Saturday, March 15, 2008
Reviewers and other friendly web-publications:
The Muse's Muse
"The Pax Cecilia has created an album that reconfigures the possibilities of ambient, art-rock and progressive metal, making it sound beautiful, menacing and refreshingly new as they do it. Blessed are the Bonds is one of the few pieces of art that transcends definition, and transforms nothing more than twelve notes into a musical force that will reveal something different with each listen. For an album that will only cost you an hour, this is nothing short of a masterpiece."
"I haven't been stirred by an album like this in a long long time. There is a divine power boiling inside of Blessed Are the Bonds that makes it feel like the stars are aligning..."
"Blessed are the Bonds is an album that reassures people that music is actually art. The hold this album has on your emotion is almost exquisite, as it runs the gamut from sublime to disheartening..."
Deaf Sparrow Zine
"Blessed Are the Bonds is one of those ambitious records that travels through foreign and uncharted territories, conquering all and in the end coming home triumphant..."
"I’ve simply run out of great things to say about this band and this album, and frankly I’m not sure there are enough words to do it justice."
"I just stood in awe of the majestic metal ambient awesomeness."
- John Stepp
Download it here :
Sunday, March 2, 2008
2 Mass Media
5 Even If We Lose
7 Chase Me
9 Execute *
10 Iraq'n'roll *
11 False Promises *
12 Killing My Name *
13 December *
The band's first release came as a violent punch in the stomach to the unsuspecting Greek scene of 1990. Raw and romantic at the same time, established Deus Ex Machina as one of the biggest names for the years to come until today. A true classic! Current CD includes fully remastered original album with bonus tracks of long out of print band singles, complete with extra rare, older material previously released on compilations only, plus the infamous "Execute/Iraq'n'Roll" single.
Deus Ex Machina were formed in 1989 by Dimitris Spyropoulos and Dimitris Manthos in Athens, Greece. Spyropoulos and current drummer Yiannis Venardis were veterans of the local punk scene of the early 80s. The band eventually gained overwhelming acceptance of the alternative crowds.In the years to come, this resulted in over 500 concerts with increasing success, establishing DXM as a predominantly kicking live band in spite of their limited discography.
In the course of their history DXM have suffered several setbacks including a number of serious car accidents and repeated personnel changes. So far, not only did they persevere, but on top of every adversity, they seem to come out on a limb with added stamina each time. Nowadays, DXM are considered as one of the major established acts of the greek alternative scene. Some of the highlights of their history include their appearance in landmark anti-Bosnian war concerts in Skopje, FYROM in 1994. In 1995, at the height of the Bosnian war, they toured Serbia. Year 1996 finds them appearing in major festivals in the cause of peace in the Balkans. Year 2000 was marked, among other things, by their memorable appearances at the Biennale 2000 in Torino, Italy.
Furthermore, over the years DXM have performed in a large number of concerts promoting social consciousness, which is also reflected on the lyrics and the overall attitude of the band. More notably, in the last two years, they have appeared several benefit concerts supporting the cause of the Zapatista native insurgents of the Chiapas region in Mexico. A respectable sum has been raised for the erection of a school for Zapatista children to be completed in the year 2004. The band has already accepted an invitation to appear at the completion ceremony.
The next major step is coming with the release of their latest Signs LP/CD in February 2003. This sums up effectively the final result of the last three years of hard work and experimentation. The album was produced by accomplished producer Hardy S. Party (Giant Sand, The Style Lab) marking the opening of a new phase in the evolution of the band.
As active supporters of the peace movement, they participated in several protest activities against the war in IRAQ. Suffice to say that this last war came as if anticipated by the band's grimly prophetic "Iraq 'n' Roll". The song was written back in 1991 inspired by the then recent Gulf War.
More info about the band here :
Download or Buy
Friday, February 22, 2008
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Sunday, February 10, 2008
After this rather off-topic introduction, let's go on to World of Pooh, a very promising band from SF, that didn't last enough to get known, yet their few releases are objects of desire in certain circles - not only because of their rarity but for their musical value as well.
Brandan Kearney, Barbara Manning and Jay Paget were World of Pooh. Kearney said that the band existed from 1983, though Manning joined in 1986. Brandan Kearney is a major figure in San Francisco undreground/experimental circles and participated in a million bands - the most known are Caroliner, World of Pooh and Tarnation. Barbara Manning -former 28th Day- while in the WoP, released her first solo album "Lately I Keep Scissors" (with Greg Freeman on production and Kearney playing in it) which is an absolute must have, and if you don't listen to it you'll regret this huge lack in your musical education for the rest of your life. Jay Paget was a long time Thinking Fellers Local Union 282 member.
This trio soon became very hot action, due to their amazing shows in the SF clubs. In 1989 the cult Nuf Sed label released their only LP - unfortunately in very small quantities- which almost immediately went out of print. Shortly after that, the band was no more, due to Kearnan and Manning's differences. There were two more 7-inch releases after their demise and the rest of their output are contributions to numerous compilations (To Sell Kerosene Door to Door anyone?) that are even rarer than the LP.
"Land of Thirst" never re-released, although there's a continuous demand from the fans until nowadays, and became a part of the myths and legends of the US underground. Around 2001-2002 there were discussions about a CD with all the released material of World of Pooh, but Kearney himself put an end to the release of this project, although it had actually started to take shape. This is surely a pity, because this means that their great music will remain unheard and unknown to the unlucky people who weren't in San Francisco around 1988-89 or aren't visitors of Lost-In-Tyme!
Well, what about the music? Described as "terse, poppy and loopy" and "nervous pop/art group" by two gyus who know what they're talking about and, besides that, they have saw them live.
I've started my hunting for "Land of Thirst" after listening to a couple of tracks (Mogra being one of them) in the radio in 1990, believing that World of Pooh was the new Barbara Manning group, and this was a psychedelized version of her "Scissors" album (which I've already had, as a huge fan of hers). When (after several years) managed to find it and listened to it from start to end, I realised that was not Barbara's new band. It's clear that Kearney had the last word to this record - even at Manning's songs - and in a way these songs (some of them already included in "Scissors") got the electrified treatment they need to earn their place in "Land Of Thirst" - not as psychedelic as I've expecting but nevertheless different, as they were performed by a band now and not from a solo artist, as in "Scissors". In fact they sound more "rockin" than the rest, just to underline the difference from the solo recordings. I'll mention that Gregg Freeman produced both records.
Not as chaotic as Thinking Fellers records, not as folk as Bedlam Rovers, more weird than X-Tall and Donner Party, I think that "Land of Thirst" is an essential record if you wanna know what kind of music was created and played in San Francisco in late 80s-early 90s. I wouldn't know if the love/hate relationship between Manning and Brendan was true or not, but "I'm On The Wrong Side", the only track they co-wrote and "Mr.Coffee-Nerves" and "Mogra" on which are both on vocals, are pure magic.
My personal favorites are the weirder tracks, but if you listen carefully to any of the 13 tracks of "Land of Thirst" you will discover a million beautiful details hidden in the background - distant voices, found sounds, tiny organs. You can discover this New Zealand "chunga-chunga" beat, made famous by the Clean, the Bats and the Chills, you can discover the peculiar turns of the song melodies, that drive them out of the regions of pop. You can discover the psychedelic essence throughout the record. And you can discover three imaginative, talented, brilliant artists who made an exceptional record, full of songs that invite you to live with them, and believe me, it won't be a boring life.
Link1 or Link2
You can find their ultra psychedelic version of Carpenters' "Druscilla Penny" here.