering through a sprawling wilderness of cool, refreshing foliage, we are made mindful of each piano key that drops, like a water droplet onto a canopied leaf above us. With a track such as “Getting Lighter,” we ambulate the forest floor, occasionally pausing to catch our breath, cherishing the moment and appreciating all that surrounds us, just before crossing paths with another – pioneering sound-designer and composer, Ryuichi Sakamoto, for the following track, “A Word I Give.” This brief instance of collaboration seems inconsequential, but as its chords fade out into an echoing haze, we become aware of the dual vulnerability and splendor that comes with solitude and personal journey. The album continues to drift through dense patches of fog and damp beds of moss unwilling to resolve or provide closure for its listeners. Instead of explanation and direction, we are left to navigate forward, with the only compass being the vague hints of song titles given: “In The Byre,” “The Hidden Observer,” “The Wind Wings,” “To Be Fair & True,” and, “Vision.” Such track names serve as chapter descriptors along our walk – never a conclusive, identifiable landmark, but, somewhat of a means to an end, or, simply, a deep, inner meditation on an imagined idea or place.
“Sometimes” does not provide a profound statement or denouement for its listener’s adventure through the wilds, but serves as a hallmark for wonderment, curiosity and one’s own introspection. We may not know where we are going or what we will accomplish upon getting there, but it is obvious Goldmund seems to want us to appreciate every step we take alongside every thought and breath we expense, en route.

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Will Johnson’s “Swan City Vampires”

SwanCityVampires

Joshua Daniel

Rest in peace goes to Centromatic,the Denton, Texas, band is a staple in my record collection. Last year the band decided to call it quits. I was heartbroken, though hopeful for future projects from members of the band. Will Johnson, the singer for Centromatic had released a couple of solo records in the past and has just released his newest record “Swan City Vampires”.
“Swan City Vampires” is a refinement on Centromatic and other Will Johnson solo material. The album opens up with an instrumental piano piece featuring a heavy reverberated noise. It’s a new styling for Johnson who has often played it safe with acoustic guitars and voice only on previous albums. The 2nd track heads straight into classic guitar and vocals you can come to expect.
Will Johnson is best known as a songwriter. He is somewhat of a hidden gem in a field of songwriters though. This year, he has benefited from a reissue campaign of his previous 2 albums on vinyl. Both albums were particularly amazing in their own right. “Swan City Vampires” does not disappoint. If you are looking for strong songwriting you can always count on Will Johnson. A lot of the songs remind me of the Molina / Johnson collaborative record that came out years ago. “Nameless but a Lover” is my absolute favorite track on this album and draws obvious influence from a shared favorite artist of both Johnson and I “Songs: Ohia”. The dingy blues riffs along with moon references in lyrics show a nod to a friend that passed to early. Another classically beautiful styling is the track “Multnomah”. The soft acoustic guitar and melody is on point.
I highly recommend “Swan City Vampires” and both his other reissues “Vultures Await” and “Murder of Tides”. If you enjoy folk rock or singer songwriters, be advised Will Johnson is on top of his games and only stands to continue to gain more fans. Silver Platters has all these records in stock on my accord, and really please just buy them.

Youth Lagoon’s “Savage Hills Ballroom”

Youth Lagoon

Joshua Daniel

Youth Lagoon (stage name for Idaho musician Trevor Powers) has been an apparent secret in the independent lofi circle. His debut album “The Year of Hibernation” was recommended to me by a Silver Platters employee that has, for the most part, sworn off music post 1978, calling it “shite.” Questioning the selection from this particular employee “Really, this… from you…? Are you sure?” After he reassured me of his recommendation I purchased the album. The album was heavy in lofi tendencies and reminded me somewhat of Daniel Johnston. The second album, “Wondrous Bughouse” delved more into my area of psych. I became a believer.
Then something happened. I had a change of plans, sold more than a third of my record collection and swore I would not buy or replace a record unless I loved it. I’ve really stuck to this moto for the last year and it’s working well for me. Though, I have missed out on many limited edition pressings and whatnot, I am more pleased with my music collection. One of my selected purchases happens to be the new Youth Lagoon record “Savage Hills Ballroom”.
The “Savage Hills Ballroom” record is really a swan song of an artist. All the heavy dirges in psych are still there. Production is marked up. Sometimes the guitar reminds me of Death Cab For Cutie. Songwriting is not cheesy like many over produced artists. The songs are well written and lead you in with their leaps and valleys. You can tell by this album that Youth Lagoon is heading places. Who knows where to? Maybe he will cease to be after this point.
You really owe it to yourself to discover this band and this is the record to do it with. I could safely recommend this album to my father and feel good about it. There really is something for everyone on this record. This really simply is an artist masterpiece. BUY THIS RECORD!

Decibel Festival Preview

Decibel Line-up

Dave S.

This year marks the twelfth installment of Seattle’s premier electronic music festival, Decibel Festival, and its plethora of top-tier showcases and events are not to be missed! Each year, the festival rolls out the red carpet for some of the best, most exciting, new and veteran electronic music acts from across the globe alongside those making a mark locally. Dazzling, visually-oriented performances, chilled-out DJ sets, and bumping after parties are sprinkled throughout the downtown area for a series of nights guaranteed to leave a lasting impression.

Kid-Smpl

Starting things off the night of Wednesday, September 23rd at Re-bar, local heroes, Kid Smpl & Raica will both be performing audio/visual sets before, Warp Records legend; Richard Devine takes the stage for a modular-based audio/visual set that will certainly raise eyebrows and moods alike. Hours later, over at Showbox Market our city will see just what all the hubbub is about when Nicolas Jaar takes the main stage for one of his highly touted DJ sets.

Clark

The following night, a slew of killer talent takes to multiple venues, with one of the most thrilling producers alive, Clark, and grade-A entertainer extraordinaire Dan Deacon place live audio-visual sets at Showbox Market. If perhaps, you prefer a bit more left-field and diverse showcase then Re-bar is the place for you. There, local talent, Bardo:Basho will cook up a spellbinding ambient stew before New-Mexico-via-Montana producer Experimental Housewife entrances with mesmerizing psychedelic techno, before Brooklyn’s Young Ejecta, Portland’s Natasha Kmeto and one of Planet Mu Records most inventive new footwork-inspired producers hailing from Indiana, Jlin, enchant the building for what is sure to be one of the best nights of music offered at the festival this year.

Autechre

Friday, September 25th packs a monstrous wallop, with Russian-based Dasha Rush taking Neumos attendees of the Lucid Dream showcase on a journey into the subconscious, before Recondite lays it down for a live performance not to be missed; but that is not to say that Showbox Market does not demand your attention when an, ultra-rare, U.S. performance from a pair of the most notable, frenetic sound technicians, Autechre, headline a Resident Advisor showcase. If you’ve ever yearned for a clone of yourself so that you could partake in two festivities, simultaneously, Friday night might just be the nudge you need to finalize such medical breakthroughs… though, it might be a tad easier to simply line-up an Uber ride to accommodate both outings, instead.

Dasha Rush

Saturday night brings Dasha Rush back to the lovely Triple Door, as she and Tim Hecker conjure up live audio-visual spectacles that will leave you both speechless and inspired. Later, you can choose to mellow-out at Showbox Market for chilled-out live sets from Bellingham-native Manatee Commune, L.A.’s multitalented producer responsible for some of the more lush and alluring acts occurring at the fest this year. Taylor McFerrin, finished off with a delectable dessert DJ set a la Britain’s Bonobo. If you’re looking to trade-in your elegant eclecticism for a more forthright, four-to-the-floor Berlin techno onslaught, then look no further than the Kompakt-curated showcase, when Dauwd, John Tejada and Agoria accelerate the BPM as they raise the roof over at Neumos.

The brilliance of Decibel Fest does not just lie in its perfectly-curated line-up or its multi-venue accommodations and array of performance options, but in its desire to cater to as many different music appreciators and their given taste predilections, regardless of their affinity for electronic music as a whole. Whether you prefer mellow ambiance to banging, stupefying rhythms, or unique takes on catchy pop over mind-altering experiments into the extreme and earth-shaking tumults of noise, Decibel Fest always seeks to give its attendees a chance to take what they know and love and offer-up umpteen opportunities to expand one’s musical tastes and comfort zones. This year promises to season the town with vibrant flavors of new and old, with temperature options ranging from cool, mellow refreshment to the zestiest of flaming-hot sensations. Your minds’ and ears’ appetites have been growing, steadily, and in just a few weeks, it will be time to feed them well! Checkout www.dbfestival.com for a comprehensive rundown on the festival program, tickets, information and more!! #dB2015 #dBfestival

Naomi Shelton & The Gospel Queens’ “Cold World”

Naomi Shelton

Joshua Daniel

In mid 2014 I picked up Naomi Shelton & The Gospel Queen’s “Cold World” from Silver Platters based solely on the cover and the hype sticker Daptone Records placed on it. The sticker read that this record contained, “Soul music of the highest caliber.” I brought the record home and spun it. I then spun it again and again. I have not been able to put this record down. I even recommended this album to at least 6 friends that ask for my help with music. They immediately asked me to buy them a copy.

Born in the 40’s Naomi Shelton is an old school gospel singer. She started her career in church choirs and moved to adapt a soul sound to gospel music. Her music is akin to The Staple singers in many ways lyrically. The production on “Cold World” is spot on with Gabriel Roth running the show. You can expect the typical slick Daptone production you have heard with Sharon Jones, Charles Bradley and the Budos Band. Many of Daptone’s house players lend a hand in instrumentation.

Though this is a soul record I would almost label it folk lyrically. Most songs describe the trials of the world and rising up above the smoke. Other songs are devotional songs praising Jesus. Although, I am not a Christian I find this music to stands up above its religious undertones. It must be said this record was recorded in Mono. That holds some significance because this album would fit in and rival any soul or gospel music put out before it.

Have you paid attention to Charles Bradley on KEXP or maybe Sharon Jones? I feel that this record deserves the same attention as either of those two artists. Surprisingly there are copies still floating around in each of the Silver Platters locations. Go pick this record up and put it on your turntable or in your cd player and turn the music up. You literally will receive a smile on your face and a warm feeling in your heart after listening.

Hit It Big with Liliput and the Vinyl Junkie

liliputLP

The Vinyl Junkie & Liliput

During 1978 in the ashes of punk rock, a series of alternative, hard-edged bands such as Wire, Gang of Four and others formed to keep the edge of British punk alive in Europe. Liliput, (originally named Kleenex), became an all-female vanguard of this new wave.
The band line-up included Regula Sing on vocals; guitarist Marlene Marder (Marlene Marti); Klaudia Schiff on bass and guitar; and drummer Lislot Ha (Lieselotte Hafner). After an EP on a small Swiss label, the foursome signed to the progressive and important British cooperative label, Rough Trade, and in 1978 released their debut single, “Ain’t You.”
By 1982, armed with new vocalist Chrigle Freund, the Swiss band released their first, self-titled LP (Rough Trade 43). This extremely hard-to-find record, for sale at Silver Platters, showcases the brittle, tense, post-punk era and additionally features one of the best all-female groups that arose during and after the punk explosion. It includes such post-punk classics as “Do You Mind My Dream,” “In a Mess,” and “Feel Like Snakes, Twisting Through the Fog.”
Along with such bands as the Slits, Liliput defined female rock during the period and should not be overlooked! If you enjoy early Wire and even the more popish B-52s, you must have this record.

Dave Szatmary

Author of “Rockin’ In Time”

The Vinyl Junkie Reviews Gerry Mulligan’s “Mainstream Of Jazz”

Gerry Mulligan

The Vinyl Junkie

I want to point you to a very rare and wonderful album that has been underpriced at Silver Platters. Hopefully, it will still be in stock when you arrive. It’s a near mint copy of Gerry Mulligan & His Sextet called the “Mainstream of Jazz” on the original Emarcy label 36101.
As the jazz cognoscente know, Mulligan helped pioneer the cool school of jazz with Miles Davis on the “Birth of Cool” album and then subsequently took his piano-less quartet, featuring the great Chet Baker, from the West Coast to national stardom during the 1950s.
This LP highlights the great, innovative baritone sax of Mulligan with a different cast of sidemen, including the sax master Zoot Sims, bassist Bill Crow, drummer Dave Bailey, Bobby Brookmeyer on trombone and either the under-recorded Jon Eardley or Don Ferrara on trumpet. The sextet bops through six tunes, including “Igloo,” ”Blue at the Roots” and “Elevation.” All of the songs were recorded in New York City between January and September 1956.
Quite honestly, it doesn’t get much better than this album, if you happen to be a fan of bop and cool West Coast jazz. If you want even more material from this session, try to find the now out-of-print volumes 2 and 3 on Japanese only releases. Silver Platters might have them on CD.

Dr, Dave Szatmary

Author Of

Rockin’ In Time