Announcing Ixmae.

Ixmae is a music recommendation site, offered forth by the folks from (and friends of) Dynamophone records. What you’ll find within are brief notes and concise explanations of how certain albums have touched or influenced us, or simply why they’re worth a listen. Ixmae is updated weekly and is currently available in two different forums: Live Journal and Blogger. Please feel free to read, comment, and, most certainly, enjoy!

Below is the latest entry, cross-posted all around town…

Bark Psychosis | ///Codename:Dustsucker
Though “Dustsucker” is the last, great effort of a posthumous band, released a decade after their breakout album from 1994, you’ll find no evidence of this terminal nature in the Bark Psychosis sound. Underwater dream-pop, carefully tended like hedges of perfect orchestration are marked throughout, lending a rich, very human and very vulnerable feel to an astoundingly organic suite of music. If Slowdive were a bit more dynamic, if Low had a touch of jazz and just a bit more reverb, the hypnotic effects of this album would perhaps not be so unique. Taken on its own, however, one could not do better than to quote Pitchfork’s testimony that “Dustsucker” is very much a beautiful shell “filled with huge, billowing clouds of resonance”.

Arab Strap | The Red Thread
Aidan Moffat and Malcolm Middleton moved from the bleak armpit of Falkirk, Scotland to the world stage in Glasgow, where there was more to do than just get pissed in the pubs, consoling each other over their broken romances. Now they tell everyone, and about everything. There is no fiction in this band’s repertoire. Their stark and ravishing sound seeps poignance and truth, backhanded with typical Scots dourness and plenty of self-effacing wit. There are painfully long silences of self-reflection in-between provocative, arresting stories; amidst painfully and painstakingly measured notes lie the real aspects of love and lust. Moffat says, “No one really writes honest, hateful love songs. The kids never hear it like they should hear it. They should know of the farting, the fighting and the fucking. The pain and the pleasure.” Arab Strap certainly provide a little of both.

Red Sparowes | At the Soundless Dawn
A mutable conglomeration of artists including members of power-prog bands such as Neurosis, Isis, and Halifax Pier, Red Sparowes craft luscious waves of beautifully-layered sound that wash all previous notions of instrumental, ambient-textured rock away with the tides. The Sparowes weave epic tales of three-dimensional euphony, fitting together within a concept that both questions and confirms the mastery of musical instrumentation over human emotion. They’re pointedly unlike anything out there today, and still always changing, mutating, and enveloping.

In Gowan Ring | The Twin Trees
Perhaps the most truly talented artist in the neo-folk scene, B’eirth of In Gowan Ring is a not merely a minstrel and a troubadour, a prophet and a living poem. Featuring resonant drones, hand-made instruments, and warmly-quiet vocal pieces, his songs reek heavily of time and place, infusing stories of the natural with the supernatural and holding up the spiritual (or meta-spiritual) string that connects us with our surroundings. With closed-eyes and a nearly magical effect, B’eirth invokes the vocal confluence of David Tibet and Nick Drake, tempered by a gravity and creativeness all his own. I learn something arcane and feel something special every time I listen to this band.

Elysian Fields | The Dreams that Breathe Your Name
If I could choose one sultry chanteuse to lull me into slumber every night with her lusty, whispered tales of mermaids, shooting stars, and mesmeric meetings between love-struck strangers, Jennifer Charles would be my siren for life. She spins her tales with all the sensual acuity of warm honey, and I can’t concentrate on much else when Elysian Fields is on. I listen, enfolded, looking for the next line to slide out from between her lips, and I melt into her dramas. Backed coquettishly against the masterful arrangements of Oren Bloedow, this dusky, gin-riddled lounge-cabaret stunner needs to be held aloft to give the mainstream an injection of artistry and emotion. Enjoy with a nice mixed drink and a warm friend *very* close by.

Queen Adreena | Taxidermy
Apoplectic vocalist Katie-Jane Garside left the mildy-successful British noise outfit Daisy Chainsaw to wander the hills of Wales, banshee-screaming to the winds for the better part of a decade. Upon rejoining ‘civilized’ society, she teamed up once again with razor-cheekboned guitarist Crispin Gray for a whole new wave of provocative, awe-inspiring music under the guise of Queen Adreena. Maybe it’s their blues-infused, sticky and sleazy meandering about lost innocence and the ugly side of beauty that really captures the imagination…or maybe it’s just ol’ Katie flinging herself around the stage in nothing but a few wisps of torn silk, kicking at fellow bandmates and getting her petal limbs entangled in errant equipment, furniture, and foolhardy fans. But the flowers nestled in her stringy, straw locks set the precedent for the acute irony of this band – they still blossom, bursting red through the dirt stains and dripping sweat.

Steindór Andersen & Sígur Rós | Rímur
While intrepid Icelandic dream-shakers Sígur Rós need no introduction to most, their limited-edition EP with mausoleum-voiced Steindór Andersen may very well have slipped under the radar of many. And such a shame, as the stark beauty of Andersen’s chants of traditional epic poetry – Iceland’s Rîmur – lilt out from between dreamy, pulsing chords and harmonious drones that Jonsi and the boys consummate. This EP is a six-song treat that opens the door to an isolated country, its history and tradition, and the mournful, delightful voice of bardic poetry as related by two great artists that transcend time together.

6 Responses to “Announcing Ixmae.”

  1. fanboyextream Says:
    January 8th, 2006 at 1:17 pm

    Hey looks like a cool site. Best wishes to you and the boys for 2006, played shadow over Camelot and Heroscape – I enjoyed both greatly – thanks for the recommendations!

  2. FunkyPlaid Says:
    January 11th, 2006 at 8:07 pm

    I imagine there'll be some really great ones coming out in the new year, as well. Keep your eyes on Caylus.

  3. anonymouseth Says:
    January 9th, 2006 at 8:15 am

    Moffat says, “No one really writes honest, hateful love songs. The kids never hear it like they should hear it. They should know of the farting, the lighting and the fucking. The pain and the pleasure.” Arab Strap certainly provide a little of both.
    err – should this be farting, fighting and fucking, or does the feller have some weird burning bumgas fetish ?

  4. FunkyPlaid Says:
    January 9th, 2006 at 11:15 am

    Aha! What you found, my clever friend, is my common sense being overridden by my academic zombification. That was in the official source, and I just let it be. But now, because you've shamed me so, I've changed it. Thanks.
    But you knew *exactly* what he was talking about, didn't you? Put down the lighter; step away from the Ginge.

  5. thistlelurid Says:
    January 9th, 2006 at 10:03 am

    Excellent..wonderful resource blog……I havent any excuse
    to not have a stellar life-soundtrack …..!

  6. FunkyPlaid Says:
    January 11th, 2006 at 8:06 pm

    I hope you'll contribute to my knowledge base with good suggestions of your own every now and again…

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