Archive for the ‘Interviews’ Category

Myths, God and Tori Amos on Echoes Tonight

June 3, 2014

Hear an interview with Tori Amos tonight on Echoes.

Tori Amos on Echoes

Tori Amos on Echoes

Since we had Tori Amos on the air live two weeks ago, she’s enjoyed some of the greatest acclaim of her career.  Her new CD, Unrepentant Geraldine went into Billboard’s Top 200 and the singer has garnered some of her best reviews in years.  You can hear her talk about it all tonight on Echoes.

Tori Amos is an icon among singer-songwriters.  Her 1992 solo debut, Little Earthquakes still resonates more than 22 years later and now that she’s hit 50, Amos is showing no signs of mellowing in a music that is as politically and socially charged and as musically adventurous as ever.  Two weeks ago she released Unrepentant Geraldines, an album that modulates concepts of aging, sexism, religion and love, although that might sometimes be hate.

unrepentant-geraldines-cover-art_200
Two weeks ago,  I sat down with Amos in the bowls of Manhattan, literally.  We were in Subculture, a new performance space in the basement of a 117 year old building.  The venue is settled in industrial art decor, with massive exposed support pillars with bolts the size of my calves and the rumble of New York’s subway seemingly a few inches under my feet.  Listen close and you can hear their growl.

After performing an exclusive live set for us, which you can hear at Echoes On-Line, Tori sat down to talk about Unrepentant Geraldines, religion, myths and turning 50.

WHERE & HOW TO LISTEN TO ECHOES

Echoes is on different stations, on different days and different times.

You can listen locally or stream-live from our many stations’ websites: http://www.echoes.org/stattime.html

You can also stream it on-demand from Echoes On-line, our streaming subscription service.

You can sign up for a 1 week trial of unlimited streaming for $2.99 here: http://www.echoes.org/online-oneweektrial.html

Or you can sign up for a full subscription here: http://www.echoes.org/aboutonline.html

John Diliberto (((echoes)))

life_cover_250Join the Echoes CD of the Month Club. and get Carl Weingarten’s  Life Under Stars, the June CD of the Month. You’ll get great CDs and help support Echoes at the same time. You can do it all right here.

OR
Pick Up 
TRANSMISSIONS:
THE ECHOES LIVING ROOM CONCERTS VOLUME 19

LRC19-250pxJoin us on Facebook where you’ll get all the Echoes news so you won’t be left behind when Dead Can Dance appear on the show, Tangerine Dream tours or Brian Eno drops a new iPad album. Or Follow us on Twitter@echoesradio.

Now you can go Mobile with Echoes On-Line. Find out how you can listen to Echoes 24/7 wherever you are on your iPhone, iPad or Droid.

 

 

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Stars Shine in Tonight Sky on Echoes Tonight

May 28, 2014
Jason Holstrom in the Cabana

Jason Holstrom in the Cabana

Tonight Sky remains one of my favorite and most curiously neglected albums of the last year.  Hear why you should love this music tonight on Echoes.

Jason Holstrom has been on the Seattle music since the turn of the millennium playing in groups like Wonderful and United States of Electronica. TonightSkyBut none of that music would prepare you for the serenely feel good vibrations of his project,Tonight Sky.  He’s taken Beach Boys harmonies and sent them into electronica space.  In Seattle, I surf the music of Tonight Sky with Jason Holstrom tonight on Echoes.

Tell me that this song doesn’t just make you feel good.

Tonight Sky – Bonfire from Tonight Sky on Vimeo.

John Diliberto (((echoes)))

WHERE & HOW TO LISTEN TO ECHOES

Echoes is on different stations, on different days and different times.
You can listen locally or stream-live from our many stations’ websites.
You can also stream it on-demand from Echoes On-line, our streaming subscription service.  You can sign up for a 1 week trial of unlimited streaming for $2.99 here.

Join the Echoes CD of the Month Club. and get Hans Christian’s Hidden Treasures, the May CD of the Month. You’ll get great CDs and help support Echoes at the same time. You can do it all right here.
Hidden Treasures-225

OR
Pick Up 
TRANSMISSIONS:
THE ECHOES LIVING ROOM CONCERTS VOLUME 19

LRC19-250pxJoin us on Facebook where you’ll get all the Echoes news so you won’t be left behind when Dead Can Dance appear on the show, Tangerine Dream tours or Brian Eno drops a new iPad album. Or Follow us on Twitter@echoesradio.

Now you can go Mobile with Echoes On-Line. Find out how you can listen to Echoes 24/7 wherever you are on your iPhone, iPad or Droid.

 

 

Juliette Commagere Talks about Being Human

May 27, 2014

Hear Singer-Songwriter Juliette Commagere Talking About her Dream Pop on Echoes

Juliette Commagere on Echoes

Juliette Commagere on Echoes

I’ve been enchanted by the voice of Juliette Commagere since I heard her singing on a Ry Cooder record, Chavez Ravine. Then came  “Gold,” the track she sang on Love on A Real Train’s debut last year was one of our favorite cuts.  Juliette recently released her third solo album, Human.  It’s a beautiful and introspective electronic song cycle.  Today, Juliette Commagere talks about her musical family and songs on the dark side.

John Diliberto (((echoes)))

WHERE & HOW TO LISTEN TO ECHOES

HumanEchoes is on different stations, on different days and different times.
You can listen locally or stream-live from our many stations’ websites.
You can also stream it on-demand from Echoes On-line, our streaming subscription service.  You can sign up for a 1 week trial of unlimited streaming for $2.99 here.

Join the Echoes CD of the Month Club. and get Hans Christian’s Hidden Treasures, the May CD of the Month. You’ll get great CDs and help support Echoes at the same time. You can do it all right here.
Hidden Treasures-225

OR
Pick Up 
TRANSMISSIONS:
THE ECHOES LIVING ROOM CONCERTS VOLUME 19

LRC19-250pxJoin us on Facebook where you’ll get all the Echoes news so you won’t be left behind when Dead Can Dance appear on the show, Tangerine Dream tours or Brian Eno drops a new iPad album. Or Follow us on Twitter@echoesradio.

Now you can go Mobile with Echoes On-Line. Find out how you can listen to Echoes 24/7 wherever you are on your iPhone, iPad or Droid.

 

 

 

 

Electronic Pioneers Silver Apples on Echoes Tonight

May 26, 2014

Hear the story of Silver Apples tonight on Echoes

Simeon Playing in the 1960s

Simeon Playing in the 1960s

Moby says that Silver Apples were the first electronic pop group and that’s probably true.  In 1968, electronic instruments were still exotic.  There was the occasional use of the Theremin with The Beach Boys and Lothar and the Hand PeopleBeaver & Krause had used the Moog in 1967 on Ragnarok having previously released the more academic Nonesuch Guide to Electronic Music that same year.  But it was Silver Apples who plugged electronics into the psychedelic experience and went on stage with no guitars or bass, just drums, electronics, voice and occasionally recorder and banjo.  You can hear the story of this remarkable band tonight on Echoes.

Often when we produce interview features on Echoes, a lot of great material gets left on the floor due time constraints or because they are extraneous to the central story.  That’s the case with our interview with Simeon Coxe of Silver Apples.  You can hear all about this pioneering electronic pop group on Echoes, but in brief,  Silver Apples formed in 1967 and released their eponymous debut in 1968.  They had no synthesizers or electronic keyboards, just Danny Taylor on drums and Simeon on audio oscillators controlled by telegraph switches, buttons and knobs.  They were right in the center of the psychedelic 60s, opening for many of the major acts at the time and jamming with Jimi Hendrix.   Many of Simeon’s stories were too long to make the feature or didn’t fit the narrative.   But I want to share them with you here.  Their iconic album cover was actually designed by the band:

Silver_Apples-CvrSimeon Coxe: Yeah, we cut out a silhouette of two apples, me and Danny, and a leaf, just figured, I don’t know, apples have leaves.  And made a stencil out of it and sprayed our entire hallways with it with black ink and a toothbrush.  And the record label came in and photographed that and chose one of them for the record.

Simeon says that the band broke up after they were sued by Pan American Airlines over the cover of their second album, Contact:

Simeon Coxe:  Our second record was called Contact.  I named it Contact just because of the double entendre in the word.  And the fact that old timey airplane pilots used to have someone actually crank their propellers to start the airplanes and they would yell contact, which is to make electric contact.  And we thought this electric contact and the spinning of the propeller and all that was fine.  So we wanted to do it in an airplane cockpit, and the advertising agency that had Kapp Records also had Pan Am, so it was easy for them to get them to park an airplane facing the sunset, and have us sit in the pilot’s seat while they vacuumed out the rest of the airplane and shoot that shot.  So naturally, Danny and I smuggled in some pills and pot, you know, joints to hang out on the dashboard, stuff like that.  And then to take it even further, we found a cover of an airplane crash on the back that we used on the back and super imposed me and Danny just sitting among the wreckage there, just you know, dumb hippies.

Silver-Apples-ContactAnd…everybody approved it.  I mean you don’t put an album out internationally and not have it go through all the steps of being approved.  And it was approved by Pan Am, approved by the record label, approved by the advertising agency.  And by the time it got on the shelves, some executive at Pan Am who hadn’t signed on an approval but who had had power, just freaked out and just you know, hit the fan.  They, Pan Am sued us personally, sued the record label, got an injunction from a judge to have all the records pulled off of the shelves nationally.  Got us forbidden to play the music that’s on that record, so we couldn’t promote it.  And as a matter of fact, they went so far as to in the city of New York, get the judge to allow them to confiscate our equipment to make sure we weren’t gonna play that music.  So one time when we were playing at Max’s Kansas City, fire marshals came in and taped the stage so that our stuff would be there when their equipment guy got there, and we managed when they weren’t looking, we managed to sneak my oscillators and stuff out the back door, but by the time we got back, they got Danny’s drums.  So we were out of business.  No record, no record label and no equipment.

They didn’t collect from me.  Danny and I went into hiding.  We both got hotel rooms and just kinda went into hiding.  I worked as a DJ in a nightclub for a while and I think Danny did some session work in recording studios under a different name, and we just kinda laid low.  Then eventually we just said, you know, Silver Apples is never coming back, it’s just not going to be possible, we better just go our own ways for a while and see what happens.

So Pan Am, I guess you could say they successfully shut us down, but actually Silver Apples is still in business.  I don’t think you’ll find a PanAm airplane anyway, so we survived, from my point of view.

Simeon says that Silver Apples jammed with Jimi Hendrix and actually recorded a version of “The Star Spangled Banner” with him.

Silver Apples' Simeon @ MOEMS Photo: Diliberto

Silver Apples’ Simeon @ MOEMS Photo: Diliberto

Simeon Coxe: Yeah, well he and Danny were friends.  Danny played drums in his first band.  His first band was something called Jimi James and the Blue Flames.  And they worked as a house band all through the village, just a straight blues band.  And the drummer was apparently very unreliable; he’d get drunk and get lost or something.  He wouldn’t show up for days, sometimes weeks.  One time he went to detox and just stayed there for months.  And Jimi would call Danny and Danny would come drum with him.  And so when Hendrix got the opportunity to go to England and try and make something bigger for himself because he didn’t feel like it was happening in the states, but a bunch of the British musicians were saying we could make it happen, he begged Danny to come with him.  He didn’t wanna go by himself and just be there with, you know, have to pick up musicians.  He ended up with a pretty good group, but fortunately, Danny didn’t wanna go to Britain.  He just didn’t want to go and he said you know, there’s plenty of musicians around here I can work with.  And so I got him.

Silver Apples Oscillatiors Today

Silver Apples Oscillatiors Today

And so whenever Hendrix would come back into town, he’d look Danny up and see what he was doing, and so he came around the record plant.  We both were booked in the record plant simultaneously one time for months for doing our third records.  And so he’d come in and jam and we’d find, we’d find out what he was doing in his studio and jam. A lot of times we were using the same studio, his amps would be parked all around my amps.  And so we’d just, you know, when the time came, I’d leave and he’d come in, or many times it would overlap.  He would come in and sit around and drink a beer while Danny and I were working on stuff.   One time Danny and I were working on our version of “The Star Spangled Banner,” which we were gonna do at a festival in, on the 4th of July in the park in NY.  We were gonna play “The Star Spangled Banner” with my oscillators.  We thought that would be a howl; if the CIA didn’t put us in jail, it would be great.  And Hendrix came in and he heard us playing it.  And he said damn, I’m working on the same thing…I’m supposed to play an outdoor concert in a couple of months and I’m supposed to play at dawn, and I thought it would be funny to play the national anthem to make those kids all stand up and wake up, you know, before, at the crack of dawn.  [He was actually scheduled to play at night and close the festival, but rain delays pushed him into the morning.]

Simeon Coxe

Simeon Coxe

And so we got to talking about it and he was listening to how we were doing it, and he was playing along with how he  was doing it.  And Ed Kramer, who’s the engineer, had the good sense to roll the tapes.  And so we do have that.  We the version that was given to Danny, a two track mix down that was given to Danny to take home to see how he could add drums to it…all kinds of cymbal crashes for the war sounds and stuff.  And it just never happened, but we did find the tape of me on bass oscillators and Hendrix on guitar playing “The Star Spangled Banner. ” We found it in Danny’s attic when Danny and I hooked up again in the ‘90s.  And so that’s been since released on a disk called Selections, which is like a best of.  It has about 12 cuts from the first two albums and then as a bonus track, as a hidden track it’s the Hendrix session.

This video is ostensibly that recording, however, to my ears it sounds like the studio version from Hendrix’s Rainbow Bridge.

Finally, Simeon claims he never called his instrument The Simeon.

Simeon Coxe: Well, The Simeon, but I would never have done that.  That’s embarrassing to me to this day.  That was one of those record label things to try and promote something that really didn’t exist.  There was nothing that was The Simeon.  It changed every day.  Something broke and had to be replaced every day, or Danny or I would have a new idea, something that we added or subtracted to it.  It never was the same.  There was no way it could ever be manufactured or marketed in any way, but they had to do that as I was just kinda stuck with it.

I told him he should own it.

This is the stuff that was left out.  Hear what was left in with Silver Apples tonight on Echoes.

John Diliberto (((echoes)))

WHERE & HOW TO LISTEN TO ECHOES

Echoes is on different stations, on different days and different times.
You can listen locally or stream-live from our many stations’ websites.
You can also stream it on-demand from Echoes On-line, our streaming subscription service.  You can sign up for a 1 week trial of unlimited streaming for $2.99 here.

Join the Echoes CD of the Month Club. and get Hans Christian’s Hidden Treasures, the May CD of the Month. You’ll get great CDs and help support Echoes at the same time. You can do it all right here.
Hidden Treasures-225

OR
Pick Up 
TRANSMISSIONS:
THE ECHOES LIVING ROOM CONCERTS VOLUME 19

LRC19-250pxJoin us on Facebook where you’ll get all the Echoes news so you won’t be left behind when Dead Can Dance appear on the show, Tangerine Dream tours or Brian Eno drops a new iPad album. Or Follow us on Twitter@echoesradio.

Now you can go Mobile with Echoes On-Line. Find out how you can listen to Echoes 24/7 wherever you are on your iPhone, iPad or Droid.

 

 

 

Thus Owls in Echoes Podcast

May 23, 2014

The Canadian-Swedish Band Thus Owls Talk about Turning Rocks on Echoes Podcast.

 

Thus Owls Parker Shper, Simon Angell, Erika Angell live on Echoes

Thus Owls Parker Shper, Simon Angell, Erika Angell live on Echoes

Thus Owls’ Erika Angell is a singer who isn’t afraid to cut loose.  Like Kate Bush and Tori Amos, she takes unexpected vocal flights, but unlike them, her voice is throatier, earthier giving her vocal turns a depth of knowing.  She can exude the declamatory sound of Siouxsie Sioux and the poignant refrains of Joni Mitchell. It’s the perfect voice for a band that brings a theatrical feel to Turning Rocks, their song-cycle of life on a Swedish island that is sometimes pastoral but often dark and haunted.  Thus-Owls_Turning-Rocks_cover With husband Simon Angell on guitar, Thus Owls conjures dramatic musical structures that range from gentle autoharp refrains to screaming 60’s style rave-ups replete with Farfisa organ and Wurlitzer electric piano.    They played live on Echoes a few weeks ago.  Now hear the story of this band whose influences range from Japanese surf guitar to Alice Coltrane organ; from Abba to Meredith Monk.  You can hear them talk about it in the Echoes Podcast.

Hear Thus Owls Powerful Live Performance at Echoes On Line

You can stream it on-demand from Echoes On-line, our streaming subscription service.  You can sign up for a 1 week trial of unlimited streaming for $2.99 here.

John Diliberto (((echoes)))

Join the Echoes CD of the Month Club. and get Hans Christian’s Hidden Treasures, the May CD of the Month. You’ll get great CDs and help support Echoes at the same time. You can do it all right here.
Hidden Treasures-225

OR
Pick Up 
TRANSMISSIONS:
THE ECHOES LIVING ROOM CONCERTS VOLUME 19

LRC19-250pxJoin us on Facebook where you’ll get all the Echoes news so you won’t be left behind when Dead Can Dance appear on the show, Tangerine Dream tours or Brian Eno drops a new iPad album. Or Follow us on Twitter@echoesradio.

Now you can go Mobile with Echoes On-Line. Find out how you can listen to Echoes 24/7 wherever you are on your iPhone, iPad or Droid.

 

 

Thus Owls Interview on Echoes

May 20, 2014

The Canadian-Swedish Band Thus Owls Talk about Turning Rocks tonight on Echoes.

Thus Owl's Erika Angel on Echoes

Thus Owl’s Erika Angel on Echoes

Thus Owls’ Erika Angell is a singer who isn’t afraid to cut loose.  Like Kate Bush and Tori Amos, she takes unexpected vocal flights, but unlike them, her voice is throatier, earthier giving her vocal turns a depth of knowing.  She can exude the declamatory sound of Siouxsie Sioux and the poignant refrains of Joni Mitchell. It’s the perfect voice for a band that brings a theatrical feel to Turning Rocks, their song-cycle of life on a Swedish island that is sometimes pastoral but often dark and haunted.  Thus-Owls_Turning-Rocks_cover With husband Simon Angell on guitar, Thus Owls conjures dramatic musical structures that range from gentle autoharp refrains to screaming 60’s style rave-ups replete with Farfisa organ and Wurlitzer electric piano.    They played live on Echoes a few weeks ago.  Now hear the story of this band whose influences range from Japanese surf guitar to Alice Coltrane organ; from Abba to Meredith Monk.

WHERE & HOW TO LISTEN TO ECHOES

Echoes is on different stations, on different days and different times.
You can listen locally or stream-live from our many stations’ websites.
You can also stream it on-demand from Echoes On-line, our streaming subscription service.  You can sign up for a 1 week trial of unlimited streaming for $2.99 here.

John Diliberto (((echoes)))

Join the Echoes CD of the Month Club. and get Hans Christian’s Hidden Treasures, the May CD of the Month. You’ll get great CDs and help support Echoes at the same time. You can do it all right here.
Hidden Treasures-225

OR
Pick Up 
TRANSMISSIONS:
THE ECHOES LIVING ROOM CONCERTS VOLUME 19

LRC19-250pxJoin us on Facebook where you’ll get all the Echoes news so you won’t be left behind when Dead Can Dance appear on the show, Tangerine Dream tours or Brian Eno drops a new iPad album. Or Follow us on Twitter@echoesradio.

Now you can go Mobile with Echoes On-Line. Find out how you can listen to Echoes 24/7 wherever you are on your iPhone, iPad or Droid.

 

 

Mark McGuire’s Progressive Reinvention in Echoes Podcast

May 16, 2014

Mark McGuire’s Prog-Rock Roots and Metaphysical Designs
in Echoes Podcast

Mark-McGuire-Along-The-WayIf you thought Toto had taken over Mike Oldfield’s body on his recent album, Man on the Rocks, then you should hear Mark McGuire’s Along the Way.  Every time I put it on I feel like I’m taking a trip into the future via my past.  Elements of the 70s progressive rock music I love from Popol Vuh, Ash Ra Tempel, Mike Oldfield and Jade Warrior emerge in his music.  But Mark McGuire isn’t recreating this sound so much as reinventing it for his own vocabulary.   He was formerly in Emeralds, an electronic band with deep echoes of German space music but on his own, he’s made a statement recording that goes beyond that.  It was the Echoes CD of the Month for March and you can read a review and listen to tracks from it here.   He talks about it in Echoes Podcast.

John Diliberto (((echoes)))

Join the Echoes CD of the Month Club. and get Hans Christian’s Hidden Treasures, the May CD of the Month. You’ll get great CDs and help support Echoes at the same time. You can do it all right here.
Hidden Treasures-225

OR
Pick Up 
TRANSMISSIONS:
THE ECHOES LIVING ROOM CONCERTS VOLUME 19

LRC19-250pxJoin us on Facebook where you’ll get all the Echoes news so you won’t be left behind when Dead Can Dance appear on the show, Tangerine Dream tours or Brian Eno drops a new iPad album. Or Follow us on Twitter@echoesradio.

Now you can go Mobile with Echoes On-Line. Find out how you can listen to Echoes 24/7 wherever you are on your iPhone, iPad or Droid.

 

 

Marissa Nadler in Echoes Podcast

May 9, 2014

 Singer-Songwriter Marissa Nadler in Echoes Podcast.

Marissa-Nadler-July-608x608Her mother is an abstract painter.  She grew up on Nirvana and Mojave 3 and recorded with an experimental Heavy Metal artist.  Those are all aspects you might not expect from a women who makes gently melodic, atmospherically mysterious, and lyrically intriguing music, playing on fingerstyle guitar with a voice that seems to emerge from around a shadowed corner on a dark night. 

Marissa Nadler at EchoesMarissa Nadler is a singer-songwriter of delicate dimensions and deep atmospheres. Her latest album, July, is the story of one year in her life, from breakup to reunion. Today on Echoes she talks about her album and turning visual imagery into evocative music. You can hear her talk about it on the Echoes Podcast.

Marissa Nadler will be coming to a town near you in June & July.  Check out her Tour Dateshttp://www.marissanadler.com/

John Diliberto (((echoes)))

Hidden Treasures-225Join the Echoes CD of the Month Club. and get  Hans Christian’s  Hidden Treasures, the May CD of the Month.  You’ll get great CDs and help support Echoes at the same time.   You can do it all right here.

OR
Pick Up 
TRANSMISSIONS:
THE ECHOES LIVING ROOM CONCERTS VOLUME 19

LRC19-250pxJoin us on Facebook where you’ll get all the Echoes news so you won’t be left behind when Dead Can Dance appear on the show, Tangerine Dream tours or Brian Eno drops a new iPad album. Or Follow us on Twitter@echoesradio.

Now you can go Mobile with Echoes On-Line. Find out how you can listen to Echoes 24/7 wherever you are on your iPhone, iPad or Droid.

Tycho’s Electronica Rock.

April 30, 2014

Tonight on Echoes Hear an Interview with Tycho’s Scott Hansen

AwakeFor most of the last decade there has been a strain of Rock music that didn’t really rock out, but instead took a more introspective and almost ambient course, often mixing guitars with electronics.  And they usually don’t have singers, at least in a conventional sense.  Explosions In the Sky, The Album Leaf, Hammock and Sigur Ros are among those groups.  Add to that list Tycho.  That’s a project put together by Scott Hansen who started out as an electronic musician but has found himself in a hybrid, Ambient Rock world.  His latest album is Awake.

For Scott Hansen, Tycho isn’t just about music. It works on a visual level as well.  “I tend to think of the project as an audio visual project,” he explains.  “The music always comes first and then I try and illustrate the kind of space that that music represents with the art work.”

Tycho’s Dive

That’s because Hansen is not only a musician, but a visual artist known as iso50. He spent many years doing commercial work as a graphic artist.  You’ve probably seen a lot of it.   “I did a bunch of snowboards and skis and I did stuff for Diesel, some poster art, all this random, all sorts of stuff,” he reveals.  “Twix, and Starburst and all sorts of like ad agency stuff back when I was doing that.”

His visual style is a mix of Bauhaus austerity (the art movement, not the band) and the elaborate San Francisco psychedelic poster art he saw in his parent’s record collection with The Doors, Creedence Clearwater Revival, and Led Zeppelin.

Echoes John Diliberto & Tycho’s Scott Hansen

“That was my gateway into just kinda of understanding music to be in with the Beatles and all that stuff,” Hansen confesses.  “But also the artwork behind them and the aesthetic that was applied to all those album covers and just the style–down to the way the people dressed and everything.  That kind of informed from then on what I thought was like the architect for bands, and music and album covers and all that.  So yeah, you can see that pop up in my work a lot.”

You can hear how that work pops up in his music tonight on Echoes when we revisit our 2012 interview with Hansen when he came into Echoes to play live.

Tycho recently released a new album, Awake.  We interviewed Hansen back in 2012 when he released the last Tycho album, Dive and came into Echoes to play live.  (You can hear a track from that on our CD,Transmissions. We return to that feature tonight on Echoes.

~© 2012

John Diliberto (((echoes)))

Foy-MirrorJoin the Echoes CD of the Month Club. and get  the #1 Echoes Album for April, Lyla Foy’s Mirrors the Sky, the April CD of the Month.  You’ll get great CDs and help support Echoes at the same time.   You can do it all right here.

OR
Pick Up 
TRANSMISSIONS:
THE ECHOES LIVING ROOM CONCERTS VOLUME 19

LRC19-250pxJoin us on Facebook where you’ll get all the Echoes news so you won’t be left behind when Dead Can Dance appear on the show, Tangerine Dream tours or Brian Eno drops a new iPad album. Or Follow us on Twitter@echoesradio.

Now you can go Mobile with Echoes On-Line. Find out how you can listen to Echoes 24/7 wherever you are on your iPhone, iPad or Droid.

Aphex Twin’s SAWII in Echoes Podcast

April 25, 2014

Marc Weidenbaum Dissects Aphex Twin’s Selected Ambient Works Volume II in Echoes Podcast

Selected-BookHear this interview in Echoes Podcast

I’m in a state right now where 20 year anniversaries don’t seem like such a big deal.  After all, we just commemorated the 30th Anniversary of Steve Roach’s Structures from Silence and the 40th Anniversaries of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon and Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells.  I think that divide might say something about how you feel about Aphex Twin’s Selected Ambient Works Volume II.   If you’re on the far side of the divide, you, like me, might think that it was a fairly slight album, full of obviously derivative influences from Brian Eno, Jon Hassell, Philip Glass and old musique concrète and early electronic music.  If you’re on the nearside of the divide however, you might see this as a magnum opus, an album that signaled a new way of approaching music and listening, an ambient manifesto that is still resonating today.

Selected-II-200Author Marc Weidenbaum falls on the near side of that equation. He’s a music journalist who was an editor of Pulse Magazine for several years where I was a writer.  Now he publishes the Disquiet webzine.  Born in 1966, he’s perhaps just slightly too young to have experienced firsthand the early ambient music of the late 1970s and early 80s.   But Weidenbaum is an erudite and voracious music listener who knows his music history.  He thinks  Selected Ambient Works Volume II is so significant, that he’s written an entire book on it in the 33 1/3 series, also just called Selected Ambient Works Volume II. You can hear him talk about it in Echoes Podcast

Here’s one of the stories that was too long for the feature piece.  If you bought  Selected Ambient Works Volume II when it came out, there were no titles.  Only a matrix of enigmatic pie charts matched with enigmatic photos, usually very tight fragments of larger objects.  In print, the titles were simply “Track 1: (Untitled),” “Track 2: (Untitled)” etc. or just “#1,” “#2,” “#3” etc.  But now, when I put that same 1994 CD into the computer, Grace Notes actually pulls up track names like “Rhubarb” and “Grey Stripe.”  This is one of the stories Marc Weidenbaum tracked down.

MW: Yeah it’s funny, it depends generationally as to when you experience the record as to how prominent those titles are. The story of the titles, for people who are unfamiliar with the record, the way it’s structured is that when you purchase the album physically and it just came out on CD, and cassette and vinyl, there was a large image in the center spread that was a bunch of circles. And each circle, you figured out, correlated with a side of the album and the relative size of a piece slice of that circle helped you figure out which track was associated with it. In fact, it didn’t technically have word titles, one of the tracks, “Blue Calyx,” retained a title from being released previously by him as a single. But all the other tracks are, and including “Blue Calyx,” are associated with pictures that appear on this same center spread. And each of those pictures is of an object.
Early on in the record’s release, some fans recognized what those objects were and produced a list of them, and very quickly they became, for certain types of listeners, the way those tracks were referred to because it became very difficult online, which is where a lot of communication about esoteric music too place in the early and mid ‘90s, especially, to identify the pieces. There was, there became a shorthand, so you could refer to a track as “Domino,” you could refer as “Rhubarb” or “Radiator.”

And as for Grace Note, I was so fascinated by the way that those track titles are distributed that I tracked down someone from Grace Note, a very senior person on the editorial staff there. And she talked me through the process. And what’s really interesting is that the way that Grace Note manages that data kind of privileges these fan titles over the original titles because it’s very difficult in their database at the way it’s been structured since the ‘90s when it was first developed, to deal with null entries. And so it actually privileges names over null entries, so these words have gotten out there.

And just one little side note, as I was working on the, when I was working on the book, I looked at iTunes and in fact on iTunes in the middle of last year, the titles were still reproduced with these name titles, not with the original factual titles. And I tried to contact Apple to get an explanation and I never heard back from them, but very shortly after I got in touch with Apple about this, the album Selected Ambient Works Volume II disappeared in America from the iTunes record store and was gone for quite some time. And eventually it came back with blank titles. I don’t know if it was just coincidence or what, but it was fascinating that it went away.

Hear more stories of Aphex Twin’s Selected Ambient Works Volume II in Echoes Podcast

John Diliberto (((echoes)))

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