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