Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Paradigm9 - Flaming guns of the purple sage soundtrack

Curt from Magnanimous records sent me this seven inch the other day from Paradigm9.
Paradigm9, from what I've gathered online, are constantly changing their sound, they are genre-less, not in the Ween way, but more in a soundtrack way. They are something like a site specific band. I get the feeling if the play or film called for it, they would come up with it. Music isn't applied to the work, but it's a process of trying to add another element, like anything else, you are trying to support and enhance the work. That can be a fine line. It's an interesting place for a band to exist, relying on this outside context to position the music. Is that even a consideration? Can't you just listen to it, independent of that idea? Sure, but I think here it's so unconventional as pop music you want to figure out where this is coming from... so it can effect how the music is heard.
Flaming guns of the purple sage, written by Jane Martin is some kind of B-movie punk western horror with exaggerated dialogue and dumb cowboys and bad ass cowgirls. I'm assuming on this seven inch Paradigm9 provided the soundtrack to this play...live(?)...at Shepard University. This sounds like it could be a studio recording, but why a seven inch? The song lengths lends themselves to this EP format and they packed 6 tracks into near 12 minutes of soundtrack.

Thanks to some Norman Rockwell looking paintings on the front and back, I'm expecting some western themed pieces but it's not the standard Ennio reinterpretation of what you'd expect.
'Lucifer Lee', the first track on the A-side has a really driving beat, the more I listen to it the less I hear any kind of western influence at all, not one slide guitar or whistling solo. On the B-side 'Flaming theme' if it weren't for it's length of 2:40, it could fit into an Explosions in the Sky playlist. It's all droning reverb and instrumental, heavy on the atmosphere.

How did these pieces function on stage? Were they little intermissions between scenes? I like where they are going but I wish they could have been a little more epic, but I'm sure they were considering time restraints.
I like the idea of a band working within the constraints of a stage production or film to create a feeling rather than a scored performance interpreted by any musician. They don't go in the easy obvious directions in their interpretation and the work I'm sure is better for it.

I mean isn't that what Explosions in the sky and Pelican are? Just soundtrack bands without a film?

This interesting soundtrack is just barely still available from
Manganimous Records who seem to be dabbling in all kinds of other ambient / shoegaze specific bands.

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