LABEL/ DEBUNK THE TIMES.
I don't have room to tell all the stories here, but from seeing Shinji and Kid playing a life changing set with the Boredoms at the 2009 Flaming Lips ATP, or Oneida's 12 hour sets or late night Brooklyn warehouse art squats concerts, seeing Talibam! fluctuate seamlessly between some of the best and worst sets of music I've ever known possible on the planet, to James from Wooden Wand who would, if you ask many a living musician these days, be considered one of the most amazing songwriters alive- all of the artists have their own unique relationship to the current history of music that has led us to this moment and will continue to lead us onwards, and for me, getting to participate with and release their music is much more than just releasing an album or ep, but an opportunity to get to share, support, and showcase their dynamic artistry. And to me, that's exactly what we are trying to highlight with the subscription and the journal. Participating in this dynamic artistic community, being immersed in it and taking part in its story. It is an artistic culture on the move and trying to find ways to open the doors to that musical movement.
The albums are part of a 20 Artist Series, where artists have been asked to contribute a unique side project or edge creative statement. The idea was born from the inspiration of a thriving cassette sub-culture that supports underground music and more experimental and artistic work.
The musicians involved are a diverse spectrum of artists that I have met and been inspired by while traveling and touring around the world. A group of artists that I always return to to see what they are doing. The common thread through all of the artists for me is the spirit - a spirit of expression and exploration, a transmission back from somewhere out on the edge.
- Seth Olinsky (Lightning co-founder/Cy Dune/ Akron/Family)
SHAKE / LTG 006
“ rock & roll isn’t dead! IT’S ALIVE. ” - Tiny Mix Tapes
Shake is the newest LP from Cy Dune, the pen name and mythological rebel persona of Seth Olinsky, guitar virtuoso, vocalist, and songwriter of legendary underground noise punk freaks Akron/Family, and co founder of Lightning Records. Also known for his work with Swans/Angels of Light /YGR founder Michael Gira and post minimalist mastermind Rhys Chatham, as well as collaborations with everyone from Hamid Drake and William Parker to Oneida, Keiji Haino and Tatsuya Nakatani.
“Akron/Family have certainly flirted with righteous dosages of heaviness during the last decade. On “MBF”, for instance, they blasted through walls of Bastard-sized noise; on a 2005 split with Angels of Light, they teasingly crept toward stillness, only to catapult into blasts of distortion-and-volume damage. But none of that adequately presages “Where the Wild Things,” the glorious wrecking ball that leads No Recognize, the debut EP from frontman Seth Olinsky as Cy Dune.
These three intense minutes suggest Japanese freaks Fushitsusha playing pop-punk with equal-parts precision and madness. This is the most urgent missive to arrive from any member of the Family in years.” – Pitchfork
Blue Ash Montgomery / LTG 005
The Nashville-based William Tyler is obviously an amazing guitar player, but it takes some accumulated hours with his music before you begin to notice and savor his deeper qualities. Making an album of wordless solo guitar compositions that remains interesting for its duration is hard, demanding a range of subtle skills far beyond nimble fingers— a fine, exacting ear for color, an intuitive sense of momentum, a mind for musical structures. These are fragile musical gifts, difficult to cultivate and even harder to point out, and they become even more fragile when the focus bears down on a single instrument: You are painfully exposed, both as a player and as a musical mind….. But as he moves closer to Fahey’s spirit, Tyler sounds more and more like himself. Every melody he plays…somehow feels as it if was always there, a rare musical quality…..Once you’ve reached this rarefied air as a player, whatever your musical mind touches will come out transformed - Jayson Greene / Pitchfork
William Tyler is a primitive futurist guitar poet from Nashville TN. Member of legend band Lambchop and frequent collaborator with Silver Jews, Bonnie “Prince” Billy, and other Lightning Artist Wooden Wand. In the past few years William has risen to mytho-cultural status among the heralded lineage of 6 string American story tellers. Born and raised in Tennesee by songwriting parents, William also co-owns a bar in Nashville with his sister Elise called the Stone Fox. We mean to tell you that he is a renaissance man, and all the more to blow your mind when you hear him play guitar that he has time to do anything else in life besides practice. Though 60 minutes in length, Blue Ash Montgomery is more a collection of various works than a traditional full length album.
AMERICAN SPIRIT BLUES / LTG 004
Ohioan is the band and pen name of desert rebel songwriter Ryne Warner of Tucson, AZ - a past member of Castanets, Ghost to Falco, and Death Songs, and co-founder of the Infinite front label/collective. Coming up in the Ohio and Florida hardcore scene, he opted out to explore the hidden train tracks and dusty corners of the American sub-conscious through the great American song form. On his latest full length Ryne has taken American Spirit Blues out from behind the counter of Circle K and resurrected it as the desert song running through all our veins, penned in Tucson between stints as a mule skinner in the Grand Canyon and recorded in a crumbling anarchist adobe building on the corner of a wide, lonely street near the train tracks in Tucson. Ohioan is living music.
AZAG - TOTH / LTG 003
AZAG - TOTH is the latest, for the brief now, in that epic American mythology. Like many of my favorite Wooden Wand records, AZAG-TOTH was recorded at home by James onto his trusty Tascam 8 Track digital recorder without band or producer. Just pure song, story, and syllabic transmission from the man himself.
In fact, here is what Michael Gira said of James for his awesome YGR release Death Seat: “James Jackson Toth’s got that picaresque quality that Dylan had in his heyday, wherein the shambolic narrator undergoes various travails and epiphanies—harrowing, bleak and darkly comical—in the course of a narrative, then leaves you mystified, both smiling and sad.” - Michael Gira (Swans / YGR ) I could give a play by play about how genius each of these songs is, but no need. They are sonically self evident - just listen. Seth Olinsky
PEOPLE OF THE NORTH
Judge a man by his fruits / LTG 002
People of the North is Kid Millions and Fat Bobby (aka Bobby Matador) from Brooklyn’s hardest working genius misfit rock outfit Oneida. When not installing themselves at ATP as 24 hour rock experience the Ocropolis or collaborating with the Boredoms or Rhys Chatham, Bobby and Kid can be found in kitchens and noise resurrection basements across various countrys creating awe as POTN. Often including other members of Oneida, POTN is less a side project, and more another book in the non-linear mythology that is Oneida.
Judge A Man By His Fruits is an EP adding 2 new chapters to this great work. Recorded in 2012 at the new Secret Project Robot in Bushwick, the music here is straight sub-conscious, primordial , pre cognitive rock n roll - stripped of repetition and purely organic in the most chemical sense. Drums fall down ragged infinite cliffs and climb back one hand at a time while organs slowly breathe into existence and all ends as it should, with a righteous, screaming guitar solo.
THink ABOUT FORGOTTEN DAYS / LTG 001
William Tyler is a primitive futurist guitar poet from Nashville TN. Member of legend band Lambchop and frequent collaborator with Silver Jews, Bonnie “Prince” Billy, and other Lightning Artist Wooden Wand. In the past few years William has risen to mytho-cultural status among the heralded lineage of 6 string American story tellers. Born and raised in Tennesee by songwriting parents, William also co-owns a bar in Nashville with his sister Elise called the Stone Fox. We mean to tell you that he is a renaissance man, and all the more to blow your mind when you hear him play guitar that he has time to do anything else in life besides practice.
Though 60 minutes in length, Blue Ash Montgomery is more a collection of various works than a traditional full length album. Side A is beautifully played guitar master odes, a sort of American counter part to other Lightning recording artist Shinji Masuko of DMBQ/Boredoms Moan project. Equal parts textural, fierce, and performative, they elaborate on the long-form, through-composed guitar tradition, more of an epic poetic form suited to bards and shamans. Side B is the entire performance of an improvised set from 2012 by William with legendary underground percussionist Tim Barnes at the Nashville Presbyterian Church. Barnes has performed and recorded with Jim O’Rourke, Tower Recordings, Pullman, and Silver Jews to name a few.