…….testing…….testing…….is this thing on?
Here are some vintage photographs of The Pistol Arrows that recently surfaced courtesy of PA’s violinist, vocalist, guitarist Allison Smith. Incidentally you may be hearing the first new Pistol Arrows materials since 2002’s impeccable Look!. That’s something to look forward to.
Archive for the ‘from the archives’ Category
…….testing…….testing…….is this thing on?
Here’s some photos from the archives that were recently stumbled upon. It’s from the photo session for the Candles ep cover. Photos by the illustrious Matt Hart.
It’s been a pretty busy and fruitful year here at Alchemist and we’ve been taking a bit of a breather lately but we’ll be back in action next year with many great new releases planned. Here’s a look back at this year’s releases and links to some free tracks from each. Enjoy!
Local Winds – In The World Of Ours…..
We began the year with this short but sweet EP from Scott Dickson aka Local Winds and it is has aged well over the year still seeming as compelling and meditative as it did back in February. We still have some copies of the 3″ cd and cassette here. Enjoy track “Small Towns” again.
One In A Googolplex – Lilly
Following close on the heels of his excellent 3rd LP The Dropout Cats Sebastian Zimmer of One In A Googolplex unleashed the “Lilly” digital 7″. A more perfect electro infused pop song is hard to imagine and the b side “My Sister’s Poems” is a nice come down. Download “Lilly“.
GDC – Jours Avec Jennie
Keyboard wizard Zach Phillips has put out almost as much music over the last few years as he has used different monikers for said sounds. Known for his work as Blanche Blanche Blanche, Horse Boys and more, we are lucky to have put out his only outing as GDC in which, he makes a “faux French Masterpiece” that is like a dream jam with Serge Gainsbourg and Bruce Haack.
Download “Leur Heure“.
BAnanas Symphony – Two Sided
A solid collection of the best of Philly resident Yohsuke Araki’s solo work. Everything from experimental arpeggio jams to more 60’s and garage rockin kinda stuff all topped off with an amazingly great voice and melodies to match. “Know a good thing when you hear it, and this is a fuckin’ great thing” – the fmly. Check out “To Love Somebody“.
I and I – The Alpha Future
Concludes a trilogy of I and I’s first 3 LPs exploring rhythmically based altered pop. Sampled optimism to combat downpression. Wide open spaces with long horizons full of synths, voices, beats and words. “really impressed by the intricacy” – Smoke Don’t Smoke
check out “Should Have Been A Beekeeper“.
Arrange – PlantationThis dude (Malcom Lacey) has made a whale of a record at the age of 18! It’s full of the kind of patient and subtle song craft that is way beyond the sophistication one would expect from such a young blood. Choice sound design, drifting pianos, pumping beats and lilting voices all combine into a wounded r&b soul expression portrait. Music as therapy, therapy as music. Pitchfork gave it high marks “patient and quietly stunning“. Still have a few tapes left. Check out “When’d You Find Me“.
Eric Sarmiento – The Friend Is This Animal
One of the best from someone who’s no stranger to making good ones. Different colourful branches on a unique sonic/melodic tree firmly rooted in the forest of the modern world under a contemplative sky. Where are we? How did we get here? What do we mean to each other? How do we find meaning? This is the road map and travel guide. Witness “These Little Winters“.
One In A Googolplex – Win Win
Cologne resident Sebastian Zimmer aka One In A Googolplex delivers on the promise of single “Lilly” with another modern pop standout of an LP. This time adding guest performances and dialing up the energy a couple of notches. Tigers, Lions, Bears, Watermelons and Four Leaf Clovers rendered in resplendent technicolor. See “You Were a Mess When You Were Seventeen” for details.
FAVORS – Five Million Years
Yes we still like pop music especially when it’s intelligence and originality equal it’s hooks and when it’s a little skewed like this one. Every song on this could be a single from the synth/beat driven jammers like “D.D.D”, “Never Fun” and “The ATM” to the future primitive funk of “Cave Wall”. Bowie talked about ‘Five Years’, FAVORS skipped next level and jumped light years. Enjoy “D.D.D.”.
I and I is putting out a free and informal ‘periodical’ album called Ghosts of Bush. It will apparently be added to over time track by track and it consists of I and I’s experiments, oddities and outtakes. The first installment is a mellow, dubby instrumental kinda thing called Orgasm In The Ghosts Of Bush. Listen, download and check I and I’s site for more additions.
Back in the mid 90’s Eric’s and my first band The New Tribe put out our first release on Cassette. It was still a pretty common format for the times but as the years passed digital formats slowly eroded cassettes from our world. Now with audio files being so ubiquitous, and therefore somewhat disposable, we look back on those analog days with a better understanding of the beauty of this medium. With this in mind, we are happy to announce that Alchemist Records will be making forays back into the realm of cassettes!
I myself was somewhat skeptical about cassettes, remembering some of the downsides (ie. the small artwork format, the hiss, fast forward/rewind?, sun melt and having to take apart eaten tapes and try to put them back together). But, after making the master tapes for Atlantic At Pacific’s “Weddings” and One In A Googolplex’s “The Dropout Cats” I can safely say that it’s a very warm and pleasant way to hear these recordings and the whole process of making them brought back a fondness for the more involved and slowed down ritual of using these little plastic magnetic wonders. The “Weddings” and “The Dropout Cats” tapes should be available around October 19th. More details will follow.
There is a huge underground tape resurgence happening and we are glad to be jumping back into this world. Perhaps Edison cylinders are next.
btw. For those super old school people we still have a few unopened copies of The New Tribe tape and also a rare unreleased Suncrush for Sweethearts tape that are available for purchase 8$ each. If interested send an electronic mail. We’ll have more details on those in our upcoming store improvements.
I heard the Ghost Train running through town tonight and it made me think back on the Pistol Arrows days. Turns out there’s still a few remnants of the band on the interwebs like these photos by “D.R.” Russell from the Blue Fish Companion VIII
Blue Fish Takes Manhattan party:
This year marks the 5th anniversary of I and I’s debut album “We Are” and to celebrate we are giving the album a proper digital release for the first time. Preston Jones of the OK Gazette called it “an exceptional and essential disc” and “the closest thing to space travel you’re likely to slip into your CD player” (they still had CD players back then:). We got some free downloads to wet your appetite.
The Pistol Arrows self titled record was named in the top 100 of the 00’s list compiled by the OklahomaRock blog. The venerable Arrows release has now reached the tenth anniversary mark. We should have it digitally released sometime soon. Until then listen to some tracks here or purchase it from us (or Amazon).
photo from the cover by Matt Shell