Initially, Nautical Alamanac were a Michigan based duo consisting of James Twig Harper and the seemingly omnipresent Nate Young (Wolf Eyes, etc). Owing much to the Michigan noise scene, they started out as a rouge 'crash and smash' terror band, playing anywhere possible using confrontational tactics. With the addition of Sol Meltzer on percussion they realigned under a non-traditional "rock" motif. In 2001, James and partner Carly Ptak relocated to Baltimore and from this point the (floating) membership centred around the duo with the addition of Max Eisenberg on percussion. In Baltimore, they refurbished a three-storey building themselves and dubbed it Tarantula Hill. It quickly became an essential lynchpin for art, music performance, and the backbone for Baltimore's experimental scene and clubhouse for all traveling noise artists and experimentalists passing through the area. They spent years constructing and hot-wiring countless pieces of found materials and creating fantastic recycled homemade instruments: gutted electronics, rewired circuitry, metal...you name it, it was all thrown into the mix.
In March 2006, whilst Nautical Alamanac were in New York for the No Fun Fest, Tarantula Hill burnt down. In a crushing blow, James and Carly lost years of work and instrumentation, but more importantly, their cats died as well. Their musical community ralleyed around in impressive style, raising funds to help get the couple back on their feet. From here, apart from occasional live performances, I'd thought that the Almanac had folded. James and Carly started putting out solo works...Twig in particular is busy building up a substantial body of excellent releases. Recently, I realised that in the past year or two, Nautical Almanac had been putting out a series of sneakily released lathe-cuts in editions of about 15. I say sneakily because, I was sleeping and missed the lot. Here's hoping for some cdr rereleases!
Nautical Almanac’s sound is somewhere between analog improv and improv comedy. What results from these colliding philosophies is a carefully considered chaos born of technological refinement and cannibalism. In gradually becoming more accessible in form, it seems that the ideas had to be pushed further so the focus of the band was on creating an unpretentiously fucked-up and poetically damaged sensibility.
With Harper and Ptak constantly wiring gear in new configurations and adding new devices to its arsenal, each release is different. They may tinker strictly with machines, but aside from the hardware, Nautical Almanac have far more in common with the free-folk movement than the anti-music industrialists of the noise scene. Beneath the tinnitus tones, broken pitch bursts and malfunctioning oscillator currents, it's the same freeform flux as The Sunburned Hand of the Man, No Neck Blues Band or even Sun City Girls. Only it’s been corroded beyond recognition.
1996 - Nautical Almanac - Nautical Almanac (lp) [hanson records]
1999 - Nautical Almanac & Wolf Eyes & Rubber O Cement (tour cdr).rar
2000 - Nautical Almanac - Transcriptedivisions (lp) [hanson records]
2002 - Nautical Almanac - Rejerks Vol. 1 [heresee]
2003 - Dead Machines & Nautical Almanac - The Twilight Zone (C69) [american tapes]
2003 - Jessica Rylan & James Twig Harper - Rejerks Vol. 2 [heresee]
2003 - Nautical Almanac - Cisum (lp) [heresee]
2003 - Nautical Almanac - We Want War (tour cdr) [heresee]
2003 - Nautical Kites - Herculoids (C30) [unskilled labor]
2004 - Nautical Almanac - Handcut Record Transfers [heresee]
2004 - Nautical Almanac - Live @ No Fun Fest
2004 - Nautical Almanac - Rejerks Vol. 3 [heresee]
2004 - Nautical Almanac - Rooting For The Microbes [load records]
2004 - Nautical Almanac & Vertonen - Split (12'')
2005 - Nautical Almanac - Cover The Earth [heresee]
2005 - Nautical Almanac - Live @ WFMU on Brian Turner's Show 10.25.05
2005 - Nautical Almanac - Rejerks Volume 4 [heresee]
2005 - Nautical Almanac - Something (Euro Tour) [8mm records]
Nautical Almanac - Live In Montreal (2 shows_2 bars_2 nights)
Live @ Santo's NYC 09/21/09
John Olson, Mike Connelly and Nate Young with John Wiese. Naturally, these four people should need no introduction. A series of 6 cdrs, split between American Tapes and Gods Of Tundra and released in 2006. Apparently recorded in the van while touring the East Coast of the USA in October 2006.
Sunroof! is the work of prolific, Bradford-based guitar-abuse legend Matthew Bower. What is it about Yorkshire that produces so many incredible outsider artists? He's probably better known for his work as Skullflower and Hototogisu (with Marcia Bassett). Although some Sunroof! releases only feature Matt, it is far from a purely solo outing. The project has included collaborators such as Richard Youngs, C. Spencer Yeh (Burning Star Core), John Moloney (Sunburned Hand Of The Man), Ben Jones and Hasan Gaylani (Jazzfinger), Lee Stokoe (Culver), Mick Flower (Vibracathedral Orchestra; Flower-Corsano Duo), Neil Campbell (Vibracathedral Orchestra), Phil Todd (Ashtray Navigations) and Spencer Clark and James Ferraro (The Skaters).
Sunroof! specialise in high-pitched, airy, shimmering drones, reminiscent of some of Vibracathedral Orchestra's work, filled with flute-like tones, soft feedbacking guitars and restless, metallic percussion. However, Sunroof!’s trajectory shifts from bubbling, transcendental pulses to coruscating feedback, jerky freeform soloing to sweet-shimmering dream-haze, traces of acid-damaged British folk to brain-blitzing high-pitched psychedelic drone. This shimmering, restless fluttering is filled with a holy chaos, a cacophony that incorporates any background noise, no matter how harsh, into part of the music.
I haven't included Delicate Autobahn Under Construction (a stunning piece of work btw), Silver Bear Mist, Bliss, or Cloudz. The superb VHF Records finally have them in print again after years of unavailability. They are very cheap...$12 for the double cds!!! I think you should support the label and buy them.
The Crippled Rosebud Binding double lp is included in the previous Mouthus post.
1999 - Sunroof! - Peach Fuzzz (7'') [betley welcomes careful drivers, giardia]
1999 - Sunroof! - Slipstream [giardia]
1999 - Sunroof! - Studio Ks (cdr) [self-released]
2000 - Sunroof! - Found Star Sound [vhf records]
2001 - Sunroof! - Reborn In Jets Of Rainbow Water (lp) [giardia]
2002 - Sunroof! - Temple Music Volume 1 & 2 (2xcdr) [rural electrification program]
Volume 1 Volume 2
2003 - Sunroof! - Rock Power (euro tour cdr) [rural electrification program]
2003 - Sunroof! - Splat! [u-sound archive]
2003 - Sunroof! & Vibracathedral Orchestra - Wings Over America [vhf records]
2004 - Sunroof! - USSA [vhf records]
2004 - Sunroof! & Double Leopards - Live @ The Buffalo Bar, London [flac bootleg]
2005 - Sunroof! - Rainbow Electric Sabbath (cdr) [nature tape limb]
2006 - Sunroof! - Goldfoxradianthowl (s-sided lp) [melted mailbox]
2006 - Sunroof! - The Ocean Rooms, Brighton, UK (12 Nov 2006) [flac bootleg]
2007 - Sunroof! - Panzer Division Lou Reed [vhf records]
2007 - Sunroof! - Spitting Gold Zebras [bottrop-boy]
2008 - Kemialliset Ystävät & Sunroof! - Split Series #19 (12'') [fatcat records]
2008 - Sunroof! - Sufi Hate Crime/Zen Atrocity [self-released]
Yep...I'm gonna be keeping the blog up and running! J and (latterly) I put 1 hell of a lot of work into Bleak Bliss and it seems a shame for it to disappear. Not sure which direction it's off in but the discog style takes a shitload of time and energy, especially for one person. Most likely that a discog style post will drop followed by a series of single or themed releases to keep things rolling whilst I'm working on the next discog stylee. Between discog types, will be trying to post stuff that doesn't appear elsewhere. We'll see...
Gonna be using Megaupload for now for 4 main reasons...I've already got an account; you get a downloadspeed of 300+ on one download; their download manager is pretty ace (and you can use it for rapidshare as well); and I've never had an issue with it when using it for downloads. Things may change...but please, let's not start the filehost debate again because it's dull dull dull. Would rather talk about music tbh...Will reup J's files as they start to drop out if peeps request.
Sunroof! coming on Saturday...
Due to a deadly combination of Rapidshare turning into a sack of wank and me not having the time due to my job and my label, i'm packing this blogging deal in. I'm not going to delete it, i'm going to leave it here so you can download everything til they expire. Badgerstump might carry it on, it's his call really. Either way i'm not deleting it.