Friday, September 25, 2009

love in an elevator, livin it up when i'm goin down.


not long ago my friend ethan rilly played host for a fantastic night of food, booze music and most importantly his beautiful illustrations at the freedom clothing collective. if you get a chance check out his book pope hats, it's fantastic.

the night went well. people chatted, bought art, chatted more, bought more art and just generally cavorted and capered. i think it went off without a hitch and the lovely and talented ladies of the fcc were so nice and accommodating that i feel like i didn't say thank you enough. it was a pleasure to meet (alphabetically seems the fairest way to do this) amanda, amy, ewa and karen and it was great talking to them through out the night.

on to the music though, ethan asked me to help dj the evening which did not go according to plan sadly. the gear i brought decided that it didn't like to output sound (that's what i get for going laptop and crappy torq controller) so in true "the show must go on" fashion my work around meant having to bump everything out to a playlist and fire it out in itunes. i was not impressed. the program (torq) is actually pretty amazing but the entry level sound interface is a piece of shit. whilst trying to figure out what the hell was wrong with it and helping whistlestop, (who may or may not have changed their name to/from bear layer but i'm kind of out of the loop on that business) a sweet little folky three piece featuring instrumental goodies such as banjo and ACCORDION (if you know me you probably have heard me express my undying love for this instrument)set up, i had a chance to chat with vangel.

vangel is the kind of person that i just don't meet often enough. he's good at what he does, knows the technical aspects of how he does what he does, knows and knows about the other people that are doing similar things and is just a super nice guy. he was good enough to let me hitch a ride on his mixer in between sets and the rest of the time we talked shop.
i like his approach because he sounds like he has a lot more fun making music than most musicians i've known over the years. vangel's e.p. biblio is available on itunes, emusic, finetunes.net and as a limited edition 5&1/4 inch floppy from 5&1/4 records. the album was pieced together from private and public library collections and recorded with top session musicians. it's a jazz record which you probably wouldn't guess at first if you've heard some of vangel's other work. his live set for ethan's show was more of an improvised breaks and glitch performance.
my favourite tag line for the biblio ep is "cheesy yet serious, like hipster scarves". i'd contest this because i don't think the album is cheesy at all. there might be a hint of st. germaine (and let's be honest, st. germaine gets pretty cheesy at times) here and there but this album has it's own voice. there are samples but i'm happy to say that i dont recognize any of them or they've been replayed to fit the composition. i'm not the foremost authority on jazz but i've listened to too many sample heavy records, sample libraries and everything else to not hear familiar loops on a regular basis. this leads me to a second regular occurrence and that's telegraphing.
have you ever listened to a song and knew what was coming next? i'm sure it's happened at least once and probably more often for some of you but it's kind of disappointing when you can do it at all. some musicians write their songs specifically so the listener can sing a long and has all of their expectations met neatly with no surprises. i can't say i enjoy that often. i like hearing things that don't make sense. i want to know how someone made that noise or what they used to sequence everything. i want them to drop the beat out from under us or change the tempo or blast us with noise or something and biblio did that. it was a fun ride that i just didn't see coming for the majority of the album.
survey says: go buy this thing now! ok preview it first if you don't trust my word, which you should, then go buy this now.
(also, i don't know why blogspot does this all the time but it has decided to ignore paragraph spacing for the last half of this post. if you know how to fix this i would love to hear from you.)

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