Bill Baird – Earth Into Aether

I’ve just found and am currently typing on my laptop which hasn’t been opened for about 3 years. It is a rather strange feeling actually, even just to discover that the thing still works. After remembering my password with the hint: “The usual” on the 6th time of asking I watched the thing walk back into life, I’d forgotten what my background was and that my shortcuts included Age Of Empires, a blueprint for a poorly executed hot tub project back in 2010 and multiple folders filled with ancient and half-forgotten blog paraphernalia. For me this laptop has pretty much been the only tangible element of A Pocket Full Of Seeds I’ve ever had. It has been years since I’ve posted and just as long since I’ve typed on this keyboard and now I keep missing keys and having to delete huge banks of gibberish.

I remember as youth my dad would occasionally work at his laptop at the kitchen table as my brother, sister and I all did homework. I wouldn’t be able to see what he was typing but was always amazed at how fast he could type. Also after typing frenetically for a few minutes he would then just hold down the delete button and start again several times, looking to rephrase or to approach something from a different line. I would love to know what precise changes he was making, put them all together, attempt to intellectualise them and create theories about my dad and the kind of guy he is. Things like this, things like desktop backgrounds, passwords and forgotten plans give us insight despite, or indeed because of, their apparent triviality. They can catch our curiosity and push us to imagine, hypothesise and look for more.  Looking back on them now, having been long forgotten, feelings of nostalagia mix with those of surprise as we realise just how much or how little has changed. Priorities change, phases pass through and we progress through life but the evidence of the path we have taken can remain for long time after.

And so I wonder how Bill Baird feels about this album. Earth Into Aether is the culmination of an extraordinary time spent making music. Having tasted life on a major label and promptly left with a grimmace on his face Bill has largely been working with and for his own steam. Playing, recording, screen printing, distributing and inventing all the while he gently washes onto our shores with this record in hand. Standing in a rowboat with an improvised umbrella roof which doubles up as a paddle/ice crushing machine. Stately, extraordinary, baffling, beautiful and perfectly according to plan B.

The spectrum of the mood, genre and humour on this record and the quality of execution is most lasting impression of mine after listening to this. Each side, and almost each track, feels like a snippet of what could be an entire albums worth of conceptual direction. Every time the albums shifts and morphs you get a sense that the context changes with it. The lyrical tone of Side A, with deadpan song titles, almost rolling eyes at our lives of social insecurity and trivial concerns, coupled with Freewheelin’-esque finger picking and homemade production gently builds and sets up Side B which is where ones curiosity really starts to catch. I want to know if the piano work on Late Night Dawning was something that just appeared from an improvised instinct at the time of writing or whether there is an album of that kind of magic swirling in the wake of Bills rowboat. Or the intro to Spring Break Of The Soul. The intro to that song sprawls over and eclipses anything else I’ve heard this year. Where the fuck was Bill when he wrote that? How long has that been in his mind or on someones hard drive before I heard it?

The progression continues and it’s as if Bill knows he has us snared, as if he can hear through my speakers the questions being asked aloud and incoherently. On Mans Heart Complaint and Go To Mexico the piano becomes a darker, more brooding instrument and vocals echo and loop over through increasingly distant production. And, while the vocals never truly return to earth, the contrast couldn’t be starker between these 2 tracks and their successors, Your Dark Sunglasses… and Captain Brain, which call upon catchy organ hooks, rock n roll drums, Tony Iommi style guitar riffs and anything else it can get hold of to make you completely rethink what on earth it is you’re listening to. Captain Brain in particular really pushes you before Skull Castle Decorator chases you off the edge 99% sure that the bungee rope is tied securely.

But from where there was darkness and anxiety and protracted looped lyrical refrains comes something new. Strings, orchestration, live applause, instrumentals, space, silence, rest.  By the end of side C you find you’ve been wound tightly around insistent beats and layered vocals without realising it. That is until Side D starts. Initially hinting at the tension that came before it, then thawing and finally breaking it with the applause that follows the stunning tones of both Silence and Surfing, soothing but never simplified. By the time we get to the album closers of Sonnerie’s De la Rose+Croix and Dreams Of Sandy the sense of calm has been not only restored but it’s been extended to a sense of resolution and almost exhaustion as if suddenly realising just how much ground has been covered. It’s a sensation similar to suddenly realising that the film you’re watching is nearly at its end and that this is the final scene and very shortly the house lights will come up and the credits will roll. But you wont leave you’re seat, instead you wait and sit through the reams of names and job titles, allowing yourself time and space to think and for those thoughts and sensations to continue resonating. But after 3 instrumental tracks Bill’s voice walks back into life on my favourite song on the album to tell you very sincerely he is “going home” before allowing the record to button itself to a close.

After listening to this record I couldn’t begin to pinpoint Bill as an artist. There is such a wealth of detail and diversity of songwriting on here, the only consistent elements seem to be a delight in extending and surprising your expectations as well as a wry smile or an edge of tongue in cheek humour. And with so many facets to put forward, each one executed perfectly and slotted together into one body of work, it is impossible to comprehend or even guess at the path taken to reach each one. And it is that sense of listening to an enigma at work which is so utterly compelling.

Thanks for reading and listening

marcus

Buy from Rough Trade

Bandcamp album sampler

Find out more at Talk Show Records

Bye-bye, 2010-2015

We’ve come a while, so far that it’s more than a few mountains and trains to recollect the reality of what we have covered and how we have covered it. However, as co-author of this music blog, I am readily available to say with all my conviction and dedication the following:

Here’s something to say that you’ve found here a platform and I don’t know if you feel like you know me but I feel like I know you well enough to put myself out there with these words to say the following:

Here’s something to say that you’ve found here a platform and I don’t know if you feel like you know me but I feel like I know you well enough to put myself out there with these words to say the following:

Here’s something to say that you’ve found here a platform and I don’t know if you feel like you know me but I feel like I know you well enough to put myself out there with these words to say the following:

And so I want to demonstrate through the implication of a trance-like yet logical repetition, to you but not to mention to myself, a few infinitely regressive horizons of one perpetual and apathetic rhythm of meaninglessness and direction that we perhaps had a little bit forgotten on the shadow of our peripheral vision. It’s an evasive thing to find a real resonance in an actual artefact at the time of writing. By artefact I want to mean all things that are things  that are related in a way to the artificial magnificence of mankind. By artefact at the time of writing, my mind is wandering around the confines and predictable metadata of this blog post, to the e-mails that music fanatics exchange, that creatives receive, to the mp3 and your library of mp3s in all its teenage/youth/growing-up spiritual significance, to the ever-surviving innovations like a new album, a release, a music video, an upload in all its arbitrarily linear-feeling and loading-bar pride. It’s difficult to find that attention-span, that duration; that aesthetic, that style; that mood, that genre; that resonance, that popularity, that pleasure, that commitment; that knowledge, that factually-speaking conviction that the artefact somehow belongs to the ritualistic regularity of your time-lined experience of life; that you, for instance, really like the newest album called something something by so and so, and that’s how it is, that’s how it will be, forever; you like the song, the album, the artist, etc.

Why?

Because the organic connection…
That’s right you hipster-weary friendly reader of these words; the organic connection between you and the origins of all the artefacts that you receive in and as your experience has inflicted upon itself a tendency to be completely blown out of the water and lofted into the superficial heights of an over-thought domain, that saturated indeterminate mess in which all manner of completely unrelated-seeming music is thrown at each other, like cascading, pressed against your eyes and pervasively, indeterminately; you scroll down the page and suddenly you are lead to the clear recognition that music has completely spilled out of itself into something that is almost impossible to really properly communicate efficiently and factually about. It’s a post-modern perspective, and even the post-modern perspective is seemingly folding in on itself, you start failing to trust the obliviously post-modernistic output that you originally once trusted. Essentially all everything gets mediated to you and it gets mediated into such arbitrary stylistic superficialities like, for instance, how a paragraph ends rather than what the paragraph contained or how the paragraph progressed: you get distracted by something you’re not really sure you truthfully wanted to be distracted by.

The organic connection that we took for granted is wholly in motion, pervasively, but evasively: I no longer even find the time to regularly check Pitchfork, the blogosphere has predominantly misplaced the integrity and reliability that laid the foundations of its identity as something relevant, something to be taken seriously, analytically, truthfully; a body that would forever demonstrate the direction of man’s artificial magnificence. Everything and every adjective about everything inevitably grows stale, not because they were over-used but because their relativity and their establishment is questionable: genre-names like techno, trashcore, chillout, synth pop, dark house, dubstep have all gained a certain cheesy comedy about them, up-and-coming, original, catchy; examples of descriptions that have long grown to lack their intended poignancy (what does that really mean? what an earth am I really expecting?), so are the more worryingly fundamental adjectives like, [and this is insane], exciting, good, interesting, awesome, lovely. These words sound the hollowness of emptied shells: their substance diminished insofar as their context is one in which ignition is suffocated, resonance is stifled, consensus is pulverised, the listener’s spirit, the artist’s spirit, the artefact’s spirit; all isolated and neglected: “the music world” is referenced to optimistically, hopefully, as if there really is a construction somewhere that centralises the perception of an average “music-lover”.

I never want to write anything so obvious as the above, ever again. That’s in the same way I would like to formally recognise that my place on the ship that readily voyaged through, through the music world of indeterminate links and hyper-active PR, that place has been vacated.

I never want to conflate and convolute upon the meaninglessness of media in the context of music, ever again. I want to make sense again. I want to make organic connection again, have I, have you ever really changed in your yearnings? Can we recognise our longings for what they are? Something that is heavily juxtaposed to the glory days of our origins and of our experiences in which all of our artefacts made sense? Where Mp3s were obviously our best friends, where blogged blog-rolls were gloriously exposed communities of commonly felt thrill, excitement, that aforementioned hyper-activity, first listens, where the newness of artists and songs and albums was like a new life and a new life of something we had the deep-down feeling we would be very caring of, dedicated, fulfilled.

I want to never conflate or trivialise the integrity of my demand for love and for love through the art of music, the music of art, the rhythm in which things make sense to me in a very shamelessly existential way:

I want to make organic connection again. I don’t want to upload anything else into this context, to this place where I = the person who wrote the words that you are reading: I think we know each other well enough right now.

And so, I admit, we all admit that we’re missing something right now. Something fails us, perhaps we fail ourselves. Something still excites us, something still leads us on in an equilibrium of fear and trust, anxiety and reassurance, knowledge and confusion, sound and silence, thoughts and feelings, paradoxes and lines, reading and understanding, durable and resonant. Its an admission like the admission that all the music that gets its arse stuffed up and established fails to embrace me anymore, fails to fulfil me anymore, fails to excite me anymore, fails to move me anymore; I’m not sure I can believe in music anymore, I’m not sure I like music anymore.

You know what I mean, because…

Of course, that cannot be the end of the story.

And certainly not the end of music’s story and the stories we tell about music.

Because music is still there, around me, filling my lungs, touching my nerves, helping me love, catalysing my memory, inspiring my motivation. Music is definitely still doing its thing somehow. It’s still there.

So where is it if it’s not where I said it wasn’t anymore?

Well, I don’t think it’s necessarily anywhere in particular. It’s more surely in some kind of evasive motionary thing that is very satisfactorily difficult to analyse, difficult to pin-point, challenging to at all capture. It’s immanent, that’s for sure. It’s resonant, that’s for sure. There are durations too, that’s for sure as well. But how, what and where: those question words I’d much rather leave hanging, I’d much rather try and find out rather than pretend I’ve already exposed them and understood them and communicated upon them, resolved them. No, I haven’t, but I’m trying. I’m trying to understand music and it feels very similar to the mysterious way in which I try to come to understand anything, get to know anything.

And this process of trying brings me to an exclusively-2016 directive, here on A Pocket Full of Seeds. I want to introduce real musicians. I am going to introduce real musicians. Musicians that I am organically grown towards, in place, time, from offline to online to offline again: where you know, I know, where you = I = the musician = the blog post about the musician = the fact that we forgot we were music-lovers, all along, we just got distracted by the establishment of this fact and forgot it actually meant something. We may have even forgotten that we ourselves actually meant something. I know that, it’s taken a few if not more months to really admit, but I admit it now, and I am excited. I am excited.

Here is a send-off sentence to one of a many songs that I have discovered through the journey of this blog and of this music world, from 2010-2015, the years of a somewhat justified hyper-activity:

Over and out – the next post will continue to blow our collective minds into action, and maybe you’ll want to read through this all over again.

George

it’s time to fall in love with the word again, or not

Hyper-activity combined with anything is enough to make anyone anxious. Some combinations need to come before they go, they need to dislocate, they need to reassure, they need to settle in the plateau of history, imagination: stories, nights, darknesses, endings like nerve-endings, spinning motions, peace. And when the untied mass of knots find their resolution; thereupon gets relieved the thoughts that were before so hyped up into a corner of some incorrect combination, incorrect and anxious.

Leave a pause for the momentum somewhere to increase the moment to increase somewhere, the pause, left.

Because I think I dream I believe the music is good. Somewhere behind the wave forms-literally that funnel-literary into one’s daily activity, comes like a creative reckoning the sensation of something a little more fizzing on the ends and the beginnings of one’s fingertips, the fingertip ones, of one’s stories, the story ones.

Good is the music. Great is the music. Great is the point where your body stops movings sos quicklys and starts to slur, the music. Come gladly the music, like a procession, like a mould, the nerves they feel at home, faraway. Music you music, you sound you sound, so soft, so silly to call it such a thing when it’s such a sounds so silly, sounds so silly, something inside me, silly.

They aren’t riddles. Those refrains. We aren’t refrains, the composers, the listeners – something stops, something starts – the rhythm of the refrains is more than just a refrain, a kind of contentedness refrains – that rhythms, you know, not riddles.

We learn to the word art like we do to each other.
I learn to the word art like we do to each other.
You learn to the word art like we do to each other.

Sentences, like songs

Sound good, go

[Oops, we couldn't find that track]

Angles between W Æ L D E R

Thoughts to have to this realisation – where you make the songs real in wherever you are pressing [play], wherever things are pressing [feel]:

You feel strong
Your skin seems thick with substantial and words
He meant it in a good way
She’s cool
It’s OK, You know where you are safe
Learning curve / calculus
Years rhymes with tears
Years seems to fall down
You love it all together like a rock
You’ve been sometimes so unreal-feeling that you find sleep a kind of isolation

The sounds that realised these thoughts in a kind of correlation, soon after you were pressing [play], when things weren’t so pressing [feel]:

When the heartbeat asks a question, the kick drum:

Can you put your wings upon me?

First like shivers the higher frequencies answer, a high hat

Can you hear yourself singing? Because it’s probably someone else.
Sifting upward through a space, like entering a stir of absent-immanent not-there gasp clasped
around a wrist,
or something: the voice tables, the feet lock

And you think you’re ready to be walking a little further, see what all that fuss might have been about

So nervous you can’t quite get the rings around the words that my head seems to be clattering between. So nervous you can’t quite hold onto a sentence long enough for you to identify where once you were coming from when you started off. So nervous you can’t quite recognise your output  for affections, misunderstood and confused fused with fear – when everything is just a diagnosis out of the corner of your mouth, where once the ink might have been made invisible: the cool silence interrupts you and before you know your nerves they have turned to endings and your endings have turned to stories about half-empty songs and suffocation.

So I’m kind of psyched to hear WÆLDER playing in the city I can see from this attached photo of a roof of a building in bespoke city in the early days of December, a kind of chronological imagination, a kind of poetry of an experience of a media, between,
perhaps, nervous,
right now I am coaxed from time a to time b and I feel something might be trying to say to me that I’m in a circuit of intrigue and tragedy: the love I’ll see soon unexpectedly when the coldness of kindness convinces me.

These songs say to me in twisting arguments of crowds of my heart’s ings singing before the winter glass draws into a huddle, quickening, perturbed, comforted, vocals like the ways in which body language is interrupted by meaning. These songs say to me in a psychosynthesis of an interview between the middle bits of the stubbornness of a few heart beats and the sharp fist of a fizz of a fluctuation of a fear that nothing could catch my head if it were to fall, vocals like the angles between my rushes to fulfill and my default to let them die away. These songs say to me like they toe to me the lines in the sheets that crumple up into unsent winter letters; that I abstract myself and then and then I hate myself and then I find myself and then I react, then I walk a little further. And then I repeat myself all over again, and, then.

I can’t think of anything more heartwarming than some hatred-like-loneliness finding me and then together becoming all exposed and embarrassed as we defy the things that were holding us back. That’s how it feels, the relationship between me the listener and today the durations, these durations: listening up, listen up!

These music muscles are all-conntaing-comforting all over the place, welcoming and always endearingly weirdly real; “good morning”, I say.

imagining elsewhere / somewhere (the keys on tracks by Мєтєologiς†)

A reflection of another track that applies to a different track by the same artist. A reflection of a video that applies to a different video that you can imagine, I’m sure:

I find the keys on this track unlocking my headspace
unashamedly like lurking you know somewhere
And I kind of do know somewhere, perhaps, something
I couldn’t have known for now had I not seen through the window
in which this track was appearing as a video
I watch
I couldn’t have found these keys if the video hadn’t already given me that space in which things are found.
It’s so majestic how this track/video interacts with itself in the listening process, as you see each slide of loved one into its next, from one refrain to the next. I’m not talking causal relation where the video causes the song to be good or the song causes the video to be good. In the context of our sense of rhythm and music, such a relation makes no sense, in that context of all things considered art; those causal relations are nothing but correlations.

And, if I’m honest, I just found the time at which I experienced it all, I found that time lurking like an unexpected, I found that time correlating with some post that someone I know posted on the computer. His song, his video, in the same duration, together, correlated.

And that’s when I found these keys, because it was all so someone, all so real, all so reminding me of the life behind the music. Such a thing you see in the things that mean something to you immanently, the only things you have left once all the noise fades away and life means nothing more than something like a cradle, cradle of sentiment and care, the things that the track-video reminded me of .

Something I can’t share here- it means so much to me as an agent of experience-creation – to have found that track-video on my news feed, where the keys of something I know were able to find the hole somewhere, find it something, there it stays, here I may just allude:

etc.

I may share the audio of a song made by the artist which wasn’t on the video.
Guaranteed sufficed because this musician’s recordings are always real, influencing and a bone for your imagination, love and sense of rhythm, disjointed and disparate and reassured as you always are.

P>S>

These keys:

 

 

 

FFF

A compilation of rhythm, autoregression, routine, tendency, recurrence: find yourself an island on which to find nothing but a panoramic sea. You touch the water here: you listen to the song. Somehow, you are uploading continuous your mind onto the thing before you and you fasten onto a compilation by which each wave comes: ritual, ritual ritual ritual ritual.

The waves are multi-media directives. You understand nothing. All you do is bury your head in the waves, and wait for the air to at some point run out. It never does. And now your feet are patterns in the ground, your thoughts are textures of the moisture in the air.



You listen to a song and all you can remind yourself of is your old friend at some point sandwiched in between pointless chronologies there, with you, playing on the piano, the song that’s always played, the ritual that’s shared with you. The first track does it, but brings in some alienated tempo of melancholy, and also flourishes; the first song is dream translated into a language. That language is spoken explicitly come the second track, and the third. The a f o r e m e n t i o n e d first fathoms in memory like a platform. My train makes the trees like white noise, I remember, I jitter, I remember again once more, my hand onto the table, then window. Autumn spoke to me and now I am this alienated tempo, perhaps. Perhaps I am person after all.

Smiling away the latter pauses of a much beloved rhythm

signed off  optimistically.

… And a return ticket to say this label geht ab. I have been quietly moved by their creations, as with a few other websites that emanate the most attention-deserving developments / relations / I’m impressed, excited.

I look back, I am newly acquainted in the following second by a music that breeds reflection and more reflections and more reflections. The crumpled up day, month, year: they unravel like the units of time they are. I look a little closer and see rhythm like I feel words: the truth is constantly evolving and I feel humbled by the music on this EP to admit that. The extreme, the tempo, the time-tampering artist is a shaman of repetition, the concepts sound almost like a ghost-story, almost like a love-story, certainly like a spiritual distraction: I’m engrossed.