Merry Christmas to all our Readers!

Betweenplanets is taking a break for Christmas and will return in the New Year, possibly earlier if you are lucky, with more news and reviews, stuff and gubbins, and the like.

We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New year.

Hope you get some good albums for Christmas!

Betweenplanets xxx

Arbouretum release debut album ‘Rites of Uncovering’

Rites of Uncovering– out 22 January 2007 on Thrill jockey –

“….He was somewhere, he had come back through vast regions from nowhere; there was the certitude of an infinite sadness at the core of his consciousness, but the sadness was reassuring, because it alone was familiar. He needed no further consolation. ” – Paul Bowles, The Sheltering Sky

Rites of Uncovering, Arbouretum’s Thrill Jockey debut, is an album of broad scope, musically, lyrically and texturally. The name alludes to a process of constant questing that is part of Arbouretum’s raison d’etre, what Heumann describes as “a sense of religiosity that is not tied down to a particular moral or ecclesiastical approach, but rather proto-religious feelings such as awe in the face of something greater.” In this case, that “something greater” is the music itself and/or the source thereof. Rites…was influenced either obtusely or more directly (as in the song “Mohammed’s Hex and Bounty”, based on “Love with a Few Hairs” by Mohamed Mrabet) by the writer Paul Bowles. “There is an effort to ‘get to the bottom of things’, to peel back a certain protective veil between an observer perspective and what we could term naked reality,” says Heumann. “We are mostly concerned with trying to convey the emotional impact of an experience or state of mind to the listener.”

Dave Heumann lives and works in Baltimore. He has played with Anomoanon, Bonnie “prince” Billy, Cass McCombs and Papa M. Arbouretum is the first band for which he is the primary songwriter, guitarist, and singer. Heumann’s idea for the band was one whose songs would evoke natural forms and movements as opposed to architectural constructions with rigid forms and linear progressions. Whilst the band’s hard-to-find debut was largely an individual process with players working to articulate Heumann’s vision, Rites of Uncovering is the work of a group. Long-time friend Walker David Teret is a multi-instrumentalist who had played in many of the same groups as Heumann. In those groups and in Arbouretum, he has played guitar, bass, keyboards, even the drum kit at times. Walker primarily plays the guitar in the current lineup, but plays a variety of instruments on Rites of Uncovering. Also on the album is drummer Mitchell Feldstein of Lungfish, who filled in when David Bergander (of Love Life and the Celebration) had to depart for other commitments mid-way through the recording. Bassist Corey Allender also played in bands such as Stars of the Dogon, Fascist Fascist, and Cass McCombs’ band before joining Arbouretum.

Rites of Uncovering was recorded in three main sessions: at Rove studios in Shelbyville, KY by Paul Oldham in September 2004; at Magic Shop in New York City with Matt Boynton in September 2005; and with Jeff Duncan at Two East Audio in Baltimore. Some overdubs, including vocals, were done at Soma Studios in Chicago with John McEntire. With each session they tried different technical approaches to recording as well as arrangements, often reworking songs as time and new members brought with them new ideas. A good deal of time was spent working on texture and tone; an open sampling of flavors, as a cook might use spices. The band experimented with equipment such as amplifiers (including music man combo, fender blues jr, silvertone, ampeg reverborocket, voc ax 30) and instruments such as a vibraphone, electric pianos and even a heavily effected toy flute. When performing, their epic guitar solos, Heumann says, “our approach is one of collective deconstuction, whereby we take apart the melodic and the rhythmic ideas of a song, turn them sideways, backwards, or invert them in order to explore and develop the song’s possibilities.”

Arbouretum plans to tour heavily in support of this release, but warns that live versions of the songs may bear only a passing resemblance to the recordings. “They exist so as to be forever interpreted anew…ideally, at least.” We could hope for nothing less!

Cat# : THRILL180
Distribution : Pinnacle
Release date : 22 January 2007

Juana Molina , Adem, Vashti Bunyan, Vetiver – 0 Degree of Separation Tour 2007

SonSeparated geographically but linked by the timelessness of their song writing, this group of musicians explore uncharted routes for contemporary acoustic music. Featuring previously unheard arrangements, collaborations and experiments, 0º of Separation sees Adem’s tales of the everyday and universal intertwine with the unfolding of Vashti Bunyan’s beautiful melodies, while Juana Molina’s hypnotic beats and lilting voice dance through the luminous landscape of Vetiver’s distilled Americana.

A Contemporary Music Network tour, produced by Twisted Folk
Media Partner BBC Radio 3

On Tour January 2007

Fri 12 BRIGHTON Corn Exchange
Sat 13 LONDON Roundhouse
Sun 14 GATESHEAD The Sage Gateshead
Wed 17 BIRMINGHAM Glee Club
Thu 18 BRISTOL St Georges
Fri 19 MANCHESTER Bridgewater Hall
Sat 20 LEEDS City Varieties


releases fourth album ‘SON’

For her fourth, and most immediate album so far, Juana Molina of Buenos Aires, Argentina, has set about capturing her famous blue melodies in a style close to her hypnotic live experience, but with all the immaculate production values we’ve come to expect from the creator of the critically acclaimed Tres Cosas and Segundo longplayers.

Juana Molina can, perhaps rather cheekily, been seen as kickstarting the new generation of performers who begin with their core group of instruments and a delay pedal, and take the relatively experimental approach of live sound-looping and manipulation to the pop-concert medium. Think Kama Aina, think Animal Collective, think KT Tunstall even…! She’s definitely somewhere between these first two disparate musical landscapes, and I wouldn’t be surprised if her powerful solo renditions of songs from last year, using exactly Ms Tunstall’s sampling approach, have had an effect…

Juana Molina never makes of this a trick, but more an effective and affecting use of time-delay for a sense of disorientation and twisting beauty, to heighten her songs’ moods and structures. In fact it is an integral part of her composition process, this layering upon layering of polyrhythms, dissonant synth melodies, and effected voices. Her music is in love with texture and timbre, and despite its leftfield leanings it is a wondrous and accessible Song she sings. More and more people will fall under the spell with the joys of Son.

Much of Son is propelled by compulsive percussive vocal tracks, not dissimilar to the avant beatboxing of Bodenstandig and then Bjork before her. This turns to something close to scat-singing at times, and shows us a more explicitly soulful side to Juana than we’ve seen before. We also hear samples of sounds unfamiliar from previous albums, particularly on ‘malherido’, where twangs of banjo-like acoustic guitar bend and blend awkwardly into the sub-housey rhythms of the song, and a childlike sense of play seeps into the bizarre, momentarily aural landscape. Yes those voices do sound like pigs ‘oinking’. Juana seems to be sharing with modern contemporaries such as the Animal Collective, the musical adventurism of the Beach Boys’ Smile and its forays into farmyard fun, as well as a vocal lushness that is pleasing to any ear.

As Juana herself says of the music, “When I started to write the songs for this record Son, a new element that may have been hidden for a long time appeared; the randomness of the combination of sounds in nature. Each bird has a particular singing; nevertheless this singing is always different. It is not a pattern; it’s a drawing, a sound and a mode, only a few elements that each bird combines in a new way each time. In the same way, sometimes I chose to sing a melodic drawing I develop for the song. Verses are alike, but never the same (Rio Seco, No Seas Antipática) other times I chose to sing a repetitive melody.¦

1ˇ2What changes here and moves randomly is, for example, a keyboard. It is like overlapping two different loops, with no synchronicity at all. One very rhythmic and the other one more lose. When you play both, at the same time, the loose loop will provoke a changing harmony, because their beats will never be in the same place. This causes a moving harmony. During the tours, I also applied my new ideas to the old songs, that’s why, when I got back home, I recorded the first thing that came to mind using these new ideas. In October, when I sat down to put all I had for the record together I had the huge and pleasant surprise that I almost had the record done. Son is a step forward on the same path I started with Segundo and followed with Tres Cosas.”

Son is the sound of a unique and significant modern songwriter at the peak of her game, enjoying herself, and dipping deep into her well of Song to create a musical cycle of sound so seductive and yet mysterious, that it stands up to repeated listening and exploration.

Release date: 29 May 2006
Cat. No .: WIG176 (CD/Lp)
Distribution: Vital

Exploding Star Orchestra release debut album

We Are All from Somewhere ElseEXPLODING STAR ORCHESTRA
release debut album
We Are All From Somewhere Else
out January 29th 2007 on Thrill Jockey Records

In 2005, cornetist Rob Mazurek was approached by The Chicago Cultural Center and the Jazz Institute to put together a group that would represent the more contemporary / avant-garde side of sound in Chicago for a concert in Millennium Park’s Frank Gehry- designed concert hall. The music was conceptualized/composed in Manaus Brazil, Fontevraud, France and Chicago, and developed over more than a dozen performances of the Orchestra before it was recorded by John McEntire at his Soma Studio in Chicago.

We Are All From Somewhere Else is comprised of 3 distinct sections, and corresponds to a story involving an exploding star, cosmic transformation, a sting ray, the travels of the sting ray, intelligent conversations with electric eels, the destructive power of humans, the death and ascension of sting ray, the transformation of sting ray ghost to flying bird, and the transformation of bird to phoenix to rocket to flying burning matter to a new-born star. Says Mazurek, “I could clearly see and hear the events as a kind of animated adult/children’s story that could be presented in book or
video form. In the end you have a poem text based on the original story line that is then flipped backwards to reveal another perspective on the poem. The flipped text was orchestrated by Portuguese video artist and conceptualist Joao Simoes, while I was in Lisbon making final preparations
for the release of this recording.”

As the arrangements of the parts of the pieces came together it became more and more evident that Nicole Mitchell’s flutes would play a major role in the realization of the music. That said the intent of the music is not to featuring individual players (although this very well could have featured
any individual in the group, as they are all very strong soloists and improvisers) it is more about the projection of a certain sound pertaining to imagination and the trajectory of the sound as movement in time and space, weaving patterns and non- patterns around and inside the idea of the
poem. The overall organic approach included actual organic sounds – for example, the sounds of electric eels recorded by Mazurek at INPA research laboratory in Manaus. The juxtaposition of two drums, two basses, two mallets, multiple flutes, two cornets, bass clarinet, ARP synthesizer,
guitar, trombone, voices and flugelhorn all played important roles in the development of the final sound.

“Psycho-Tropic Electric Eel Dream” is a group improvisation centered around the sound of electric eels. The electric eel tanks Mazurek recorded at INPA contain two species of eels, Pulsating and Waveform. The sound was recorded in a special tank of 15-20 eels of various sub-species, each with its own tone. The results are fascinating tonal clusters not unlike the sound of violins. This track reveals the beauty of these fine creatures and juxtaposes our improvisation with them, and concludes with spoken word by Rob Mazurek (“Robert Ashley was in my head during this part”), some ARP by
Jim Baker and some final cascades of Nicole’s flute, which was snuck into the recording on the bass amp mic sitting in the hallway while Nicole was playing in another room. “Black Sun” features Jim Baker’s lovely piano playing. “This piece was originally written for the great French pianist
Jeanne-Pierre Armengaud,” says Mazurek, “who I had the pleasure of working with at Abbaye Royale de Fontevraud in France during my residency there.” What you hear is Jim’s emotionally charged and understated improvisation on the theme of the composition.

The sound corresponds perfectly to the text/poem of the recording in which the death of the stingray is a new re-birth of the bird and eventually a new star. “Cosmic Tomes” starts out with storm sounds from the Amazon reversed. The powerful first section reveals a wide-open improvisation on a specific
theme and then deconstructed through 3 harmonic centers. The Cornet is that of composer and leader Mazurek. Corey Wilkes’ poignant flugelhorn plays an important role within the center of the piece and for a moment he takes off in a more grand gesture. The song then melts into the second part of this
suite; repeated lines based on the last harmonic chord of the first section find the bass taking the lead and Matt Bauder’s two tenor parts and bass clarinet part playing a major role. One hears Jeff Parker’s guitar, Jeb Bishop`s trombone, Josh Berman`s cornet, Matt Lux`s electric bass, Jim
Baker`s modified piano, Nicole Mitchell`s flute, and some excellent cutting, filtering post production work by John McEntire. Part 3 of “Cosmic Tomes” is meant as a kind of prayer or meditation on the idea of unity in the world/universe.

“15 Ways of Looking at a Finite Universe” is a quick piece inspired by the Anna Levine book “How the Universe got its Spots”, and catapults the recording into the last piece, “part 5,” In which we travel back to space, birthing or re-birthing new galaxies. Nicole Mitchell’s flute floats over the thick harmonics with Matt Bauder`s bass clarinet doubling the bass of Matt Lux and Jason Ajemian, creating the foundation for the sweet melodic interplay.

The Exploding Star Orchestra is, for this recording:
Rob Mazurek – Composer, Director Cornet, Electronics; Nicole Mitchell –
Flutes, Voice; Jeb Bishop – Trombone; Corey Wilkes – Flugelhorn; Matt Bauder – Bass Clarinet, Tenor Saxophone; Jeff Parker – Guitar; Jim Baker – Piano, ARP Synthesizer, Pianette Jason Adasiewicz – Vibraphone; John McEntire – Marimba, Tubular Bells, Edits, Recording Engineer; Matt Lux – Electric Bass Guitar; Jason Ajemian – Acoustic Bass; Mike Reed – Drums, Percussion, Saw;
John Herndon – Drums ll

Compositions, arrangements, text and concepts are by Rob Mazurek unless otherwise noted.

We Are All From Somewhere Else
Release date: 29th January 2007
Cat No: thrill181

Angela Desveaux announces UK tour dates

Wandering EyesFollowing the September release of Angelas debut album Wandering Eyes on Thrill Jockey, she announces her first ever UK dates.

JANUARY (supporting Bruce Cockburn)
21st Belfast The Empire
22nd Dublin The Whelans
24th Milton Keynes The Stables
25th London Borderline
28th Sheffield Memorial Hall
29th Manchester Academy

!K7 online giveaways

Betweenplanets has had an update to a previous news story

In the spirit of Christmas the !K7 Label Group – incorporating !K7 Records itself, Rapster and Ever Records – have all dug deep into their pockets and vaults this year to announce a special website
which will be online over the Christmas holidays.

All visitors to the website will be given the opportunity to download three tracks or videos from each label. These include exclusive tracks from new signings like Joakim (!K7) and an edit of Ewan Pearsons epic 12 minute remix of Cortney Tidwells Dont Let Stars Keep Us Tangled Up, which wont be released until March 2007. Also included are downloads from Mark Ronson, Four Tet, up and coming Sami act Adjagas, Herbert and Five Deez.

All visitors to the site will also have the opportunity to enter a special Christmas competition giving them the opportunity to win a huge collection of swag from the !K7, Rapster and Ever Records archives, including signed albums and singles, T-shirts, jackets and even Princess Superstar dildos. Oh, and even the !K7 Office Stereo.

The website address is:

The site will be online until the start of 2007.