No.15 LANNDS

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LANNDS – acrylic on collage

Happened upon the music of LANNDS recently and I began to listen to the songs over and over (and over). The music is pop, indie, electronica and it’s beautiful. Lyrics, rhythms, synth work and arrangements blend into a magical and ethereal wash of sound and the songs carry a depth of sadness and hope. There are connections for me (not necessarily for anyone else) with the sounds Shura makes (especially on Metanoia – look that up, it’s a lovely word), as well as perhaps IDER (on the list for this series). And the guitar riffs on Young Years are as great as The Van Pelt. I’m looking forward to a lot more – this music deserves to be heard.

LANNDS is based in Jacksonville, Florida.

No YouTube vids I’m afraid, or Bandcamp… so here’s a picture of the painting on the dining room table where I usually work.

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Find out more on her Facebook page.

EP on iTunes here.

Soundcloud page here.

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No.14 Leila Arab

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The following text is from Wikipedia. Info on Leila is sparse. Her music is rich, complex and fabulous.

Leila (born Leila Arab Persian: لیلا عرب‎‎) is an Iranian-born recording artist, producer and DJ based in London, England.

She has worked with prominent European musicians including Björk, and has released music on Rephlex Records, XL Recordings and Warp Records.

She has also recorded experimental and rare music under the alias Grammatix (credited as Aliel Bara) and Little Miss Specta. Most recently, Leila released the album U&I for Warp Records featuring Mt.Sims in January 2012, her latest since 2008’s Blood, Looms & Blooms.

Recording History

In 1993, she began working with Björk for the ‘Debut’ and ‘Post’ tours. In 1998, she released her debut album ‘Like Weather’ on Rephlex Records which included the single Don’t Fall Asleep. The album features vocal contributions from Donna Paul, Luca Santucci and Leila’s sister, Roya Arab. In 2000, she released Courtesy of Choice on XL Recordings, with vocal contributions from the same singers. In 2003, she rejoined Björk for her 2003 greatest hits tour. In 2005, a collaboration between Leila and Björk from the greatest hits tour called ‘Nameless’ (subsequently titled “Storm”) appeared on the Matthew Barney film and soundtrack of Drawing Restraint 9. In 2008, she released her album Blood, Looms and Blooms on Warp Records. On this album, Leila worked with Terry Hall and Martina Topley-Bird in addition to her long term collaborators Luca Santucci and Roya Arab. In 2009, she contributed a cover of an Aphex Twin song to the Warp20 (Recreated) compilation. Her song ‘Underwaters’ is the track on the 2011 Avios advert with the flying electrical equipment.

Selected discography

  • Like Weather (Rephlex Records, 1998)
    (EPs/Singles:) ‘Don’t Fall Asleep’, ‘Space Love’.
  • Courtesy of Choice (XL Recordings, 2000)
    (EP/Single) ‘Sodastream’
  • Blood, Looms, and Blooms (Warp Records, 2008)
    (EP/Singles) ‘Mettle’, ‘Deflect’.
  • U&I (Warp Records, 2012)
    (EP/Singles) ‘(disappointed cloud) anyway’, ‘welcome to your life’

One of my favourite Leila tracks – ‘Feeling’:

No.13 Trish Keenan

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Patricia Anne “Trish” Keenan (28 September 1968 – 14 January 2011) was the lead vocalist and founding member of Broadcast.  She died of complications after suffering from pneumonia shortly after she contracted flu while touring in Australia.

For me, Trish had one of the most memorable and haunting voices ever. I was lucky to see her perform with Broadcast at Koko. She was lost to the world too soon… I will miss her.

Here she is singing ‘Come on Let’s Go’ on Jools Holland.

And here is some immortal hauntology from Broadcast and The Focus Group. All circles vanish…

No.12 Karin Dreijer Andersson

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Half of the sibling duo The Knife and aka Fever Ray (the official website is even better than the erstwhile Boards of Canada one!), Dreijer Andersson is an experimental musician and performer, exploring the boundaries between acoustic and synthetic sound and developing wild, creative and eerie visual art to accompany in video and on stage. There’s an entertaining and somewhat ironic ’10 Things you didn’t know’ here.

Dreijer Andersson creates unique and haunting soundscapes and worlds in her work. I find the music compelling, uncomfortable and addictive and I keep coming back to it.

No.11 Ariadne’s Labyrinth

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Ariadne’s Labyrinth – Acrylic and collage on reclaimed board

Ariadne’s Labyrinth is an electronic musician, violinist and pianist, based in London. She tends towards hard, complex beats and warm, melodic fuzzy sounds. The labyrinth moniker is appropriate; this is music to get lost in and I often feel like staying there.

Here she is re-mixing Mrs Jynx‘s superlative Chocolate Oranges track:

There are many more pieces up on the Soundcloud page. This is another favourite:

AL’s work is relatively new to me but, since I started this project, she has been incredibly supportive and is organising my first show from the series at a club night in London in march 2017. I hope to have around 20 paintings ready and to invite as many of the musician subjects as I can.

New EP from AL dropping first week of Jan on Detroit Underground, full details TBC soon.

And here are some videos from the last gig:

Find Ariadne’s Labyrinth on Facebook here.

No. 10 Mira Calix

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Mira Calix –  Acrylic and collage on reclaimed board

It’s taken me months to get back to work on this- still nagging doubts about my accomplishment here – have I made Mira Calix into a kind of glitter-fairy icon? Will she be offended…?

Looking at the portrait now as I write I want to add more – layers and glazes and texture and dots… but I maybe have to just stop. And I kind of like it.

Mira is an explorer of sound – not just in the production of music but in how sound affects us. Watch her TED talk to get an idea of what she does:

Find her website here.

And a field recordings track:

 

Good luck Mira and thanks for your amazing music and work!

No.9 Björk

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Does it make sense to talk of a ‘favourite song’?

If it does I might say Birthday by the Sugarcubes, Björks erstwhile band. I started liking ‘Indie’ music in my teens but it was very much underground and hard to hear. The Saturday Chart Show was one of the few terrestrial TV slots which might play the odd song and in 1987 I heard and saw this.

It still sounds strange and I still love it, though at the time it had an almost drug-like effect on my mind – the whole sound of it was so overwhelmingly different and beautiful.

Since then Björk has poured out a bewildering series of personae, albums and artistic pursuits that may take centuries to unpick.

I won’t say any more, except this…

 

Björk’s Website.

No. 8 Missy Elliott

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Missy Elliott – Acrylic on reclaimed board

A wildly creative artist, full of energy, wit and surreal humour and a hugely important producer, Missy Elliott is another inspiration.

Blogger Kelsey Manning sums her up better than I can on this post from 2015:

“Her massive success is even more impressive when you realize the incredible odds she has overcome. Missy grew up in an impoverished, abusive household with a violent father and a cousin who repeatedly sexually assaulted her. At 14, she and her mother escaped, fearing her father would kill them both. Missy Elliott is a survivor and a trailblazer, who has empowered black women and mentored younger female artists from Aaliyah to Ciara throughout her 20 years in the industry. She is one of the most inspiring, groundbreaking women in entertainment.”

Missy’s website.

No.7 Mrs Jynx

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Mrs Jynx – Acrylic on reclaimed board

Mrs Jynx is a musician I happened upon on one of my late night internet music wanderings. I’m a huge fan of Mike Paradinas’ record label Planet Mu and I found a track by her. I was instantly hooked and bought up everything else I could find.

Her music is unusual in that it appears at first to be bleepy electronica, following themes and motifs recognisable from other artists, but then something happens.  For me her tracks have the extremely rare quality of getting better the more you listen to them – the way works by PG Wodehouse or Jack Vance or Tarkovsky become more rich and complex each time you revisit. Also, there is a light, a quality of sunshine that glows through the music (like watching cats play or cresting the last rise in the road on your way home) and I love these tracks as much as almost any other music I can think of.

So, a bit of fan then…

Her key releases are:

  • The Standoffish Cat (2008)
  • Shark Carousel (2010)
  • Atlanta EP (2012)
  • Diving Loop (2013)

iTunes Link. Some releases are available via Bandcamp, Amazon and other outlets.

This is just one of her sublime tracks: Chocolate Oranges from her first album:

She’s been keeping quiet on the music front lately but I hope she will continue to release her serene, beautiful masterpieces and surprise us all soon.

Find a brief interview with Hannah here.

Oh, and here’s the Soundcloud link. Lots of treasures here for free listening.