Passive/Aggressive

Cheval Sombre – “Imagining some sort of graceful, gentle force” (interview)

English Feature May 10 2015 cheval sombre liverpool

Tekst og foto: Andreas Melchior

I efteråret 2012 udgav Cheval Sombre, hvis eneste faste medlem er den New York-baserede sangskriver Christopher Porpora, det formidable album “Mad Love”, som også blev omtalt her på bloggen. Porporas tyste og bevægende sange er bygget op omkring en akustisk grundstamme med spor fra åndrig folk, blues og gospel, som kamufleres af en synæstetisk wall of sound. Til dette års Pop Revo kan man opleve en af de forholdsvis sjældne Cheval Sombre-koncerter, når Christopher Porpora spiller et solo-set på Radar. Dette interview er foretaget, inden Cheval Sombre blev booket til Pop Revo.

P/A: I watched your performance at Liverpool Psych Fest 2014. It seemed to be a very emotional experience for you. What do you experience when you play in front of an audience?

Christopher Porpora: “It was — it always is. I find playing music a highly charged moment, whenever and wherever I play. The trick is always how to hold it together. And the tricky thing is that the trick always changes, as all things must and do. Sometimes it’s focusing on one spot in the room, or closing the eyes, imagining some sort of graceful, gentle force which holds me as I play, which gets me through. Other times it’s other things — unprintable here — other ways of being.

The show in Liverpool was particularly overwhelming as a result of many things. A dear friend of mine had recently passed away — and that was very much with me — it still is. Also, Pete Kember and Alison Cotton were on stage with me, both playing devastatingly gorgeous swells of music, which could have easily swallowed me into some luxurious death. Under such circumstances, I do hang on best I can, trying to play the songs all the while.”

P/A: Pete Kember (Sonic Boom) plays a significant part in Cheval Sombre. He has produced both of your albums and also joined some of your live performances. How did that collaboration come about and what does he bring to Cheval Sombre?

CP: “Indeed, he has. What does he bring? An exquisite beauty — depth of colour, shades. He brings distraction — and he has told me so — but let me explain. I have encountered much generosity in this world I should say, and just recently was asked which musician I would like to see most give a performance. The price of the ticket not a worry, the venue, the country, the time, the place — all mine to decide. I thought about it seriously for a few minutes, considering this rare offer.

I had always wanted to see Leonard Cohen, and I did, luckily, a few years ago. Who else, I wondered. And I said it — it would be Pete. His music struck me when I was very young. And it helped to redeem a life which I suspected might be drab, empty, lifeless. So playing beside him has always been a deliverance. When the beauty of our worlds come together something extraordinary comes forth. If I can’t catch him on his own I suppose I do so when we play together. I must do. The sounds he produces make the moment better for me, as they always have. But he is the one who reminds me not to get distracted when we play. He doesn’t like my songs to suffer while I am getting lost in his parts. Læs resten

Sun Araw “Trawling with big nets” (interview) – the improvisational undercurrent of the audiovisual, the non-linear and the infinite dub

English Feature April 26 2015 8_12_20_11_The FADER__Sunaraw and The Congos_1086_v2

Af Simon Christensen – foto: Alex Welsh / The Fader

Hvis man kan sige, at vi befinder os i en internettets brydningstid (gør vi ikke altid det?), hvor der udspiller sig en definitionskamp over ejerskab, så repræsenterer Sun Araw den fløj, hvor information bevæger sig allermest frit. Credoet er, at information både er det primære input og output inden for kunsten, så derfor bør den være tilgængelig med færrest mulige restriktioner.

Den stærkt inspirerende Los Angeles-multiinstrumentalist, filmmager, improvisator mv. Cameron Stallones har som Sun Araw, gennem selskabet Sun Ark, under aliasset Aristocrat P. Child og via FRKWAYS-samarbejdet med The Congos bevæget sig i en strøm af dub music, eccojams, new age-musik, disco-mixtapes samt audiovisuelle medieværker under titlen Second System Vision Radio. Cameron Stallones har blandt andet også komponeret og fremført værket The (3) Vases på Festival of Endless Gratitude 2013 – og er i det hele taget ekstremt produktiv.

Ud over at være musiker bevæger Sun Araw altid i strømmen af mediets egne indstillinger: På et mikroniveau er hans musik centreret om gentagelsen (understreget af f.eks. dub og ekko). I et bredere perspektiv fletter han musikkulturer og samples i et ufuldendt udtryk af egenproduktion og andres materiale. Og på et makroniveau udkommer Sun Araw både på kassetter, vinyl og især digitalt på tværs af musik, grafik og video. Altid med den største psykedeliske forbindelse til mediet.

I samarbejde med Stallones har vi udgivet en række af hans bedste MIXXES i Passive/Aggressive SOUNDS, hvor de vil være tilgængelige i de kommende måneder (brug shift-click på streamingsiden for hemmelig download). Læs resten

Manuel Göttsching – Rebuilding culture, re-envisioning the guitar (interview)

English April 12 2015

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Picture: Copyright: MG.Art.

By Jacob Pertou

Manuel Göttsching played the guitar in the groundbreaking krautrock groups Ash Ra Tempel and Ashra, and created the electronic milestone “E2-E4″. In March, he guested Copenhagen’s Jazzhouse as part of a series of events arranged by the internet radio The Lake. Passive/Aggressive met with him, just before he was about to enter stage, to talk about inspirations and making music.

P/A: Like Michael Rother and Tangerine Dream last year in Tivoli, this is your first ever visit to Copenhagen. I have a feeling that so-called krautrock is far more popular now, than when it was made. What are your thoughts on that?

Manuel Göttsching (MG): “It started at the end of the 80’s. For example, if you take “E2-E4″ [recorded in 1981, but held back by the record company until 1984, because it was too ahead of its time, ed.], it had been growing over many years, and there were so many people in the 90’s, refering to that album, refering to music of the 70’s. I don’t think it is a new movement, just a continuous movement. It is going on and on. Læs resten

Lawrence English – Occupying the body and activating it as an ear (interview)

English Feature April 8 2015 spectaculare_16

By Mette Slot Johnsen – photo: Room40

It’s been 15 years since Lawrence English decided to put thought into action, and – led by a self professed dogged determination akin to that of Fitzcarraldo and his Amazon adventure – set up the record label Room40, with the intention of self releasing and finding artists who wanted to explore and reflect the world in a similar way to himself.

Among the many artists released on Room40 are Grouper, Tim Hecker, Oren Ambarchi, and John Chantler. The output is a range of meditative and/or noisy contemporary compositions, soundscapes, field recordings and experimental electronic music. According to English the Room40 artists share the common trait that they try to invite you in to listen a bit closer. The music can be background music, but when delved into a little deeper it allows for you to open up your ears and thoughts to explore the sounds and the world they are creating or reflecting. Læs resten

Robert Turman – Beyond worldly values (interview)

English Feature March 6 2015 Turman1

By Simon Christensen.

A rare interview with noise pioneer and former NON-member, Robert Turman, who a few years ago resumed his career and ventures in music from the 70’s and 80’s. That happened with help from a.o. Aaron Dilloway (Hanson Records) and Danish label Cejero, who released Turman’s latest record “Three Parts”, set up his European tour, and reminded us of the reserved musician’s extraordinary and groundbreaking works of art. Læs resten

Drone Not Drones – 28 timers droner for fred (interview med Luke Heiken)

English January 28 2015 10428683_308971412642626_3249387634427610454_n

Af Andreas Melchior. Logo af Sonny Kay.

Til en koncert i 2013 spillede det legendariske Duluth-band Low en 27 minutter lang udgave af “Do You Know How to Waltz?”, hvorefter sanger Alan Sparhawk erklærede: “Drone, not drones”. Sloganet havde han fra sin ven Luke Heiken, som havde fået trykt frasen på et klistermærke. Fra at have været et enkeltstående statement udviklede det sig til et musikalsk støtteprojekt til fordel for de uskyldige ofre for de droneangreb, der er blevet et rutinemæssigt indslag i den globale såkaldte “krig mod terror”.

I februar 2014 udmøntede projektet sig til en 28-timers lang, uafbrudt dronekoncert i Minneapolis, Minnesota, hvor bands gav stafetten videre og afløste hinandens drones. Indtægterne gik til Læger Uden Grænser. På fredag den 30. januar gentages succesen, ét langt 28 timers drone, som også vil blive live-streamet via dronenotdrones.com. Det fulde line-up for koncerten findes her.

Passive/Aggressive har talt med idémand Luke Heiken om projektet. Læs resten

The ongoing struggle of freeform arts and financial death – an interview about WFMU documentary “Sex & Broadcasting”

English Feature December 7 2014 ken wfmu

Af Simon Christensen et al.

The long-awaited documentary “Sex & Broadcasting” about the great freeform radio station WFMU (esta. 1958) finally had its world premiere a few weeks ago. It has been some years underway and was originally crowdfunded under the title “Freeform or Death”, which succinctly indicates the way the New Jersey-radio station works, as well as its continual five decade long struggle to survive.

Besides their radical approach to programming, the WFMU shows have been widely known for their unique taste, humor, spontaneity, experimentation and weird variety of live concerts/performances on air. Læs resten