It’s funny to think that this is Alexander Tucker’s first Latitudes session, as he’s always felt like a part of the Southern family. From being one of the driving forces behind the first release on Latitudes (Ginnungagap) to providing artwork, playing on the same bills or collaborating with musicians in our stable, Alex has also felt like a fellow walking the same path as us, and has been top of our list to do a session since we started the series.
What Alex does is pretty close to musical alchemy. Carefully constructing and layering fully orchestrated pieces from deceptively simple beginnings using guitar, mandolin, cello and most importantly his voice. It’s his voice which has always set him apart from other psych/folk explorers for me: wonderfully English and simultaneously otherworldly, something of his humble and extremely thoughtful nature comes through his self-harmonising and often wordless refrains. Along with a playful sense of humour you can sense something quite melancholy at its core.
Live, watching Alex loop and build his work is never less than fascinating and this studio session has succeeded in capturing some of this subtle magic. And, as in many of his live performances, Alex has been well-served by the people with whom he collaborates. Here, Duke Garwood’s clarinet weaves around the brooding, building tracks, and towards slow-boiling crescendos while Harvey Birrell’s characteristically well-judged production never spills over into the consciousness of the listener.
The Latitudes session with Decomposed Orchestra makes a beautiful companion piece to Alex’s excellent albums on ATP – the open ‘anything goes’ format sees him explore much longer compositions and pushing himself in a more psychedelic / freak-out direction. This recording will no doubt serve as an important documentation of this point in the evolving opus of this incredibly talented performer and songwriter.
Includes MP3 download code redeemable from the label: After several years focusing predominantly on film and video, Koen Holtkamp began working with sound in 1997. He co-founded the Apestaartje collective/label in 1998 while studying at The Art Institute of Chicago. The label released works by like-minded artists from Australia, Japan, Germany, Austria, France, and the US as well as several of his own works. Holtkamp has released two solo albums under the name Aero (Apestaartje) and four albums as Mountains (Apestaartje, Catsup Plate, Thrill Jockey), a duo project with Brendon Anderegg, as well as an album under his own name (Type). Gravity/Bees marks his first solo release on Thrill Jockey.
Quadtych Volume One presents Parts One and Two of Cam Deasʼ colossal Quadtych for 12 string guitar, a four part piece spanning over 70 minutes in total.
Recorded in one evening at Londonʼs Roundhouse in December 2010 by Jack Allett, though over a year and a half since its initial sketches, it is his first composed work for 12 string guitar since the 2009 split tour LP with Spoono/Jack Allett on Blackest Rainbow.
It’s raining outside. The faint noise of the rain in the trees perfectly couches the moment I start listening to this album in melancholic anticipation…
The album, since you’re asking, is A Cradle In The Bowery, the first solo record from Chicago’s own, the brilliant, Zelienople; going under his given name, Matt Cristensen.