One of the finest records issued last year was by the hand of Sweden’s Jakob Olaussen. His ‘Moonlight Farm’ lp on De Stijl is an evocative collection of intimate moonlit bedroom four-track psychedelic folksongs blending the atmospheres of Matt Valentine, Ben Chasny, Joshua Burkett and others into a totally unique constellation of multi-tracked vocals drenched in a soothing reverb-layered universal consciousness. His farm is one of those places I’d like to spend some time at.
Discovering Godz thru my brother was a big thing, and that sent me out hunting for all ESP-disks I could come by. That whole Mike Rep, Shepard, Mee-Mee's basement vibe was and is still very important for me. Siltbreeze had big impact. And thru the aforementioned discovering Kim Fowley, Silver Apples, Twinkeyz, Hawkwind etc. I didn't actually listen to Träd Gräs och Stenar untill the "Gärdet" cd came out. Those Swedish bands were branded with a horrible political tag, so it really took me some time opening up my ears. The music is fantastic, but you foreigners are so lucky not getting the lyrics.
Well, they were the typical long hair unsquare hippie types. Microbiotic food, pot, "NO to nuclear power", living in communes...that scene. So the lyrics pretty much reflect that time. It just has a typical feel of it's time. TGS were not very radical with their politics...
Later on there was this leftist "musical movement" in Sweden that pretty much dictated the agenda for the "alternative" Swedish bands. The "Silence bands" were sadly lumped together with that awful heap of political bands playing air-wave friendly music. Now I know better.
Not a single one really. Dungen is as bad as they come, and they seem to take themselves so seriously.
JJ5 is just me playing all instruments onto a Fostex 4-track I bought used back in '98 or '99. I guess the name fooled some to believe it was a real band. The name came from the book Joshua Five, and and my love for pre-war jug band music, and the spelling from Syd's jugband blues. With the music all recorded I sent Eddie Flowers of Slippy Town a cdr of the music just to hear what he had to say about it, and I just made up a "band name" so he didn't know it was me who played in case he hated it. He dug, and offerd to put it out. At that time I had just put out a 45 with old recordings by Mike Rep & the Quotas, and were selling copies to some mailorders, and Slippy Town was one of them. Eddie had proved being a cool guy for long time so I gave it a shot sneaking that cdr of mine into the package.
JJ5 is not an active band. One more cdr "Damascus Doldrum" was put out in 2003. Before that there were two cdr's I just made for friends. Some tracks from one of those will end up on vinyl, along with some stuff I'm gonna record as soon as I find a real drum kit to borrow.
It's just a matter of not being able to play rock at home. Neighbours going crazy. I had one ruined recording were my neighbour could be heard banging the wall as the song slowed down. That pretty much had me changing course to acoustic music.
There was this period in late 90's/early '00 where I felt all new music wasn't too exciting, and that it would be of no interest even in 5 years. Finding these beautiful Yazoo Lp's and pickin’ up issues of 78 quarterly...going from there. Listening to old pre-war music sounds amazingly fresh anytime for me, no trace of any trends. There is no real definition of what a jug band is. The "jug" can be anything from a can to a whiskey bottle. Most of the jug bands only had one jug player, the rest could really play any kind of instrument. "Jug band" was almost like a novelty tag, just like "string band" or "washboard etc". The big ear opener for me was this Lp comp "Sanctified Jug Bands". The first side that starts with Elder Richar Bryant just blew me away, so powerful.
Nah, I only have "reissues" on vinyl and compact disc of 78's. I have no real interest in owning the actual records. And the best ones are so rare it would just be impossible to get my hands on them anyway, you know, like one or two known copies. Most collectors of 78's are just crazy old men. It's just as fascinating to read about the collectors, as the artist they collect. Just check out this Joe Bussard character. The stories I've read about him record canvasing thru the American South are just hilarious. It proves how obsession goes way beyond passion. We're lucky people like him exist.
The first De Stijl record I heard was the C.I.A. lp, that was sometime in 2000? It was so good I couldn't believe it. Then some years later me and Clint were both on the same "psychedelia" messageboard. We talked some, traded some stuff. Later Clint begged on his bare knees to release “Moonlight” after just hearing a handful of unfinished tracks. Total trust.
Yeah, its good to be in that company. You see, Virgin Insanity was together with George Brigman's Jungle Rot on Anopheles the best record of 2005. And then of course Samara Lubelski, who's “Fleeting Skies” was best of 2004. No matter if it's music of today or the past, the label discography is good proof of that fingerspitzgefuhl.
We play and record as Sus & Jakob, and have been playing together for almost 2 years. It's totally unlike my own music. It's better. We have a LP+7" coming out on DeStijl by the end of the summer. We have plans to come to the US and play some shows in september, cuz there ain't much action going on here.
Clint Simonson who runs De Stijl, told me that James was crazy about the “Moonlight” lp, and this was just days before they were coming to Europe for the Kraak festival. So me and Sus were invited last minute to sit in with them in Denmark. They all proved to be the sweetest people, and James just asked if we wanted to do something for his new label. It will be a split, with me solo on one side, and Sus solo on the other.
-- Bart de Paepe (21 August, 2006)