Deluxe Issue Eleven

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Issue Eleven: Warpaint, Amber Arcades, THROWS, Death In Vegas, Bear Tree Records and more.



Deluxe. Welcome to Deluxe. This is the eleventh edition of doubtless the World’s best free independently distributed quarterly periodical newspaper about independent record shops. It’s a niche. You probably already know this, you’re most likely part of our world as you have after all picked this up in your independent outlet of choice. For this edition we spent time talking shops with Stella Mozgawa of Warpaint, Richard Fearless of Death In Vegas, Annelotte de Graaf of Amber Arcades, Patrick Doyle of Boys Forever, Luke Abbott of Szun Waves, Mike Lindsay and Sam Genders of THROWS and Joe Blanchard of Bear Tree Records. Some great ‘first records’ this time around. The Haysi Fantayzee 7” is a particular stand out gem.

Good opportunity to highlight how much we enjoyed speaking to Joe at Bear Tree Records. Very much a twenty first century man and one of the new generation of record shops; curators, obsessives and above all else fans. Over the next few issues we will be talking more about that world and covering visits to Hot Salvation in Folkestone, Friendly Records in Bristol, the South Record Shop in Southend-on-Sea, Forever Records in Nottingham, Transmission in Margate, plus a few in Europe and a handful we met in the USA, two of which aren’t even open yet. Passionate fuckers popping up everywhere. That’s not to suggest we’re forgetting about the old guard. Nice to see Spillers of Cardiff - the World’s oldest - get a shout out from Warpaint, plus our buds Jumbo Records in Leeds who turned 45 years old recently and are looking damn good on it. We’re all open, come on in.

Interviewed, edited and compiled by The Drift Record Shop. Front Cover is ‘The Nook’ by Stella Mozgawa Sub edited by Louise Overy Printed by Newspaper Club Distributed by Forte Music Distribution www.fortedistribution.co.uk / 01600 891589

Whilst every care has been taken in the preparation of this newspaper, the publishers cannot be held responsible for the accuracy of information or any consequence arising from it. Published in Devon by The Drift Record Shop. ©2016


Warpaint Warpaint are the sort of band we really like, people with integrity, attention, loads of grooves and the ability to focus solely on what they are doing rather than the world whirling around them. With a list of banned “Warpainty” superlatives to avoid, we spent some time on the phone with Stella Mozgawa, the drumming quarter of the band, to talk about being in a gang and recording what they wanted to.

Deluxe: So although there has been a fairly short public lead-up time, out of sight, you’ve all been busy for a while now? Stella Mozgawa: Yeah, we’re just coming up to speed now, the upswing is about four months of work. The single is like the training for the promo and touring period for the album. We’re warming up, a little bit of travelling. D: I suppose logistics like wifi, time zones and spare socks… the core arduous part of touring aside, do you enjoy that aspect of your job?

SM: I love playing live. I love touring as well. I just turned thirty so I am a few years younger than the other girls, but I have arguably toured more than the others. I went through the initial excitement of like “yeah!!! Oh my god, there is a free bottle of tequila… I am here with my friends and I am meeting these other bands who are my friends or sure could be my friends”… that introduction to the culture of being a touring band lasted a few years for me and then I very much had an existential crisis in my early twenties and had to analyse that I was in the most selfish line of work imaginable. (laughing)

D: (laughing) In what way? SM: Well, making sure that you are making money and getting to the right place but still feeding your creative muse… I got over it all and realized that it made me happy and being a happy person enabled me to contribute to being kinder to other people. I did have a dark period about touring, but I am very much understanding my job now, touring does disturb the dayto-day of making music and being creative. It’s about always looking at the other phase of your life. Once I am in it and on the road I’ll be thinking this is amazing and why would I ever


D: What does your rider look like? SM: Well we’re a little better known in the UK than we are in the States, we’ve never been a massive band. Our rider is pretty similar to any other “medium tier indie rock band”. One bottle of spirits, a few beers, lots of hummus… always hummus. I learned from friends’ bands how to really make the rider count and I’m hoping to really use that this time out. D: Ok, what is the best tip? SM: Socks. Lottery tickets, you know like scratch cards? Functional fun stuff. We go into pseudo-domestic mode after the first few days of excitement. D: Well the broad public perception I guess is based on some outdated model of guys in a bus and hedonism, but you hit on it earlier, this is your job right? It is about being somewhere and presenting your music, how do you feel about that?

go home? Thinking about it now from a domestic place seems very surreal. You have to be in the correct frame of mind to make it… well, pleasurable? D: I guess knowing and accepting it is disorientating, is about all you can do in prep for it? SM: (laughing) Socks! Get plenty of socks. D: How about you guys as a band, do you feel grown up in your ability to tour? SM: Yes, well…

SM: You know what, I feel pretty excited this time. I think it’ll be much harder to recreate some of these songs live, we did something a little different this time around in recording the record. Usually we all feel the need to minimize the textures so that we can easily translate it and replicate it. This album was made totally differently, we did not put any limitations on ourselves at all, certainly since the first time I joined the band. We have made a record that we felt was really relevant to us, the last thing possibly we thought about was how we’d play it live… Songs first, and separate those two worlds to afford ourselves creative freedom. D: Well it is pretty exciting for you to then reinterpret the songs and how you are able to play them live?

SM: Ultimately that is going to make every single one of us better musicians, better technicians… me personally, I have to learn how to control that aspect of the live show. D: Do you mean with triggers and stuff? SM: Yeah, I already use that sort of thing a little, but so much of this is really involved… I really need to get the hard hat on and knuckle down to it. I want all the textures present live. I don’t want to just use backing tracks… I want to creatively find ways to solve these new problems. D: I hope you’re joking when you talk about your stature? I’d say you’re very highly regarded. SM: Ah, thanks. Well, yes and no, that is really lovely… (pauses) D: Well let’s call a spade a spade here, we both know full well it is fucking misery trying to make a living in the music industry… SM: Exactly! You know what, personally, it’s not really relevant to want to “make it big” or to “be famous” in our line of work. With Katy Perry it makes sense, with Rihanna it makes sense… but with music like ours, and our contemporaries, it is a much better approach to try and take as much from the situation as you can and learn as best you can. It’s a strange moment in musical history where a band like us can be played on the radio, or go out on tour, or go and play a show in Luxembourg and there are a few hundred people there who we’ve never met. D: Well that sounds like you’re being positive in spite of the financial aspects to me…


SM: Well in the last ten or so years the way people listen to, and buy or go and see bands has changed massively. I feel like the previous paradigm was set for the last few decades. If you try to jump too hard on the magic carpet of social media and trying to do this so you get that… you kind of miss the point and also the adventure of composing and making music. It’s a joy.

D: Was that the shift in how you made it?

It’s for me about skills. Hopefully at the end of it, it no one is buying your records any more you might have the ability to make a soundtrack for a film? Continue to be creative… it’s not that there is either success or failure with nothing in between. You can try and blame it on any number of things, but the healthier approach allows you to have some sort of sanity throughout the experience. Learn, just learn throughout the whole experience, anything new will ultimately push you to accumulate knowledge.

D: (Laughing) I love the laziness of someone talking about your innate “Warpaintness”.

D: My favourite bit of touring was always being shown around the best spots with the promoter from that city, you know, like… the local hookup. SM: Totally! As a tourist you’d never get to see that stuff, it’s incredible to see that sort of thing. I think particularly for my band, none of us grew up wealthy; we never had the money to… fly to Brazil (laughing) or Japan? It’s still such a buzz to be taken out for dinner you know? A beautiful park or a shrine… it’s like, Jesus Christ we are so lucky!! Having those experiences in the same remit as playing music it’s like… fuck... it’s extremely emotional. Enjoy the ride! D: So live aspect aside, how are you as a person and as a band feeling about Heads Up? SM: Well personally I am very proud of it. I think that it is the most unique record we have made so far. I think the first two that I was involved with followed the same sort of… not formula, but … well… people would describe it as being very “Warpainty”. The things that people attribute to our music was there in high numbers. I love that this new album represents us all individually.

SM: Well we made it quite quickly, it wasn’t a process of sitting on this egg for a year and half… we made it in a few months and didn’t really overanalyse or listen to it a million times, it wasn’t creatively draining. It helped us maintain some sort of excitement.

SM: I know! (laughing and adopting radio announce voice) “it’s woozy and witchy indie rock; reminiscent of the Cocteau Twins and Cat Power”… is that what the world thinks of all of our music? The majority of interviews, this is not one of those... D: Thanks… SM: … (laughing) is just asking us what part of a list of bands inspired us. We make music naturally, this is what happens when the four of us make music together, this is the sound we make, it has nothing to do with anyone else or any other bands. D: I was quite drunk when I first listened to your new album, but I was most impressed with the drive it had to it… definitely not woozy right?

SM: You know what, I think that again making it so quickly was so conducive to it having drive and focus. The first impression is the best, the first take is the best. It’s not universally true, but by majority that is true. The first reaction to what someone else is playing is so magical and if you can capture that on tape it is amazing. There were quite a few really special moments on this record where one of us would come to the song late and found out own space to fit in… I know to some ears it sounds quite “produced” but it is actually very organic… the most thrown together version of ourselves we’ve recorded. I think our other albums have been comparatively... cautious? This one is a little more of a document of what we did in those four months, no extra bullshit involved. D: Do you feel expectations on what you “have” to deliver? SM: I don’t think we are consciously paying attention to those sorts of things necessarily. I don’t think we play with them positively or negatively… I think as a band we kind of don’t really give a shit about those sort of things… you know? Socials and metrics and stuff, I meet people who are really conscious and obsessed with that, almost anxious about that whole world. It’s just a phase ultimately.

“it’s woozy and witchy indie rock; reminiscent of the Cocteau Twins and Cat Power”… is that what the world thinks of all of our music?



D: (laughing) You mean making sure that your Instagram posts at the right time? SM: Fucking precisely. I think there is a really interesting, unintentional, evolution with this band where that stuff just doesn’t matter to us. D: I wanted to talk to you a little about your artwork as that does feel like you’ve structured things carefully to present yourself. Does it feel like part of the same process?

downtown and the LA river… it’s where we made the record. It’s quite pretty down there, it felt like the right place to shoot something, you know? It didn’t make sense to go to a photography studio or a park, this was literally where it happened in this one physical space. I think the image is indicative of the process of making this record, like a snake eating its tail. D: You guys, to an outsider feel like… well, a gang? SM: (Laughing) We get called that often.

SM: It’s always the last few… days! (laughing) it’s like a book report “shiiiiiiitttttt”. I know a lot of people that look at certain artworks or films or aesthetics when they are composing music, we’re actually for the best part the opposite. I think even the mention of artwork whilst we’re still trying to record makes us feel anxious. We typically will wait till the album is finished and has developed its own sound and feeling naturally then discuss things from there. When it is complete we can really look at whether it feels like a light record or a dark record, what sort of colours we might see. We have a lot of friends who are artists and photographers so we have happily enlisted their talents. D: I only noticed when I held an LP copy of the artwork, as it is that bit bigger, on the cover of the new album you’re all holding hands. SM: It’s all shot in our rehearsal space in downtown LA. It has this beautiful great window so you can view all of

D: Do you feel powerful when you are all together? SM: Yeah, definitely not like a Blood and Crips kind of thing, it’s so unique. If it is a gang, then it is really unique as we love each other very much but we also challenge each other. I feel like the whole process of being in this band has been an insane human experiment… it has enhanced my life more than the music we have made together, and I know that sounds really cheesy like “my love for the girls has transcended the music…” it’s the challenge that these people set to me, coexisting and also making music together as four solo musicians and four solo albums that leave space to coexist. D: You’re responsible with your gang behaviour, I like that... SM: Yeah, well, we haven’t always been... we all go through

Jenny Lee Lindberg, Stella Mozgawa, Emily Kokal and Theresa Wayman. Photographed by Frantzesco Kangaris for the Guardian


drums and that was a huge gateway for me, particularly Primus. I have a friend who describes them as “the centre of the musical universe”. Not D: Let’s talk about your experiences just in that they collaborated with a lot outside the band and more specifically of artists and were friends with a lot of with record shops. Actually, before we people, but also the range of genres do that, Stella, I don’t even know how to pronounce your name, phonetically they were involved in and touched on, Bluegrass, Rockabilly, Jazz, Comedy, it is... Fusion, Rock… all these things. The SM: “Mos-gaWa” is the English, but I first time I heard Tom Waits was on a Primus record when he sings on the am Polish so it is actually “MosGava”. song Tommy The Cat and I was like “who is this guy with this incredible D: Am I right in thinking that you voice?”. From there I bought Rain grew up in Australia though? You do Dogs and learned more and more from totally still have a twang… this one store. It’s still there now in the Northern Beaches, it might sell vinyl SM: I grew up in Sydney now but when I was growing up it was very much your utilitarian record store D: So what formed you musically in a mall, but it was across the road there? Was it a live or a record shop from my High School and close to my culture? house so it played a huge part in my SM: In terms of community definitely a life and my musical education. There live scene. I played in bands and played were a lot of things from that store that I just went in and purchased because shows from the age of 13 till I left at I had a thirst to know more, a lot of the age of 20. That was my experience them based on the cover art. as quite a young musician in that world, I guess if you were older like D: Any amazing discoveries that you in your twenties then I think it might have been more about the record shop found from the cover alone? culture. There some amazing record SM: Some of them worked, some of shops there though, a lot of them in New Town. Egg Records was one that them didn’t but I remember one that I revisited after about five years because I’d go to a lot, there is one on York there was something so arresting about Street called Mojo Music in the CBD the front cover and that album was in the city centre. Mall Music was the Yo La Tengo’s And Then Nothing music and instrument shop in the mall and they sold records and instruments, Turned Itself Inside-Out... a beautiful record. I bought all of my first records there, Primus and Steely Dan… all CDs. D: In your travels, what other stores have really stood out to you? D: Do you remember your first purchase? SM: Amoeba Music is just an amazing SM: It was 1993 I think, maybe earlier, I place go to in San Fran and in LA, it is very overwhelming though. I was saved up all my money and my parents took me specially to buy the cassette of talking to a Swedish friend who is a Michael Jackson - Dangerous, that was big collector and we compared our first visit to Amoeba stories, I got a the first one I bought. I didn’t realise migraine and he felt nauseous and had how much of a controversial record to leave... that was in his chronology, it was only when I was older that I appreciated D: (laughing) It’s so huge. how despised that album was. phases right! But we love and respect each other so much. It’s really special.

D: But it is all about what it meant to you then. SM: Oh my god It was huge for me, that and also his greatest hits. I then started getting into a lot of Tool and Primus when I started playing the

SM: One of the first things I look for in a shop is “is it manageable?” you know, like can I actually look through all of these records in the next little while and find the gems. Now I live kinda down the street from Amoeba so I have my method now. Always new

release bins, three or four boxes and it’ll be curated based on the last few days or weeks. It’s really useful, you just go through those and digest it. There are a few other stores in LA that are amazing. There’s one from Chicago originally called Permanent Records and that’s in Highland Park and they really are an incredible record shop. Amazing stuff and really quite affordable. Gimme Gimme Records, also in Highland Park and Mount Analogue, is actually my favourite. It is the dream record store. I walk in there and I feel like I am fourteen again, they play something, anything really and whatever it is on the stereo just sounds so perfect. They are very knowledgable but they also just accumulate and curate records that are new and fascinating to them and that is so special. I haven’t really been keeping up with all the stores that have closed in NYC, but Other Music is a great store. D: Yeah, sadly they are now gone. SM: Yeah, thought so, I think Earwax is still there in Williamsburg and that place is an institution, that is my NYC tip. D: So Heads Up comes out September 23rd, my birthday you know... SM: Aaah! Happy Birthday, we made it for you! D: Thanks man. If you could control the situation, where would you most like to see that album for the first time? SM: Hmmmmmm… You know what, I don’t know where we’ll be, but if I could be anywhere it would be to go to Spillers in Cardiff. I’d love to see it on their wall in their top ten of things to listen to or something, that’d mean a lot… promoting it on their own volition not just because they got some call from the powers that be… that’d be nice.



Amber Arcades Annelotte de Graaf is someone we were stoked to get a chance to catch up with. In the real world she’s worked as an aide at the UN war crimes tribunals, but under her moniker of Amber Arcades she makes shimmering and driving guitar pop. Try fucking balancing that right!?

Deluxe: How important was it to you finding the right label, and how did the hook up with Heavenly Recordings come about? Amber Arcades: Pretty important! I mean, my aim from the start was to try and “get out of the country” since the Netherlands is so small and the amount of touring you can do here is quite limited. And also it’s pretty hard to get out of the country, again because it’s so small, nobody outside is really noticing what goes on here musically. So with that in mind I had my mind set on a label outside of the Netherlands

as I figured it would help with getting people outside of the Netherlands to hear my music. The short story about my hook up with Heavenly is that I emailed them my record once it was finished, asking if they were maybe interested in releasing it and they were, so they did. The story that happened before that involved a friend I made through a couch surfing project at Le Guess Who Festival. She got a job at Heavenly years later and introduced me to the label, saying it might be a good match. I doubt that she had anything to do with their decision to release the record, but maybe she

did get them to listen to it in the first place as I’m sure they get thousands of emails, I don’t know for sure though. D: I am not really asking you if they are good guys as I believe them to be the best guys, but... they are good guys right? AA: Ha ha! They are the best. The first time we met Jeff, he came to a gig in Brighton and we hung out after and had some beers, and he just started chatting about this and that old memory, and they were all just these legendary stories straight outa


music history class, you know? And Danny is just the most enthusiastic and dedicated dude. They work crazy hours every week doing this stuff because they love it. Very inspiring. D: I read that you wrote the songs primarily in Philadelphia, do you think the city had an impact on the songs / on you? AA: Hmm no, Philly is where I played in my first band in 2010 and first got into making music outside of my bedroom. I also had my first attempts at writing my own songs while I was there but mostly I was just playing American traditionals in this bluegrass band. The songs for this record I wrote in the months before going to New York in May 2015. D: Following on, do you think you sound particularly like you come from anywhere? Is location all that important to you? AA: Hmm, I think not really but I can’t tell you for sure tbh. It’s not a conscious influence. I’m not like “Oh I’m in this beautiful/horrible/otherwise inspiring place, I’m going to write about this.” I always just write whatever comes up in my mind and yeah, maybe that’s influenced by my surroundings but probably also by thousands of other things, like what I had for breakfast or the email my mum just sent me or the book I just read or whatevs. D: Ben Greenberg recorded your album, did you seek him out? What was it about his work that particularly resonated to you? AA: Yeah, I just spent an afternoon or two on the Internet finding out who had produced some albums I liked and his name came up as the guy who had produced the last Beach Fossils album. I also saw he did a lot of heavier punk bands, which I thought was very interesting. I realize that I don’t exactly make that kind of music but it is something I like to listen to. As a teen I was a pretty dedicated goth so ever since then I’ve been into kind of spooky/dark/loud music. I thought it would be interesting to work on these tunes with him because I imagined he could bring a very unique perspective to the table. The songs I write are very poppy by nature I suppose and I wanted to make them more interesting production wise. And I thought Ben would be the guy to achieve this with. D: What was the allure of recording in New York? AA: Well, mostly I went there because Ben lives there and he has his go-to studios there. But I mean I love New York, so getting to spend a month there was very much a welcome bonus. It just feels like this magical TV land where all your dreams can come true. That’s probably an unrealistic conception formed by images from movies and series, but it’s still inspiring somehow. Also an added bonus of going to record there was that I could ask my friends Shane and Keven from Quilt to join me as a backing band. D: How supportive did you find the NYC music scene? You built yourself a band out of bits of illustrious other bands?

“employees can make or break a shop too! I like it when there’s really eccentric people working in record shops who can tell you all the nerdy little facts about your favourite records and artists.”

AA: Very supportive! So yeah Shane and Keven joined my band, as well as Jackson Pollis from Real Estate. I didn’t know him beforehand but he was a good friend of Ben. What struck me the most actually, was going to gigs and hanging out with Shane and Keven outside of the studio and seeing how they’re basically all one big friendly family with other like-minded bands, like Widowspeak and Weyes Blood. They hang out together a lot and discuss stuff, like the planning of their records’ release dates, in terms of “Oh you guys are gonna do this week? Great than we’ll do that week!” I find that kind of collaborative atmosphere lacking sometimes in the Netherlands. D: The iconic Other Music have decided that they will, in their prime, stop being a physical shop due to the current climate... which sucks. Did you get opportunity to visit Other Music? Did you spend much time in any other NYCbased record shops? AA: I went to this shop in Greenpoint called Academy Records for an afternoon, which was very nice. I also


stopped by the Captured Tracks store, which was right next to my apartment. But overall I didn’t spend too much time in record shops there, I was too busy recording and doing laundry and stuff. D: Can I ask about the name Amber Arcades? I really like it, it sounds nostalgic... what was it about the name that stuck with you? Did you have other names? AA: Well, the short story is that I needed a name to work under (as my own name is pretty much unpronouncable anywhere outside of the Netherlands). And I just started writing down some words for days and these stuck, I guess I liked how they looked/sounded. And there’s some stories you could attach to it which could make it more meaningful, like for example my parents made me wear an amber necklace as a kid because our homeopathic doctor had said it would help me to be less dreamy in school and focus more during lessons and all. And also trees are amber-coloured in autumn and when they stand in a row it looks kind of like an arcade, which reminds me of one of my favourite stories from when I was a kid, about a guy who lives alone in the woods but is convinced he’s living in a big palace full of arcades made of gems. D: When you’re not touring, are you still based in Utrecht? Does the city have a vibe? Does it have a good live scene? AA: It’s a very beautiful and old city, especially the centre. It’s also very much a student city, I think about 20% of the people here are students. So it’s quite a young city, which is nice, but a lot of the bars and pubs are very student-oriented as well which can become kind of a drag if you’re done with that. Musically there’s a couple of cool bands based here, like I Am Oak. I think because it’s such a small country it feels like the scene is more spread throughout the country rather than based in a single city. Most bands are in the bigger cities of Amsterdam and Rotterdam, but both those places are like 30 minutes by train from Utrecht so in London terms I suppose it would all be like the same city.

D: I did some researching through friends about good stores, and one said De Grammophoon Winkel and one said De Plaatboef. I thought Plato looked amazing too... do you have any experiences with any of the three of them? AA: Plato is probably the biggest record store of those three that most people go to, they have a great collection. I actually used to work in a record store around here too, called Boudisque, until about three years ago. The store had to close down because of rough financial times, which weren’t helped by the fact that the government decided to drastically reconstruct the area around the shop, leading to endless road blocks isolating us from the rest of the city centre. Anyway, I loved working there, talking to people about music, advising mums on what to buy for their daughters and daughters on what to buy for their mums, etc. I was very sad when it had to close. D: So going back further, what was your very first record shop experience, which shop, where, and do you remember what you purchased the very first time? AA: I was quite late with going to record shops. As a teen I just went to the library, where they also had a big collection of CDs that you could borrow. I think I went to a record shop for the first time when I was living in Philadelphia back in 2010 and made friends with this girl Jenny who worked in a record shop. I went to hang out at her work a lot after my studies to listen to some records. I don’t remember the name of the shop, but it was quite small and they sold a lot of older/ second-hand stuff. I seem to remember I bought some compilation from the one-dollar basket, which had a really nice Yo La Tengo tune on it. D: Can you articulate how it felt going into a shop for the first time? AA: Like I was being really cool, haha. And also really dumb because there were so many albums of bands that I’d never heard of. And also very excited to get to know all these bands that I’d never heard of.

D: How about other notable shops that played a part in forming your musical heritage? What did you buy where? AA: Well tbh I bought most of my records at the shop where I worked because I could order the exact records I wanted to buy and I also got a small discount ‘cause I worked there. I mostly bought records that have “stood the test of time” i.e. that I’ve already listened to for a couple of years and am still not bored of. Nowadays I don’t really buy a lot of records anymore because I live in temporary housing projects and have to move house a lot. It’s nice not to have too much stuff to move around from house to house. D: Who have been specific influences on you and why? AA: Musically I guess the first artist who really got me inspired to write more of my own stuff was Sharon van Etten, cause I loved her voice and she was writing about heartbreak, and I was going through a rough breakup at the time so I had a lot of stuff to write about. She just made songwriting seem like something I could maybe also do, ‘cause all her songs sounded very natural to me, so I gave it a try. Also bands like Lightning Dust, Blonde Redhead, Yo La Tengo, Deerhunter, Broadcast, Stereolab, Elektrelane I’d name as influences… It’s not that I consciously try to make music that sounds like their music, but I listen to their music a lot so I’m sure some of that finds its way through. I guess the common denominator is that they all make music that resonates with me, makes me feel something. Not sure why that is exactly though. D: How about your LP, where was the first time your saw it for sale? How did that feel? AA: I actually haven’t been into a record shop yet since it came out so I haven’t seen it in the shops yet! I’ve just been on tour and super busy working since I got back last week, unfortunately. But friends from New York, London and Berlin have already sent me pictures of my record in their local record shops and that was really rad to see.


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AA: Probably. But I don’t really draw inspiration from it for my music, at least not consciously. I think it’s more that I’ve always had a tendency to be drawn to heavy subject matter (hence AA: Well obviously the collection is the most important. But employees can maybe the goth years in my teens and make or break a shop too! I like it when the accompanying love for dark music there’s really eccentric people working with depressing lyrics). Not sure what in record shops who can tell you all the the deal with that part of me is tbh, I was quite a happy kid and now I’m nerdy little facts about your favourite records and artists. In the shop where I quite a happy adult, so it’s not that. I’m sure Freud would have things to used to work there was a man working say about it, but then again, who cares on the classical music department and about that guy. I’m pretty sure he would be unable to function in any other occupation other D: So when you deal with some pretty than that specific job on account of serious life stuff during your job... does his autism, but he was just the best at that job. He knew all of the things and it make the music industry, bands, record shops and labels all seem a people really loved and respected him little vacuous? Perhaps all taken a little for that. He wrote a couple of books about obscure composers too. I think a too seriously? - Or conversely does lot of people really came to the shop to it elucidate them as things of great chat with him about his ideas and learn importance? new things. AA: Yeah, the music world can feel kind of stuck up its own ass from D: I guess with many artists in your time to time. There’s so much going position we’d be talking about leaving on in these times, which you can and jobs and homes behind and touring... should probably care about in terms but you’re very much not leaving your of economy, politics, refugees, wars, job behind, are you? I am sure you’ve had to tell people a hundred times, but all the things. So it can feel kind of frustrating to see your whole time-line I think it’s fascinating and don’t want to get it wrong.... Annelotte - broadly - splurged with news about new record releases, which band is going to play what is your job? which festival, Kanye’s latest twitter rant or whatevs. I like my job as it AA: I work at the Dutch Immigration prevents me from getting too sucked Service and I have to decide on into that music-world bubble. If you’re applications for family reunification. being confronted with people fleeing I also have to guide the whole process their homes every day, the stuff you of application that comes before deal with in your own life on a day to making the actual decision, so I make day basis seems pretty alright, even sure people know which documents if you didn’t get booked for that one they need to submit, I make sure the festival you really wanted to play or documents are examined, I conduct whatever. interviews with the applicants about their family life, I arrange for DNA tests to be performed, it’s quite diverse. D: Last one, when was the last time a record made you feel something? D: I’d ask if it had an impact on your AA: Oh, just a couple of hours ago, music, but I’d assume it has an impact when I was on the train home from on every part of you? work and it was rush hour and I was listening to the new Ulrika Spacek album and it made me feel very angry in an abstract way, but also very happy and energized at the same time. D: What - for you - makes for a good record shop? What are the most important things to get right?

Such a great record!



Death In Vegas As the founder, frontman and sole constant member of Death In Vegas, Richard Fearless has been inhabiting genres like characters for the last two decades. His new LP Transmission, released back in the summer, is broadly stripped-back, noirish industrial techno, but with the addition of dream-like vocals from former adult actress Sasha Grey, things are never quite what they seem. DJ, producer, artist and record shopper…we talked about it all.

was really into the big band and jazz scene so that was a big part of the mix. On the other side, my mum was an art teacher and I think perhaps through Richard Fearless: Well, through my her colleagues she was introduced to parents really. I grew up in Africa a lot of local and regional music from and the record collection was a very Zambia, Congolese music and all sorts big part of the house. It was the 1970s of other things, but most importantly during apartheid, and to be honest it was always in the house, and my there was very little on TV or in the media of any interest to us in my house, sister and I both realised the power but the music and the record collection of selection quite early. You’d put a record on and if you were lucky you’d was. My Dad, when he was in Ireland, Deluxe: What were your first experiences with recorded music?

get the nod from Dad. The meals always had music on like a soundtrack, even to this day when I see my Dad I have to nose through the records and put something on that is suitable to whatever we’re doing. D: I like that you’re talking about immersing people in music and curation rather than just choosing to play something for yourself, that’s very communal.


RF: There would be a lot of discussion you know, about the artist and the music, and the sleeve might even get brought up to the table. I think on top of that there was also the church, as my Dad was Roman Catholic, and on a Sunday we’d go to church and I remember how powerful that choral singing was, that was a very big impact on me, not recorded, but certainly the event of it as an early really strong musical memory. D: So before you were necessarily aware that you were curating music, you and your sister were playlisting right? RF: Well both my parents came from quite creative backgrounds, certainly in their interests, so their reaction and encouragement when we were working on a piece of art for example was really encouraging, and I certainly got that same feeling from picking a record or a song or a choice of music for a certain point. I guess we both must have got the bug. D: Do you see yourself as a collector? RF: I would say that I certainly was at one stage in my life, but I got to the point where… well, I was working at the NME and there was just so much free music and it all became a bit of a shackle, to be honest. I was moving around a lot and moved to America, and it was such hard work having it and moving it, I did structural damage to a flat because of the weight in the wrong point of a room. A lot of it was just stuff that I’d kept, like white labels that I never even played, you know… So I actually got rid of a lot of it and it was cathartic and very liberating. I just kept classic albums and some Soul and Techno… but at the moment I am only really buying stuff that I am playing out, not so much drone or noise you know. D: I think it is good to have some limitation, in curation. RF: (laughing) Well that limitation is finance. D: How good are you at letting your kids touch your records?

“You get that in those places, these characters who are the perfect fit for it, and he was so good at reading what people wanted and perhaps needed”

RF: (long pause) Well, I think it’s not that they can’t or anything, I think it is just about where they are stored at the moment. It’s a corridor, and there are doors that are shut (long pause) but… (laughing) well there is also a baby gate to stop them getting in there, so I guess they have slightly limited access. Stuff moves around the house in stages, you know, like a small pile into the other part of the house to listen to. I also have the studio, which has everything work-wise with decks and studio kit for playing out. D: Whilst we’re still talking about curation, I loved that compilation Kollektion 4 you did for Bureau B. RF: Thanks, I was so pleased with that. D: They’re an amazing label, but I was impressed by the amount you dug up I’d not heard before. I loved on the press releases that they sounded impressed that you’d listened to “their entire archive”... the acknowledgement that it was quite a job. RF: I knew that they’d have access to tapes and all sorts of lost things like

Conny Plank sessions so it was pretty amazing, I think I drove them a bit mad, but I really enjoyed that project. I need to get a copy of it you know… D: How about running your own label in Drone? RF: Well, it’s been fantastic doing it, and getting to the point where I feel comfortable doing what I believe in and ultimately putting out a Death In Vegas album, which I wasn’t sure we’d be able to do. I think the next few releases are going to keep pushing it forward. It’s been hard, it’s been pretty much up until now me and my wife doing everything, we have had help along the way but there certainly hasn’t been anyone here writing cheques… but it has been an amazing experience, and I played at Berghain recently and that was because of Drone not because of Death in Vegas, which felt like it was starting to have the desired effect. D: Without drawing parallels, Dan Snaith with Jiaolong and Kieran Hebden with Text Records have both had much experience with major and indie labels before deciding


that perhaps becoming their own responsibility with their own imprint is the right place for them. I suppose complete artistic freedom was at the very least guaranteed with your own imprint? RF: Yeah, definitely. That is 100% the positive side, but there is the aspect of having to manage the financial side also. I’ve just been in a position as an artist where I am trying to focus solely on that and make my work purer, certainly to me. It just made sense to me to keep that process limited and as simple as possible. I think with the negative situations surrounding music and the internet, there have at least been many windows opened where you can do things for yourself. For me, my intention with Drone was to set up a label, not set up Death In Vegas’s label, you know? D: I thought it was interesting looking back at releases as Richard Fearless and releases as Death In Vegas, with this new album on Drone it is perhaps as close as they have come to one another? RF: Yeah, I think it was part of the reason for wanting to work with Sasha, to bring in another element to bring focus into another area, maybe try and keep them apart. D: How did working with Sasha come about?

D: It can be quite distracting hearing a known voice. RF: Yeah, also I’d worked with actors on other projects and really enjoyed directing vocal talents. So I wanted someone very much performance based, someone that could perform. I think in the end I just sent something over, and that was it. D: There is a real dream-like quality to her involvement, it’s very hazy… well, sinister actually. RF: Parts of the album are very sinister… I think when all the elements are lined up they can enhance each other. I think there are moments where she sounds more like another instrument, and I mean that very much as a compliment. D: How important is the artwork side of music making to you? RF: Oh, really important. I make every aspect of the artwork and that was my background, I did my degree in design so I see it very much as the same process, always super-important. D: You mentioned earlier that you have spent time behind the record shop counter. RF: I worked in Reckless and it was very good for me. There was one quite close to where I was living in London as a teenager, but I worked in the Soho one. As a digger it was a very important place and period of time. Another really important shop to mention was Fat Cat - that was amazingly important to me. I was just starting to DJ, and Alex Knight (who co-founded the shop) was in there playing records and spinning records, and he was such an amazing asset to the shop. You get that in those places, these characters who are the perfect fit for it, and he was so good at reading what people wanted and perhaps needed. That was my goto shop, I’d go in with a list and I’d be given all these things in a similar vein and I think that was such an amazing art.

RF: Well, I saw an interview with her, Vice I think, and she was asked something about her work and relationship with porn and it was asked in a really ugly way. It was moderately offensive and I just remember her answer really catching my attention in how she was able to turn the situation around, it was quite empowering as I think the subtext had been quite derogatory. I remember thinking that she seemed interesting, and then later in the interview she was talking about Throbbing Gristle, and it just set off a thought process about her vocals and her voice. I noticed a while later that she followed Death In Vegas on Twitter, and when I was thinking more and more about Transmission I D: Well there has to be a lot of knew I wanted two things, a female confidence in the records you have voice and certainly not an established vocalist… not an untrained voice, but an there. unknown voice.

RF: Yes, but I think there is never enough said about pre-selection you know, what actually makes it to the shop. I don’t always have a huge amount of time sadly, so knowing that, well, trusting that a lot of the ground work has been done is important. D: What was your first record shopping experience? RF: I am not sure about my very first one, but I certainly remember going to a Butlins in Belfast and my Dad telling me and my sister to be a little bit careful about speaking, we were certainly aware of the Troubles… it was kind of typical of our dad, he still took us but told us to just be careful and a little bit quiet you know. We went in I think I was trying to get a copy of a Haysi Fantayzee 7”. I remember that night back at the Butlins taking it along to the DJ and asking him to play it… he did and totally cleared the dancefloor. My sister was the only one that danced with me, she was older, cooler, like into Bauhaus and stuff but she stayed and danced really hard with me to the end. D: Haysi Fantayzee still isn’t the worst we’ve ever had. RF: The first record I ever bought for myself was a George Formby album… I was really into it.


Record Shopping in Northern Scotland (and beyond) By Patrick Doyle

The first record shop I ever went to was Sound and Vision in Elgin, a small city in Morayshire, 45 minutes from where I grew up in Keith. I would work for weeks at my Saturday job as a taxi controller in order get the bus there and bulk-buy CDs by bands like Nirvana and The Smiths. Sound and Vision didn’t stock much vinyl, mostly Red Hot Chili Pepper t-shirts and Pearl Jam guitar tab books, but I was already hooked on buying music, getting what I could, when I could. I was all set for buying records and CDs online, but it wasn’t as exciting. I was too impatient to wait for things to arrive in the post, and discovering something online wasn’t half as exciting as stumbling across something in a shop, being able to examine the condition and swiftly memorize the sleeve notes.

A little further in the opposite direction was Aberdeen, where I discovered One Up and Cavern Records. When we were 16, a friend dropped out of High School early and moved there for university. At the time I would talk about music a lot with my science teacher, who turned me on to loads of great bands. Physics classes meant not only getting to grips with the Van der Graaff generator, but also being introduced to the sounds of Teenage Fanclub, Velvet Crush, Yo La Tengo, The Chills and so many other bands that shaped my teenage years. After several weekend trips to Aberdeen, I found copies of these records that became my own. Beautiful, musty, finger-marked and scratchedup copies, carried home on the bus with the amount of care you’d expect when handling a precious family heirloom -

each one, my own personal heirloom. I bought most of the Felt albums at Cavern on my second visit (leaving aforementioned friend waiting outside while I combed the racks for a little too long), the rest I picked out from a box tucked away under the bookcase of an Oxfam near Central Station a couple of years later for £1.99 each. Having worked the summer at a biscuit factory after high school, I eventually moved to Glasgow and lived in the Govanhill area on the south side. There was a brilliant Oxfam second-hand record shop around the corner from my flat, where my record collection began to grow quickly. I bought records there like You Can’t Hide Your Love Forever, Rattlesnakes, 16 Lovers Lane and the first Violent Femmes LP. I knew a couple of people who worked


there from going to indie nights at the Woodside Social Club in the West End, where I eventually moved and spent the rest of my time in Glasgow. I’d shop at places like Mixed Up on Otago Lane, which is brilliant if you enjoy second-hand record shopping. It’s the first place I go on arrival in Glasgow, and it still gives me the same feeling it did when I went there as a teenager. Excited to see which newly sold in records had made it into their rotating window display. But it wasn’t just the local record stores that caught my attention, and while living in Glasgow I’d make the pilgrimage with my then boyfriend to Europa Music in Stirling. We’d spend an entire day trawling through their backhouse, boxes of records piled from

for granted. Visiting Monorail as a teenager made me realise that making music was not only something I could be doing but something I should be doing, as well as supplying me with the support and inspiration I needed to do Since leaving Glasgow in 2008, I’ve been lucky enough to visit record shops so. Some people go to the pub when they’re feeling lonely, but you’ll never all over the world but unfortunately they’ve been getting fewer and fewer. I feel lonely when you live in a city with was particularly saddened to hear about a good record shop around the corner. the recent closure of Other Music in New York where I lived briefly after leaving Glasgow. The closure of these shops around the world, brings to light the communities they hold and makes me think me of my teenage self; hiding away in record shops during family holidays, or attending college interviews purely so I could check out *It is! “the largest record the city’s record shops. Places like and vinyl store in Scotland” Monorail in Glasgow are so incredibly floor to ceiling, which might well have been holding the building together. I haven’t been to Europa in a really long time; I hope it’s still there.*

important and it’s so easy to take them


Sea Change In the previous issue of this magazine we proclaimed that we were running a festival because we’re “arrogant enough to assume it is easy”... It was not. On the August Bank Holiday weekend we invited some of our favourite writers, speakers and music makers to Totnes for the inaugural Sea Change Festival. We already live the bucolic life in our Devon getaway, but for that weekend it really felt like we were the centre of something, and it certainly felt like we were somewhere. We really liked that feeling. Jay Bing, one of our two photographers working that weekend, shot some images that capture perhaps what we were trying to achieve. Sea Change will return. 25th and 26th August 2017 in Totnes, do come join us. www.instagram.com/jayrbing www.seachangefestival.co.uk







Into the wild…

Mexican Summer Anthology

Allah - Las Calico Review

Quilt Plaza

Weyes Blood Front Row Seat To Earth

LP / CD / CASS / DIG

LP / CD / CASS / DIG

LP / CD / DIG

Pill Convenience

Tamam Shud Evolution

Träd, Gräs och Stenar

LP / CD / CASS / DIG

LP / DIG

3x CD Set Djungelns Lag LP Mors Mors LP

mexicansummer.com / anthology.net


Bear Tree Bear Tree is an independent record shop in the heart of Sheffield. Its founder and head curator Joe Blanchard has grown a fine reputation, and after only a year behind the counter he successfully ran a crowdfunding campaign and developed the premises into a bigger space. So clearly an important part of the city’s rich musical history, we wanted to talk shop specifics.

Deluxe: Many people will know that Bear Tree Records is “run by the chump who does Blackest Rainbow Records”, but how did that come about? Joe Blanchard: Blackest Rainbow actually started as a shop almost 10 years ago, I think in maybe October or November 2006... I opened a small shop selling mostly underground music... noise, avant garde, free jazz, weird folk and other experimental oddities. Out of the shop I started doing CDR releases, this was January 2007 when the first two CDRs came out, a live Hush Arbors CDR and a Helm 3” CDR. The Blackest Rainbow shop closed around May 2007 (the rent killed it), but the focus shifted to the label. The label is still going now. D: What made you want to make the jump to your own bricks and mortar outlet?

JB: I’ve worked for various record shops over the years, and obviously messed it up on my own once before, but right up until I opened Bear Tree I was working for another record shop in Sheffield and my enthusiasm had grown considerably to go solo again, with a broader approach than I did 9/10 years ago with the Blackest Rainbow shop. D: Do you still enjoy running the label? How has that landscape changed in the last few years? JB: The label is still good fun, but it’s tough. Early on we put out some stuff that did really well for us, we released the first ever vinyl releases for Natural Snow Buildings, which did crazy well for us, Barn Owl (who are now on Thrill Jockey), Kawabata Makoto from Acid Mothers Temple. A lot of the releases we did would sell out within a week or two of release. It’s not so much like that now,


things don’t always do as well as you expect. I think it’s down to a few things really, we used to sell a lot to shops like Alt Vinyl and Volcanic Tongue who unfortunately closed their shops. The market has changed, appetite for noise and drone dropped off a lot, and also bigger labels showed an interest in more experimental stuff. It’s hard to know how people will respond to releases. The amount of stuff coming out every week at the moment is pretty overwhelming too. I have a few customers who come in every week with the dilemma of what they should buy that week, and they can never get everything they want to. D: What is your full Record Shop CV? JB: So my first record shop job was at Selectadisc in Nottingham, just after I finished university there. It was great, so crazy looking back to how busy that shop was and the amount of staff that worked there. I worked at Jacks

Records in Sheffield for a short time before it closed down, and then worked at Record Collector for maybe four or so years. D: What’s in a name? Why Bear Tree? JB: Bear Tree literally means nothing... haha. I was trying to come up with something strange and weird so that we could get a cool logo. I wanted something that would stand out to people as being different in terms of name and logo, I didn’t want the standard things that are associated with record shop names. Having an unusual name and having it stand out from other local record shops was a big thing, I really wanted it to stand out as something different. D: Who illustrated your logo? It is superb. JB: The logo was by Tom J Newell. A local guy, he does quite a lot of work

Lodestar

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for the Harley venue here. I got him to do a Sleaford Mods poster for a signing I arranged for those guys to do at Record Collector before I left there, and he was my go-to guy to get the logo done. Having someone based in Sheffield to do the logo was something I felt to be really important. It promotes both Tom and myself, which hopefully is mutually beneficial. D: Sheffield feels like a city with a rich musical heritage, a proper music city... do you feel like the shop scene has been lagging over the last decade? Or is it just a little more understated? JB: There weren’t that many shops in Sheffield up until about a year or so ago, the main one was where I used to work, and a few second-hand places. But in the last year or so about another three shops have opened, all just out of town. Each does their own thing really, I think we all stand apart. I wanted to try and make something small, but


well-stocked, broad in terms of genres and well-presented. D: How about outside of your immediate neighbours, there seems to be a building culture of cooperating indie shops? Friends I guess. Who is doing what well? JB: I got my job at Selectadisc from my buddy Joey. Joey was the manager at the recently closed Music Exchange in Nottingham, but as I type this he actually just opened his own shop today, Forever Records. I think he’s had a good first day, I’m heading over there next week to check it out. We’ve been in contact a lot over the last few months, good vibes. Funnily enough, when I opened the Blackest Rainbow shop, I moved into what was a record shop run by someone I’d known for a while, called Natalie. The shop was Selfworth Records. Nat now owns Hot Salvation down in Folkestone with her partner George. So I’m in touch with George pretty regularly... We share info a lot. I guess we are considered the new younger guys in the game. I’ve known Phil from Norman Records for years, he’s been one of the biggest supporters of Blackest Rainbow, and their site is great. Boomkat do some great stuff, clean site, nice design. Spencer is doing some great things with Transmission.

week, which is vital. The other shops I previously mentioned have all helped if I’ve needed to track something down, George gave me a few pointers with the website too which is a big help. D: So to any budding prospective store owner out there, seeing as it’s all fresh in your mind, what are your top three tips to anyone wanting to start a shop and what have been the hardest things to overcome?

in a week, and then take a couple of Adele LPs and take over a month to sell them both. I’d rather have another two Melvins LP in to be honest. I can order stuff in anyway, so if people want something, a lot of stuff usually only takes a couple of days to get in anyway. Keep your overheads down. Do not go out and get a unit that is going to cost you two grand a month for your first shop.

D: What have been your proudest achievements so far with Bear Tree Records? JB: Just getting people coming in and liking what I’ve done with the shop is the best feeling. Record Store Day was terrifying, I’ve done it for four years in a row at the place I used to work, but never done it on my own for my own business, so it felt like a lot was riding on me making the day a success and getting people to come to my place. It went great, we sold through pretty much everything, people loved it, we raised £800 for charity on the day too. D: Who have been your biggest supporters with the shop? JB: The distributors have been great. Chris and Simon at Forte have been really supportive. Both were really enthusiastic about it. Got a bunch of regulars who are in almost every

JB: I think you have to make your store different to others in your area. Keep it broad in terms of genres, I think doing pure specialist shops now in terms of genre is super tough. I stock a whole bunch of genres and it works well. But saying that, you need to be selective. You don’t have to stock everything. I had this dilemma of do I stock the 1975 LP, not my kind of thing really. Not really the shop’s vibe, but I was thinking “will I have someone come in on day one asking me for it?” I came to the conclusion to just leave it. There’s an HMV two minutes down the road from me, if people want it they’re most likely just going to go there anyway. I can sell 25 Melvins reissues

Having a website is massively important. Don’t underestimate the importance of having a website. D: So how about day-to-day, what have been the most exciting releases to stock in the last few months? JB: Davy Graham & Holly’s Godington Boundary reissue - one of the only Davy Graham’s I can’t track down a copy of, so a legit reissue was a nice surprise. New Raime LP on Blackest Ever Black is great. The Cian Nugent LP on Woodsist is incredible, seems like a lot of people missed that somehow, but it is a great record. Ryuichi Sakamoto & Alva Noto’s


soundtrack to The Revenant has been one of my most played records of the year I think. D: How about pre-loved records, what is the best second-hand cop you have made buying collections? JB: Bought a load of Ornette Coleman off a guy I’ve known for years. Literally took it all home. Not my best business-minded move, but never mind. Couldn’t turn down an original copy of Free Jazz. Good score. Also had a guy sell me that crazy Numero Group Eccentric Soul 7” box set which is amazing. That’s just sat at my house, can’t decide what to do with it.

loads of money, but he didn’t have it with him, kept telling me it was 100% legit, said we’d need to take a look at it because there are so many boots around of Northern Soul singles, and they often look genuine... He was really aggro about it from the get go. It was weird. After he left all the other customers in the shop looked up and commented on it. Haha. We all had a laugh about it. D: People have some pretty wild ideas about how much their records are worth right?

D: What did you buy and on what format? JB: It was probably something amazing like that Flintstones song by the B52s. Sorry, BC52s. I still like the B52s. Not so much that track. D: What does shopping in Bear Tree Records feel like? JB: Hopefully pretty good, unless there’s like six other people in, then it probably feels a bit cramped. Ha. I think it probably just feels different to what people are used to in Sheffield.

JB: My favourite are all those mint Beatles records that people have. You know the ones, with their name written D: I also think it is fair therapy to allow on and the ripped covers. Haha. fellow shop owners the space to have D: How about personally, where did a gripe, as customers are to be honest your relationship with record shops pretty mad at the best of times... what start? Where was your first shopping has been the most obscure objection experience? you’ve fielded so far? JB: Had a really aggressive guy trying to sell me a Northern Soul single for

JB: It’d have been HMV, Virgin or Our Price probably.

Photographed by Greg Povey.


Szun Waves We’ve played, talked about and sold copies of Luke Abbott’s music as much as any artist in our shop over the last six years. Fans admittedly, but At Sacred Walls, the record coming out of his new collaborative project Szun Waves, is a stunning work of measure, creativity and subtlety. We spoke to Luke about the album and also shops, we know for a fact he buys quite a few records.

Deluxe: So the first thing I wanted to ask was how the setup of yourself, Laurence and Jack came to be? Luke Abbott: Jack and I had already been working on some music together when the opportunity to work with Laurence came along. I though it seemed like a good idea for the three of us to try playing together, as I thought we all wanted to explore a similar musical territory.

before we recorded the record, it was a shot in the dark really, I just thought it might be worth recording. I think we happened upon a sound, or a sound happened to us, either way it wasn’t planned. D; We all have friends who perhaps have more of a passing interest in music... conversing in a beer garden, how would you describe At Sacred Walls?

D: Coming - strictly speaking - from a solo background, is it nice to be in a band?

LA: I’m terrible at describing things, but I’d probably say it’s some kind of cosmic space music.

LA: I played in a lot of bands before I embarked on my solo career, I played drums or keyboards in a few bands and also did a lot of experimental free improvisation with various people, so I don’t really think of myself as coming from a solo background. It is nice to be in a band with Laurence and Jack though, we have a very relaxed dynamic.

D: I keep going back to the feelings I have watching Blade Runner and even earlier dystopian science fiction. Does the music you’ve made feel filmic to you? I guess more importantly, how does it make you feel? Did any aspect of the creating or releasing surprise even you?

D: Did you know how you wanted it to sound in advance of recording? Could you imagine it? If so, did that inhibit on letting things unfold?

LA: To me it feels big, like space, and it feels like a garden, which is a bit of a contradiction. It might be more science fact than science fiction, I’m not sure. Maybe garden fiction, science fact.

LA: We had no idea what music we were going to make

D: How was the recording and mixing experience for you?


LA: The recording was really fun, we just started playing and it happened. The mixing took a while though. I had to leave it quite a while before I could mix it because I was pretty busy with other projects, but also I wanted some space from the recording session. Because we didn’t know what we were trying to do, I think what we recorded was very long winded, so there was a lot of listening through to find the edit points. We’d used headphones for monitoring when we recorded because we wanted to do it all in one room, so there was a bit of work getting all the line sounds to work with the room recordings. I ended up mixing it quite hot on my desk, I wanted to keep it quite raw. D: The title At Sacred Walls feels very much part of the Jazz discipline. Do you feel there has been a resurgence in Jazz/ Spiritual music, or is it just that people’s inclination to listen to it has perhaps increased? Why, do you think? LA: I’ve definitely been into spiritual jazz for a while, and a lot of those records are getting reissued at the moment, so I guess there’s an audience for it. It’s a really rich vein of music, and I think it feels relevant again right now.

Of Wind, Colin Stetson - New History Warfare, probably something by The Necks and Klekt by Anarchestra. D: There is a decadence to your album that reminded me of Talk Talk’s Laughing Stock... it’s not lavish, it’s just at its own pace and own time... do you feel like At Sacred Walls sounds like a contemporary album? Does it sound like an old album? Does it sound like a futuristic album? LA: I don’t know, I’ve totally given up on the idea that there’s a cohesive chronological narrative to music. D: I guess releasing it on your own Buffalo Temple label meant that you were able to really sit on it until you were ready? LA: Yes, some records are easier to put out yourself. Having my own label means I can be more flexible about what music I release, I’m enjoying being able to work in a diverse and experimental way. D: Oh hey, who did the artwork, it’s really striking?

LA: Essy May, check out her Tumblr.* D: If you were going to throw back a few tips to other albums that people who’ve enjoyed your album might like to D: So talking about the physical aspect of it, when did you investigate... what would you suggest? first see the new LP in a record shop and how did that feel? LA: Everything Alice Coltrane has ever done, Pharoah Sanders - Thembi or Elevation or pretty much anything else they’re all good, anything by Sun Ra, Battle Trance - Palace Photographed by Aubrey Simpson.


LA: I haven’t seen it in a record shop yet, I’ve spent the last month trying to move house, so I haven’t found any time for record shopping. I love it when the finished product is realised though, it gives things a sense of completion. D: I guess traditionally the gratification of seeing a stack of your own album on a shelf in a record shop was the lofty heights, but in these internet days, I am guessing you must have some pretty special interactions and reactions without even leaving the house?

the core shops like Boomkat, Bleep, Phonica, Kristina, Rye Wax? LA: That question is verging on being a philosophical question about capitalism and the arts, I’m not sure I can answer it without it turning into a heated debate. D: (laughing) yeah, not here. I like it when people cover all bases, what do Soundclash do well? LA: Soundclash in Norwich is very well stocked for such a small shop, the Jazz section is great. Beatniks is a good place for second-hand stuff too, and Out Of Time, another good secondhand place.

LA: I am on the internet, but mostly I just watch Seinfeld and read depressing news articles. I’m trying to cut down on social media, and I’ve lost control of D: What about your very first record shop experience? Where did you go, my inbox. what did you buy and how did it feel? D: It is okay to like the internet right? LA: I worked in a record shop called I feel like shops get this wrong... Revolution Records when I was a teenager, I used to spend more money LA: If you like it then great. There’s on records than I got paid, working in only so much that happens on the internet though, there’s infinitely more a record shop is a con. to explore in the real world. D: We usually ask people about “their favourite” shops or buildings that do D: How in touch with the record shop things really well... but I think you’ll scene do you feel? give me a straight answer... so what really pisses you off about record LA: I’m still buying records, I still shops? What are your top five TO buy from my local shop in Norwich DON’TS? (Soundclash) when I can. I tend to seek out record shops when I’m away, LA: I don’t know. Just don’t be music I’ll usually try and visit one or two snobs, and treat people nice. That’s whenever I pass through London. enough isn’t it? D: Are shops - broadly speaking - supportive of the electronic and experimental community? Outside of

D: Well taking all that into consideration, which shops on your travels have impressed you and why? LA: There was a record stall at Sonic City, a festival in Belgium that James Holden curated a while ago, I bought a bunch of really amazing records from there. I think it was run by a local record shop, I don’t know the name, but I wish I did because they had some amazing stuff. D: Have you managed to pick up a “bargain” from a shop in the last ten years? Are those days of forgotten gems all gone now? I don’t want to unnecessarily stick the knife in on charity shops... but it seems a shame to me to have lost that whole mooching culture. LA: I found a mint copy of The Pulses Of Time by Denis Smalley in Beatniks in Norwich recently, so there are still rare things to be found in the world. I bought Has-Beens and Never Weres by R Stevie Moore in Oxfam once too, that was a great find. D: Let’s end this positively as I am leading this astray... tell us something great you bought recently. LA: One of my favourite music finds recently has been Anarchestra, but that stuff is only available digitally. I’ve found a few other things online too, old tape releases that wouldn’t be available except for blogs. I’ve been going back over Trevor Jackson’s Metal Dance compilation too, I really like that right now.

“If you like it then great. There’s only so much that happens on the internet though, there’s infinitely more to explore in the real world.” * essymays.tumblr.com


THROWS THROWS is a new pop duo, but neither new to us or to each other, as the two halves are Mike Lindsay and Sam Genders of the muchloved Tunng. After time apart they have again spent time together and crafted one of the year’s most beautifully structured albums. We talked about it and shops that might stock it.

Deluxe: Was there a moment with this new project when you knew you were onto something? Did it sound like you expected? Sam Genders: There were quite a few magic moments in the studio when we got very excited and started dancing around to the new ideas! The first time we played High Pressure Front back was a special moment for me. It felt really exciting to us but not at all like anything we had predicted we might do. We didn’t really have a template or even any pressure to make an album - we were just playing around, so there wasn’t really much pressure on us.

influence did Reykjavik have on the writing and recording? SG: For me it added a whole sense of adventure to the project. It was my first time there and the landscape and the city provided lots of inspiration, as did the long talks Mike and I were having each evening, catching up on each other’s lives.

ML: I had been living there for four years and Sam came during my last few months there. It was a very liberating and emotional few months. The cumulative years of building a relationship with Iceland and all the wonky magic that lives there totally influenced aspects of the writing, at least from Mike Lindsay: For me it was when Sam burst into falsetto… my part, and I think us both being there after so many years it was raw, broken and drunken, and felt very far from where of not really hanging with each other really shone through. we had been before. D: Do you have a sense of location about the record? Does it sound tied to a place? How important to you is location? D: I understand you recorded in Iceland, how much of an


SG: When I hear these songs they feel inextricably linked to the place we made them, and there are some lyrical threads that relate to that location, but the songs are mostly about relationships and in that sense could relate to anyone anywhere. I don’t think location is especially important to me in any wider sense, but it can be a big source of inspiration at times. ML: Yes, I don’t think the music from the listener’s point of view is tied to Iceland… but for me this record is tied to a moment in time… and that moment was in Reykjavik… but it’s also about future unwritten moments in unknown places!! D: Now Mike you were/are based in Iceland for a few years, you must surely have been to 12 Tónar on a number of occasions? Everyone we speak to is pretty bewitched by the place? ML: I love 12 Tónar! I know Einar who works there really well. And I produced the Low Roar and Mr. Silla albums that came out on their label. It’s great, because they can really affect record sales in that country just by being proactive in the shop. D: Is there a strong music scene because of 12 Tónar, or is 12 Tónar there because of a strong scene? ML: Oh there is just a huge amount of passion for music in Iceland generally, and that transcends to the labels and shops and back to the people and round again. D: You worked on this LP with Amiina and Sigurlaug Gísladóttir, how supportive is the Reykjavik scene? It’s not like London right? ML: Well in my experience of being a musician in Reykjavik, there is a community and everybody tries to support and help everybody. People play in each other’s bands, there’s no guest list, everyone pays to watch bands, and musicians play on other musicians’ records. All the musicians are super talented and super down to earth… Nothing like London really. D: It feels like a very personal and very crafted record, were you anxious about the critical response? SG: I really love this record. Of all the albums I’ve been involved with, it’s the one that I care the least about what other people think. I’m really happy to have been part of it and there are lyrical elements to the songs that feel very personal. I’d love to say I don’t care what people think at all, but it’s still a relief to get a good response. Partly on a personal and slightly unhealthy ego level but also on a practical level - if people don’t like it then you don’t get the chance to get out there and play live as much as you’d like to. ML: I really love this record too!! Maybe it doesn’t reach everyone the way it does Sam and I… and I hope that some people get it and like it. But yeah, we like it… and that’s

really all that matters. It’s not always that I feel like that, but this album represents something unique for us and it’s soo much fun to play!! D: How much of an impact on you as musicians and as people do reviews have? Do you feel like the reviews on THROWS have indicated that the writers have understood what you were trying to achieve? SG: If I’m honest I don’t really know. If I was consistently getting bad reviews and that was part of a bigger picture of not making music that interested people, then as much as I might enjoy it I’d have to do less of it - just from an economic point of view. I’d need to teach more or think of something to train in, in order to pay the bills. Everything’s connected in music so good reviews come in useful when trying to get radio play or festival bookings. Most of the reviews have been good this time... a couple not so good as always! I don’t mind a bad review unless it’s obvious they’ve not listened to the album, and I don’t think there’s any need for those occasional nasty reviews people write. People pour their hearts and souls into their craft and music is full of people with sensitive personalities, so I’d encourage reviewers to have integrity and let people down tactfully. I have to admit it feels good to read a positive review from someone who you don’t know personally. It’s a confidence booster and helps you feel you’re not kidding yourself. ML: If you read a bad review… you think very deeply about it and if you read a good one, you just think “YEA… Badass!” I’m gonna try not to think too deeply about the bad ones… Sometimes writers don’t really listen, they just want to write… and sometimes… it’s just not their bag… D: Following on, do you feel like you said what you were trying to say? SG: I didn’t set out with an agenda to say anything specific, but in retrospect there is a strong thread of relationships and the joys and challenges they bring through the album, and I’m happy with how it came together. I feel like the album sits together as a whole in an interesting way and perhaps is better listened to that way rather than piecemeal. ML: It feels like we said a lot to each other whilst writing it, and that filters into the record… I guess the main thing that resonates for me is “I hope we can learn something from this”. That’s kinda what the record is trying to say... D: On that topic, are you Throws or THROWS? If capitalised, you don’t seem like a couple of guys that need to shout all that much? SG: Either I think - but generally Throws. ML: THROWS! D: I really like the sleeve art, are you guys the tiny figures in the middle of the landscape? Is that two little butts we can see? Who worked with you on the image?


SG: It’s by a wonderful photographer called Jennifer Pattison. She only works with film and her work is beautiful. www.jennifer-pattison.com ML: That is indeed our naked selves on the front cover… and it is quite literally badass! D: How important to you is sleeve art to the project? What sleeve images have inspired you over the years and stick in the mind? SG: Ha ha - I’ve promised Mike I’ll stop going on about Revolver in every interview, but I’m going to talk about it again now.

Mike, I promise I’ll get some new influences soon! I love Revolver and it’s the album that really taught me about songwriting from the age of four or five years old. One of the main things that attracted me was the artwork - the combination of Klaus Voorman’s drawings and the cut and paste photos. Great artwork always makes a release feel even more special. ML: Hey, don’t stop Revolving! All the Tunng album art was done by one artist, Vanessa da Silva, and it all had a thread and an identity… I think that’s important. We thought about this cover a lot… and we love Jenny’s photography… and felt that’s the way we should go with this new project rather than a drawing. Jenny has won awards for her nude photography… so I guess it was only natural that we bared all… to each other and some poor passers by in front of us!… King Crimson’s “In the Court of the Crimson King” - now that’s a sleeve….


D: You’ve previously worked together on projects as Tunng, but it has been nearly a decade. On purely a logistical level, how different does it feel releasing a record in 2016 as opposed to 2007? What have been the most rewarding parts? What has surprised you both? SG: For me the best bit has been the fun of it. We just decided to try coming up with some ideas together, and one thing has led to another so that here we are playing festivals and shows and really enjoying it, without there having been a master plan. There’s a sense that there’s less money in the industry now, and it seems quite unpredictable as to what will happen next, or what the best way to cut through the huge amount of digital content and get noticed is. I’m just going to focus on having a good time and making the live show as good as possible for the time being. ML: No money, tiny advances, fewer sales, less impact through a swamp of releases… But that’s totally fine… The music feels more real and from the heart… people have a kick up the arse to think differently and not rely on money to see them through...

is amazing… the only thing is… that kind of accessibility devalues the whole process of making music… the months of creativity, it just doesn’t seem so fantastical when you can just click and play…. still feels great to put on the vinyl…

smell… I was 12… and I still cite that album as an all time favourite.

D: What was the very first purchase you made? Where? Release? And on what format?

D: How about experiences playing in record shops?

SG: I grew up in Matlock, Derbyshire and my first purchase was Now 10 on cassette in WH Smiths in Derby. I was about ten years old and I was spending a Smiths voucher that I got for Christmas. It had Pump Up The Volume by M/A/R/R/S and Fairy Tale of New York by the Pogues on it, along with Crazy Crazy Nights by Kiss, and I loved it. ML: I grew up on the outskirts of Southampton… it was HMV, I was nine and it was Kylie Minogue, followed very shortly after with Guns and Roses, Appetite for Destruction… very confused… D: How did it feel, entering the record-buying world?

D: The internet is okay isn’t it? Discuss? How has the increased reliance on the web changed how you make music both creatively and logistically?

SG: I remember being very excited, as I also got my first tape hi fi system at the same time. I paid for it by washing a neighbour’s car for ten weeks at £3 a go. It was a pale blue Austin Maestro.

SG: Yes it is! These days I do a lot more remote collaboration - file swapping and the like. Other than that I mostly work in the same way I always have. I’m starting to do more songwriting for other people and I can see there could be potential there to do more of that type of work via the internet. The biggest challenge is actually making money as a musician - as technology allows more and more people to make good music on a budget which is then sold or streamed for next to nothing, a lot of people have to find creative ways of making good art whilst also making a living.

ML: I had one of those 3D sub woofer boom boxes… double cassette … and only bought heavy metal tapes… felt great.

ML: The internet rules us now…. it’s like the world would stop turning without it… but would it??????? Any song you could ever think of… you can stream instantly… wow, that

D: In all your travels, which shops have had a particularly strong impact on you? The good, the bad and the ugly? SG: I love Piccadilly Records in Manchester, Resident in Brighton and Rough Trade in London (I’ve not been to the Nottingham one). Anywhere like that where you can hear good music playing that you’ve not heard before and when you ask what it is they tell you all about it. ML: There was a kind of record fair in Southampton in the Guildhall where I bought Led Zeppelin One. I remember being overwhelmed by how many records there were and the dusty

12 Tónar we have already mentioned... but also Lucky Records, in Iceland, is great... has a huge vintage vinyl collection… and does a lot of in-stores.

SG: My favourite was one with Tunng somewhere in Chicago. It was a small version of the type of place I just mentioned, and people were keen to listen and buy records afterwards. ML: Amoeba Music, LA… that is the biggest record shop ever! with a huge stage... Tunng did a filmed in-store there and it just felt pretty cool… being in LA and playing in that shop… proper one to remember. D: Lastly, what makes a good record shop for you? SG: Most of all I like to be able to easily discover something new and amazing... so good music playing on their store stereo and friendly knowledgeable staff. No too-cool-forschoolers please. ML: Welcoming vibes, easy to hang out in, with good deals!


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