YOU GUYS!!! We have made it to TEN YEARS! Across 49 releases (vinyl, CD, cassette & digital), we’ve fostered a community of independent artists that have both participated in & represented our commonwealth’s music scene. Now, it’s time to celebrate! We wanted to make our 50th catalog entry something wild, so we’re staging a huge party. Here’s what we have planned:
DATE: Saturday, September 28th
LOCATION: Warehouse Theater, Academy Center For The Arts
This event is something we dreamed up with help from our friends at the Academy Center. We are still working out arrangements on some extraspecial things for the day, but wanted to get this party on everyone’s radar as soon as possible. Stay tuned for more details as we get them confirmed!
After a handful of digital & cassette-bound EP’s, Virginia Beach’s Oahu has surfaced with a rather monumental effort! Here’s how Todd Webb, the mind behind Oahu (as well as Seamonster, Toddbot, & more) explains this double album:
OF “SLOW WAVES”: “I asked John if he’d like to provide sonic source material for my next Oahu recording. The pieces he sent me ranged from quiet electronics and wind-up toys to noisy field recordings and guitar playing. It was a lot of fun sculpting his contributions into the works presented here. I particularly enjoyed making “the movement of trees” as that is the one piece we recorded “live” – i improvised with a Volca Keys and live processing, then sent the track to John who performed the gentle clicking sounds that overlay the piece.“
OF “SIMPLE SOUNDS”: “I began recording #dailybleeps on october 28, 2015. The process is simple: I film something I see each day and before bed I record a soundtrack for that video and post it online. I use a different setup every day and improvise the scores as quickly as possible. It has been great fun watching the pieces accumulate over the years and I’m very excited to finally release a physical document of some of them. The titles match their original videos. For instance “Buddha Watching TV” accompanies an art piece by Nam June Paik, “Kirby in the Backyard” was made while visiting my friend Steve Roden – his dog Kirby was outside wanting to join in. “Not That I Mind” is a personal favorite as it sound-tracked a collaborative video with poet Aram Saroyan.“
We just dropped a new video for “2017 Golden Cypress” by TLVS. If you’re in our hometown this week, you should stop by the Ellington Thursday evening. They are playing with Sound Of Ceres & Ian Chang. Doors at 8P & tickets are still available…
Having connected with this enigma years ago, it seemed almost inspired that we’d have the opportunity to work together on the release of “autremonde”.
The album is a collection of material crafted in various apartments & houses across the United States over a decade & a half. A mired collage of field recordings, simple percussion, synth dirges, digitally processed guitar swaths, & the occasional haunted vocal that coalesce into a single presentation over 77 minutes in length.
Repeated listens will prove rewarding as new opportunities to drink in the life of this world are exposed. Part meditative discourse, part soul-searching exploration, all challenging to the ear as well as the heart.
RIYL: Peter Gabriel’s “Birdy“, Brian Eno’s “Apollo“, Scott Walker’s “The Drift“
All sounds performed, captured, & assembled by A.Momentomori. Concept dreamt up by C. Scott Baker. Cover art courtesy of Stilyagi.
These “singles” are culled from the same sessions that brought forth “The Sound Of Who We Are“. More syrupy rock tunes from the synapses of Norfolk’s sassiest breakfast slinger, Elliott Malvas. Across roughly ten minutes, expect to get caught up in the trademark YJ bounce & strum.
FFO: Beauty Pill’s “The Unsustainable Lifestyle“, Swervedriver’s “99th Dream”
Good Dog Nigel‘s debut 12″ is steady rolling off of merch tables as they continue showing up on stage after stage. Word from our partners at Infinite Repeats is that the official (full color) jackets should be shipping out any day now. This also means the deluxe editions that many of you have been waiting for will also be hitting the mailboxes soon. If you haven’t check out this party, what gives?
This digital EP by You’re Jovian drops on the first Friday of April! It’s the rest of the work Elliott did up in Philly during the sessions for “The Sound Of Who We Are” last year. Look for it at all the usual online troughs (Spotify, Apple Music, Google Play, & of course, bandcamp).
“autremonde: The Collected Commercials Of Death”
The other digital release from HSAL next month. This full-length (clocking in at nearly 80 minutes) is the result of over a decade’s worth of heart & soul from one of the most reclusive friends of the label. Andres Mementomori stirs up memories of late 70’s Eno, mid-80’s Gabriel, & “The Drift” by Scott Walker. Vocals are scarce but emotions run high throughout this journey. The entire palette will present itself on April 19th. Oh, & you can preview a cut from this album in the soundcloud player on the left-hand side of the screen. ( <——— )
This summer, HSAL has the honor of partnering with Virginia Beach soundsmith Oahu (sonic moniker of cartoonist Todd Webb) for a duel EP release. The 2CD collection will prove to be the stuff of legend. On the first disc, Webb works out soundscapes based on source material provided by Deerhoof guitarist John Dieterich! The second disc will contain a highlights set of “daily bleeps” curated by Webb himself! NOTE: Not sure what daily bleeps are? Get educated here…this series is one of the things that first endeared us to Oahu’s output.
Yup, this one’s gonna SLAY! The LP is tracked & the band is in the throes of mixing these nine cuts down. Nothing concrete (at least nothing we can officially announce yet) but it looks like the release party for this one, slated for a weekend just shy of peak color on the trees, should prove to be coolest party of the year. We know – bold prediction. That’s how much we believe in this record.
QUICK UPDATE: This past weekend, L.A. Dies began tracking their debut full-length up in Richmond with long-time label friend Allen Bergendahl. We were able to sneak into the sessions & eavesdrop as they worked together to pour the foundations for what is shaping up to be a super dreamy record. If all goes to plan, tracking will be finished up by month’s end & we’ll get to mixing & mastering. The goal is to drop this one in the fall…
In the more immediate future, the band is has a few swell gigs around the mid-Atlantic:
03/22: The Ellington (Lynchburg VA) w/ Wesley Montgomery, Oceanic
03/29: Roanoke DIY Fest (Roanoke VA) w/ Lung, A Day Without Love
We have reached out to different people within & around the HSAL camp to find out what from the last twelve months inspired them. Over the past month, we’ve posted a series of lists. Our hope is that you will get an idea of where we are coming from. Here’s what Steve Scott, author, poet, & spoken word performer, turned in:
The year 2018 was consumed with moving out of our old house/selling it, living in an apartment while the new house was finished so I’m going to base my list a bit on that experience…
The hesitations and rationalizations that go through your head when contemplating discarding things/books you will never use/have time to read etc. (you hear about this sort of thing, but the actual experience is inspiring / sobering)
Out ahead of the EP release, Good Dog Nigel offer a glimpse into the magic that is to come. “I Can’t Be“, the lead track from “The Implied Sunrise“. At the onset, this track comes off like the memory of a hazy afternoon spent with friends. As the melody walks into the room, heads begin bopping to the rhythm. The temperature rises with the energy of anticipation until the moment that a sweaty dance party erupts with as the songs comes down from a lofty peak. Sounds too good to be true? Stream it for yourself (everyone else already has). While you’re at it, go ahead & pre-order a copy of the 12″ EP (most of your friends have done that too)!
We have reached out to different people within & around the HSAL camp to find out what from the last twelve months inspired them. In the coming days, we’ll post a series of lists. Our hope is that you will get an idea of where we are coming from. Here’s what Allen Bergendahl, studio nerd & all around great guy, turned in:
#1 – Friends, though…
Years ago, I met Nathan McGlothlin while recording his band at the time. We made few records together, but we slowly drifted apart – as you do. I was so excited to hear from him in late 2017 and we started laying the groundwork for a few projects we would be working on together in 2018. One of those projects was HSAL #44. I didn’t really know what to expect, but let me tell you, the bands he enlisted were incredible! L.A.Dies, Overlook Hotel, Good Dog Nigel, TLVS, and Quick On My Feet showed up and showed us how it is done! Super fast, super fun sessions with great people! Working with an old friend to make new music with new friends is such a delight for me. I will have the pleasure to work with some of these artists again in 2019 and I can not wait!
#2 – That one band, though…
Sungazer is a band that I have worked closely with in years past and this year saw us get a little closer. Marc Adams plays bass in the band and has a studio setup in his basement and they have been working on overdubs for a new record and for some solo material from the band members. This fall we began a weekly work night at Marc’s studio to make progress on any of our various projects. It is time set aside to get into the hairy details of songwriting and recording. The work sessions are primarily Marc and Matt and let me tell you, it is humbling to look inside the process of such talented musicians. I feel like you learn a lot when trying to keep up with very talented people, I know I am.
#3 – That space, though…
I began doing a lot of overdub and mix work at Kevin Cornell’s studio and we really hit it off. We started off by working on songs for his band Glass Twin and it snowballed from there. He had built a great studio, but needed some outside input. I was very happy to lend a hand to further outfit the studio and add my vision to the space and the workflow. We’re not done yet, but we are building a space that will be practical and feel like home for any artist that walks through the door.
#4 – That project, though…
Another friendship that was rekindled was with Joshua Britton and his project Psalmships. He sent me some demos of some new songs he was working on and asked if I wanted to help bring them to life. We had worked together on a previous record and I knew we worked well together, so it was an easy “yes“. We talked a lot about influences and the direction we would like the record to go. Joshua writes songs that emote in a big way, so we tried to bring that passion and size to the new recordings. We did a long weekend tracking what would be the basic tracks for *most* of the record and followed up a while later for overdubs and some rough mixes. I even got to play on it a bit!
#5 – That mutual respect, though…
I am not sure exactly how much work we did in 2018, but LJ from V.E. (Various Eggs) is a frequent collaborator and an even more frequent lunch date. We seem to have some session going at all times. In 2018 we saw the release of several singles, a video, and recording some solo piano work that will appear on new releases in 2019. I think I may be only engineer he’s worked with since he moved to Richmond and I like that. He is always a helpful ear for bouncing ideas off of and at this point we seem to speak the same language. LJ is another artist whose songwriting I am privy to all the details of how it is made and he has a deliberate and economical way that he shapes and directs songs. It’s fascinating.