September 2019

Breaking borders ................................. 04. bis 07. 09. 2019

°^SISSI und die Chinesische Wäscherei präsentieren: DIRE WOLVES (San Francisco, Members of Jackie O’ Motherfucker, Black Forest Black Sea, etc.)/PONY&RETER/JENS GENEHR-Valentin (Buchpräsentation)/DJ RIMINI°^


.. the higher dimensions of cosmic free-rock. These are exploratory journeys, transportive trance-based experiments in vertical listening, totally collaborative and often forming spontaneous compositions. The focus is more about feeling than any specific approach to playing. Psychic rock for the mind and body: breathe deep and grow towards that light, dig.

Jeffrey Alexander has always been into the cool, the weird, and the darkness.

He has apparently been heavily dabbling in what the band’s bio describes as “the higher dimensions of cosmic free-rock” since I last hung out with him. I consider him a kind of scholar of outsider and avant-garde music; over the years, he’s run Secret Eye Records, been a member of Jackie O’ Motherfucker, Black Forest Black Sea, and managed to find a way to always remain genuinely excited about creating and performing music—which is not always the case with artists who keep at it for multiple decades.

Recorded in Oakland, CA during a two day stretch, "Grow Towards the Light" is Dire Wolves’ 4th official full-length album (not including the fifteen or so minor releases, bootlegs, and tapes they’ve put out over the years), and it’s the first without Lau Nau on main vocals. Taking over that role is the mystical Georgia Carbone, singing in her own invented language. Regarding the album title: you can really hear the sun pulsating through the space clouds, if you know what I mean. Jeffrey plays guitar and moog here, joined by Brian Lucas on bass, Sheila Bosco (from Faun Fables) on drums and piano, Arjun Mendiratta (Village of Spaces) on violin, and Taralie Peterson (Spires that in the Sunset Rise) on saxophone.

“Every Step Is Birth” features a dark, plodding groove. It sounds like the soundtrack to a sinister after-party in a place you suspect might actually be purgatory. I happen to know that Jeffrey Alexander followed the Dead around for the better part of the 1980s, and you can hear that influence here, but also shades of musical styles from all over the globe. “Every Step,” with its shrieking violin and Georgia’s haunting vocals, builds into a trance-like, cinematic climax. All of this becomes all the more impressive when you realize that every note of this recording was improvised.

Jeffrey tells me the album thematically tries to express the “interconnectedness of all things,” which makes perfect sense given even during some of the more unsettling jams and eerie melodies, this album always feels like a cohesive whole.

Stylistically this is really a broad, painterly album that comes together in a beautiful, unexpected way. I hope you enjoy "Grow Towards the Light."


°^SISSI und die Chinesische Wäscherei präsentieren: MARK MORGAN (Sightings! US)/GAUTE GRANLI (Norge)/TOM SMITH (H, To Live And Shave In L.A., Merkwürdig Riechnerv)°^

MARK CHARLES MORGAN is most well known as the guitarist and singer of Sightings, a New York City based avant rock band which existed from 1998 to 2013. The band was sometimes accused of exploring the outer reaches of sound in a traditional three piece rock format by The Wire, Village Voice and Pitchfork among others. They released 10 full length albums on the labels Load, Ecstatic Peace, Fusetron and Dais in addition to a few 7" singles. They extensively toured the US, Canada, Europe and Japan. Morgan also collaborated with No Neck Blues Band member Pat Murano in Key of Shame which released two separate albums on Italian labels Planam and Holidays. Morgan’s most recent release is his first solo guitar record Department of Heraldry released on Bill Nace’s Open Mouth label.

GAUTE GRANLI’s solo project has been his main musical output for the past five years where he explores a range of abstract and bizarre territories. He combines chanting, guitar, a range of effects with analog sampling and creates a dark and industrial sound. The music is freely improvised as well as composed. He's got two tape albums out here on Skussmaal: Velkommen til Forus and Ingen Potetsekk Whatsoever. His third solo album is an LP/CD called Animalskt, released in 2017 on Drid Machine Records and Unhinged. Drid Machine Records has also released a split vinyl with Gaute Granli and Clifford Torus.

TOM SMITH began making music at nine - shortwave radio and turntable manipulation. (Just wicked child's play, but ideas quickly coalesced.) Joined an African-American funk ensemble at 13. Within minutes of his debut, received an ear-nuzzle and a beer. Hooked. Enrolled in an electronic music class at university in 1974; joined the staff of its radio station the same year. Initial electro-acoustic compositions recorded (often in collaboration with Don Fleming) in 1975. During off-hours at the station, emboldened both by the aesthetic promise of punk and Lee Perry's titanic Super Ape, subverted production facilities to create fractured dub versions of extant, "underdone" releases. Moved to NYC in 1977; kept eyes peeled. Migrated next to Athens, Georgia; formed Boat Of (1979-83). Moved to DC, resurfaced as Peach of Immortality (1983-91). Amidst turmoil, signed on with Pussy Galore (8/85 to 2/86). Initial TLASILA demos were recorded by TS in May 1990. Smith moved to Miami in 1991 and perfected the TLASILA template. Rat Bastard and Ben Wolcott were aboard by 93-94. Moved to Germany in 2008. MORE!