Dr Livingstone, I Presume?Our Brother The Native the latest in probably a long line of bands to get themselves a record deal on the back of the material they put up on myspace. What makes this prospect a little bit better than most of those that have come and gone before, is that the constituent members of this wholly acomplished band are all under the legal drinking age in the US. John Michael Foss and Josh Bertram both attended the same high school in Michigan, formed a friendship based on shared music tastes and eventually began recording their own output. The pair looking for a label to put out their material happened upon the Californian DIY label Delude Records ran by Chaz Knapp who jumped at the chance to put out the band's debut EP "Cheer Up My Dear, the Sun Will Shine Again" in 2005. Knapp another multi-instrumenatalist who's age defied his influences, struck up a geography beating friendship with Bertram via phonecalls and emails. After a stripped back solo release from Bertram put out via Knapp's label under the moniker JSP, the two began to collaborate via email on a project entitled Moses Grandy. The project never came to fruition due to a lack of percursive drive but this turn of event lead to Knapp being asked to augment the two piece OBTM into a three piece.
The debut album "Tooth & Claw" was constructed over the remainder of the 2005, the recording again built up from email colaborations. Often beginning as simple guitar lines for accoustic and/or electric recorded direct into the computer via a 303 sampler. Then passed back and forth and augmented via of found sound, circuit-bent toys ran through FX programs and percusion. A mixture of meta-folk as perveyed by Akron Family/Animal Collective/cocorosie, the sunshine drenched 70's pop psychedlia of Ariel Pink and the haunted American gothic revery as provided by bands the likes of The Handsome Family. It was at this point Fat Cat records spotted the band's Myspace and promptly signed them, it was this turn of events which also led to the band actually finally meeting each other after many months of email based colaboration. At the 2006 Open Circuit Festival in Belgium the band had just one day to meet, greet and rehearse their debut set. The show was well recieved and proved that the album was not a fluke as they put together a self assured if only slightly embrionic version of the recorded material. In the process it won over the opinions of some of the more well known attendees in the audience; and hopefully bodes well for a full UK/Europe tour in the near future.
[buy Tooth & Claw from Fat-Cat records]
From one lot of young great debutantes to another slightly older but similarly talented bunch of misfits this time from the centre of art/glitch/tribal techno fusion New Yawk. First Nation a trio of NY living ladies and the first to capture that sound first sampled on the most early incarnation of Animal Collective and not make it sound incredibly cheesey or worn; fitting then really that both their debut EP and LP should be put out on AC's Paw-Tracks imprint. Taking one part Animal Collective, some elements of The Social Registry's Gang Gang Dance, mixing in the odd squawking electronica go freejazz of Brooklyn based Stars Like Fleas, and bringing to the boil with a healthy slap dash of ESG in to taste.
The self titled album released in June this year has already gathered a healthy amount of praise from many points of the music media; the beguiling blend of slack blues meets skeletal psychdelical tribal jams which at first can seem unfocused reveals a well acomplished mix on repeated listens. An impressive debut which points to even greater things in the future.....
[buy First Nation releases from Paw-Tracks]
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