Bridge Carols is the meeting of two artists with unique timeless approaches to music. Neo-Americana folk singer Laura Gibson is gifted with a soft and singular voice (not unlike the voices of Josephine Foster and Joanna Newsom) and writes songs that could date back a century or foretell a future rural life. Electronician Ethan Rose is vested in antiquated instruments and technologies – a sonic recycler who, out of the old, has been creating a new form of ambient music.
Both are from Portland, Oregon, USA. Their collaboration started with ambient backgrounds and Gibson vocalizing around unused bits of verses from her notebooks. Around these quasi-melodies, Rose has woven ambiences using acoustic sounds (mostly strings, but also piano and bells) and very light electronic textures. Then, Gibson redeveloped her vocalizations to fully inhabit that shared space. Finally, Rose recombined her interventions into new poems. This process has resulted in a CD of insidiously beautiful electro-pastoral music entitled “Bridge Carols”.
Named after a Hitchcock-esque nightmare in which he was set upon by a pair of hard-winged, marauding cuckoos, David A Jaycock’s second album is step forward from the pastoral motifs of his debut, incorporating an expansive country-folk sound alongside the indigenous qualities and general oddness that have made his name.
The CD features a fantastically detailed drawing from Bleeding Heart Narrative, folding out around the gatefold thick-card sleeve in a two colour print.
All copies come with a 12-panel foldout insert, and the 200 limited copies also include an extra two-colour numbered screenprint, and are also hand-numbered and sewn together.
Jonathan Canupp is a name you should know but probably don’t, but then again might. He records under Ten and Tracer and I’ve been into his records for ages and ages now. Back when I was checking out early net label releases, Jonathan came up as one of two people whose work in their entirety I just fell in love with. And funny how he actually works with the other artist now and lives in the same damn city – the person being a certain Jason Corder (offthesky, Juxta Phona) no less. He makes wonderful IDM music and in fact I may have asked him years ago now to make us a ‘meaty beaty’ record. And along he comes with the very cheek of making some sublimely evolved, subtly woven record using violin, tape machines, guitars, maybe some keyboards and other stuff too. Friendless Now is a beautifully realised work, and one of my favourite Ten and Tracer releases to date.
Inside the book: 36-pages from Internet monsters Everything Is Terrible!; interviews with musician Robert Scott (the Clean, the Bats) and writer Amelia Gray; music profiles of S. Fla’s finest, The Jacuzzi Boys, and UK ’90s cult band Disco Inferno; fiction by Stacey Levine; photographs by Ted Barron and Gracie Remington; art by Saul Chernick, Pavel Tchelitchew, Cassie Ramone, Ilyas Ahmed.