Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Lillie Ruth Bussey /Non-canon split on Actual Records

Aaron sent this single in from a recording he made at the Slingluff Gallery in Philly a little less than a year ago of Lillie Ruth Bussey and Non-Canon, two local artists I wouldn't have come across any other way.
I really like the collage sleeve and notes all over the reverse with photos from the gallery of different artists work, it's bringing all these things together, and I get a sense of what the space is about...actually providing a space for people to look at work and hear music. Not like the galleries in Chelsea where they could care less if my anonymous, broke ass walks in to actually look at the work.
Lillie's side:
She's got a lower register voice that's immediately reminding me the old days of listening to PJ Harvey's, Rid of Me. It's not overly precious. There's an amazing voice in here, but she doesn't need to show off...in fact she's hardly louder than a whisper at points. She makes a point to wail on the acoustic to really drive the song home. Playing with the dynamics it goes delicate again, with muted strings as soon as it starts to get string breaking.
The second track gives away the live space, some clinking glasses with Lillie introducing the track...really Aaron made a great recording of the experience, you wouldn't know this was a real, natural space, with a last minute setup. Her voice is ridiculously wavering, with a natural tremolo, and very different from the previous track. The songs are always about her voice though...she doesn't even need any accompaniment. The silence in between notes is just as important as the melody.

Non-Canon, does 'Chemical Flowers', complete with a massive bass drum hit with a mallet sound which is a sort of reminiscent of the Dodo's, quiet, brooding and ready to explode. Really minimal, just acoustic guitars and tambourine keeping time.
The vocals here as well are fantastic, like the Bowerbirds, it's really unique, unusual phrasing and the rest of the band backs in lower harmonies. The room sound captured is perfect, it almost gets a tiny bit of echo bouncing off the walls. You can't help but be caught up with his emotion when he starts belting out the title of the track towards the end. It's a great somber contemporary sort of folk track from another great vocalist and band in Philly. I'll be looking into these guys.

The second track from Noncanon is the dj Ruxbin & Shane SixTen re-edit which grinds in a huge vibe synth keyboard sound over a brief version of the track, which sounds slightly remastered and cut up.
It doesn't get overly percussive, but that analog wave sound is punishing the speakers.

Get it from
Actual Records.

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