Tag: Leyland Kirby
Tim Hecker and Oneohtrix Point Never have lined up a special collaborative performance at the 10th annual installment of Unsound’s Krakow festival. Also among the first round of confirmations are Julia Holter, Lustmord and Biosphere’s TRINITY project, and a rare “swan song” set from Leyland Kirby’s reclusive, art-damaged pop alias V/VM.
Oh, and if you’re wondering why Hecker’s holding a saxophone in the studio shot above, the pair apparently cut a record together this spring as part of a new Software Label series called SSTUDIOS. Co-curated by Daniel Lopatin and experimental music mainstay C Spencer Yeh, it’s meant to highlight the kind of one-off collabs that get Wire readers—and us—all out and bothered. More details on that front once we’ve got ‘em…
The Artist/Album: The Caretaker, Patience (After Sebald) (History Always Favours the Winners, 2012)
A Short Review: Leyland Kirby’s discomforting string of delightfully degraded ambient recordings continues with the soundtrack to a documentary on the life of the German writer W.G. Sebald. A critical favorite who was poised to win the Nobel Prize at the time of his death in 2001, Sebald’s work often explored themes of memory loss and decay. The literary equivalent of Kirby’s Caretaker guise, in other words, a parallel the producer explores through mangled, sample-strewn 78 versions of Franz Schubert’s Winterreise song cycle. An even more extreme version of the ashen aesthetics of the Caretaker’s last proper album (An Empty Bliss Beyond This World), the entire score sounds like it was submerged in barrels of muddy water and mic’d against a rain storm. While all of these variables should add up to a monotonous listen, it’s a magical instance of mood manipulation instead.
Photo by Samantha Casolari
As we continue to look back at the year that was, we’d like to take a moment to memorialize 40 records we haven’t already highlighted in our editors’ lists (available here, here and here) or album spotlights, starting with a stunner that soothed our caffeine-wracked nerves every time we had to deliver an issue on deadline…
The Artist/Album: The Caretaker, An Empty Bliss Beyond This World (History Always Favours the Winners, 2011)
The Reason(s) We Can’t Stop Listening: As heartbreakingly beautiful as Leyland Kirby’s break-of-dawn ballroom music is, the static cling of his 78 samples is profoundly unsettling. The closest comparison would probably be the moment in a horror movie where a record player suddenly starts playing a weathered waltz, or a particularly jarring scene in a show like Boardwalk Empire—the part where a gangster gets whacked and the album he was otherwise enjoying hits a locked groove and spits out lonesome ragtime loops.
Leyland Kirby has suddenly emerged from hiding and shared his plans for the year. First up: the debut volume of a four-part white label series called Intrigue & Stuff. Available now in a clear vinyl pressing from Boomkat, it’ll soon land at such domestic shops as Aquarius Records and Forced Exposure. We hear it’s truly bizarre—six slices of “retro futurism” that are nothing like the slow, debilitating decay of Kirby’s last record, Sadly the Future Is No Longer What It Was.
As for what else he has in store, Kirby has also promised a new LP under his own name (Eager To Tear Apart the Stars), along with two albums from his Caretaker alias (An Empty Bliss Upon This World and the soundtrack to a Grant Gee documentary called Patience). You can check out some track listings and album art after the jump, and snag one of 500 digital subscriptions—a drive to fund even more music—to all of Kirby’s 2011 releases here…
Words by Turk Dietrich of Belong
Exploring the landscape of electronic music from the ’90s can be an extremely daunting task. A tangle of coexisting genres and micro-genres proves a starting point to be an obstacle. But after beginning the task, one will soon encounter Warp Records. Founded in Sheffield in 1989, the British label released some of the most influential electronic music of the decade, from LFO and Forgemasters to the Artificial Intelligence compilations that introduced the sounds of Aphex Twin, Autechre, Fuse, and Black Dog.
While Warp provides an excellent starting point for examining this specific era in music, a number of other key electronic records emerged around the same time. The following Primer is not definitive, but I have attempted to cover a wide range of styles, genres, and years. In addition to 14 main albums, I’ve included a couple more suggestions under each selection. All 42 records get the highest endorsement, and from here, the discoveries are endless…
It’s been a while since Ghostly International last revived its ambient-leaning “SMM” imprint, so the sad sack in all of us rejoiced when we heard about the label’s new Context series recently. Set to drop on March 1, it’s “a hand-picked selection of some of the world’s finest musicians…who traffic in SMM’s slow-moving, texture-focused compositions, simple in instrumentation, but infinitely complex in execution.”
What this means for the rest of us is an immaculately curated compilation of drone, ambient and neo-classical pieces from Jacaszek, Leyland Kirby, Ghostly alum Rafael Anton Irisarri (a.k.a. The Sight Below), and a host of other minor-keyed maestros who bring a tear to our eyes on a regular basis. Here’s the full tracklisting, cover art, and two streaming songs…
The Reason(s) We Can’t Stop Listening: One of 2009′s most sprawling/stunning releases (Leyland Kirby‘s triple-CD set, Sadly, the Future Is No Longer What It Was) is chased with a limited gatefold digipak pressing from Kirby’s other dark ambient guise, the Caretaker. Originally released in 2008, Persistent Repetition of Phrases has the snap, crackle, pop quality of a stack of 78s, as filtered through the disintegrating loops of William Basinski and the sepia-toned soundtracks that only exist in the deepest, darkest recesses of our muddled minds.
In other words, these aren’t songs so much as profound statements—ones that’ll remind you of carnival rides and cough syrup, funeral processions and flower arrangements, and the last time you desperately needed a reminder that everything’s going to be alright. Looks like Kirby chose “/selectedmemories” as his MySpace domain for a reason.