Tag Archives: Interview

House and Land Want to Make Folk Music Weirder

House and Land

Photos by Katrina Ohstrom

Multi-instrumentalists Sally Anne Morgan and Sarah Louise contend that folk music—often associated with a sense of traditionalism—has always been a more dynamic artform than we’ve been led to believe. With Across the Field, their second album as the duo House and Land, Morgan and Louise once again give us reason to view the folk stylings that emerged from Scotland, Ireland, England, Appalachia, and the Ozarks through a broader lens. Both heavily steeped in these forms, Morgan (Black Twig Pickers, Pelt) and Louise speak engagingly on the history and development of the music over a group phone call.

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The Political Prog of Kalahari Surfers

Kalahari Surfers

“Weirdly, music was my political education,” says Warrick Sony, the man behind the anti-apartheid experimental ‘80s prog project Kalahari Surfers.

Born in apartheid South Africa, Sony’s white family was apolitical. “They came out of the post-war obey-your-leaders generation who didn’t like to rock a comfortable boat,” Sony says. But when he went to school in Durban, he found the Record King shop in Ajmeri Arcade, which imported LPs by everyone from Frank Zappa to Robert Wyatt to German minimalists like Faust. The band Can was especially important, Sony says, because they “played a European music which was as close to African music as one could get without being in any way obvious.”

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Punk Group Urochromes Wrote Their New LP While Participating In a Sleep Study

Urochromes
Photos by Harold Zijp

“When the lights cut, my adrenaline went through the roof,” says Jackie Jackieboy, of transcontinental punk duo Urochromes. “I was terrified. There was no way to prepare for that kind of darkness.”

Preparation for Urochromes’ debut LP Trope House was intense, to say the least. Much of the album resulted from a 26-day sleep study both members participated in—the experience Jackieboy is referring to. For legal reasons, they can’t disclose the name of the participating Massachusetts hospital, but they could say that the study “was investigating impacts of sleep deprivation, and received funding from NASA.” It’s a bizarre backstory, especially when it’s the backbone for a record as concise and amusing as Trope House.

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The Intimate Experimentalism of Wizard Apprentice

Wizard Apprentice

Photos by Myron Fung

Wizard Apprentice, aka Tieraney Carter, is a structural minimalist, but a micro-genre maximalist. From the witchy, organ-drenched dirges on 2013’s Rash of Feathers, to the wiry bedroom electro-pop of her 2015 album Keep It In, Keep It Out, her stylistic reach is wide. And despite both subtle and monumental stylistic changes along the way, her music has maintained consistent thematic elements—specifically, transforming trauma into dust, and imagining a world where personal turmoil is parted to make room for real joy.

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Pedestrian Deposit’s Experimental Catharsis Requires Homemade Instruments

Pedestrian Deposit

Photos by Sandy Holmes

“Giant, sharp Brillo pads. It smells terrible, too.”

Shannon Kennedy, of Los Angeles’s kinetic experimental duo Pedestrian Deposit, is describing the location of our interview: near a dumpster filled with dangerous-looking balls of wire and a car hood, in Tulsa, Oklahoma’s arts district. Inside a nearby warehouse, someone is screaming at the top of their lungs over piercing waves of feedback—one of several acts in the 2019 edition of Tulsa Noise Fest. “This is the perfect setting for the interview,” deadpans Jon Borges, Pedestrian Deposit’s other half.

Pedestrian Deposit have been making meticulous, intentional electro-acoustic music since 2000, pushing both their sonic and physical limits by using self-made instruments that require both intense strength and unflagging endurance to successfully manipulate. The duo empty themselves into their live performances: Borges creates sound using analog electronics and room mics that spit piercing feedback; Kennedy goes from thrashing her body against her giant, hand-constructed instruments to playing a striking, meditative passage on her cello.

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Electronic Duo LAL Foster Community With Their Toronto Venue, Unit 2

LAL

LAL, photo by Kevin Jones

In Toronto, Canada, as in many other cities throughout North America, higher costs of living are forcing artists to relocate and smaller venues to close. DIY space Unit 2 is a rarity in this environment, a space that’s managed to exist so far through 12 years of gentrification and displacement. Unit 2 is run by 20-year veterans of the city’s music scene Rosina Kazi and Nicholas Murray, who perform together as LAL. In the space, Kazi and Murray have found an anchor not only for themselves and their music, but for a greater artistic community.

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The Power of Community: Team Dresch Return

Team Dresch

“Is there another word you can look up in the thesaurus? What’s another one for ‘powerful?’” Kaia Wilson asks, an hour or so into my interview with her and Melissa York, of queercore icons Team Dresch. Wilson and York use “powerful” at least 11 times throughout the interview, so often it turns into a running gag—but no other word quite suffices.

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The Joyous Afrobeat-Jazz of Ezra Collective

ezra-collective-1244.jpg

Femi Koleoso, the drummer of jazz-Afrobeat outfit Ezra Collective, was relaxing at his home in London last July when he got an unexpected call from his manager. “She was like, ‘You’re not going to believe this. Quincy Jones wants you lot to play at his birthday party,’” Koleoso recalls. “So I was like, ‘OK, cancel everything. We’re there.’”

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