Hmmm, now this is interesting. Here at the Ripple, we've always felt that music is meant to be a full sensory product, a tangible item, not just an ethereal series of 1's and zeros transferred through cyberspace and then deleted. Music, also, is not supposed to be entirely free. Artists slave to produce a product we enjoy for years, in some cases becoming the soundtrack of our lives, our weddings, parties etc. They're supposed to be paid for this. It remains to be seen if this new interest in vinyl will give the music industry a shot in the arm of much needed adrenaline, but perhaps the real question is, does this resurgence of vinyl represent, in some small way, a rebellion against the disposable place that we've placed music recently? We certainly hope so. In any event, we're damn glad we still have our turntable at the Ripple office.
On that note, we'll start off this months Myspace Rumors with a brand-spanking new, vinyl only release.
Big news coming your way for fans of Afrobeat, African music or just something a little different in the sound of your dance and bass heavy groove. Lion Head Recordings is the new label from veteran electronic dub producer Glyn "Bigga" Bush. Now this is the guy who created some amazing work with Rockers Hi Fi, long a Ripple favorite for modern dub. The first taste of Bigga's limited edition funk, afro and dub vinyl releases is this tasty 12 incher delving deep into the early '70's Afrobeat style brought back to sparkling life with modern technology, some serious studio wizardry and a handful of swirling dubs and textures. Fans of pulsing polyrhythms and undulating bass styles won't want to miss this, guaranteed to get your bottom end in motion. Check it out at www.myspace.com/lionheadrecordings or www.myspace.com/biggamusic. And keep your eyes peeled for Bigga's first album, 13 Faces of Lightning Head. If it's as good as this EP, just go ahead and mark it essential.
Back to the CD format, another great treat for those in the chill-out vibe is the new Brown Baby Records release, Hussein Boon's Life Changes. A London-based guitar player of exquisite talent, Boon mixes his instrument into some seriously gorgeous mellow jazz/chill soundscapes, guaranteed to melt the work week's tension from your bones. Think of it as modern smooth jazz with ambient textures. Or just think of it as beautiful. Definitely worth a look. Check him out at www.myspace.com/husseinboon.
If you're in the mood for something a little different, something to help you kick back and enjoy your summer yet still touch your heart, check out this vastly talented young singer/songwriter Vanessa Kafka. In her soft, poignant songs you'll hear traces of Natalie Merchant, Suzanne Vega and an old Ripple favorite, Jann Arden. Working with the good folks at Aberrant Sound in Concord Mass, Vanessa is due to release her debut album this fall, but lots of tracks are available for listen on her myspace page. One early morning, I started my day by walking the dog, tending to my garden, and then perusing the web with Vanessa's tunes as accompaniment, perfectly setting the mood as I eased into my day. "Silhouette," "If He Stays," and "Tell Me So," are the early Ripple picks, but you be the judge and let us know your choices. We expect big things from her in the future. www.myspace.com/vanessakafka.
On a progressive note, one of our favorite groups of Swedes, Trettioariga Kriget have a double live album in the works that, word has it, will span the entire TK career starting from the 2nd live gig. In conjunction with this release, Olle Thornvall, chief lyricist for the band, is writing a book on the history of Trettioariga Kriget. I'm giddy with excitement over this one and just want to share with all of you Waveriders. Not content with resting after the recent success of their latest album, I Borjan Och Slutet, the rumor mill is ripe with tales of the band hard at work on the third part of the trilogy (Elden Av Ar, I Borjan Och Slutet.) They're merely in the writing process, so there's gonna' be some time before that album reaches our ears. But, when it does arrive, we TK fans will also have a visual of the band in the form of their very first DVD release. Exciting times, my friends. http://www.myspace.com/trettioarigakriget. If you can't wait for that DVD, their performance, along with those of Anekdoten, Opeth, Mats/Morgan, Plankton, and Comus from the Melloboat Festival, was captured on tape and planned for a DVD release. Info on this endeavor is a bit sketchy at this point, and as always, if bat-like ears hear it . . . you'll hear it.
Our progressively psychedelic chums in Imogene are no longer called Imogene. To alleviate some of the confusion between them and the more pop flavored Imogene Heap, our Imogene has decided to change their name to Heavy Water Experiments http://www.myspace.com/heavywaterexperiments. Considering the affinity to the lower sound registers and the fluidity of their music, the name is a perfect fit. Since I heard a few samples of the new tunes, I've been figuratively perched on the edge of my seat in wait for the release of the new album. I've been assured by the band that the album is in fact complete and will be available in the very near future. Hee-hee!