Thursday, July 28, 2011

Deaf Jam

Deaf Center is a multi-instrumentalist duo—Erik Skodvin and Otto Totland—from Norway. Their music is quiet, sparse, and introspective. A combination of dark ambient electronica, post-classical, and drone music. A lot of their music sounds like a cinematic soundscape to a slow-moving movie. If none of those descriptions make any sense, give them a listen and you’ll see what I mean. Perfect music for late night conversations.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Pretty in Pink

I recently had the pleasure of seeing the group Pink Martini live and it dawned on me that not everyone knows about this remarkable band. Led by Thomas M. Lauderdale, the Portland, Oregon-based group is another hard one to describe. Take some 40s and 50s swing and combine it with a heavy dose of Latin, Afro-Cuban salsa, Brazilian bossa nova, tango and French cabaret, then toss in a mix of songs from all over the globe including Russia, Greece, Japan, Croatia and points elsewhere, and you’ve got a decent, yet fuzzy picture of what Pink Martini is all about.

The group was formed in 1994 and features the vocals of the energetic China Forbes. They have several recordings to their credit, all of which are worth owning. Each cd has its own sound, but they all have that singular Pink Martini spirit of fun to them. If you ever get a chance to see them live, I can guarantee a most entertaining evening.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Good Things Come in Trees

After long time vocalist, Victoria Bergsman left the Concretes in 2006, she started recording under the name Taken by Trees. Her music is quiet, stripped down and melancholic, and has been compared to Camera Obscura. Victoria has a wonderful voice and has two albums on the Rough Trade label. Her most recent recording was made in Pakistan with local musicians and as you’d expect, is radically different from her first cd.

Friday, July 1, 2011

A New Leif

Once again, I’ve discovered an artist who has very little biographical info out on the interwebs. Here’s what I do know. Leif Vollebekk is a Canadian singer/songwriter. He studied Icelandic and Philosophy in Reykjavik, Iceland, and he released his first cd, Inland, in 2010.

Here’s how he describes his sound: "I want to sound like Hank Williams meets Sigur Ros. Hopefully, I'll fail and get somewhere else." That pretty much sums up the general feel of his music. His voice reminds me a little of Jeff Buckley’s. Warning: His song “Don’t go to Klaksvik” is a real earworm. You won’t be able to get it out of your head!