Monday, November 26, 2012

6 LPs from Haute Magie

It's Sunday night in America as I sit down with laptop and record player. I have football on TV muted. I have the lights out. The colors from the brute graphics and splashy ads dance uncomfortably in my periphery as I type. My record player is turned up loud, but the music is soft, mysterious...like low hanging fog on a Monday morning. There's a stack of six LPs on my floor and I intend to play all of them in one night, back-to-back-to-back.
My fellow Austinites at Haute Magie have a great catalog for those interested in melancholy, spectral acoustic music that is vaguely psychedelic (as well as a touch cultish witchcrafty). The label also releases electronic music for those who need glitch/beats, but more on that later - for now I'll dive into the folkster stuff:

Mike Bruno, Bad Braids, The Black Magic Family Band and Ross Major represent some of the best spooky mental graveyard "folk" I've heard in years. Bad Braids could be a lost treasure from the lonely reel-to-reel early 70s era. Megan Biscieglia's Bad Braids album Arrow and Orb is the most reminiscent of that lost in a dream of the decaying "peace and love" time for me. Songs like "Upward, Onward, Deep Into the Night," sound amazing and scare me a bit.

Ross Major's exquisite guitar playing on his Horatio Hymns LP is my favorite of this bunch of Haute Magie circle slices of vinyl. Drone/psychedelic noise waft over and around his chiming guitar figures while his vocals whisper in reverb. His album and Mike Bruno's The Sad Sisters are frighteningly intense listens. Really all of these albums seem cut from the cloth of isolation and only by chance they have been captured & preserved or all of us to listen to. Fans of songwriting and acoustic darkness should immediately add these LPs to their collections.


The same goes for the The Black Magic Family Band except taken to an electric edge...basically cool music made with the vibe of a freaky cult. I've written about, and will write about, this band so I'll save words, but in the end it comes down to taste...I like this band and recommend them.
The game has been over for a couple hours. I couldn't care less who won - I've been listening to music. I want to end my night and go to sleep, but I cannot. I still have two LPs to go. More black coffee? At this hour? Madness...then the beat hits me and I have to keep going. Bestovitch's Ritual De La Haute Magie: Kiss From a Witch is just what I need to hear at this late hour. Great sample-delic, instrumental hip-hop, Irelands' Paul Best is on solid terra firma with this record. Classic form the start and I loved the jazz bits. I'm spinning Bestovitch during my next party.
Finally, I want to wrap up with a fine split from Bunrage and Footpaths. Bunrage's (aka Gary Brents) side is electronic soundscape wondermint. Melodies and beats collide, but more often it is the moody ambience of instrumentation that makes his electro-mash so effective and engaging. Conversely, Footpaths dark side of music makes all too clear the going and coming of my own witching hour. Jon Rosenthal's project (ie Footpaths) uses minimal, treated guitar to create a spooky desolation. I'm not feeling right tonight...was it something I ate? Is it just the grinding minimalism of Footpaths' guitar? The morning will let me in on the secret. The final record of the night was as haunting as the first...Haute Magie has a vibe and they stick with it.

Recommended: HIGHLY...Ross Major, Bestovitch, Mike Bruno...meh, just try and listen to everything  on Haute Magie and decide for yourself!

Buy and Listen HERE.

No comments:

Post a Comment