New Blog

I got tired of looking at this site, and trying to spruce it up seemed like more trouble than it was worth, so I created another username and played around with themes, graphics, and formats until I hit upon a combination that I liked very much. I then transferred ownership of that blog to ‘NWshoegazer’ and have just posted a new compilation there.

It is extremely unlikely that I will add any new compilations to this site, but I will probably add the compilations from 2007 and the rest of those from 2011 over time.

If you’d like to see the new site and/or listen to the new compilation, go here.

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Shoegaze y Dream Pop

The songs on this compilation are all from Latin American bands. Mexico and Argentina are represented three times each, Brazil twice, and there is one entry apiece from Costa Rica, Ecuador, Peru, and Chile. Unfortunately, my Spanish is terrible and my Portuguese is worse, so there are some instances where I was not able to get much information about a particular band, but at least you can still enjoy the music.

Track List

01. “Wetlands” by The Great Wilderness from In the Hour of the Wolf
There is a song by this band from San José, Costa Rica on the first compilation I posted on this blog. Bassist (at the time) Monserrat Vargas provided the photograph from which the cover for that compilation was taken, and guitarist/vocalist Paula Rogue participated in the first interview published here. I am very happy to find the band still active and putting out such good music.
Bandcamp | Facebook | website

02. “Sister” by Wry from Whales and Sharks
This now defunct Brazilian band formed in the dying years of the original Shoegaze Era and put out its first album in 1995, but I never heard of Wry until 2007, when I bought the Wales and Sharks EP from the iTunes Music Store. The band called it quits in 2009, after releasing what I thought was its best album: She Science.

03. “Inútil” by Pequeño Zoológico de Ruidos from Lo Que se ve Desde un Aeroplano
They must love their zoos in Argentina, because this is the second Argentine band I know of to use ‘Zoológico’ in its name. You’ll find the other one a little further down in the track list.
Bandcamp | Facebook

04. “Historias de Frio” by Sexores from Historias de Frio
The subject of my previous post, this band has quickly become a favorite of mine. This is the title track to their excellent second album.
Bandcamp | Facebook | Instagram

05. “Hollow Curve” by Has a Shadow from Hollow Curve
Like label-mates, Lorelle Meets the Obsolete, this band is also from Guadalajara, Mexico.
Bandcamp | Facebook

06. “Me Preocupan Más Las Pirañas” by Queridas from Drama Bomb
There are some very sweet tunes on this EP, which is the solo work of Mi Nave guitarist Andrés Yeah from Rosario, Argentina. I had difficulty choosing a song, but, in the end, I went with this one, which I translated as ‘My preoccupation with Piranhas’, although Google Translate is trying to convince me that “More concerned I Piranhas” is a better translation. Either way… Piranhas! How could I not choose it.
Bandcamp

07. “Not Everybody Its The Same” by Trementina from Single I
Not being able to read Spanish (or to trust Google Translate), I can’t say much more about this band than that they are from Valdivia, Chile and had this single put out by Latinoamerica, which looks like a very useful blog for discovering and learning more about Shoegazing in Latin America (if only I could read Spanish).
Bandcamp | Facebook

08. “Sombras” by Vaya Futuro from Ideas A Medias
Luis Aguilar, Miguel Ahuage, Aldair Cerezo, and Julio Pillado are four lads from Tijuana, Mexico who love to make some noise (the good kind).
Bandcamp | Facebook

09. “Soft Focus” by Asalto al Parque Zoológico from APZOO EP
I’ve had a partial, bootlegged copy of this EP for a couple of years, so it was nice to finally be able to purchase the entire EP when it recently became available on Bandcamp. Some of the songs at the beginning sound like the answer to the question, “What would My Bloody Valentine sound like if they were from Buenos Aires, Argentina?”
Bandcamp | Facebook | website

10. “Feel Inside” by Orquídea
Abdel De La Cruz and Raúl Begazo are Peruvian Shoegazers, and that, apparently, is all they want for us to know about them.
Bandcamp

11. “Art for Free” by Lorelle Meets The Obsolete from Corruptible Faces
This song is from the band’s second album, which followed their delectable debut, On Welfare, and was, in turn, followed by this year’s Chambers, which has garnered much critical acclaim. The band has recently returned home to Guadalajara, Mexico after finishing its second US tour in the last twelve months.
Bandcamp | Facebook | Tumblr

12. “Guarde-me Uma Prece Para Amanhã” by Bela Infanta from Apenas Cinco
Santa Catarina is the southernmost but one of the twenty-six states that make up The Federal Republic of Brazil (Repœblica Federativa do Brasil), and somewhere within this state is Joinville, home to this fine band.
Bandcamp | Facebook

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Sexores

HdFNo, this is not an experiment to see if putting ‘sex’ in the title of a post will increase readership. Sexores is the name of a band, and a pretty good one at that.

I was recently contacted by Emilia Bahamonde, who invited me to listen to Historias de Frio, the newest album by Sexores, the band in which she sings and plays guitar. I am very glad that she did, because I had previously come across the album on my own, but declined to give it a listen when I saw that, should I be fortunate enough to find one I liked, I would not be able to buy an individual song from the album. As it turned out, however, once I gave it a listen, I loved the album and ended up buying it—all eight songs.

(In my defense, I must point out that 80% of the material tagged ’Shoegaze’ on Bandcamp doesn’t come close to qualifying for that distinction, so, if I run into any obstacles with a particular release, I usually just play the percentages and skip it.)

Naturally, I wrote back to thank Emilia for making sure I didn’t miss this excellent album as well as to ask for more information about the band and its music. This is some of her reply:

“Originally from Ecuador, but now based in Barcelona, Sexores is the sound of a constant music evolution, led by electronic experimentation and “The Wall of Sound” technique. Founded as a five pieces band in 2010, Sexores has always chased a specific concept, eventually finding it in 2011 with the consolidation of the line-up as a duo. Currently promoting our second LP: Historias de Frío, the band has played in several cities in Europe as well as the Northside Festival and SXSW.”

Here’s an interesting tidbit: “everybody in Sexores has a number, because our music uses a lot of programming and some compositions are based on mathematics.” Emilia is 2046 and David Yépez, the one who first conceived of the project that became Sexores, is 606.

After the release of their first LP, Amok & Burnout, a rupture in the band occurred, and the three members who were more focused on the visual aspects of performing left the band. It seems that a shared aversion to happy songs, a love of distortion and reverb, and the influence of bands such as My Bloody Valentine, The Jesus and Mary Chain, and Cocteau Twins propelled 606 and 2046 toward Shoegaze.

Now, the scary part: Historias de Frio was due to be released last year, but before that could happen, thieves entered Emilia’s home and robbed her at gunpoint, stealing all her equipment. Understandably, this led to a desire for a change of scenery, which is why David and Emilia are currently enrolled at The University of Barcelona in Spain.

One possible positive aspect of this story is that, as a result of having to redo the songs, Emilia feels that Historias de Frio has definitely became “a more human album”, because the duo were better able to express the sadness, solitude, and melancholy they were aiming for in the new versions of the songs.

At this point, I would just like to extend Emilia’s invitation to each reader. Use the embedded player below to sample the music of Sexores. If you love Shoegaze, I’m confident that you’ll be glad you did.

Posted in Dream Pop, Shoegaze | Tagged | 1 Comment

Aside Beside Seaside Decide (part 4)

Here, at last, is the fourth and final compilation in this series. There isn’t much need for me to say anything about it. I’d rather let the music speak for itself. Enjoy.

Vibrato 14.08 (decide) by Nwshoegazing on Mixcloud

Track List

01. Lava Lite “Have You Ever” from Lava Lite
There are a couple of very good tracks on this self-titled debut EP. I look forward to hearing what this band from Saint Petersburg, Russia comes up with next.
Bandcamp | Facebook | SoundCloud | Vimeo

02. Demure For Sure “Yyeeaahh” from Demure For Sure
Another band choosing to remain anonymous—in New York City of all places. I would have thought that the real trick is to make a name for yourself in the ‘Big Apple’.
Bandcamp | Facebook | SoundCloud | website

03. Gum “Like Ink” from Album Demo’s That Won’t Be On The Album!
They released their first EP in 2012, and now this London band is preparing to release an album. If the quality of these five ‘rejects’ is anything to go by, the album will be warmly received by the Shoegaze community.
Bandcamp | Facebook

04. The Backhomes “Talk” from Talk
The duo of Kees Dekker and Aimée van Drimmelen make what they call Psych Pop in Victoria, British Columbia.
Bandcamp | Facebook | website

05. Should “Animate” from Down A Notch
Having originally appeared at the tail-end of the first Shoegaze era, this Baltimore, Maryland band has repeatedly resurfaced in the 21st century with a smattering of singles. This song is an instrumental. I know, I’m as shocked as you are, but it’s so catchy, I couldn’t help myself.
Bandcamp | Facebook

06. Static Daydream “Disbelief”
Had I chosen any of the six other singles I own by this band, you would have immediately recognized the singer’s voice, having heard it when listening to Ceremony and Skywave.
Bandcamp | Facebook | SoundCloud

07. King Mountain Petrol “Sum = 1” from Dull Inner Light (a cassette EP they split with Bad Hex)
I am reliably informed that this band is not just the four musicians listed on the EP’s Bandcamp page, but is actually a collective of seven members, all under the legal drinking age, which in Portland, Oregon is twenty-one.
Bandcamp | Facebook | Tumblr | Instagram

08. Viscous Liquid “If I Go” from Songs For Jealous Lovers
I interpret, “A solitary cosmonaut getting spacey to make music to space out to…” to mean that, like the first, this second EP is the work of a solo artist enjoying his anonymity in Reading, England.
Bandcamp

09. She Sir “Mania Mantle” from Go Guitars
This Austin, Texas band dropped the ‘,’ from its name and flew under the radar for a spell, but they’re back now with an album overflowing with deliciously dreamy Shoegaze tunes.
Facebook | website

10. Memory Clinic “Gentle Neglect”
As this band is located in the western part of North Wales, there is a very good chance that Phillip Burrows (Vocals/Guitar), Alex Morrison (Bass), and Sam Roberts (Drums) actually speak Welsh. Their new single is sung in English, however.
Bandcamp | Facebook | SoundCloud

11. The Very Wicked “Wake Up, Aimee” from You’re The Everything In Us
This South African band presents an interesting mix of musical styles—including Psychedelia—on their debut album. I look forward to hearing what these Cape Town residents get up to in the future.
Bandcamp | Facebook | website

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New Slowness Album due in June

Slowness2014Mountain… and there was much rejoicing throughout the land.

Due to be released on the 3rd of June, How to Keep from Falling off a Mountain will be available in vinyl from the band’s website or as a download from Bandcamp. A digital download card is included with each vinyl purchase, and both sites are currently accepting preorders.

From the official press release: “Slowness will release their second LP, How to Keep from Falling off a Mountain, on June 3, 2014. The record was produced by Monte Vallier (Weekend, The Soft Moon, Wax Idols) and Geoffrey Scott, and was mastered by Kramer (Low, Galaxie 500). It will be released on vinyl through Blue Aurora Audio and will be distributed digitally through Bandcamp and iTunes. The band will kick off a European tour to support the record in Leipzig, Germany on June 13, 2014.”

The album seems to have seven tracks. I say, “seems”, because the digital download includes an eighth track which, according to the note on Bandcamp, “is the composite of tracks 4-7 mastered as one continuous song with transitions as heard on the vinyl version.”

I’m only about halfway through my first listening to an advance copy, and I would have to say that this second album differs substantially more from For Those Who Wish to See the Glass Half Full than that first album did from Hopeless but Otherwise.

You won’t hear it as much on this song, but here is a teaser:

Bandcamp | Facebook | SoundCloud | website | YouTube

Speaking of teasers… When I emailed Slowness to congratulate them on the upcoming release, Julie replied, “I hope you are going to like the record. I think it is another departure!” I was left thinking, “that’s it; that’s all you’re going to say about the new album?” I couldn’t let it go at that, so I wrote back, asking for more details. That brought Geoffrey into the discussion, and what follows is a kind of mini-interview that resulted from our email exchanges.

NWs: Do you see [this departure] as a continuation away from the more overtly Shoegazeyness of Hopeless but Otherwise along the same trajectory as For Those Who Wish to See the Glass Half Full, or does it veer off in another direction altogether?

Geoffrey: We never really thought about any of that. I originally wanted to have a “drone band” but couldn’t get away from making Pop songs. So we prefer to think of ourselves as a Drone Pop band.

I think Hopeless but Otherwise was Shoegazey (if that’s a word) because we layered the hell out of the guitars and I was playing primarily in an open tuning. We didn’t know what we were doing because it was our first time in the studio so we just blasted away and made loops and layers and so forth.

These new songs and those on For Those Who Wish to See the Glass Half Full are more carefully constructed and recorded. They’re more refined and, therefore, a departure from a genre that we hadn’t intended to fall under.

NWs: Are these departures planned. Are they aimed at achieving a certain sound, or do they just happen as you guys work through the song-writing process?

Geoffrey: Nothing is planned. You just start playing, and demoing, and recording, and rerecording, and editing, and when you’ve mixed it and mastered it, you go: “Oh, so it sounds like this, eh?” I also played a lot more in standard tuning this time, so it sounds less alien, I suppose, though “Mountain” seems to be more of a throwback to Hopeless but Otherwise―I guess.

NWs: Is it still the three of you in the band?

Geoffrey: Well, there are four at the moment. We had five playing live for a while―to add a second guitar, but the band that will tour Europe is me and Jules, with Scott Putnam on drums and Greg Dubrow, who started playing bass with us about a year and a half ago.

Jules and I also have a New York contingent for shows we do there. She and I think of it as more of a revolving collective. There were eight people who played on the new record.

SlownessPressShotNWs: How did this European tour come about?

Geoffrey: Because people in the U.S. just want to get drunk and talk while you play… or check their cell phones. In the U.S., no one buys our records at shows―or at all, really, but people in Europe do buy our records, and I suspect the audiences will actually listen to us.

Now, I’m generalizing, and could come off as disrespectful to all the wonderful people in the U.S. who do buy our records and come to our shows, but those people are the exception. At our level, the rule here in the States is a bit of a bummer.

Shows are a royal hustle and, unless you play at the Black Cat in DC, where everyone gets a green room, a pitcher of beer, dinner, and bottled water, you generally don’t get treated well. This is why, if we do play in the U.S., we like to play in garages or in churches or in art spaces. Or at our home base, the Hemlock, in San Francisco, which we love―but even there, the last time we played, we were being pushed out of the place after the show by a bouncer who thought of us more as farm animals than as regular guests, let alone performers who help the place make money every time we play there.

So, all in all, we thought, “why struggle here, when we can go across the pond, where people seem more interested anyway?”

NWs: Where are you going?

Geoffrey: Germany, Poland, Czech Republic and Denmark.

NWs: Why those countries?

Geoffrey: Because there seems to be a Middle-European and Scandanavian interest in our music.

NWs: Why do you think that is?

Geoffrey: I have no idea. Maybe, because we have cultural roots in those places?

NWs: Who isSLOWNESS2014Tour booking and managing the tour?

Geoffrey: We are. We have no outside help. No booking agent, no tour manager, no promoter, no nothing. Total DIY. I’d argue that we’re one of the only indie bands in the U.S. that’s doing such a thing. Maybe I’m naive and maybe I’m wrong, but I don’t know of any other bands like us doing it.

We tried going the booking agent route, but we started to get requests for guaranteed crowds and all that malarkey. So we abandoned that method and did it ourselves, booking more DIY places with bands from over there. Julie did most of the work.

NWs: What do you think of this whole new world of indie music? Is it a good thing or a bad thing?

Geoffrey: A mixed world of good and bad. Good, because we can get our stuff heard all over the planet. Bad, because, essentially, Indie Rock is still a club of sorts, and, if you’re not on the inside, aligned with a little, hipper-than-thou label, you’re on the outside. But that’s never been a strange place for me to be.

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Aside Beside Seaside Decide (part 3)

This compilation is kind of eclectic, some of the songs hovering near the fringes of Shoegaze—with a possible escapee or two. It was meant to be dreamier, more reminiscent of the soothing susurration of the waves gently lapping at the shoreline, but it didn’t quite reach that level of peacefulness. If you give it a chance, however, you just might like it.

Vibrato 14.07 (seaside) by Nwshoegazing on Mixcloud

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Track List

01. Lykanthea x Savage Sister “Naked” from Sundrowned
Solo experimental musician Lakshmi Ramgopal (AKA Lykanthea) joined forces with fellow Chicagoans Savage Sister to bring us this EP. Don’t forget to say, “thank you.”
Lykanthea: Bandcamp | Facebook | Tumblr | website
Savage Sister: Bandcamp | Facebook | SoundCloud | Tumblr | YouTube

02. Revival Hymns “Iron & Disgrace” from Pauhu
Finns (no, not Tim and Neil, the kind from Finland) Riku-Ville, Sauli, Henri, Markus, and Ville hang out in Tampere making music together.
Bandcamp | Facebook | SoundCloud | website

03. Alcest “La Nuit Marche Avec Moi” from Shelter
Parisian Dream Pop duo according to their Facebook page, but I remember when they would have warranted a darker and heavier description than that.
Facebook | website

04. Dinosaur Dinosaur “Spear and Magic Helmet” from The Gulf
Three humans named Helen, James, and Zain, plus a drum machine called Roland make up this Toronto four-piece.
Bandcamp | Facebook

05. Threading “Lust” from Azure
From an unknown location in Michigan, this artist/band has released a one-song single in 2013 and this EP in 2014.
Bandcamp

06. Secrets of the Third Planet “Dionaea” from Hidden Space
Originating in Moscow, Russia as a solo project in 2004, over time, this band has come to include Eugene, Anton, Vasiliy, Dasha, and Fedor.
Bandcamp | Facebook | SoundCloud

07. Ancient Babes “Surface Terms” from Futuristic Demon
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia. Amusing cover art.
Bandcamp

08. Polythene “Exile” from A Certain Fountain
Everyone in Olympia, Washington knows that Polythene is Annika Holland.
Bandcamp

09. Tamed Animals “Condensing Seas”
Solo artist Dan Barnett from Denver, Colorado must love putting out singles on Bandcamp; he’s done so many of them.
Bandcamp | Facebook

10. Leave The Planet “Between Bodies”
“Leave The Planet for better love” seems to be the motto of London duo Nathalia Bruno and Jack Milwaukee.
Bandcamp | Facebook

11. Wavr “Born Again” from Disconnect
A Shoegaze band from Austin, Texas… what a surprise.
Bandcamp

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Aside Beside Seaside Decide (part 2)

This is not a collection of B-Sides in the usual sense of songs not quite as good as those on the ‘A’ side. After picking out almost all of the straight-up Shoegaze songs for aside, I was left with a more eclectic collection of songs, some of which barely fall within the boundaries of even the most generous definition of Shoegaze. I liked them, however, so I used them.

Vibrato 14.06 (beside) by Nwshoegazing on Mixcloud

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Track List

01. “Misery” by Sunthing from Winds From The East
Erik, Alvaro, and Taylor are members of this Dayton, Ohio band. Erik and Alvaro have played together in three other bands: Dogmouth, Curious Terrain, and X Files; Taylor also played in the latter two bands.
Bandcamp | Facebook

02. “Cool Runnings” by Tashaki Miyaki from Cool Runnings
I’m happy to welcome back this Los Angeles band, which was kind enough to let me use a song from their debut Tashak It to Me single back in 2011.
Bandcamp | Facebook | SoundCloud | Vimeo

03. “Sólido​-​Líquido” by Sundae
Davis, Cris, María, Cristian, and Iván are the five members who make up this band from Sevilla, Spain.
Bandcamp | Facebook | SoundCloud | YouTube

04. “The Expedition” by Hana Vave from 1992
I didn’t learn any more about this Canadian band from Calgary, Alberta by searching for their Facebook page, but I did learn that Hana Vave is the northernmost bay on the west side of Fatu Hiva, and it is sometimes referred to as ‘Bay of Virgins’ (a nice place to visit, I suppose, but I’m not qualified to live there).
Bandcamp

05. “Dream Awake” by Prisms
Nathan, Sam, Evan, and John are occasionally joined by Liz in their quest to bring Shoegaze back to my nation’s capitol. They say they love it there, but, apart from The Smithsonian Institution and National Gallery of Art, I can’t think of any reasons why they should. How did Obi Wan put it? “A more wretched hive…”
Bandcamp | Facebook

06. “Too Far” by Mistake Pageant
Karlyn and James are the boy/girl noisemakers from Glasgow, Scotland. Karlyn sings and plays guitar, James takes care of percussion.
Bandcamp | Facebook

07. “Prescription Veil” by DIGO from Sleep All Day
While affordable flights to Spain and other sunny climes have dimmed the luster of the once fashionable holiday destination that is Brighton, England, Jake, Jack, Alex, Ben, and Ed are hoping to restore some of its appeal with their “darkly tinged psychedelic Post Punk Rock”.
Bandcamp | Facebook

08. “Rooms Made of Dust” by Coctail Twins
I downloaded this single by the amusingly named German trio in February, which was the same month the band played its first live show. Since then, Box, Marc, and Mike have released the Our Fears EP and are hard at work putting their first album together.
Bandcamp | Facebook | website

09. “The Corner” by Grass on the Sun
This appears to the work of one Italian gentleman by the name of Alessandro Hicks.
Bandcamp

10. “Pull the Curtain” by Let’s Be Loveless
A Brooklyn, New York band whose members: Eric, Chris, Gary, and Abby enjoy showcasing their obsessive appreciation of Shoegaze, Garage Rock, Britpop, and traditional Pop song structures in their own music.
Bandcamp | Facebook | SoundCloud | YouTube

11. “Juvenilia” by Electric Lo-Fi Seresta from Don’t Tell Him
The solo project of Rio De Janeiro, Brazil resident Guilherme Almeida, who is also the singer, songwriter, and guitarist of The John Candy. Among other things, Guilherme is inspired by dreams, déjà-vu, catchy melodies running through his head, and Jaguar guitars.
Bandcamp | Facebook | Tumblr | website

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