مدينة الياسمين | live album | out now

very gladly presenting مدينة الياسمين, the city of jasmine… a collection of live studio recordings gathered together amidst of the heat of the summer of 2014, during the rehearsal sessions for the ‘destruktiva v’ festival in mulheim-an-der-ruhr on 15th august.
assembling six songs taken from my most-recent ‘sittah sittah sab’ah’ release, from iron filings and sellotape, and the classic fbcfabric & reindeer album, along with one exclusive new interpretation; this short set seems to explode out of itself to create a truly mesmerising whole for its hypnotic duration.
featuring all-live electronics work, utilising ableton controller technologies, analogue synthesis, outboard effects and a few other devices, these performances are able to combine in generating a staggeringly-engaging release.
now available as a name-your-price digital download, with all monetary contributions being gratefully received and put towards securing further necessary technical apparatus in order to further continue this exploration of live sound performance.
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field reports from the old world : amidst the woodland hillside still

the main hall of  české budějovice hlavní nádraží was a throng with passengers queuing for tickets, watching the announcements and awaiting seemingly myriad arrivals and departures. i was for a moment a little hesitant that i would make my service back to praha in time to catch my subsequent connexions, but how the line moved quickly and i was able to secure myself the appropriate ticket with enough time to make my way up to the correct platform and board and early afternoon service back north across bohemia. how the route was slow and beautiful, the rolling hills unfolding as a little mist began to creep across their surfaces, and how a few familiar spots along the route had me reminisce on previous outing through these lands; the hlavní nádraží at tábor and the still half-drained jordán being the keenest reminders of magical times of years now steadily passing.
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our service pulled into the hlavní nádraží in praha as the sun had slowly sunk below the horizon and the night was begin to paint the sky in the darkest hues, and how a light rain was beginning to fall, slaking the scene in a shimmering haze of neon and amber. i had a short while to kill before the kolín service would depart and managed to find a nice spot out of the rain, sheltered by the ornate facade of the old station entrance walls affording me views of the busy traffic that runs incessantly along the major thoroughfare. i just sat a short while, reflecting on the last couple of days and keenly anticipating the next couple still to come. i wandered back down to the platforms and took the kolín service, letting my eyes rest awhile in the carriage, the night now fully descended.
by the time i changed in kolín and boarded the kutná hora service a heavy rain was falling across seemingly all of bohemia; even for a brief while reminding me of the deluge of last spring upon these already green and lush lands. gladly, upon my arrival at the hlavní nádraži there, i was met by my contact for the evening, a gentleman by the name of vit, who quickly grew to legendary status in my estimations within the first hour of our meeting; his first effortless move being to have secured the use of a car enabling us to escape the brunt of the inclement conditions as we ascended the hillsides above the town to his outrageously charming residence high up within the woodland glades that offer such a peaceful shelter within the heights of the hilly districts.
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all was very much in hand, it clearly seemed, as we made our way into his super-comfy abode, his beautifully gentle dog klaudie greeting us at the door, the oven having kept the ground floor nice and cosy for our return, tea soon brewing and a wealth of treats by way of a very special dinner prepared by lenka, vit’s clearly wonderful other-half. i took the opportunity to enjoy a much-needed cup of earl, as big a plate of this rich feast as i could manage and a little less than an hour to relax whilst vit and klaudie ran an errand to the local veterinarian, before we re-grouped and gathered ourselves together before starting to think about making our way down to the venue, the newly-established, and not-actually-quite-fully-operational holubnik, a new enterprise undertaken by vit, his brother josef, good friend mao, and abetted by the support of the local scene folk.
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we made our way back down the hillside by car, winding along a path which soon had me quite disorientated until suddenly we were on the grounds of what used to be a very large brewery, but since thrown into disuse by way of economic ‘developments’ in the region. there cobblestone car-park had our vehicle judder and bounce its way to an appropriate halt as i gazed up through the windows to marvel at this impressive piece of industrial architecture, and how delighted i was that they had managed to secure themselves a new venue in such an impressive and culturally significant location, and how, as we unloaded and made our way inside, offering warmest greetings to some of the folk already on-site, i found myself opening an inocuous door into a really cosy, delightfully small and exquisitely-rendered room which served as the current venue for the operation.
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within minutes i was delighted to find myself also in the company of the very cool josef, aka inau, who i had the pleasure of sharing a performance with on my first czech tour, on the final night in plzeň and how i have had the pleasure of crossing paths a few times since, but how he always manages to surprise me by appearing in a different location each time. still, this time proved to be yet more of a surprise as, after some short while, i got to learn that he and vit were actually brothers, and how the connexion seemed wonderfully sublime to me in the moment. two clearly legendary gentlemen had just revealed themselves as legendary brothers; splendid, splendid stuff indeed, and how i felt doubly-honoured to have made their dual-acquaintance in this, their newest venture in support of the outrageously fascinating czech music scene.
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still, beside all of this newly-realised warmth of connexions, there was a show about to take place, and i can only imagine i was the only one in the room who really had no idea what was about to happen when the astonishing edoshův kurník took to the stage. from my, still regrettably quite limited experience, i have noted quite a theatrical-bent to a goodly number of czech hip hop acts, and so having had the term bounded around before the show i had a mild inkling in the right direction, but to see their performance in action really was something massively different indeed. i would not be able to do justice to the full spectacle in these short lines, but i can reveal that we are dealing with a four-member rap team, two male, two female, all super-young, and all seemingly bent on completely distorting reality for the duration of any given performance. i promise that you have absolutely no idea, and i am still trying to come to terms with being able to fully comprehend the madness in which they threw upon us this night. be sure to investigate.
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somehow, it seemed, i was supposed to follow-up their performance in the best manner that i could, and feel that i might just well have managed to acquit myself admirably enough, performance an almost-pauseless blend of iron filings and sellotape materials combined with a number of songs from my recent ‘six six seven‘ tape into quite the psychedelic whole, and allowing myself enough room for a few quieter spoken-word sections to drift in between the more chaotic peaks, and how the crowd was gracious enough for me to be able to perform a suitably-enjoyable rendition of ‘listen the night‘ by way on an encore. later i would realise yet-further how suitably fitting this was, when vit revealed to me that my dear older brother 2econd class citizen had performed a house-show in his beautiful hillside manner the year previous; marvelous stuff indeed, and yet more splendid moment of warm connexions further realised.
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with the shows wrapped up by ten o’clock in order to comply with current legislation, the audience of dear friends slowly made their seperate ways onto different locations to continue their evening whilst a few more of us remained, finishing our svařené víno and shutting down the marvelous holubnik compound til we were reduced to just myself, vit and his good friend mao, who was very keen for the three of us to head on to ‘na valech’; his absolute favourite pub in all of kutná hora. vit assured me that this was very much the place we ought to head to, and how i needed no further convincing. with the venue secured for the night we made way back through the winding streets once again til arriving at this extra-special location, and how it did indeed reveal itself in that way from the very first moment.
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although i am a little hazy on the exact detail, the name ‘na valech’ relates to the name of the original old wall of the town and how the pub is indeed set within the architecture of what remains of the medieval construction to protect the people of kutná hora from invaders in distant times. still, how the pub itself is an immediately welcoming prospect, the perfect tavern that could almost appear ‘unchanged’ in the last thousand years or so, and how we were soon sat at a long table surrounded by a group of immediately charming and wonderful friends of vit and mao’s; regulars in this fine establishment, no doubt. how i immediately got to make the fine acquaintance of deka and his very charming wife míša, and exchanged very friendly smiles with a whole host of warm souls gathered along the full length of the table. conversation was soon flowing thick and fast and how, nikola, the very enchanting barmaid, was quick to repeatedly set a host of dangerous shots on the table for us; one of which being labelled as the ‘devil’ itself. big business indeed.
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how the night bled on into the early hours with a mix of fascinating conversation from all quarters, a goodly deal of amusement, silliness and roaring laughter, more and more drink and dangerous shots arriving at the seemingly merciless hands of nikola, and how it was indeed really rather difficult to force ourselves to bid farewell to the souls communed on this wintry night. still, vit, mao and i stumbled out into the night and bid each other farewells as vit and i made the final walk back up the hillside to the quiet and safely of his hillside manner, and how the heavy rainclouds had been swept away by the evening breezes, causing all of the stars to emerge over kutná hora and our path offering beautiful vistas of the town drifting away below us as we made our ascent to our sleeping quarters, with just enough time to take a final tea, take in the last of the evening air and then retire into the dreaming once more.
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how i must have slept incredibly well, vit’s house being so particularly comfy and the snoozing klaudie to watch over me as the morning crept onwards. i must not have arisen until around eleven o’clock in the morning and how the bright sunlight was streaming in through the windows from between the trees of the woodlands opposite the house. for the first moments, i wasn’t sure if i was alone in the house and had to reduce myself to knocking on the door of the master bedroom, only to find vit himself still slowly coming out the dreaming. we made our arrangements regarding my departure to the hlavní nádraži and how it afforded us enough time to handle our online business, drink a little earl and feast upon some much-needed toasted sandwiches conjured up by the man himself. but time was short and how my next train service beckoned.
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at a little after midday we stepped back out into the fresh air of the kutná hora hillsides once more and took a gentle stroll through the copse and down into the disctrict of sedlec which lead back to the hlavní nádraži. it was, of course, at this exact moment that it dawned on me that it was the very same sedlec that contains sedlecká kostnice; the world-famous ossuary which i had so often had the greatest desire to visit, even planning it into the itinerary of my last czech tour with my dyxz.born.rndr brothers, only to be foiled at the last minute, and here i was again, just some hundred meters from the site, but with no time and a train to catch, the horror! i think my mix of disappointed excitement rather amused vit and how i distinctly recall arranging that we must make time to view the site, next time! we arrived at the hlavní nádraži and he graciously waited with me for the last ten minutes before my trains arrival, a gentleman to the last, and a wonderful guide and host on a wonderful excursion to this magical new spot on my czech map.
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so, might i take a moment to offer so much thanks and appreciation to everyone involved and everyone who made it down to the show at the charming holubnik. the masters brothers holub, vit and josef, the very cool captain mao, the very exceptional edoshův kurník for their amazing performance and very kind words afterwards, to the very cool kubeat for his outstanding beatbox contributions and kind words, to all those whose names i didn’t get to learn, to lenka for the super-nice food that gave me the energy for the adventure, and to deka, míša, nikola and the whole of the wonderful na valech family, who made me feel so very welcome in their extra-special world for the evening. how i am sincerely looking forward to next time so much already.
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next field report : fog shrouding the steel heart of the republic
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ستة ستة سبعة | instrumentals | out now | vi . vi . vii

in further continued celebration of my, now critically acclaimed and indeed award-winning,  ‘six six seven‘ release, might i be so bold as to present the complete, unabridged instrumentals for the entire release, available for a reasonable sum from my own bandcamp page, containing my own production efforts alongside the enigmatic j.mason of iron filings and sellotape, and featuring the trumpet of s.huber and clarinet of m.born.
how i am consistently overwhelmed and jubilant at the reception this release has received thusfar, and how it gives me great pleasure to be able to extend the experience yet further by offering these instrumental versions, also now complete with six new texts in an accompanying digital booklet. do be sure to think about fixing yourself a copy, should you so desire. you contribution to my cause would be so very gratefully received.
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helicopter gunships over gut city

albeit somewhat more-belatedly than planned, we can at last unveil the marvelous video of my a cappella performance of ‘helicopter gunships‘, created in conjunction with the very awesome adrian woodhouse for the knertz icings blog some moons ago when the winter still had a strong grip over the new years slow building.

 

i had been very much aware of the very cool icings blog since its inception and was over the moon when adrian invited me to get involved too, and since i was not so pressed for time as other ‘on tour’ contributors, being a darmstadt resident, i was keen that adrian and i take a decent amount of time to come up with something extra-special.

 

still, we are possibly two of the busiest individuals in gut city, so it was pretty tough to get our schedules to co-incide, in fact i think it took four or five moons even, but at last we managed to gather together in the basement of the decorative stamp compound to put together this rather sinister treat, something amusingly dark in comparison to that which adrian might normally be known for.

 

so, please do have repeated viewings, please do check out the icings blogmake friends with adrian on facebook, check out some more of his work, as well as that of the knertz collective more generally, and do anticipate some more iron filings and sellotape related news shortly.

 

take care
jamesreindeer