BTV052 Denison Witmer : Live

Denison Witmer
“Live” (btv052)
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Track listing:

1. Intro
2. Things Never Turn Out the Way You Think
3. You Got Me Good
4. I Won’t Let You Down
5. 24 Turned 25
6. You and Me
7. Birds (Neil Young cover)
8. Stations
9. Steven
10. Are You Lonely
11. The ’80s
12. Thirteen (Big Star cover)
13. Meant To Be
14. Forgiven

When Denison Witmer was about to depart on a national tour in the fall of 2001, Burnt Toast Vinyl’s Scott Hatch gave him a compact minidisc recorder, a single stereo condenser microphone, and a huge supply of minidiscs and said, “How about recording your tour?” Dutifully, before the start of each show, Denison inserted a blank disc, hooked up the mic, and pushed the red record button.

Several months and 40+ concerts later, Scott, along with Denison’s brother Douglas Thut Witmer, carefully catalogued, reviewed, scrutinized, and selected the material that appears on this album. The 14 tracks on this project are culled from a half-dozen venues in the U.S. and Canada. It’s just Denison in natural solo form and a few great collaborations with guitarist Matthew Stone and the Cleveland-based band The Six Parts Seven on material that dates from his earliest release to songs written just before the show.

BTV053 The Six Parts Seven : The Attitudes of Collapse

The Six Parts Seven
“The Attitudes of Collapse” (btv053)
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Track listing:
1. From California to Houston, on Lightspeed
2. On Marriage
3. The Attitudes of Collapse
4. Song of Impossible Things

The Six Parts Seven are very patient men. Spend some time with their three full-length players and you’ll be convinced of it. Since brothers Allen and Jay Karpinski started the band in 1995, Ohio’s finest instrumental outfit has worked to build stunning musical landscapes based wholly on the principles of melody and restraint. The band is careful to avoid the early grave of mediocrity that plagues so many instrumental bands, adding intricate and essential touches to their triguitar, drums and bass setup (a hear tbreaking lap steel , the understated backbone of a grand piano, subtle and tasteful samples).
Nothing is exploited, and the complete package is congruent and sure, boasting a maturity smart enough to not choke the very necessary space where the songs live and breathe.

The Six Parts Seven have perfected their signature lush and leading compositions, leaving listeners dazzled by fresh sonic additions to the independent rock cannon and haunted by a fully inescapable moodiness.

The Six Parts Seven became connected to Burnt Toast Vinyl while touring with roster artist Denison Witmer in spring 2002. Label owner Scott Hatch alternated between daytime Florida spring training baseball games and nighttime shows, becoming friends with the band and proposing a one-sided LP release. Later in 2002, The Six Parts Seven played parts on Witmer’s Philadelphia Songs album released on Burnt Toast Vinyl and toured with him again in Spring 2003. Now, in 2004, the
final result, The Attitudes of Collapse, finally finds its way to retail outlets.

The one-sided LP features 3 brand new songs and a fourth song that was previously recorded and released, but was revamped and rerecorded for this release. Though piano parts have been used by The Six Parts Seven in the past, the songs on The Attitudes of Collapse one-sided LP make heavier use of the piano to carry melodies, shifting the band’s sound in a more focused and refined direction. Piano parts are fundamental to both “From California to Houston by Lightspeed” and “On Marriage” and the result is more restrained and refined than other releases. The shifting dynamics are still present, but tweaked to be less rambunctious. The repetitive use of spoken samples in “From California to Houston by Lightspeed” is as close as the band gets to actually adding vocals to their instrumental songs themselves. The title track drops the piano in favor of warm lap steel warbles, light drum beats and cymbal crashes, and layered guitar and bass parts in their signature style. “Song of Impossible Things” distills the chord progression of the traditional “Amazing Grace” with unbelievable interpretation that makes the song wholly theirs, perhaps a successful result to which the song title alludes.

BTV074 Efterklang One-Sided LP

one-sided LP (btv074)
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Track listing:
1 Falling Post
2 God Vind, Kaptajn!
3 Tu Es Mon Image – Featuring Martin Hall
Efterklang’s incredible 2004 full-length Tripper (The Leaf Label, UK) was among my favorite releases of that year. My Danish friend posted their debut EP Springer on a shared ftp server since it was sold out and only available in Denmark initially. (We’re big supporters of file sharing at Burnt Toast Vinyl which resulted in the Mt. Eerie : Live in Copenhagen 3xLP collaboration between btv and Denmark’s Washington Inc.) Soon after, I invited Efterklang to do a one-sided LP and we worked out the details over the course of the year. Of the three tracks on One-Sided LP, one features Efterklang collaborating with famed Danish singer Martin Hall who provides the vocals for “Tu Es Mon Image” and another features Edda Rún Ólafsdóttir and Hildur Àrsælsdóttir from Amiina as guest musicians. The LP jacket features a faraway portrait of the band in keeping with the portrait theme for cover artwork in the Burnt Toast Vinyl one-sided LP series. Efterklang’s One-Sided LP is the latest in a series which includes Damien Jurado, Early Day Miners, The Six Parts Seven, Yume Bitsu, Ester Drang, Mt. Eerie, Starflyer 59, June Panic, Aspera, and Bosque Brown.
–Scott Hatch, Burnt Toast Vinyl

The Danish ensemble Efterklang was formed in January 2001. The following year and a half saw its founding core members Mads Brauer, Casper Clausen, Thomas Husmer, Rune Mølgaard and Rasmus Stolberg develop Efterklang into what it is today.

The film-maker Karim Ghahwagi joined the ensemble in the beginning of 2003 and accompanied the band’s well received debut EP Springer with extensive video collage work. Springer was released on Efterklang’s own label Rumraket and came packaged in white fake fur in only 500 copies. The band played their first live shows in Denmark in the spring of 2003 bringing audiences a subtle blend of acoustics, electronics and video imagery.

The development of Efterklang’s first full length studio album Tripper began in the fall of 2003 in the band’s own recording studio in the heart of Copenhagen and incorporated violins, brass instruments, a Greenlandic choir and a fully integrated video collage score. 34 guest musicians played on the recordings of Tripper among them Hildur Àrsælsdóttir and Edda Rún Olafsdóttir from the Icelandic string quartet Amiina who is known for their extraordinary work with Sigur Rós.

In July 2004, Efterklang signed to The Leaf Label (UK). In October, Tripper was released in USA, Canada, Europe, Japan, China, Australia and South Africa. Tripper became the fastest selling debut record in Leaf’s 10 year history. It has received remarkable good reviews and airplay on radio stations across North America and Europe. The Guardian wrote “this is the album to spend your tokens on. Five stars.” Pitchfork rated it 7.9 and wrote “Astonishing… this music should continue to reverberate in your memory for a long time to come.” In late 2004, the MTV program This is Our Music did a 30 minute documentary on Efterklang.

In February 2005, the song “Swarming” taken from Tripper was released as a radio and iTunes single with remixes including one by Bjørk producer Thomas Knak aka Opiate and a music video by Karim Ghahwagi. In April 2005, the debut Springer EP (2003) was re-released by The Leaf Label worldwide on cd and vinyl. Efterklang toured throughout Europe as an 8 piece band with performances at several high profile summer festivals including Roskilde, Hultsfred, Quart, Sonar and The Big Chill. Efterklang plan to tour the US in winter 2006/2007 in support of their forthcoming full-length.