It’s nice when someone else asks you to release something, in this case the always excellent bedroom DIY label Chemical Imbalance in Sydney. (They also put out The Drunken Boat’s album Sideshow in 2016 as well as a whole bunch of great stuff from Australia, New Zealand and elsewhere.) Schmørgåsbaag & Other Furniture is my third solo release to date and is named for the recycled furniture shop come bar come gallery in Hobart where the title track was recorded earlier this year, live in front of a small handful of people. That track is a long one, over 25 minutes in length and comprising the whole of my set on the night; it’s a droning, ambient free-folk kind of thing with plenty of space and amp noise.
The rest of the album comprises another 6 shorter tracks that I recorded at home in Melbourne in August. Aside from everything being played on my electric bouzouki this time around, it’s a pretty diverse bunch of sounds with everything from gentler ambient soundscape to rowdy free improv utilising extended (lack of) technique, to something that sounds more like super overdriven rembetiko. Despite that variety, I think it holds together pretty well as a whole. Comes in awesome hand-made packaging courtesy of Mitch at Chemical Imbalance, each with unique splatter-art covers. Click on the image below to listen to/purchase the album (very limited edition of 25):
Posted in Gigs/Recordings
Tagged blues, bouzouki, Chemical Imbalance music, electric bouzouki, ethno psych, experimental, folk, free folk, free improv, Hobart, improv, noise, rembetika, rembetiko, underground
When I first ranted about this subject five years ago, I said at the time that I didn’t like magnetic pickups in acoustic instruments. The basis for my dislike was that magnetic pickups only amplify the strings and not the … Continue reading
I played a couple of solo gigs in July, the second was at LongPlay in Fitzroy North. Contact mic’d acoustic bouzouki running into a PA, 6 strings not 8 of course, in a free-folk kind of vein. I was pretty happy with the way it went (wouldn’t share otherwise) but I reckon I’ve still got a way to go. Tim Coster was also on the bill that night, making his amazing analogue/digital looping drones, along with the debut of McKosker/Harris/Callaway – two basses and a synth, hope to hear more from those folks soon!
I just stumbled across this article on rembetika/rebetika in a therapeutic context, haven’t had an opportunity to read it myself yet but it relates to the current financial and social crisis in Greece. Should make for interesting reading. The article is written by researcher Yona Stamatis, PhD, who is Assistant Professor of Ethnomusicology in the Department of Art, Music and Theater at the University of Illinois, Springfield. It appears in Voices: A World Forum for Music Therapy Vol 15, no 3 (2015).
Rebetika and Catharsis: Cultural Practice as Crisis Management
I’ve just put out my second solo release via Bandcamp. Light Through Amber was partly recorded on my solid-body electric bouzouki and to my ear it’s quite a bit darker than the first album. Seven tracks recorded in 2012 and 2013. You can listen/order it here:
So I made a Bandcamp site for my solo music. My first release Long-Necked & Blue is available to purchase from said Bandcamp right now, either as a very limited CD-R or download. It’s a full-length album of solo acoustic bouzouki recordings in a free folk / improv / primitive guitar vein (only it’s bouzouki not guitar) with rebetika as the starting point but definitely not the end point. There’s probably a lot of other influences going on in there too but I try not to think about it a real lot.
Some rembetika purists detest the idea of amplifying the bouzouki and whilst I sympathise with them to some extent because I love playing my acoustic trichordo unplugged, there are other occasions when I like to make a lot of noise and an acoustic … Continue reading