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MELOMANIA takes you back to school with an INTERVIEW with Lorelei K. and
some albums - you just gotta hear.
BEHIND THE RED DOOR
We want to tell you what goes into this. We really do. BUT. We really hope it comes out in the music you listen to as a result of reading and sampling these artists. The hope is to be shared and we are thankful you have found time to do that.
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As we mentioned before (and will continue to push - sorry,) the singles REALLY need a home. It is not that the album is subpar (although, some turn out to be,) it is that in the past, we savored those singles for a long time. It is the first bite. The initial sip of wine with all the trimmings. Barely a paragraph, but enough to get a YEA! or nay.
On with this show.
CLASS - 2-4-1 [CS](Feel It!/Drunken Sailor UK)
Phoenix, AZ’s Class is a thoroughly brilliant find in Punky Rock. Note that. Not Punk Rock - but spiky, well-composed, ROCK. On this compilation of their early EPs and more, Class mix brattiness (those magical shouty vocals that make you think you lost this in 1978) and brains (the breaks, the build, and the solo on their standout “Inspect The Receipt.) Dig deeper and you will find wounded love songs with Flamin’ Groovies chime and charm (“Laughing Into The Night,”) and punchy Seventies raunchy Rock (the doubled guitar bliss of “Wrong Side of Town.”) Then, it’s like they hit the gas and “No News Could Please” is Power Punk Pop with windmill-ready riffs and a Soft Boys-ian swell. “Grid Stress” actually shows some restraint, but it is only a red light because Class winds it up with the blaring, blazing (and what a title!) “Cockney Rebel vs. The Cult” leaving you adrenaline-filled and bleary-eyed and howling “I wanted more!”
NONDI_ - Flood City Trax [LP](Planet Mu)
Pennsylvania-based synthesist Tatiana Triplin is out to create her own brand of Electronic Music. While it needs to sound familiar for comparison, "Flood City Trax" is at its best when Triplin lets her ideas flow in opposition to working on sculpting a new sound. Opener "FCD (Floaty Cloud Dream,)” is Nondi_'s Boards of Canada-ish excursion. Unlike other Electronic composers, she uses the deep synth sounds (and the square-wave ones) to create the "twinkle" and then turns up the straight, skittering EDM-near-Garage beats for intensity. The effect is putting the track "on hold" (for lack of a better phrase) where Nondi_ places you in the twilight and makes the most subtle changes never letting you know that we are about to flirt with House music. Nondi_'s other tracks vacillate in and out of this pattern, always challenging you to follow the quiet evolution of sound throughout a song. As you approach the second side, Nondi_ really mixes in some beautiful parts. "Healing Rain" is a standout that blends off-kilter knob-twirling squeaks with lush but lo-fi jazzy chords. "Dusty" goes even farther into weirdness with out-of-rhythm beats meeting intermittently around the uptempo hidden melody before drifting away into the unknown. However, it is the freedom of "Nostalgic Vision" where Nondi_ showcases a unique "less is more" composition style. Like Seventies Electronics from Tangerine Dream or Klaus Schulze, "Vision" is about the composer and listener being content with what is playing. When Nondi_ reaches this halfway point, there will be no stopping this promising new artist.
MOVE BHC - Black Radical Love [LP](Triple B)
Boston’s Move BHC joins the growing mass of reactionary/creative Bad Brains HC-style bands with the blazing message album “Black Radical Love.” Its sound bites (“Radical”) actually unify the songs making it into one lengthy jeremiad with a chilly undertone. “Trojan Horse” blasts through even at its slow tempo with Metallic stops. “Imperialist Reign” even sneaks in a slinky Hip-Hop-ish syncopated beat and some Funkadelic-ish wobble. “Ode To The Pit” could be an early Nineties Punk/Alt single with its 16-to-the-bar swing and MTV-ready chorus. However, the beating heart of “Love” is the shape-shifting swirling Punk of “Radical” and how it burns straight through its ending straight into the martial/Fugazi-esque buzzsaw of “1,000,000 Experiments.” “Black Radical Love” presses its importance continuously, Move BHC is an astonishing medium for the message.
GET TO KNOW: LORELEI K.
With chilly Goth-leaning love songs, Dallas’ Lorelei K. is translating poetry into music. Listen to the melodies on “Gucci Doom” (out now on Idol Records,) and they “talk” in the same manner Jazz musicians often use while soloing. After ten years as a local musician in the Dallas and Denton areas, “Gucci Doom” offers the world at large a Dais Records-like artist capable of warming coldwave-ish music into dark torch songs.
MELOMANIA: Your music is a little warmer temperature-wise than most Coldwave, do you find writing these songs and then recording them was like two different levels of control?
LORELEI K.: I recognize some warmth to tracks like “Gucci Doom” and “Phantom Writer”, but generally, the temperature of these songs is colder than anything we’ve put out before, especially in lyrical content. I believe the words that I wrote were really bold but a lot of the delivery was softer, and I like that juxtaposition.
MELOMANIA: Who are your influences going into writing the album? We hear Cocteau Twins and the dramatic side of PJ Harvey.
LORELEI K.: I like a lot of dreampop, grunge, shoegaze, and slowcore. I was listening to Weyes Blood, Have a Nice Life, Björk, Radiohead, Lana Del Rey, Slowdive… all over the place—anything with an emotional delivery and darkness to it.
MELOMANIA: When you want people to understand your music. What song do you find is the best introduction and why?
LORELEI K.: It may seem obvious since it’s the title track, but to me “Gucci Doom” is one of our best songs. It’s anthemic and sexy and I’m really proud of how it came together. Most of my lyrics are really autobiographical and these are a strong example of that. It’s honest and raw but doesn’t sacrifice fullness, a big atmosphere, and complex layers in its honesty.
MELOMANIA: When you were recording the album “Gucci Doom,” were there points in mixing (especially) where you went with a “less is more” philosophy to get your message across through implication?
LORELEI K.: I think Michael Briggs made these tracks feel more sophisticated than our previous work together. I remember specifically while recording vocals for “I Want To Be Alone,” my instinct was to belt the choruses and make them as melodramatic and vocally athletic as possible, on top of exaggeratedly wet reverb and delay. But what he pushed for and what it ended up being was much softer in delivery and simpler in mixing. I appreciated what he heard in the song and across the album when mixing it.
MELOMANIA: How much freedom do you have over these tracks when you play them live. Do you use backing tracks or drum machines or could you just turn a ballad like the title cut into piano only?
LORELEI K.: Most often we perform to tracks because of the modularity of the band. However, Lorelei K. at its roots is experimental and I’m not shying away from performing solo or in drag or with a full symphony backing us. I really believe our live sound and structure evolve constantly on artistic and technical levels. Freedom is important to me.
MELOMANIA: Our standout from your album is “Dancing In The Flames”. You really emphasize the emotion and the loss of it especially when you blaze through that ending. How did you come up with the idea to just pour it all out for the conclusion?
LORELEI K.: “Dancing in the Flames” is about the wish to escape daily life and pursue a higher journey, something too romantic to be real. I wanted it to feel mythical and alluring but also so dark and feral.
MELOMANIA: Is there a cut on here that you feel really opened up how you wanted the whole album to sound? Maybe gave it cohesion?
LORELEI K.: I think “Bodies Falling” brings the album together nicely. Or “Original Sin.” Themes of feeling strung out, having high hopes and losing faith in them, and enduring pain gracefully are all present here in these songs, and throughout the record.
MELOMANIA: What are you doing next? Can we expect another album like “Gucci Doom” perhaps a “different color and temperature?”
LORELEI K.: You can expect another album but I don’t think it sounds anything like “Gucci Doom” to be honest. at least it doesn’t so far. We’ll see where it takes us.
Lorelei K. is currently on tour on the West Coast. “Gucci Doom” is out now on CD from Idol Records and coming in October on vinyl. For more information, visit Lorelei K. ONLINE. Thank you to Lorelei K. for taking the time for this interview.
LONDON ODENSE ENSEMBLE - Live at Jaiyede Jazz Festival [LP](El Paraiso DEN)
When Causa Sui's expansive Prog Rock is interested in several of the best up-and-coming from the vibrant London Jazz Underground, you get the London Odense Ensemble. Over three lengthy explorations at this recent Jazz Festival, LOE finds that seam that Seventies Prog Rock artists once used to "interpret" Jazz. The fifteen minutes of the opener "Energy Ascending" is a brilliant assessment of how Prog/Jazz can take flight. Too often, a long song is used to give everyone a chance to speak their piece. LOE are at their best when they layer their grooves. Bass, drums, and piano usher in the track after a perfectly timed flute introduction. With its Psychedelic bluesy shuffle, players enter before the whole new thing starts to peak around five minutes. The next phase is to maintain this energy, much like a plane locating its cruising altitude, speaking figuratively, LOE wants to make you feel how light it is in the clouds. Certainly, there is a lot of guitar wobble, drum fills, and more to let lost in - but the saxophone of Tamar Osborn is beckoning you like a human voice. Before you take comfort in this guiding light, you must know that some Coltrane-esque runs and thunder are on the way. When LOE let their tracks grow big (the same can be said for the Psych freakout on "Sojourner,") it is not to overwhelm. (Where they do want to overtake your thoughts comes later on the closer "Exit Momentum" as the chaotic organ finds its way into Eastern modes and runs that sound mystical.) However, before you know it, "Energy Ascending" has begun its descent and London Odense Ensemble brings you safely back to the tarmac ready for another cosmic Prog/Jazz adventure.
FIDDLEHEAD - Death Is Nothing To Us [LP/CD](Run For Cover)
Ever since the Punks rediscovered their ability to be both Hardcore and anthemic, we have been treated to some excellent (and still very commercial) music. Boston’s Fiddlehead is the latest in the line of sharp, hooky bands that translate the tenets of Hardcore (the grizzled yowl) into tangled-guitar-led fist-pumping Rock. Like Militarie Gun, Fiddlehead gives every song nearly everything they have. “Sleepyhead” and its Nineties post-jangle grind, the drum breaks on “Loserman,” and the slow majesty of “Welcome To The Situation” have their roots in Quicksand, Jawbox, Helmet, and the mighty Fugazi. However, because they found some pugilistic hooks to swing at you - connection is everything. Their best hope for success is the Turnstile-ish “Sullenboy.” While its chorus thunders out like the aforementioned band, the simple fact that they turn it slightly atonal first and then wallop you with the crisp guitars is theirs alone. Add to that the furious, masterfully orchestrated build before the end and you have a show closer that will leave the throng breathless.
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