Deluxe Issue Twenty-Two

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D J A N G O D J A N G O – T H E W E AT H E R S TAT I O N – S I M O N R A Y M O N D E M I RRY – HARRY SWORD – H E X E N DUCTION - MOGWAI



www.deluxenewspaper.com Hello, dear reader. What a time to be a shop. What a time to be a shopper. A full calendar cycle now of shop doors closed across the world, with tills dormant, counters sedate and all of the idiosyncratic hustles and bustles of that culture hibernating. For now. That culture does remain vibrant in the online realm, however, with many of us pivoting to mail order and social media with the sort of creativity and reliance that you’d expect from independent record shop owners. But with the first gestures of Spring come fresh hope and optimism that doors will reopen in the not too distant future. Record shops, and all good they bring, will return. And like your own sentimental first purchases, they will always feel special, important and vital. With a suitable amount of safety in the back of your mind, get out as soon as you can this year and touch the hell out of your local record shop, it will enrich you.

Editor: Rupert Morrison Contributing Writers: Harry Sword, Nick Calvino Sub Editor: Lu Overy Art Direction: Jenny Frances Cover Image: Geoffrey Drage Archive Printed by Newspaper Club Distributed by Forte Music Distribution © 2021 Deluxe Newspaper

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ISSUE 22

Contents.

6-9

The Weather Station Interview.

10

David Maclean of Django Django

12 - 17

Hex Enduction Shop Profile.

Record Shop C.V.

30 - 33

18

20 - 29 Mirry

Simon Raymonde

Interview.

Interview.

Interview.

Mogwai

34 - 39

Cambridge Daze... Feature.


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Ignorance Words: Nick Calvino

Ignorance, the latest album from Toronto’s The Weather Station, sees the songwriting of Tamara Lindeman morph into its freest form yet. We spoke to her about the crafting of the record (and why you might need to avoid Talk Talk during those times).

Photography: Daniel Dorsa


INTERVIEW

TL: Part of it was that, when touring a lot, I always felt I was battling a bit with my drummer. I don’t have very good time and the way that I play guitar tends to be very emotional and all over the place. I’m not a studied musician and tend to ‘feel’ and ‘flow’. And that’s something that both my drummers were absolutely sensational at - playing with me. Because that’s like the hardest thing to do, is to play with an emotional leader. And they were really good at doing that.

Deluxe: There’s a large number of collaborators on this record. What was the process like with so many folks on board? Tamara Lindeman: I wrote the album on both keys and a drum machine first. This experience of writing with rhythm instead of creating the rhythm on guitar initially was really a fundamental shift and gave me so much freedom and so much space in the phrase - to stop leading the rhythm with my playing and my voice and allow the rhythm to be handed over to somebody else. I wrote the album and conceived the sound of it and, even for a couple of songs, made these weird MIDI arrangements that were kind of terrible but really informative. I mean, I learned a lot and was originally going to arrange everything myself before recording it. Which I didn’t quite do, but I went part way down that path.

D: Was it a difficult change to embrace? TL: It just wore on me a little bit, but there’s something so powerful about a steady beat. There’s something so ‘safe’. It’s like being held, having this secure rhythm. And I think there’s something human about loving a steady beat. So I wondered ‘What if I just embrace that?’ I think it’s an epiphany I had listening to Ethiopian music a lot. Often there’s a 4 and a 3 count happening at the same time - an underlying 4/4 time, a 3/4, and another polyrhythmic layer on top of that. And yet the music is very free on top of that. I thought ‘If I let the underlying rhythm be straight, I just have so much freedom to push against it’. Which is what I think I want to do as a musician. All of my instincts are pushing against steadiness. It gave me the freedom with my voice and piano playing to be really loose.

D: Was it challenging leading so many different contributors, especially when they’ve all worked with many projects of note themselves? TL: The breadth of the collaborators was just a function of living in Toronto. There’s so many absolutely unbelievable musicians here. It was the first time I actually made an album at home in Toronto, so I could just draw from that scene and include people that I think are just so talented. I felt like I could pull all of these different styles into this complex dish with a lot of different flavours. They’re all people who are at such a high level of skill with their instruments - I’m not including myself in that - but everyone else in the band. They can execute in the moment, perfectly, from a technical standpoint. They can listen and improvise and feel in the moment without sacrificing any technical skill.

D: Your lyrics usually seem to touch on these very big, nebulous ideas about things affecting people collectively, but also address the subjective realities and impacts. How do you juggle these? TL: I think there’s always been this tension in my writing where part of me wants to write narratively and about ‘only what happened’ and leave out any interpretation. But then the other part of me, the stronger part, wants to talk about meaning. So I think the personal and the universal meet in that intersection. I don’t write a song to express my personal feelings, even though of course it’s why I write a song.

D: How about logistically? TL: Well, the recording was super fun. We had this big band of five to seven people on any given song. On some songs, we were really well-rehearsed. On others, we were a bit more open going into the studio. Most of what you hear on the record was recorded live in the room. I did some overdubs myself. A lot of weird guitar and, for some reason, I played a lot of Pianet on the record. I had this sort of distorted Pianet setup [laughs].

D: Do you feel it’s you processing these relatable struggles within yourself? TL: I think it’s more a matter of the songs that, when I’m writing, interest me and pull me forward. Or that I need to finish and record and put out there. Or a song that I haven’t heard before, or an experience I haven’t heard in a song. Or a gap. There’s a gap in the way that something is talked about and the way that it is. Or a gap between

D: The rhythm is what struck me the most about this record. Previously, the records felt as if they were written on guitars. Still very much ‘you’, but the rhythms were very intricate and the arrangements quite lush. What inspired this alteration in the songs’ bedrock?

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INTERVIEW how I feel and how I’m supposed to feel. Or there’s a gap between what is going on in my heart and what I’m expressing in my life. So I think those gaps are places where I’m inevitably drawn.

“They had a wall with employee recommendations, and I would often just check something out based on who recommended it at the store because I knew their taste and what I was interested in.”

I think, on this record, I left things more open than I have in the past in terms of not being as narrativedriven and specific as I like to be. In terms of pinning down an emotional experience to a specific moment - though I still do that a fair bit. Because I wanted the songs to be experienced by other people. I wanted other people to be able to relate, because I felt like the things that I was saying were things that weren’t being said around me. D: Do you feel like you achieved that? TL: I’m very critical of my own writing. It mostly falls short. Some people I know love their songs and are so happy to write a song. And for me it’s very negative [laughs]. I think the negative side of my critical thinking during my songwriting is that sometimes I don’t write as many songs as I would if I were a bit more joyful about it. But, at the same time, I leave out the songs and the verses that feel like they don’t have anything to say. D: Less can be more, in those instances.

cheap airfare and cheap travel. If getting to Europe was a very consequential or costly decision we wouldn’t come over for a single festival, for example.

TL: Yes.

D: It’s admirable to look at how you can change.

D: So much is changing now, so it’s hard to reflect on this. Things are at standstill now, but when touring comes back, has that been something you’ve thought about – having mentioned feeling like ‘part of the problem’ when put between the rock and hard place of touring and causing less environmental harm? From your perspective, what changes does the industry need to reckon with?

T: I guess my hope for the music industry and from a life perspective, is that we try to be more ‘quality over quantity’. The expectation that bands tour through the same city three or four times on an album is absurd. Can we just make a show a special experience that only happens once and maybe pay a little more for but also give more to. And realize how luxurious and special it is to be in a room together. I definitely hope for that. And with things happening virtually right now. It used to be that you would travel to New York for a press tour or whatever. And hopefully some of these changes will stick. Like, there was no reason we needed to do this interview in person - it’s totally ok to do it virtually.

TL: It’s something I struggle with and have thought about a lot. In part because I think, being a touring musician and that my whole life was driving or flying around and burning carbon. Part of why I was avoiding looking at the climate crisis because I had swallowed that message of climate change being a matter of personal responsibility. But, it is and it isn’t. It’s no different than so many of the systemic issues in our world. We don’t pin capitalism on the individual, even though we all participate in it.

D: What is your relationship to record stores over time? Any that you have a fondness for now? TL: A lot of my cherished memories of record stores, even pre-vinyl or before the internet, there was this record store called Soundscapes that was just so formative to my life. It was right up the street and everyone that worked there was really cool and had really cool taste. They had a wall with employee recommendations, and I would often just check something out based on who recommended it at the store because I knew their taste and what I was interested in. And they had copious listening

D: But are you as a touring artist genuinely able to make meaningful change in that way? TL: Well, the way I or my peers would tour was pretty wasteful. Even before the pandemic, I had a chat with all the people I work with. ‘When we go to Europe, we should just stay for a long time. We should do everything we want to do in Europe in one trip instead of several.’ Because the whole industry is built around DELUXE 22.

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booths. It was pre-internet, so you couldn’t hear it if you didn’t go listen to it. D: Which is fascinating looking back, the place shops held in culture as much as commerce. TL: Yes, the other thing they had that was really important was a local music section that was quite extensive. And no matter who you were, you could bring them your record and they would take like two on consignment. I remember when I made my first EP, before my first album, where the cover was like a folded piece of cardboard. I felt so validated by having it on the wall at Soundscapes. That’s a really cherished memory. D: Record store validation. TL: I feel like the ‘vinyl boom’, even though some people feel cynical about it, I’m so happy it happened. It’s such a relief in this day and age. Especially during my Paradise of Bachelors years - Loyalty my first album with them - I just thought ‘Who is going to buy a record by me in this day and age?’ But because they just had those relationships with record stores, and the people that go to those stores having the relationship with that label, it was just crazy where ‘We actually recouped our record! How did we do that? I’m nobody!’ All because of vinyl heads. I’m so glad that it’s still up and running. Personally I’m more a headphone listener and less of a vinyl audiophile. In part because I feel like, if I got into being an audiophile, I’d just go crazy. But I’m super grateful to record stores. I feel like anywhere we go travelling it’s always the home base. You go to the local record store and you’re at home amongst your friends, whether you know them or not. D: What are some personal favourites of late? TL: I listened a lot, this year, to Sandro Perri’s two records – Soft Landing and In Another Life. I’m a Sandro fan going way back. In a weird way they’re, in my mind, his best records even though I feel like people didn’t really notice them when they came out. I got into that Westerman record - I really liked it. A couple of Laraaji piano records. There’s this guy named Luka Kuplowsky that came up in the Toronto music scene and just made this record that blew me away. It’s amazing when someone younger than you just shows up and you’re like ‘You’re better! You’re better than we were! How did you do that?’ That record’s called Stardust. Beautiful record. A lot of pretty quiet music in my life these days. When I was making the record, I was actively avoiding Talk Talk because I didn’t want to get too influenced. So when I finished the record, I was like ‘Now I can listen to Talk Talk’. And I love it [laughs]. DELUXE 22 .


RECORD SHOP CV.

DAVID MACLEAN of DJANGO DJANGO.

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My first memory of record shopping was being nine or ten years old and going to Woolworths in Dundee. They had a counter with the top twenty 7” singles displayed behind it and I bought Bart Simpson’s timeless classic, Do the Bartman.

Like Woolworths, the new records were kept behind the counter, displayed on the wall, and the only option was to push your way to the front of the busy shop and attempt to get the guy’s attention by shouting over the music. You’d never just buy the record though. It was put in a pile with everyone else’s choices and at some point over the next 40 minutes he’d mix it into his set, then give you a shout to tell you it was your pick. At which point the whole shop would turn and stare at you - judgingly - though the haze of cigarette smoke. Most people in there would be asking to listen to the latest U.S. house releases but me and my mates were far more interested in fast, hard industrial techno and Rotterdam gabber. This usually didn’t go down too well. I remember they’d try to get me into less frantic hardcore music, and the turning point was going in there on a quiet weekday and coming away with Armand Van Helden’s Witch Doctor and a Frankie Bones Bones Breaks 12”. I don’t think I asked to listen to any Rotterdam gabba after that day.

Dundee in the 80s and 90s had quite a few good ‘proper’ record shops and as I got older and was allowed to go into town with my pals, most of my Saturday afternoons were spent rummaging around them. The main spot for second hand stuff was Groucho’s. This was Dundee’s counterculture hub, with boxes and boxes of old hip hop, jazz and rock records as well as underground American comics like The Freak Brothers and Zapp. It felt like being transported out of Dundee to some ultra-hip area of New York to me when I walked in, and I discovered a lot of great music in Groucho’s. It didn’t have a listening deck, so I was forced to take a punt on things I had a good hunch on. This made getting home and playing through the day’s haul even more exciting. I didn’t have a sampler or anything like that yet, but I was already listening to records with that mindset. It’s still my favourite thing about record shopping, taking a punt on stuff because of a hunch, then getting back to the studio and searching through them for those little moments of magic.

A lot of my record shopping experiences now come from places I get to go when touring with Django Django. As soon as there is a day off, I’m on my phone looking for the nearest stores. The USA has an insane number of great record shops. I usually take a huge suitcase with nothing in it and it’s full of records on the way back. Boston, Detroit, Denver, New Orleans... There are huge second hand record shops everywhere and they’re often the kind where you need to spend hours digging through unlabelled boxes and piles. It still blows my mind how much music is out there and how many samples are waiting to be discovered.

Years later, when I’d bought my first set of DJ turntables and a mixer, I was getting more and more into techno music and spending a lot of time in Dundee’s underground music specialists, 23rd Precinct and Equinox records. These shops were slightly more intimidating. The guys behind the counter were chain smoking and DJing and the music was loud.

Record shopping and collecting still remains a huge part of my life, and sampling vinyl is often at the core of a Django Django track. I still get the same buzz from discovering some long-forgotten track or stumbling on that perfect drum loop.

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SHOP PROFILE

Hex Enduction Lake City, Seattle

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SHOP PROFILE For three-quarters of their lifetime, Hex Enduction Records & Books of Lake City, Seattle have been making the best they can of a backdrop of a global pandemic. Opening to great fanfare in November 2019, they’ve already brought a healthy dose of weirdness to the suburbs. We spoke to Dean Whitmore about setting up and fitting in.

D: For someone who remains quietly interested in The Fall, is Hex Enduction my best jump off point?

Deluxe: For those unacquainted, give us the Hex Enduction story. Who are you guys, when did you open… and why!

DW: [laughing] I don’t know if it’s the best jump off point. I think your first record you get from a band tends to have a special place for you. The Wonderful and Frightening World of the Fall was my first.

Dean Whitmore: Hex Enduction is my best pal Tom Ojendyk and my life partner Gabi Page-Fort and I. Tom and I do the records and Gabi does the books. Tom and I have been scheming about opening a shop at the weekly big beer get-togethers we’ve had for the last 20 years, and when it was time for me to change jobs I finally just decided to pull the trigger on it and do it. I only wish I’d done it sooner.

D: What would be your top five Fall moments to lock in a prospective fan? DW: Live at the Witch Trials and Dragnet are great. Tom mentioned Grotesque, This Nation’s Saving Grace, Slates. I’m a fan of their late 80s records I Am Kurious Oranj and The Frenz Experiment too. Like I said they were making such consistently great records that for me, anything up through the 80s I could recommend without hesitation. I know people who swear by late period records too. I hit a couple that weren’t for me and just figured I’d keep it to their first 17 records! [laughing]

D: I’ve spoken to a bunch of shops over the years who have shops named after albums and artists (recently Transmission, End of An Ear, World of Echo) - How did you land on the name Hex Enduction? DW: There was a shop in Seattle run by Nils Bernstein (who went on to do publicity at Sub Pop and Matador) called Rebellious Jukebox which is a Fall song title. We thought that was a great name and reference for a record store we might own, and riffed our way to Hex Enduction Records and Books. Hex Enduction Hour is the Fall album title.

D: The last arduous year aside for obvious reasons, how are things going with you guys and how are you enjoying store life? DW: In short, I’m loving it. I had undervalued how much I’d appreciate the social aspect of the job. Plus I’m learning so much about new bands and artists from these people. It’s definitely a bit stressful at times, but being able to have say over almost every single thing to do with your day to day life is really, really liberating. Luckily people are responding well and things here are trending upwards every month. Hoping we can get

D: Yeah, so are you all big fans of Mark E Smith and The Fall? DW: Yeah, absolutely. I don’t know if there was another band that put out as much music as they did that was so consistently great. Maybe Billy Childish and Guided By Voices… Not tons of others.

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out here (laughing). There’s not tons going on culturally honestly. We’re a bunch of misfits and just fine with that. It is unique in that it feels like the old Seattle that got torn

things revved up a couple notches and then we coast on Tom’s good looks from there. D: If you were giving someone an elevator pitch introduction to Hex Enduction, what is the vibe? What do you guys do well? DW: What do we do well… we’re trying to be a good neighbourhood shop that leans a little highbrow. Music is such a subjective thing, but I’d like to think that we specialise in carrying quality records without regards to popularity. We’re shooting for ‘all killer no filler’. That’s for the books too. Our space limitations require us to be choosy, and it’s been freeing to not have to carry whatever is the most popular thing of the day.

“We get to share and learn from each other and feel the full force of the fucking weirdness and beauty of human interaction. Which is what it’s all about.”

D: I always love talking about logos too, who created your logo and what was the inspiration? DW: David Day, the owner of Jive Time Records here in Seattle, did our logo. He does lots of cool design stuff, makes prints etc. He just asked me if I minded if he did a few logos just for fun and of course I didn’t and he came up with something that spoke to the name but didn’t point to the reference which I thought was perfect. He did some other versions that were rad too. One had a straight-faced snail sliding along in front of the black hole that made me laugh. We may have to see about doing a t-shirt of that one at some point.

down and overrun over the last 30 years. We’re located between a dive bar called the Back Door and Emerald City Tattoos so I would say that we could be a part of the cultural epicentre here. There are a lot of weirdos and interesting people out here, and they’re pretty surprised and psyched about us being here. We also get kids from neighbouring towns that don’t want to go into the heart of the city. I like being outside of the centre. We were

D: You’re based in Lake City, Seattle. What does that part of the city have going on and how do you fit in? DW: Well, we used to have a great Value Village thrift store

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SHOP PROFILE having shows at the shop before things got shut down. They were really fun with people spilling out on the street and going back and forth between us and the Back Door. D: As an outsider, Seattle still feels like a big global musical city. Again ignoring the recent lack of live music, does the city still feel vibrant?

“We’re located between a dive bar called the Back Door and Emerald City Tattoos so I would say that we could be a part of the cultural epicentre here.”

DW: Yeah, I’m sure there’s still lots of people out here making cool music. It’s hard to have a grip on whether it feels vibrant or not right now not really being able to interact with people etc. It doesn’t seem like tons of local records have come out, no shows have been happening. Definitely a weird time to assess and respond to that question. D: How about yourself personally, what is your first and most formative record store experience? DW: Rebel Records in the Renton Highlands. My friend got $20 a week allowance which was a ton for a 7th grader at my school, and we’d accompany him and suggest what he should buy and then go listen to them at his house. I remember having my mom take me there to buy a Sex Pistols book and hoping she didn’t ask what I got. D: Do you remember your first purchase? DW: Van Halen II on LP at Budget Records in Renton. I went for the first LP and they were out so I got II. Not as good, but I was STOKED.

computers and the internet and rolling social media why is Hex Enduction still a vital and important part of your community?

D: Which shops have inspired you personally and professionally?

DW: We haven’t been here long but even so, the people in the community have been really vocal about their excitement about having a place to commune. Being able to find so much once-obscure music online is pretty amazing and there is a convenience to it, but it can also be cold and impersonal. Communicating through a keyboard, you can only express so much. The folks who walk through our doors (or any record/book store’s doors) are generally curious-minded and passionate about art or literature, and we look at them as fellow fans instead of just consumers / customers. We get to share and learn from each other and feel the full force of the fucking weirdness and beauty of human interaction. Which is what it’s all about.

DW: Lots of them really. Fallout Records was a shop in Seattle that meant a lot to us. Mississippi is a shop that’s inspiring to me currently. Academy Records, Domino Record Shack, End of An Ear… The list goes on and on really. I like all the shops in Seattle for different things. I thought a lot about Jive Time, Sonic Boom, Easy St, Wall of Sound, Everyday etc when starting up our little shop and got a lot of good advice from them too. D: What has been the best and the worst experiences of shop life at Hex so far? DW: Losing a couple regulars was the saddest experience of shop life so far. Operating a retail store in the middle of a global pandemic has been a challenge, which everyone knows, though we have been healthy and lucky so far. As far as the best, the in-stores were amazing and something we look forward to doing again once it’s safe.

Communication. Expression. Inspiration. I mean I buy records online too, but I don’t know if I’ve ever left an online shopping experience feeling as if my spirit has been uplifted, and it’s happened literally hundreds of times for me at a record store. [laughing] So fuck you internet! Just kidding, keep bringing me cool records, cheap webernet gods!

D: Now we both know full well that record stores remain of huge cultural importance, but tell me - in the age of

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INTERVIEW

Mogwai

On the eve of their massive tenth studio album - As The Love Continues - Nick Calvino spoke to Mogwai and Rock Action Records founder Stuart Braithwaite about shopping opportunities.

D: Looking backwards, do you recall your first record purchases?

Deluxe: It’s probably fair to assume that no one in the band expected their tenth record to be recorded under the pall of a global pandemic. How did the group, and producer Dave Fridmann, approach these sessions?

SB: The first record I bought was Disintegration by The Cure. I would have gotten it from Our Price or Woolworths, which were high street stores in the biggest town to where I lived - Hamilton.

Stuart Braithwaite: We worked with Dave extensively before the recording, sharing demos and talking about the songs. Dave helped us choose which songs to record and, although he wasn’t with us in person, was incredibly active during the recording too.

D: How about formative record stores? SB: There was an independent shop there too, called Impulse, which became my go-to place to get music.

D: As The Love Continues is a heavy title, but feels especially heavy now. What inspired it?

D: What other stores have inspired you over the years? SB: For starters, Monorail and Mixed Up in Glasgow. World of Echo and Sounds Of The Universe in London. Piccadilly in Manchester. Amoeba in LA and San Francisco.

SB: It was a line said by Mari, our drummer Martin’s daughter. I’m not sure of the context but we really liked it. D: The album features the contributions of Colin Stetson and Atticus Ross. How was that working process?

D: How about the label, what inspired the creation of Rock Action?

SB: They are both musicians that we hugely admire and brought skills that we definitely don’t have to the album.

SB: In the mid 90s there was a thriving DIY scene in Glasgow. All of the bands were making their own records, and we were no different. We just wanted to make a 7” and have John Peel play it. We had no idea it would grow to what it’s become.

D: I imagine there’s some mutual recognition for soundtrack work? SB: Both of them have made remarkable music and it was an honour to have them involved.

D: Which releases are you most proud to have had a hand in putting out into the world?

D: Musicians are generally reeling from the lack of touring. How are the band handling this? Both your own and your Rock Action roster?

SB: The Kathryn Joseph record. D: Which records have meant the most or have been the biggest inspiration to you over the past year?

SB: It’s extremely tough. Most musicians’ income comes from live work, so to not have any has been very challenging. Things are looking up though so hopefully we’ll all be back on stages soon.

SB: The Sonic Boom and Juliana Barwick records were both amazing.

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INTERVIEW

Mirry. One of the most magical projects to have arrived out of 2020’s various enforced periods of reflection was Mirry, the incredible discovery and musical re-imagining of Mirabel Lomer, a carer who had secretly created piano compositions away from almost everyone else’s gaze. We spoke to her nephew Geoffrey Drage, the man who lovingly recorded and preserved hundreds of stereoscopic slides, super-8 films, photographs, stories, poems and further recordings some seventy years ago. Images: Geoffrey Drage Archive

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Geoffrey at the turntable.

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INTERVIEW

look at the individual frames and then I did the splicing, it all took quite a long time. I was using a special kind of tape a bit like Sellotape but stronger. I think I had a cutter of some sort, but it was 60 years ago and I don’t remember the details of what I did, but I do remember that I spent a long time doing it!

Deluxe: What do you think Mirry would have made of it all? Geoffrey Drage: Really quite pleased, otherwise it would all vanish, nobody would know about it, well nobody would know about it after I died, it would disappear. Deluxe: Tell us about your interest in film and audio capturing technology, it feels like the images and audio that you captured at home with Mirry was really quite ahead of its time?

D: A real labour of love. GD: It was all quite crude, I think nowadays it’s all much more sophisticated, they have much better tools and implements and all the things that you need for editing… when I did it everything was quite primitive.

GD: I made my films with a little 8mm cine camera, those were quite popular you see at the time, I don’t think they are much used nowadays as people have video recorders which are much better than the little cine cameras.

D: The audio recordings have a beautiful quality as well. GD: It was a German recorder, one of the first ones that Grundig made after the war. It really was a great heavy thing, it weighed something like 60 pounds, big too!

D: The footage is so beautiful and dreamlike though? GD: Well, do you think the quality is as good as the quality of these videos made by the video recorders? I think they provide more detail and probably better colour too.

D: Was it complicated to use? Did you just implement trial and error? GD: I don’t know whether I turned the tape over or whether I moved the tape head up or down, I think the tape head could be moved and so was in contact with a different part of the tape. The tape was divided into two with an upper and lower level and I think you could move the tapehead. I remember I had to mend that with a soldering iron, but otherwise the old recorder worked quite well.

D: Was the equipment difficult to use? GD: Yes actually, I didn’t like them very much because if you got a hair caught in the shutter mechanism then things could go seriously wrong, it was difficult to get the hair out too, you had to partly dismantle the camera and then get it out with a tweezer. D: Did you ever edit the footage together or did you focus more on just capturing it all for posterity?

D: Were you interested in contemporary music when you were recording Mirry, or was it more about the process of the technique that interested you?

GD: Oh yes I did edit it, I had a little editing machine. It had a magnifying glass so I could

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Mirry at Stonehenge.

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Geoffrey.

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INTERVIEW

GD: It was a lot of fun doing it and Aunt Mirry enjoyed the product very much indeed.

D: And other contemporary releases? GD: I wasn’t particularly keen on modern music, I only really like classical music. Beethoven especially, I think he’s absolutely stupendous really, I like his piano concertos and violin concertos, pretty well everything that he wrote, actually.

D: What you both captured is so evocative… GD: Well, I think the machine was really designed to record conversation and speeches, I don’t think it was particularly designed for recording music. Although, it did record music quite well, but by no means perfectly.

D: Any specific pieces that resonated with you, also Mirry?

D: Talking about record shops, what was your first memory of a record shop?

GD: Beethoven’s Romances Opus 40 and 50. They were both favourites of Mirry, she was also very fond of his violin concertos too. I think she liked pretty much everything written by him too. She had a lot of his records and she used to play them for me and herself too.

GD: I think I bought a few records for Adrian (my younger brother), particularly Beatles records which I used to get - if I recall - from a shop in Oxford Street. I think it was HMV. D: What did you make of The Beatles?

D: In some or the archive footage, I think I clocked you putting the South Pacific soundtrack onto the turntable?

GD: Well, I like the Beatles but the record I liked most was Simon & Garfunkel’s Bridge over Troubled Water. I think that’s an incredible record. When played on Adrian’s hifi - which had some very good speakers - it sounded absolutely incredible. He also had a very good amplifier too, I don’t remember who made it, but the huge speakers were made by a company called Goodman. The speakers were big and awfully heavy but produced a marvellous rich sound.

GD: Oh yes, I think someone must have given me that record. It’s an attractive record and the film was nice too. D: Mirry now has a life of its own, how does it feel thinking about people all around the world picking up a CD/LP with your images on the sleeve and your recordings on the stereo? GD: Oh I don’t mind at all. The photos were taken 60 years ago, I don’t suppose photos taken of me now would be sort of thrilling [laughing] - I’m very old now.

But I did enjoy the Beatles, I think they were wonderful.

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Daliahs in the garden.

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Mirabel.


ABOUT MIRRY: 30 years ago, Edinburgh-based musician Tom Fraser was helping with the house clearance after his grandfather’s death and found an old, scratched Transco record left out on the street. He took it home where it sat on a shelf for years, until one day during 2020’s lockdown, he gave it a play; and a whole world opened up to him. With her nephew Geoffrey, his Great Aunt Mirry had recorded a number of piano compositions which she had kept secret from her family. Tom reworked and remixed her compositions with his brother-in-law Simon Tong (The Verve, The Good the Bad and the Queen, and The Magnetic North) and together with project curator Kirsteen McNish have brought the amazing music and astonishing story out of the shadows.


INTERVIEW

LOST HORIZONS SIMON RAYMONDE Words: Nick Calvino

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As a label owner, former Cocteau Twin and most impressively (to us) a man who has spent a lot of time behind record counters, it’s always a joy to catch up with Simon Raymonde, especially as he celebrates the release of his excellent new Lost Horizons album on his own Bella Union label.

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Deluxe: For those unfamiliar, what is your history with [drummer/Lost Horizons bandmate] Richie Thomas?

would be the fun in that!? Leaves nothing to talk about next time, does it?

Simon Raymonde: Richie and I have known each other since we were 4AD labelmates as far back as back as 1983. My band Cocteau Twins loved his band Dif Juz - an instrumental post-punk dub band before there was such a thing. We took them on tour with us, and we performed together on This Mortal Coil. Always loved his drumming. And while it was never right for Cocteau Twins, since the demise of the band in 1997, I have always dreamed of doing something together with him.

D: How do you think In Quiet Moments compares to Ojalá? Sonically, it sounds like it was drawing on a wider pool of inspirations. SR: Yeah, I like it a lot at the moment. Ojalá was a great starting point, but I think this is a more diverse set of tunes, and clearly I feel in the future we can take it anywhere we want. I think the guests inform the direction to a degree, but maybe that’s just how it has appeared on this one. Each time it’s different and I am sure with the next LP, other factors will shape how it ends up sounding. I prefer not knowing too much about it in advance and just winging it.

D: What is it about his drumming that was inspiring? SR: His drumming is just so expressive and unusual, so primal and yet so intricate. Delicate. It is an extraordinary thing, and adds SO much to the music he accompanies with it.

D: John Grant and Tim Smith both make appearances, how has your relationship with them (and their music) evolved over the years? SR: John and Tim are both amazing people and that’s the most important part for me - that we care about each other and want the best for one another. Music is what brings us all together and working intimately with artists for [that] length of time (John Grant - 23 years and Tim - 17 years) it’s impossible not to hold them dear and feel like they’re part of your family. Having them both involved on this second record has been a joy of course.

“Lydia Lunch kissed me on the lips once in the middle of the shop which was embarrassing and I went bright red, but in hindsight I was pretty thrilled!”

D: What is your earliest experience with records and record shops? SR: I went to Beggars Banquet in Kensington in London most days when I was in my teens and became friends with the owner Steve. His brother Peter worked upstairs in the label offices, he ran Situation 2 label and in the same office was Ivo (Watts-Russell) who ran 4AD and Martin Mills who ran Beggars. I started working part time at the record shop, and before long was invited to work full time. It was an incredible shop and I met so many amazing people in the shop. Many bands on their way through to visit the label folks upstairs too.

D: Beyond the opportunity to compose with Richie, Lost Horizons feels like an opportunity to act as a curator: to craft with artists whom you revere. What was the selection process for choosing the guests on In Quiet Moments?

D: Your most memorable encounters? SR: Lydia Lunch kissed me on the lips once in the middle of the shop which was embarrassing and I went bright red, but in hindsight I was pretty thrilled!

SR: I only ever approached artists because I knew they would be right for the specific track. Certainly the whole thing took a long time from conception to conclusion, but I wasn’t in a massive hurry!

I walked Billy Mackenzie’s whippets whenever he came for meetings, and I first met Robin and Elizabeth from Cocteau Twins in the shop on the first day they came down to London to deliver their debut record to 4AD! So that shop was the start of everything.

D: Any collaborators you’d like to see come on for future releases? SR: I definitely have some folks in mind for the next one already. Indeed I already have one new song in the bag that I started after [Christmas], and the vocals are already done! But I can’t reveal stuff like that yet. Where

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D: How much longer did you work at the shop after meeting Robin and Elizabeth?

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INTERVIEW and cassettes for a time. And then when Never Mind The Bollocks came out I bought that on vinyl along with My Aim Is True by Elvis Costello, and my LP collection was under way. Now I buy mostly LPs, but quite a few box sets, the occasional 7” and a smattering of 10”/12”. Also, I have a pretty crazy collection of 8-track cartridge tapes. Lots of rare pieces in there [including] Never Mind The Bollocks on 8-track too! D: Nearly a quarter century on, Bella Union is often revered as an example of a label driven by its own passionate fandom. Looking back over its history, what are some records that you are most proud to have helped release? SR: That’s a hard question. Sometimes even the ones that no one liked or bought were just as important as the ones that connected with people. The significant sellers like John Grant’s Queen of Denmark and Pale Green Ghosts, Father John Misty’s LP’s, Fleet Foxes, all the Beach House records, all the Dirty Three and Midlake records, Explosions In The Sky’s catalogue, etc.

SR: It shut down in 1982 and then I got a job working at Our Price and within six months was manager. I managed a few of their stores, Kings Road in Chelsea, Kensington, Charing Cross Road and Tottenham Court Road, and then got asked to join Cocteau Twins, so that ended the record shop adventures.

The list is endless, but I was proud to release the two records of my Dad’s work in 2017 and 2019. And also the Innocence Mission’s records give me a lot of satisfaction but to be honest, I love ‘em all and you wouldn’t ask a parent to choose their favourite child now would you?

D: What are some of your favourite shops?

D: Speaking of your father [Ivor Raymonde], it’s pretty astounding to look at just how many classic records he had a hand in. Dusty Springfield, The Walker Brothers, even Los Bravos. As you became a professional musician/label owner, had your relationship to his life’s work changed a great deal?

SR: There are truly so many that I try and get to when I am travelling. In Brighton - where I live - I am a frequent customer in Resident, but my favourite is our own Bella Union Vinyl Shop. We have been open five years and it’s been an absolute dream to have our own shop. We have such loyal customers, and we couldn’t feel more at home in our tiny little shop in the Lanes.

SR: My real deep appreciation of his work was not ‘til much later in my life. In some sense that is sad as he died young and I wasn’t able to ever show him that to his face, but I have now also lived a full life and as I approach the last period of mine I wanted to be sure to right that wrong.

Outside of Brighton, I love Monorail in Glasgow, Spillers in Cardiff, Jumbo in Leeds, Pie and Vinyl in Southsea, Rough Trade East and West, Piccadilly in Manchester and I also love the Tower Records in Dublin. D: Would you consider yourself a collector?

Growing up I was of course aware of what he did for his living but apart from the headlines you mentioned there in your question, the knowledge was limited. The breadth and depth of his work continues to astound me. I think if I lived to be twice his age, I still wouldn’t come close to what he achieved, so all I can do is be humble and proud to be his son and at least continuing his great work!

SR: Very much so. I buy a lot from Discogs - probably more than new vinyl - usually three or four records daily, and I have two full rooms of wall to wall vinyl at our home in Brighton. It’s not got out of control yet, as I have a few shelves yet I can use. But I don’t think we have any more rooms we could change into vinyl storage rooms, so I will need to have another think about it in a year or two!

D: Looking forward - and away from 2020, in many ways - what can fans expect from Bella Union?

D: With two full rooms of vinyl, you must have a lot to choose from. Do you have a preferred format? (e.g. 12”. 45”, etc.)

SR: Never stand still. Keep pushing the boundaries but stay true to your beliefs. And I won’t start looking at sales figures (never do) or Facebook likes to decide whether to sign a band or not!

SR: As a teenager of the original punk generation, 19761979, my main, favoured format was initially 7” singles

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FEATURE


Cambridge Daze... BY HARRY SWORD

A few weeks back I was re-reading Julian Cope’s superb memoir Head On/Repossessed. Writing about the recording of Fried in Cambridge, he describes the city as having ‘a vibration similar to San Fransisco or Amsterdam. It’s one of the last bastions of free-dome. And Fried was as free as I could ever be’. I’m Cambridge born and bred. The freedom Cope picked up on - with his finely honed cranial receiver - definitely exists, albeit subtly. I think it’s partly because Cambridge is a city that retains a sense of mystery: you can live here for years and never quite get under the skin. The University world remains as alien to most locals as the average tourist. Big chunks of the city are, essentially, cut off (it’s the same in Oxford, of course - slightly starker, if anything) and if you’re ‘town’ as opposed to ‘gown’ you’re kind of an outsider in your own city, by default. It has a slightly surreal edge, too - a feeling of reality bent west; slow moving rivers, dappled meadows, ancient bridges - that lends itself to fiction and psychedelic adventuring equally. Mark E Smith wrote about his love of MR James in his autobiography Renegade; how he imagined him reading his stories ‘out loud in a plummy accent in a Cambridge college in the winter, with the mist rising up from the river’ - and that kind of mysterious romance is ingrained here. From a countercultural perspective, the city will always be associated with Pink Floyd, of course. Grantchester Meadows, in particular, lend themselves to woozy psychedelic whimsy. It’s a magical space, rolling meadowland with cows roaming - free land, proper free land - and an outdoor party scene thrived here, and elsewhere around the city, during the 90s and 00s. In the early 00s, the main system was Life4Land (based in Bristol now) and they were just sheer chaos. They focused on jungle, gabba, dub and breakcore and put on legendarily intense raves - out on the meadows; in a tumbledown barn in Madingley directly opposite the

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FEATURE big American WW2 cemetery; in the ancient beech woods on the Gogmagog hills; all over the place, really. Then there were the Fulbourn warehouse parties on an industrial estate just outside the city, run by various other systems. They operated in a strange semi-legal loophole whereby they live-streamed (in the more primitive days of the internet) claiming that everyone in the warehouse was ‘a spectator’, running a bar where you could only buy ‘raffle tickets’ (every single ticket, of course, ‘won’ a can of Red Stripe) - somehow they got away with it, for years.

I gravitated toward the nascent stoner rock scene in the mid 90s, and Parrot stocked a lot of it. Three specific albums stick out from that time - all were really important gateways to heavier, weirder, dronier stuff in later life - and all three still stand up, and get regular plays, today.

Fu Manchu - In Search Of… I love Fu Manchu. They remind me of AC/DC or Motorhead in that they never, ever change. I love that about them. You know what you’re going to get within twenty seconds of putting a Fu Manchu record on - massive, fuzzy, dayglo riffs and lyrics about UFOs and dune buggies and surfing and camper vans and beer and bongs. It’s really great, simple, dunderheaded escapist music. Singer/ guitarist Scott Hill famously listens to nothing but 1970s rock and 1980s hardcore - literally nothing else - and that kind of obsessive focus drives the band. They are utterly impervious to the fickle winds of trend. In Search Of… is a total beast that pivots on hypnotic riffs, smoking grooves and raw punk energy. Killer.

But thinking specifically about record shops, two places immediately came to mind. Streetwise and Parrot Records - both King Street, both sadly gone. Mill Road has always been ground zero for alternative Cambridge - decent pubs, book shops, kebab shops, the seedy backstreets of Romsey Town etc. However, King Street was equally important in the 90s and 00s. It all centred around The Cambridge Arms: a legendarily motley King Street boozer (again, now sadly gone) - a temple of sin where bikers, underage drinkers, speed freaks, wayward polytechnic lecturers, artists, skaters, smack heads, punks, buskers and ne’er-do-wells of every conceivable persuasion congregated.

Karma to Burn - Karma to Burn

Parrot Records and Streetwise Records were, handily, just up the road and both played a vital role in my musical upbringing. Parrot was mainly indie, punk and metal while Streetwise was dance music, with a strong focus on DnB, house and breaks. When I was in my early teens I’d go to Parrot mainly for the legendary ‘five pound tape rack’ which was on the left hand side, near the counter, as you walked in. It had loads of metal, and lots of 1990s American punk rock - all the Epitaph bands: NOFX, Bad Religion, Rancid, Pennywise - you know the drill - as well as noisier gear: Melvins, Amphetamine Reptile records, Alternative Tentacles etc. I loved the way the guy behind the counter was always subtly trying to turn people onto weirder stuff. Like, if I went up to the counter with a NOFX tape he’d invariably smile and ask if I’d ever heard of the Dead Kennedys or Black Flag. Not in a snobby way - he just genuinely wanted his younger customers to listen to more interesting music, to connect the dots.

A strange and mystical band from the badlands of the West Virginia mountains, Karma to Burn are (usually) an instrumental group but - on their record company’s behest - they were forced to hire a singer for this debut album. It’s like nothing else: a deeply sinister, mezcal-scented, woozy, amphetamine psychosis kinda vibe - a mutant Sam Peckinpah soundtrack type affair - all gut-rot wine, too much sun and bad prescription drugs.

Iron Monkey - Iron Monkey One of the strangest and heaviest bands of all time. Iron Monkey were from Nottingham and were often touted as ‘England’s answer to Eyehategod’ but, though sharing a similar sludgy sound, were way heavier. Lyrically, singer Johnny Morrow (who sadly died of kidney failure in 2002) delivered cryptic, nightmarish, Burroughs-esque cut-up vignettes in an anguished scream that sounded like armageddon. The most extreme vocal delivery of all time? Quite possibly. But the whole thing is grounded by these gargantuan grooves and swirling riffs - a monolithic slab as hypnotic as it is aggressive. 100% essential.

Looking back, Parrot played a really important role in the genesis of my book Monolithic Undertow as, later, it was the first record shop where I was exposed to more hypnotic, heavier sounds. As a lover of all things heavy (and combustible), DELUXE 22.

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