Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Andrew Collberg on Fort Lowell Records

This just went up for sale over at Fort Lowell yesterday, and I always admire James' attention to design over there... he's had this really clear aesthetic from day one. I think you could spot any of his releases from across the room, I picture in the lobby of Fort Lowell HQ they have some kind of giant frame with all the current releases so far under glass. Frankly I'm shocked at the amount of thought that's gone into the whole enterprise, where'd he get all this money for thinktanks and focus groups...are there super pacs for 7inch labels?

His latest is from another Tuscon local, Andrew Collberg, who divided his time between New Zealand and Sweden growing up, finally landing in the southwest US and quickly absorbing all of that sandblasted open desert to concoct his own classic, guitar based country.

On "Dirty Wind", the A-Side track, it's pretty ridiculous he's already got this kind of big sounding, developed this tortured guitar solo towards the end of this track is one of those genius manic Neil Yong moments when he would launch into this kind of scary explosion, when this melancholy song goes from heartbreakingly quiet and introspective to completely dangerous. This whole track has until then been working in a Dylan band, ensemble, country sound with Andrew's vocal coming out of a tiny bathroom, echo-ing around the tile, until that guitar comes in to to tear it all apart. It's a clear moment of 'don't underestimate me', there's a still a part that's going to explode, the fuse is lit.
The B-Side, "Back on the Shore" then has Andrew getting a little more introspective, the back and forth piano melody, a see saw guitar rhythm, it's playing with those musical interpretations of the ocean, complete with ghostly, siren backup from Kaia Chesney. The piano is the one this time to break out of the even keel... a pure bar piano, out of tune, pounding out a counter melody...Andrew's still got a firm grasp on where this is going, driving the whole thing like a great Wilco ship, or Giant can't tell me this landscape in this part of the country doesn't have something to do with this sound. James and Fort Lowell have been providing scientific proof now for years. The whole track slowly fades off, a long tracking shot out of the tiny transitor radio speaker on a dirty plastic picnic table outside a mobile home in the middle of nowhere.

This one is on heavyweight mint green vinyl with download code from Fort Lowell Records, who still have copies of their benefit full length Luz De Vida for'll support more tuscon artists, get a cool giant yellow record and all the money goes to support the victims of the shooting tragedy. Completely unselfish...makes you feel a little bad for just listening to a regular old record.

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