6/26/14

Slowdive at Roskilde Festival!


Well, this made my day. Slowdive are replacing Chromeo at this year's Roskilde Festival. Too bad Chromeo had to cancel but what a replacement!

We got our Roskilde tickets half a year ago and while the program has been unfolding over the last couple of months a lot of good stuff has definitely emerged but there have also been some notable omissions. I had been hoping that the program would include the recently reunited Slowdive who began playing live shows again earlier this year after a 20 year break, but as the festival approached and the complete program was announced I sort of let it go. Which is why this is extra great news.

Slowdive were among the very best of the so-called shoegaze bands of the late 80's and early 90's. Centered around the songwriting, guitar playing and singing duo of Neil Halstead and Rachel Goswell. My personal top 3 of shoegaze albums from that era would be My Bloody Valentine's Loveless (1991), Slowdive's Souvlaki (1993) and Ride's Nowhere (1990).

And yes: as soon as we include dream pop and noise rock and neo-psychedelia the list would obviously have to be longer and include albums by Cocteau Twins, Spacemen 3, The Jesus & Mary Chain, Sonic Youth etc. but the above list is "strictly shoegaze".
 By shoegaze I mean "classic pop songwriting enveloped in hazy guitar studio sonics". Or something like that. Slowdive definitely knew their sonics. They even collaborated with Brian Eno on a couple of Souvlaki songs. Their last album Pygmalion (1995) is Neil Halstead's experimental venture into ambient/abstract territory. Also a great, great album.

It should be noted that the Slowdive peeps haven't been inactive over the last two decades. After the demise of Slowdive they formed the equally brilliant and more country/americana tinged Mojave 3 which is more or less the same bunch of people.

Roskilde Festival has a great track record for shoegaze reunions as My Bloody Valentine played an absolutely mind-blowing show there in 2008. Seems only fitting that Slowdive get their turn now. They're playing late Saturday night. It's going to be a dreamy affair!




6/24/14

Tónlistarlig sambond millum Føroyar og Leipzig

Strúkikvartettin í 1897.
Herfyri kom nýggja og mikið hugtakandi Orka plátan Leipzig út. Í mun til undanfarnu útgávurnar, ið vóru staðbundnar í tilevnan av ljóðførum, lagasmíði og innspælingum, er Leipzig innspæld ymsastaðni kring heimin. Tað áhugaverda er, at ymsu støðini eru við í lagaheitunum, og heili 11 av tilsamans 17 løgum hava "Leipzig" við í heitinum, av tí at flestu grundupptøkurnar nettup vóru gjørdar í týska býnum Leipzig, ið plátan eisini er uppkalla eftir.

Havi lurtað nokkso fitt eftir plátuni í seinastuni, meðan eg havi arbeitt við spesialinum hjá mær. Í tí sambandi var tað stuttligt at koma framá brot í greinini "Tónar í hundrað ár – Tema við variasjónum í “dur” og “moll”" eftir Maurentius Viðstein. Greinin stóð fyrstu ferð á prenti í blaðnum Følv í 1967, og var endurútgivin í bókini Horvnar Havnamyndir í 1983. Maurentius skrivar soleiðis um Føroya fyrstu Strúkikvartett, ið var mannað av Georg Casper "Bakar" Hansen, Emil Traber, Georg Long og Dia við Stein:
“…At siga nær, ið teir byrjaðu við hesi strúkikvartett, letur seg ikki gera, tí helst hava teir hildið tað í loynd fyrstu tíðina. Men kvartettin – Strúkikvartettin – var veruleiki í 1882, tí tá var myndin tikin av teimum, meðan teir spældu.
Og teir spældu klassiskan tónleik í strúkikvartettini, teir kundu ikki hugsa sær nakað annað. Hetta var fínur tónleikur, og tað var ikki so frætt, at teir tóku Carl Møller í Århus uppá tunguna. Tað var annars frá Carl Møller í Århus teir høvdu dansinótarnar. Hetta vóru nótar fyri strúkikvartett, sum teir høvdu fingið úr Leipzig – og tað var heldur ikki hitt ringasta slagið. Nei, nei. Her var Largo av Haydn (úr Cellosuituni) og eisini av Händel (úr Oratoriunum “Xernes”), Sarabanda av Händel, Am Meer (Við Havi) av Schubert og so Brúdleypsmarch úr Summarnáttardreymi av Mendelsohn-Bartholdy o.fl. Álvarsamir sótu teir og spældu, tí taktin skuldi haldast, men komu teir til nakað heilt sprelllivandi í einhvørji allegro, so smíltust teir fyri seg sjálvar. Teir vóru glaðir við tónleikin, og teir vóru góðir við hann. – Og tá ið teir pakkaðu saman, stóð altíð ein kaffikoppur fyri teimum – og teir skuldu ikki hava sitið og spælt fyri heilt einki! Hetta var so fyrsta stigið til musikalskt samanspæl.”
Nótar úr Leipzig vóru v.ø.o. nakað heilt serstakt. Tað er ikki óhugsandi at umrøddu nótarnir komu frá heimsins elsta nótaforlagi Breitkopf & Härtel, ið var stovnað í Leipzig í 1719. Leipzig hevur harumframt altíð havt eitt ríkt tónleikalív og eigur sín lut í vesturlendskum kompositiónstónleiki.

Óansæð er okkurt poetiskt í hesum at nótarnir, ið Føroya fyrsta strúkikvartett nýtti, komu úr Leipzig, og eini 125 ár seinni legði kvartettin í Orka (Jens L. Thomsen, Ólavur Jákupsson, Alap Momin, Høgni Lisberg) leiðina framvið sama Leipzig, har teir gjørdu grundupptøkur til nýggja plátu. Gamaní er tað hvør sín siðvenja, og millum hesi bæði søguligu sambondini stendur sjálvandi upptøkutøknin, grammofonin, LP'in, fløgan, mp3 og stroyming, ja stutt sagt; tónleikur í innspældum líki, men stuttligt er tað fyri tað.
Orka: Leipzig (Tutl, 2014)

6/6/14

Tuxedo Rebels: Sometimes The World Is Dark

Tuxedo Rebels: Sometimes The World Is Dark. Cover design by Uni Árting. Cover photo by Eva Johansen.
So this is a bit of self-promotion. Hope you don't mind. I'm excited. Tuxedo Rebels, the duo/band I'm in with my friend Petur Pólson, released our debut album this week on Tutl Records in the Faroes. The Tutl press release we made explains it quite well:

Tuxedo Rebels is Petur Pólson and Knút Háberg Eysturstein. Formed in 2002 when Petur was active in Clickhaze and Knút in Gestir. In accordance with the gravity of creation they went out and performed songs by some of their mutual heroes and along the way considered the idea of writing and releasing their own music.

A decade would pass before these plans were realized. Both Knút and Petur have been treading their own musical paths since 2002 and in the time that has passed Knút has moved abroad while Petur stayed in the Faroes. In the autumn of 2012 the two friends agreed that the time had come. Living in separate countries was not a hindrance but a condition for the creation of the debut album.

They began composing songs and worked together through Skype sessions. Knút was in Copenhagen with his guitar while Petur was in Sandavágur with pen and paper. An album of songs was written and recording sessions began in the living room at Petur’s place when Knút came home to the Faroes during Easter 2013.

They were joined by Benjamin Petersen (guitar, mandolin) and Per I. Højgaard Petersen (drum, percussion). The album was produced and recorded by Knút and mixed by Benjamin Petersen at Jens L. Thomsen’s Støkumørk studio. Jens also plays bass on the album. Handclaps are provided by Døgg Petursdóttir, Solveig H. Olsen & Sunnvá H. Olsen while Rakul Dalsgaard sings backing vocals on two songs.

For the mastering process Tuxedo Rebels requested the services of mastering engineer Dave Collins at Dave Collins Mastering, Los Angeles, USA. Dave has previously mastered albums by artists such as Ben Harper, Bruce Springsteen and Soundgarden.
Ten songs are on the album and they are all written by Tuxedo Rebels. Petur wrote the words and Knút wrote the music.

For the cover and artwork Tuxedo Rebels requested the design skills of Uni Árting as well as the photo skills of Eva Johansen.

Sometimes The World Is Dark is available as a 180. black vinyl LP (incl. CD and download code) and on CD incl. cardboard cover.
Tuxedo Rebels: Sometimes The World Is Dark LP incl. CD + download code
 So that's that. We're extremely happy and proud to release this unto the world. Right now I'm busy with my studies but come July we'll play gigs. Looking so much forward to that! Here are some lyric videos featuring singles from the album and an LP teaser. Enjoy!