subota, 30. ožujka 2013.

Alastair Galbraith - Cry (2000)

Novozelandska underground-legenda. Istovremeno kretanje u potpuno različitim smjerovima - od pastoralnih balada i weird-folka do psihodelije reinkarniranog Hendrixa.


We’ve got the latest from New Zealand legend Alasdair Galbraith from good ol’ Henry at MIEthis week, full of spluttering organic drones from fiddles and guitars and flutes, sleepy guitar twinkles and Galbraith’s deep, sleepy mumble. It’s somnolent and experimental without being too difficult, with soft, eerie loops and backwards weirdness masking but not completely obscuring traces of traditional songwriting.
It’s reminding me a little of the work of fellow antipodean experimental veteran Michael “Gate” Morley and his slow-drifting physicality, but just when I’m thinking I’ve got a grasp on what Galbraith is doing here he surprises me with ‘One Method’, a lovely little groover that comes on like Clinic meets Brian Eno before some Cale-esque fiddle screeching on ‘Koterana’ brings us back to his more awkwardly experimental side with a dusky bit of droning that reminds me a little of Rain Drinkers. Solid, engaging and playful stuff once again from the underground journeyman. - Norman Records

The problem with being an underground legend is that for most listeners one remains legendary – occasionally name-checked in interviews by better-known, less interesting artists, or mentioned in hushed, reverent tones by those in the know, heard of but never heard. Fortunately, every once in a while a clear-thinking label will put to one side its natural concern with the new and re-issue a forgotten archival gem – a gem like Alastair Galbraith’s “Cry”, for instance. First released on CD in 2000, the album seemed to slip through the cracks in the popular and critical field of attention, apparently doomed to obscurity until the intervention of UK-based label MIE, who commissioned a new vinyl edition. A run of 500 plus downloads isn’t likely to call the underground credentials into question, but that’s 500-plus people who perhaps wouldn’t have had the chance to hear the music otherwise.
All of which is well and good, but with so many lost masterpieces floating around in the bargain bins of second-hand record stores worldwide, what makes this one worth rescuing? Perhaps the answer lies in the uniqueness of Galbraith’s musical vision, and the imagination and craft with which he expresses it. “Cry” is a diverse album, ranging from gentle pastoral ballads, through weird folk-horror narratives, to full-on Hendrix-channelling psychedelia. On first listen, every track seems to go off on its own tangent, yet there is a care over the details – from the choice of sounds and words, to the quality of the playing, to knowing when a song has run on long enough to take effect – that binds the songs together and creates, with repeated listenings, a cohesive whole. Many records in a similar vein – which for the purpose of this article I’m going to call ‘alt-psych-folk’ – sound as if sloppiness and muddle were considered virtues worth actively pursuing, but “Cry” is proof that lo-fi doesn’t have to imply low-skill. At times dreamily beautiful, at others nightmarishly disturbing, the album strikes a balance between musical nous and raw affect that I found completely convincing, even though I rarely listen to this kind of music.
A classic piece of work by an interesting and compelling artist, “Cry” fully deserves its second chance to grab the ears of more listeners. What other lost treasures lie waiting to be rediscovered in the dusty CD and cassette racks of recent history?
- Nathan Thomas for Fluid Radio

On his record Cry, Dunedin, New Zealand, musician Alastair Galbraith presents sound landscapes that conjure up images of the musical roads taken by the Tren Brothers. It seems as if Galbraith veered to the left of the fork in the road. Cry was recorded completely on a four-track, which adds to the effect of the record. All of the songs sound crisp, with outside tape or environmental noise adding to the texture of the instruments, seemingly placed by Galbraith himself. The instrumental songs are haunting melodies created by drones of instruments and noise, including backwards tapes, guitars, and violins. Few songs have spoken word, presumably by Galbraith himself, with obscure lyrics that remind you of whispering in your ear or talking while you are sleeping. "Charmed" is exactly titled, a short tune that highlights wonderful guitar picking. "One Method" brings to mind a late-'70s/early-'80s new wave tune, something by Devo or Kraftwerk, with straight beats and talking, almost a rap. Cry is mystical and meditative. This is a soundtrack to other lands that you visit in your dreams. Alastair Galbraith tells epic tales of the everyman in short tunes using his tools, drones, and language. -

It is with great pleasure that we can announce that MIE will be releasing Cry by the underground legend of New Zealand, Alastair Galbraith, for the first time on vinyl in March 2013.

Cry was recorded in a shed at Taieri Mouth between 1998 and 2000 and then released by Emperor Jones on CD in 2000. Alastair has always been one of the most admired yet paradoxically ignored musicians from the New Zealand underground since he first started out in The Rip on Flying Nun Records in the early 1980s. Having already worked with the incredibly talented New Zealander otherwise known as Michael Morley, it seemed natural for MIE’s next step to go on to work with Alastair on getting one of his finest records issued for the first time on vinyl.

Listening to the immensely personal and intimate Cry is like looking directly into the furthest recesses of Galbraith’s mind. Weaving the fabric of the record with guitar, violin, organ, and vulnerable murmurs, frequently reversing and inverting instruments through 4-track manipulations, Cry is at once haunting and unsettling. Alastair creates an incredibly complex mindscape with tenebrous drones, hushed lilted words and a sense of deep warmth pulling you further and further into the innermost intricacies of his world. Submerged deep within this world you start to see the faint rays of light and hope which have earned this record its place in New Zealand’s musical landscape. -

Orb (2008) streaming

Mirrorwork (1998) streaming

Seely Girn (1993) streaming

this was a kind of "best of" - covering the years 1986 - 1991 
many of the tracks (or other versions of them) are on other albums 
Feel Good All Over put it out first in 1993

New Zealand-based singer/songwriter Alastair Galbraith first emerged during the mid-'80s, playing in Dunedin area bands including the Ripand Plagal Grind. Making his solo debut with 1992's Morse, he became known for his signature abbreviated songwriting style, with most of his compositions clocking in under two minutes. After 1995's Talisman,Galbraith returned three years later with MirrorworkCry followed in 2000.

Violinist Alastair Galbraith is probally one of the greatest figures in New Zeland's underground music scene in the last 20 years. Albeit worshiped by many (here - divided into parts 12 and 3 - is a nice article written by Mats Gustafsson which illustrates an imense sense of admiration), his work remains relatively obscure. The depth of his impact in his homeland experimental music scenario is best characterized (by himself, in here) by the creation of the Xpressway label: a detachment of Flying Nun - NZ's biggest record label to date - to accomodate what the latter could not comprehend anymore. Its founder, Bruce Russell, was refered to in that given article as having had his crucial ideals from Galbraith's work per se, and obviously from his own sonic investigations in the mythical The Dead C.
In solo works, some of his most relevant releases are the beautiful avant folkish Mirrorwork, and the collected raw recordings of Seely Girn. His work is consistent throughout his solo career, and in many collaborations, most notably in the A Handful of Dust ensemble, a free noise improvisational group formed with Bruce Russell and others.

(1987) Hurry On Down / 192k

(1993) Seely Girn / 224k

(1994) Intro Version EP / 192k

(1995) Talisman / 166 VBR

(1996) Morse and Gaudylight / 228 VBR (V0)


(1998) Mirrorwork / 192k

(2000) Cry / 183 VBR (V0)

(Unknown) 2nds (Cassette, Compilation) / 192k


(1998) Alastair Galbraith & Matt De Gennaro - Wire Music / 192k

(2006) Alastair Galbraith/Alex Neilson/Richard Youngs - Belsayer Time / 256 VBR (V0)


(1994) A Handful of Dust - Music Humana / 192k

(1998) A Handful of Dust - Jerusalem, Street of Graves / 192k

1 komentar:

  1. "Pure speculation" is a new LP composed by correspondance in between Alastair Galbraith, Palix & David Watson

    As a "limited edition" of 300 copies, this one one-sided LP , explorating drones' ambiances and melodies, is released by La Station Radar.