Slide 1
Guest Playlist #06: Matt Bower of Wizards Tell Lies

By Steve Dewhurst

“When I started buying films on VHS, I would record the sound onto tape so I could take the film with me on journeys.”

Pete Swanson
Enough Dark Intensity: An Interview with Jimmy Lacy of SiP

By Jason Cabaniss

"I like the idea of “cocktail music.” Something intentionally light and pleasant. I’m always trying to write music that communicates some type of positive mood and when I’m playing, trying to focus my energy there"

Slide 2
Clean is Dirty: An Interview with Flowertown

By Lindsay Oxford

The birth of San Francisco’s Flowertown makes for a good story: longtime Bay Area scene compatriots Karina Gill (Cindy) and Mike Ramos (Tony Jay) compose a song together for an upcoming show in later winter 2020, and the day before they’re slated to play it, the world stopped.

Slide 3
Needles and Pins: Derek Piotr's Journey to the Heart of Britain's Folklands

By Steve Dewhurst

“Yorkshire is not so dissimilar to my home in the Northeast of America,” Derek Piotr tells me from York, the latest stop on his great British journey. “Connecticut is part of New England, so that makes sense.”

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Stream: Kar Pouzi – “Red Sprite II”

Helen Papaioannou is nothing if not productive.  A composer whose works have been performed by Nieuw Ensemble, Ensemble neoN, the LSO and the Royal Northern Sinfonia, among many other luminaries in the realm of boundary-pushing classical music, she has also formed a part of some of the UK’s best fringe noisemakers and improvisers down the years.  An alto and baritone saxophonist, her squawks and honks can be heard across releases by bands like Beauty Pageant, Hokkett, PONPON and, most recently, Garlic Hug with Alessandro Altavilla. But far from spreading herself too thinly, Papaioannou seems to embrace and master each and every left turn she makes; her newest project, a solo endeavour by the name of Kar Pouzi, brings synths into the mix and intertwines them so deftly with the familiar bellows of her horn that each develops an almost symbiotic reliance on the other to progress.

Alternating between flat-out noise, Ikedan micro-glitch and the almost inaudible, Red Sprite journeys through four tracks of call-and-response virtuosity that rewards the same kind of patience and close attention Papaioannou clearly lavished upon the album’s creation.  If the opening track’s air horn blare is designed to alarm the listener to attention, it performs a similar task on the synths by practically knocking the door down to elicit recognition. Quiet and tentative, the first obvious evidence of the synths’ presence arrives well after halfway into “Red Sprite I,” peeping a head into the gaps the staccato sax leaves in it’s increasingly frantic wake. From here, they’re coaxed into the light to join the party, never again to play subordinate, and they perform as much of a role in dictating the remaining tracks’ passage as their more forthright opposition.  By the time “Red Sprite III” has droned into the snarling “Gabbazanzara,” in fact, the synths are grinding out a danse macabre and the horn, if indeed that is the horn, has been plunged beneath a syrupy mass of static, barely able to produce a parp.

Red Sprite is available via Leeds label don’t drone alone and you can stream the masterfully constructed “Red Sprite II” below: