Tuesday, August 31, 2004

I adore Fonal Records. The Finnish label has released some of the finest avant/psych recordings of the last five years, including more recently, Silmat Sulkaset by Killa and Meritie by Islaja. Killa offers gorgeous, ornate psych folk easily on par with Ghost, Incredible String Band and Trad Gras Och Stener, only more...Finnish. Islaja offers layered fem vocals over whispy acoustic guitar in a sound that reminds me of Sigur Ros, Cat Power, Charalambides.

Heading to Austin today to catch the Animal Collective/Black Dice live show, and hope to return with the new Nagisa Ni Te album, The Same as a Flower, in my possession. Plenty of other new arrivals of note to comment on too, but they shall have to wait. Why didn't anyone ever tell me how incredible The One Ensemble of Daniel Padden is before now?

A review from the next issue of the 'Terrascope:

Six Organs of Admittance The Manifestation (Strange-Attractors) CD

It’s strange fortune that brings The Manifestation back into my hands. I purchased an original version of the edition of 500 one sided LP’s at Terrastock 4 in Seattle on the eve of its release. That same weekend I witnessed Six Organs live for the first time—a monumental performance every flower-loving, underground hippie in attendance will likely never forget. I basked in the warm glow of friendship and enjoyed precious moments with other folks who’ve been regularly revered in these pages, or contributed to them in some way over the years. As Terrastock was a celebration of love that reaches beyond borders, The Manifestation was made to serve a similar purpose.

The original Badabing release came as clear vinyl, with an extended, unclassifiable droney/folk jam on one side and a primitive etching of the sun on the other, all housed in a clear plastic sleeve. The sun is a reference to a light that eventually reaches even the darkest parts of the universe, a kind of declaration of love rendered as a pagan musical celebration. And now, the arrival of a gorgeous extended CD version on Strange-Attractors confirms The Manifestation’s place amid the spheres and reminds us just what a wonder it is to behold. As the original document was a celebration of light, this extended version dares to take things through the mirror, to the other side.

The title track runs the gamut from shuffling shakers, drones and more to trance-inducing spoken word (featuring the voice of a young female), which will have one reaching for comparisons to early 90s Current 93, a definite influence on Chasny’s music, while his rabid fingerpicking and strumming portray a willful wildness more in debt to Robbie Basho. It’s a striking piece by any measure of the imagination, and remains one of the highest points in the Six Organs catalog, but then comes the B-side, a storm of clicks and pops—literally the sound of the original vinyl etching being played on a turntable—with none other than David Tibet delivering spoken word over top. There’s more to it than that, though. Chasny incorporates the concept of Bode’s Law into the recording: The stylus serves as the sun, each point of contact on the vinyl is a planet, and Tibet’s voice stands for the Earth, which as the “center of the universe” has no mode or audible key at all. In many ways this release completes the promise of the original Manifestation and manages that rare feat of being just as essential and moving a statement as the original, plus something more.

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