24 February 2014
April 2014 Releases.
11 February 2014
Father Murphy – Pain Is On Our Side Now
Now a duo they return with a new EP "Pain Is On Our Side Now". Some early press:
"Pain is on Our Side Now is a fascinating listen. It’s an unapologetic venture into head music and contains some powerful compositions. It’s steeped in a sense of reverence, but one that looks below, rather than expecting anything from above."
(Drowned In Sound)
Opening track Let The Wrong Rise With You is a hell bred snarling beast of an incitement, a sonic predator with slavering -3noise sculpted jaws and deviously deceptive intent. A slow stalking yet voraciously breathing mix of industrial like scarring and psychedelic ambient seared with melodic cinders, the piece envelops the senses and emotions, its dawning and slowly towering presence revealing the bowels of hell and the beauty of submission.
(The Ringmaster Review)
USA tour dates coming soon:
Feb 13 The Space Cadet Madrid, Spain
Feb 15 La Lupita del Raval Barcelona, Spain
Feb 18 Les Hauts Parleurs Villefranche De Rouergue, France
Feb 19 Les Pavillons Sauvages Toulouse, France
Feb 20 Le Bocal Caen, France
Feb 21 La Mecanique Ondulatoire w/Les Agamemnonz, Los dos hermanos Paris, France
Feb 22 Le Sud Rotterdam, Netherlands RSVP Share
Feb 24 The Outer Church @ Caroline of Brunswick w/MX LX, Slow Listener Brighton, United Kingdom
Feb 25 Power Lunches, w/MX LX, Dj Fitz (Doodcast) London, United Kingdom
Feb 26 St. John's Crypt w/MX LX Bristol, United Kingdom
Feb 27 the Eagle Inn Salford w/Locean & Desmadrados Soldados de Ventura Manchester, United Kingdom
Feb 28 13th Note, w/No Island, Kabobo Glasgow, United Kingdom
Mar 01 Lee Rosy Nottingham, United Kingdom e
Mar 04 La Péniche Lille, France Tickets
Mar 05 L'Apart Café Reims, France
Mar 06 London Calling Brussels, Belgium
Mar 07 Incubated @013 w/Deerhoof Tilburg, Netherlands
Mar 08 La Chaouée w/ Human Song Metz, France
Mar 13 OCCII Amsterdam, Netherlands
Mar 14 Villa Te Koop Den Haag, Netherlands
Mar 15 VOORUIT Gent, Belgium
Mar 16 Le Bourg w/MX LX Lausanne, Switzerland
31 December 2013
Happy New Year!
2013 was a fine year for Aagoo. Thank you to everyone who supported the label. It would not be the same without you! I hope this year brings everyone Happiness!
The first release of 2014 is a split with the mighty Boring Machines label. Father Murphy "Pain is on our side now" EP - Out January 27th (EU/UK) and February 11th(USA) , 2014.
Here is the teaser video.
07 December 2013
Blevin Blectum "Emblem Album" Out December 7th
10 new ones from Blevin Blectum ! Her fifth solo album (as Blevin Blectum) will be released December 7th 2013.
(official release party is Saturday 12/7 @ Columbus Theatre / Providence, RI ( feat. Blevin Blectum and Blectum from Blechdom sets)
"Well, this disc is just a tantalizing challenge filled with obstacles . There's a moment's pause , everything is devoured and destroyed by sounds tough and unlikely ."
03 December 2013
”Crows & Kittiwakes Wheel & Come Again” LP/BOOK -OUT NOW / KK Null, Israel Martinez, Lumen Lab
"Incognita" CD/Digital + "Terra Incognita" LP -OUT NOW
Terra Incognita has been described as "Beastly living-space invading generators of monolithic Nicht Backing Off-ness? Natch! " in an early review by Julien Cope.
Rockambula had this to say about "Crows & Kittiwakes Wheel & Come Again”
"...A faultless album for those who want to immerse themselves totally in the flow of his own conscience , for those looking for healthy and lawful means to cross the barriers of the senses..."
Incognita CD/Digital out now!
21 October 2013
A Lily EP, Lupa, will be available November 12 from Aagoo Records / Love Thy Neighbor.
From "The week in Pop" Impose Magazine:
"A Lily, the solo project of FatCat Records operator James Vella, is proud to present the beautiful Ben Lankester directed video for, "The Sparrow In The Lemon Tree" off his upcoming Lupa EP. James Vella depicts his solo music as a ballroom dancing band that gets you up close and personal with the instruments, the preparation processes and exchanges from the two attendees, tightly hold on to every capture of almost every sounded strum from the song. With A Lily framed by the stage's arch, a seasoned couple begins their dance to the gentle stringed symphonic ceremony; courtesy of James and friends.
More precious and personal still, is that the couple in the video are actually the grandparents of James Vella. The inseparable devotion between the two presents a bond that slow-dances amid a sound that gently blooms like the natural cycles and orders of all things according to their own desires, hearts, and connective counterparts. The various intimate touches from Lankester for Progress Film provides the attention to individual parts that compose the audio holistics and audio set pieces that frame an endless romantic song and spirit for an age where convenience and preferences of the temporal and superficial tends to trump such concepts and notions of the enduring, and unconditional bonds that some still believe can exist and prevail above all material accoutrements.
Exchanging digital cables across the pond, we caught up with James Vella to discuss his solo EP Lupa, insights into his creative processes, the stories behind Lupa and the making of the gorgeous, heart warming video for "The Sparrow in the Lemon Tree".
Tell us about the process of songwriting and crafting that went into your upcoming Lupa EP.
This is a difficult question, actually. It's hard to reverse-engineer. I like to record alone, building the pieces up one layer at a time. But that tends to happen once the composition itself is already on the way. Sometimes I find myself playing out a melody I like while I'm sitting at an instrument; sometimes it comes in a dream or a daydream and I have to rush home to get the recorder rolling before I forget. And then there's the balance between brainstorming ideas and considered arrangement. Somewhere between the two, with elements of each, lies the A Lily songwriting process. It essentially equates to lots of quiet hours spent buried in instruments, microphones, effect pedals and such. And lots of long walks along the beach when I get stuck and need time out.
Lupa also has a handful of guest players, mostly string players, as much as I would like to, I can't play the violin, and my friend and colleague Adam - from Mice Parade - helped out with some drums on one track for me too.
Who or what is Lupa?
Lupa is both a 'who' and a 'what' in this case. The EP is themed after the story of Romulus and Remus. This is an ancient Roman tale of two brothers who fought to the death over the formation of the city of Rome. They were responsible for the beginning of the Roman Empire, but Romulus had to kill his twin brother to get there. It's quite tragic and quite surreal.
The story goes that Romulus and Remus' mother was forced to abandon the twin babies in the forest, but they were rescued and raised by a feral wolf. The wolf was named Lupa. Through a series of extraordinary and magical circumstances, Lupa began one of the greatest civilizations in human history.
How did you go about choosing the moniker A Lily for a solo handle?
The name has been with me for a long time, since I was in school. I started writing electronic music when my parents bought a new family computer and let me take the old one into my room. I found lots of 303 and 808 emulators and tried to make music like Kid A with them. Someone then asked me what I wanted to call my new electronic project. I answered, 'A Lily, like the flower', and it stuck with me. The electronic music eventually evolved into something a little more organic when I realized playing guitar and piano and drumkit could contribute as well, but the name has come on the whole way with me.
What were the inspirations behind the xylophone-stringed morning glory that is, "The Sparrow in the Lemon Tree"?
Specifically, the Maltese city of Mdina. It's also known as the Silent City, and it's fortified, protected, and built from white stone on the top of a hill. It's like a preserved Medieval relic frozen in time and hushed by its own reverence. My family is Maltese, I've spent plenty of time there. On one trip fairly recently, I realized that the lemon trees in the dry moat were full of sparrows. I found myself humming a melody and scribbled down some lyric ideas about the sparrows, about how tragically easy it is for them to break their nests, but they still build something so magical from almost nothing.
It started from there. Then came organ, banjo, glockenspiel, guitar, lapsteel.
The violin lines are played by my friend Oli Knowles. He's a superb musician, a real creative talent.
How did the process of adapting it for warm visualizations of instrument close ups and morning routines come about?
Initially from a conversation with my grandparents about their dance classes. The idea that hit me first was that a pensioners' dance class would make a fantastic music video. But then I realized that the reason I found that interesting is because I'm so utterly in awe of my grandparents' inseparable devotion to each other after 60 years of marriage. They didn't need to 'act' for the video, that's really how in love they are with each other. So I shifted the plans to focus on Grandma and Grandad.
I took the idea to a director friend - my football team-mate Ben Lankester at Progress Film - and showed him a photo of my grandparents and he picked up the reins on the thing. I think he did a fantastic job. We had to convey something us young'uns have never experienced, and I think he did it. My grandparents are happy, at least.
What's the latest and most exciting things happening in Brighton these days?
Brighton is a beautiful city. The creativity is ceaseless. Two of my closest friends are bandmates in my other project, yndi halda, have fantastic solo projects named The Lunchtime Sardine Club and Vincent Vocoder Voice. Another friend of ours runs a video session website in the Blogotheque mold, Galapagos Presents. I'd also recommend checking out a brand new art collective (named Kollektiv) - they're working on a workshop and studio for emerging visual artists.
Release ceremony party plans in the works for Lupa that we should know about?
As much as I would love to party to celebrate the record release, I have weeks and weeks of work left to do on my album. And my first fiction book will be published in January, which will require some serious dedicated time too. I just set up a new band with a few buddies to start playing the Lupa songs out live. So we'll do some celebrating by playing music together. Maybe that's the best celebration, come to think of it.
Thank you for your beautiful music, James!
Really sweet of you to say. That means a lot!!"
16 September 2013
Murcof & Philippe Petit "First Chapter" and VA "Double Mono" out now!
Murcof & Philippe Petit LP+Poster and CD is now available in very limited quantities via Aagoo and Rev Lab mailorder and in stores across North America and Europe.
The Double Mono LP is limited to 300 copies, is packaged in a custom screened jacket with a half red half blue vinyl. The album was put together and designed by Phillip Niemeyer in conjunction with a group show of art and design for anaglyph 3-D glasses. The art show was at Grey Duck Gallery in May/June 0f 2013. Featuring THE OCTOPUS PROJECT, AU, PALAXY TRACKS, JOHN SABA JR., DEVIN MAXWELL, III, JIM ENO and ERIN FLANNERY & ZACH LAYTON.
29 August 2013
Sal Mineo interview with Vice magazine.
Read the interview they did last week with Noisey!
or just read it here:
"WE TALKED TO EUGENE ROBINSON AND JAMIE STEWART OF SAL MINEO ABOUT THE ACTUAL SAL MINEO"
"Take ass-kicking, MMA ‘n’ jujitsu-destroying Adonis Eugene Robinson—chief provocateur of bludgeoning avant-metal iconoclasts Oxbow, worshipped author, journalist and poet, bit part actor in the Bill Cosby disaster Leonard Part 6 and invaluable VICE contributor—and hook him up with longtime bud and kindred spirit Jamie Stewart, the art-pop brainiac/wordsmith master behind Xiu Xiu, and only SAL MINEO could be spawned.
A schizoid experimental minimalist duo whose warped vision is as dank and doomy as the Los Angeles alley where iconic actor Sal Mineo was tragically hacked to death in 1976, the Robinson/Stewart union produces a sinister beast of spoken word histrionics and electronics abuse.
SAL MINEO, the twosome’s eponymous debut, is inspired by and mirrors Mineo’s ill-fated death and its bleak vision of the Oxbow front-man’s L.A. hometown. Robinson channels the once-successful-turned-has been actor, psychotically crooning, squawking, whispering and howling an ostensible death spiral while Stewart's synths clatter, crack, squeal and streak through twenty-three bat-shit, yet mesmerizing, noise-driven, poetic vignettes.
We caught up with the jovial men behind SAL MINEO to talk the real Sal Mineo, The Thin Black Duke, a new Xiu Xiu record, and in a shocker. Robinson revealing that he did once receive a big fat check from Black Flag’s Greg Ginn for an Oxbow record the alleged SST Records’ sue-drunk swindler released.
Noisey: How are you guys?
Robinson: Not too bad at all…
Stewart: …doin’ all right.
Robinson: That’s actually a lie but, you know, for the purposes of this discussion (laughs), it’ll work.
Why’s that? What’s bothering you?
Robinson: Life is full of miseries and indignities. You should know that.
So, how long have you two known each other?
Robinson: Known each other? I don’t know (laughing)…
Stewart: Eight or nine years?
Robinson: I would have said since the Nineties because I’m dating it back to the IBOPA at the Cocodrie (in San Francisco).
Stewart: I don’t think we met (there); that was what made me a fan of Oxbow. I don’t know if we talked, though.
Robinson: No, we did not talk but that was the first time I set eyes on you (laughing).
Stewart: Yeah, yeah.
You hit it off right away? (Laughing)
Stewart: No, Eugene hated that band!
Robinson: It started with the name; I really didn’t like the name. Hate is a strong word. I don’t think I hated them. It was actually your dad who hated them more than I did, if I’m remembering the story correctly.
Jamie’s dad hated IBOPA?
Robinson: Yeah,his dad hated them. It was a certain type of feel good music, maybe with a lot of horns that I tend to like but it was just, I don’t know…
Stewart: I can say with very little shame—and with total accuracy—that I’m quite sure we sucked that night, so…I do not hold any hate disguised as indifference, nor have I ever.
So it started as a somewhat contentious partnership.
Stewart: Well, actually, the first time we met and worked together, it was anything but contentious. After that I had been an Oxbow fan immediately and saw them play several times and when I saw Niko (Wenner) and Eugene play an acoustic show in Seattle, which was, to date, one of the best shows I’ve ever seen in my life. I then asked Eugene if he’d be kind enough to sing on a Xiu Xiu song, which he very sweetly obliged to doing it. It took about a year to get it together after we actually talked about it but he showed up at my apartment quite late at night, had me turn up the headphones so loud that even though I was in the other room—and he was in the kitchen and the kitchen door was closed—I could hear the headphones through the door.
Stewart (to Robinson): You did two astoundingly terrifying vocal takes that I have no idea what my next door neighbor thought because this was probably at like 11:30PM. Then we shook hands and he split and we’ve been in touch since.
Do you live close to one another now?
Stewart: We used to.
Robinson: Yeah, when he was in Oaklandbut Los Angeles is bit far away. You know, when neighbors hear noises like that coming from your apartment, they tend not to complain I’ve discovered.
Stewart: Yeah, yeah. I wouldn’t!
Robinson: (Laughing) Maybe later you can complain but not in the short term. Or move quick.
Where did you record the SAL MINEO record? If you recorded that an apartment, it may cause a bit of a ruckus.
Robinson: No, no. Those vocals were done in an actual, real, official studio. I’m still guessing that maybe this studio wasn’t used to having those types of sounds coming out of it but it was a real studio.
Did you record together or is SAL MINEO one of those projects done long distance style where you email each other music and lyrics then it’s all spliced together?
Stewart: Yeah, it was like that—it goes all through the mail. At the time, I was living against my will in North Carolina so I was just emailing stuff to Eugene.
Why were you “living against your will?”
(Burst of laughter)
Was someone holding you hostage or something?
Stewart: The answer shall just be a trio of cackling.
Then how did the SAL MINEO concept form for you guys? Had you always talked about collaborating?
Robinson: I think we wanted to work on something and Jamie had said this really clever thing. He said “Why don’t we do like eight or so tunes,” which again helped me frame my mind around a certain set of lyrics and certain kind of idea. Then after about a month or so, he said “I got a better idea. I don’t know if you’ll be into but I am going to send you instead 23 songs or 33 songs—some incredibly large number of songs—airing in length from thirty seconds to three minutes. I hope you’re into it.” In the spirit of artistic collaboration, I recognized fully for what it was, which was a challenge to end all challenges. So I was more than game for it. Out of the ones Jamie sent me, I only failed to admit to defeat in the face of one of the songs but all of the others had lyrics perfectly sliced and diced, re-slided, planned and sung in short order. It was probably one of the coolest things I’ve ever done, I think.
Eugene, did you approach the lyrics any differently than, say, you do for Oxbow?
Robinson: Well, uh, no (laughs). I’m following having ways dictum of writing what I know. I guess writing what I know that’s shot-gunning myself—but maybe after the shot-gunning part. But I was writing what I know and the difference is Oxbow is a long gestation period typically—five, or six years between records so the records tend to be five, six years away from my actual experience. But this (SAL MINEO) had a much faster cycle in terms of the lyrics being a reflection of what’s happening in my mind—this is much more of a current news situation. For me, writing is writing. I can sit at the computer, at the typewriter or with a piece of paper with a pen and not stop until I’m exhausted. This was no different.
Xiu Xiu is way obviously way different aesthetically than SAL MINEO. Jamie, how did you go about creating the musical approach? It sounds like it was born from improv.
Stewart: I would certainly agree with you on that it was different from Xiu Xiu stuff and, for my own sanity, I really needed it to be. At the time that I was working on the SAL MINEO stuff, I was working on an incredibly difficult Xiu Xiu record and I thought if I continued to approach music in that way, I was gonna have to cut both of my hands off. I did it as much as possible—or attempted to do as much as possible—with as little overthought as I could muster, which for me is not really easy. I try to have it be as below the neck as possible.
Over the course of about two months after I finish doing regular Xiu Xiu stuff—usually about midnight and usually three or four drinks into the evening with grabbing any collection of things that made horrible sounds and start plugging them into each other—and in a classic sense—and forgive the douchebaggery of this, I attempted to make something as experimental as possible by doing actual experiments. Not in an experimental genre way but actually plugging things into each which I had not plugged into or juxtaposing sounds which I had not juxtaposed before to see how it would turn out. It largely turned out (to be) a coping mechanism for me and it ended up being one of the most enjoyable music experiences I’ve ever had working on it and was very out of control the entire time, which since has become a more regularized part of my everyday writing process. I’ve learned a whole lot from working this record.
Were you channeling any musicians with the sounds you made on the record?
Stewart: I’m quite sure unconsciously I was. I think maybe more just channeling ideas that other musicians have given me and going for it as opposed to thinking about going for it.
Oxbow and Xiu Xiu are band situations. How have you adapted to SAL MINEO’s minimal voice/electronics format?
Robinson: I think both of us have had the experience of stripping it down as far as it goes. I’ve seen Jamie onstage alone, Jamie versus 600 people and he’s held it down. I’ve been touring on books now for five years and this is me onstage with not even a book, actually—just a microphone. Unless the entire audience is going to physically attack you, I think it’s a manageable challenge.
What was the genesis behind SAL MINEO as the band name?
Robinson: I think I suggested it and it just had everything to do with the deep and damp holes that are very frequently on the outside of any kind of meager success, at least determined by, you know, the shit machine they call…
Robinson: …America.The quote that kicked it off was one that I read that, Sal and his family, who strangely enough has actually contacted me, post facto, and just were excited that we remembered him, and regaled me with stories about his time in Mamaroneck, New York near The Bronx. It was pretty shocking and amazing and I actually don’t think I even told Jamie that maybe…
Stewart:…I didn’t know that. That’s amazing…
Robinson: …because I’ve forgotten so I got some great stories. One of his quotes was “One day the phone didn’t stop ringing and then the next day I couldn’t get it to start ringing.” It happens a lot. I’m a journalist and I was writing an article today about Jobriath, the glam rocker guy, the “American Bowie,” and the guy was like “This is the best record ever!” and not even three years later (it was like) “Who?” It’s funny. This happens in micro, of course, in your lives. People you know, don’t remember, you don’t remember, memory is transient.
Were you always a fan of his films and of the man himself, being somewhat of a tragic hero?
Robinson: I wouldn’t have done it if I didn’t have a high appreciation for that guy’s work. But I also probably wouldn’t have done it had he not been stabbed to death in an alley in Los Angeles. So, we didn’t call it “Tab Hunter.” (Laughing).
The record is quite dark and so was Mineo’s end, tragically stabbed to death in the city where you live. Does it all tie together in your mind?
Robinson: That would be for you to say and you just said it.
You have a gig coming up at Hopscotch Music Festival coming and few other ones. Has SAL MINEO played live yet?
Stewart: We did a European tour earlier this year.
How did that go?
Stewart: Surprisingly well.
Stewart: We went before we had a record out and that could always be a risky process. But the turnouts were real good and it was a true pleasure. Eugene has been one of my favorite singers for fifteen years and it was a real pleasure to get to play behind him…
Robinson:…and it’s always kind of a difficult proposition when you’re playing stuff that people don’t know under the best of circumstances. A lot of times if you’re playing to, you know, cooperative audiences (laughing), you can just turn up the volume but there is a nuance and a dynamic to this type of music (SAL MINEO) which made that a less desirable approach for us. Given that, I think things went really well. In terms of people extending to us willingness or ability to listen to and process new things, at least new in terms as why they would have been there in the first place, new from an Oxbow perspective and maybe new from a Xiu Xiu perspective.
Will SAL MINEO play more shows beyond these upcoming dates?
Robinson: That’s typically for the world to tell us. We had not been actively or aggressively pursuing it as far as I know it but we have not opposed it. At least personally, I’ve found I am much better going places I’m wanted than (to) places I’m not wanted.
That said, will SAL MINEO even exist beyond this record and tour?
Robinson: What’s great about art and the creation of artifacts is that I can confidently say that SAL MINEO will exist forever (laughing)…
Robinson: …and that record will outlive me. You’ll be able to buy it at swap meet thirty years from now and I probably won’t be walking around thirty years from now, so…
Well, you could be. Living another thirty years is not out of the realm of possibility for you.
Robinson: You’re right.I’m trying to live right. I could be.
What else do you guys have coming up besides SAL MINEO. New Xiu Xiu? New Oxbow?
Stewart: I’ve got a record of Nina Simone covers that comes out this fall and then a regular new Xiu Xiu record in February and a record of kind of American religious folk songs from the 1800’s that comes out, I think, on Record Store Day. I just finished doing some music for (laughs)…it was so Arty with a capital A of dance beats that it bordered on hilarious.
Robinson: Oxbow goes into the studio to record The Thin Black Duke, finally now. Jack White has finished his record so we don’t get bumped by our producer anymore. We do that in November. Then I have a record coming out in September called Stranger by Starlight, then Leisure High comes out in this winter and that’s with me and Bevin Kelley from Blectum From Blechdom. I then go out on tour with L'Enfance Rouge for about ten days at the end of November and into December on a release called The First Will And Testament. I’m also in a movie in which I play a preacher.
What about Black Face with Black Flag/FLAG bassist Chuck Dukowski? Is that happening?
Robinson: (Laughs) Chuck bailed on it. Tom Dobrov the drummer, actually after months and months of not letting it die, convinced me we should at least finish a record because the stuff was so cool. Now, given the swelter of Black Flag-inspired lawsuitery, it was probably best that we dumped the idea of using Dukowski tunes and just do what we kind of what we wanted to do, which was, you know, crazy fistfight music, so…
Were you afraid Greg Ginn would sue you also?
Robinson: Um, well, for one, you know. At this point, if we were not doing Chuck Dukowski tunes, I can’t imagine why we would. But I’d be glad to have any discussion with him in a court room if it comes to that. I have not seen any more money from Serenade in Red, which I am pretty sure they (SST Records) sold.
You actually got money from Ginn for that Oxbow record SST released?
Robinson: I did, I did.
Maybe Ginn is getting an unfair rap for not paying people after all?
Robinson: No, no. We got a nice $5000 check from him, just because I’m insane about money, so… (laughing).
07 August 2013
The Minutes by Israel Martinez reviewed on Tiny Mix Tapes.
By JOE HEMMERLING
STYLES: field recording, noise, drone
OTHERS: Mola CL, Philippe Petit
“In many places of [Mexico] has been a social transformation [sic]; there are now more empty playgrounds, abandoned streets and tension.”
– Israel Martinez
At first, all you can hear are footsteps and the intermittent sounds of birds chirping. Then, a lone voice, a street performer singing through a microphone attached to a portable amp. His song lilts through the growing bustle of pedestrian traffic and street chatter and vendors ringing their bells. We have found ourselves, somehow, in the middle of some urban thoroughfare, on the surface no different from the kind you’d traverse in any city anywhere in the world.
And then it begins. Soft at first, a gentle, distant buzzing, but increasing in volume until it eclipses the rest of the metropolitan noise. The sound of flies.
II. The Burial of the Dead
“Other descriptive neologisms for the disposal of murder victims include encajuelados (dead bodies stuffed in car trunks), ensabanados (bodies wrapped in sheets), encobijados (bodies wrapped in blankets), entambados (bodies stuffed in metal barrels, often along with acid or wet cement), enteipados (bodies wrapped in industrial tape), etc. In these expressions, attaching the preposition en to a participial verb converts the verb into an adjective or noun; each shift is grammatically marked by a morpheme; and the active verb implies an act of violence at the level of grammar, since en implies the placing or rendering of a human body inside something it would not normally be inside.”
– Howard Campbell, Drug War Zone
Cowering in the shadow of some great industrial beast. And all around us is the knocking, the grinding, the pounding of its unnatural organs. The birds screech, panicked and threatening, their shrill cries slipping like razors through the juddering of its innards. We could cover our ears, but it won’t dull the cacophony, won’t cover the acrid scent of animal panic. It seems like it’s an eternity in passing over us, until, all at once, it is receding into the distance, disappearing into the delicate pitter-patter of the rain.
Then that buzzing again. Different than before. Mechanical. Artificial. Through the buzzing we can hear something like digging. Like a shovel breaking the skin of rocky soil, carving out another hole in the desert.
III. From My Laptop I Can Watch at a Distance
“We change where we live every month. We’ve been in basements. It’s very difficult. We hide our equipment in different places. If the authorities get close we run.”
– “Lucy,” founder of Mexico’s Blog del Narco
You take a sip of your coffee and open your web browser, looking to check Facebook or Twitter or email before starting your day, and there it is. You tell yourself not to click on it, but you know you’re going to: another story about an assassination of a Mexican official or a grisly mass execution carried out in some public space. There’s a sick feeling in the pit of your stomach, the kind that comes when an abstract horror is made momentarily tangible, the kind that comes when you realize just how privileged and how helpless you are. You whisper to yourself something that lands between a curse and prayer, and you close the browser and begin your day.
IV. The Sound of Water
“If there were the sound of water only
Not the cicada
And dry grass singing
But the sound of water over a rock
Where the hermit-thrush sings in the pine trees
Drip drop drip drop drip drop drop
But there is no water”
– T.S. Eliot, “The Waste Land”
The track “Ojodeagua” opens with the sound of the surf rolling into shore, transforms into the deafening roar of water surging in a pressurized stream, then into the peaceful babbling of a brook, and eventually back to a roar once more. Hearing it makes me think of Eliot’s “The Waste Land,” in which water is used to symbolize the hope for rebirth in a world no longer capable of sustaining life. I don’t know if “rebirth” was what Martinez had in mind when composing the piece. The water’s roar is not a reassuring sound, nor a particularly hopeful one. It arrives with jarring suddenness and goes on for too long. Listening too closely to the piece makes me anxious. But, then, rebirth itself is a terrifying thing. Why else would the figures in Eliot’s poem be so fearful of it?
When the buzzing returns, it is almost a comfort.
People living in Mexico can close their browsers whenever they want, too, but they’ll still have to drive past the bodies on their way to work.
02. Oblique Conjectures
10. Tabulo Pacifico
09 July 2013
Murcof + Philippe Petit: 1st chapter / Release date: September 2013
Aagoo is teaming up with the hot Dutch label Rev Lab (http://www.revlaboratories.com/) to release "1st chapter" by Murcof and Philippe Petit. We will have LP, CD and Digital available.
Listen to the track "Pegasus" here: https://soundcloud.com/aagoo/pegasus-murkof-and-philippe