born in texas, raised in kentucky; david pajo is a musician. his name is not in common parlance, but pajo has been involved in much of the greatest music of the last two decades. he first played out in the early 1980s. he went on to instant infamy with the group slint.
aged 19 joined an essex glam-rock band the mighty plod as a singer and gigged in rough clubs, pubs and colleges for the next two years. in his early twenties he joined a hard rock /.prog band from ispwich called gypp and gigged in the uk as well as touring northern germany several times. in 1979, he won his first record contract and shortly afterwards his first single young jobless / sylvie in toytown was released, first on an indie label and then with liberty records. much radio 1 airplay and the record briefly charted but then sank after trouble of various sorts.
electronic artist and frequent panda bear collaborator scott mou is the first person to admit that his debut album end times, released under the moniker queens a few weeks ago, isn’t quite what people expect. “when dial records asked me to do it, i was really shocked and very humbled—and i thought the label would expect something different—more techno, more house, more classic minimalist,” recalls mou. what he gave them was of another mood entirely.
north marine drive is the debut album of ben watt. the album was released on cherry red in 1983, prior to watt's success in everything but the girl, and reached number one in the uk indie chart the same year. the tone of the album is reflective and melancholic, reminiscent of some of the more stripped-down work of everything but the girl.
fall of saigon was born in 1981 when florence berthon (vocals), pascal comelade (organ, synthesizer) and thierry den (guitar, vocals) met at a concert in montpellier, france. they chose to the name the project fall of saigon after a song by uk post-punk act this heat. they self-released their debut ep in 1983 citing nico & the velvet underground, suicide and as influences.
peter gordon and his love of life orchestra are testament to the incredible musical innovations happening in new york city in the late 1970s. those two compositions, underpinned with disco and gilded with noisy guitar bursts, hanging piano chords and saxophone wails, exhibit not only gordon's kaleidoscopic vision as a musician, but his precision as a producer and composer.
finis africæ (or finis africae): words redolent of mystery and myth, of europe looking out to new lands, new worlds, new times. and so it is with a last discovery, the work of spaniard juan alberto arteche guel, and his musical co-adventurers, recorded between 1984 and 2001.
since his magnificent sakura (2000) and grinning cat (2001) albums the electronic music world has been in thrall to japan’s susumu yokota, a laptop composer whose prolific output of at least one album every year since 1998 is at odds with his compelling creations. when so much of today’s dashed-off ambient music comes off as characterless, indistinguishable and meaningless burble, yokota shows the way. not that he should thank us for calling this hour-long opus ambient.
the short, mysterious career of aptly named french female duo deux filles is bookended by tragedy. gemini forque and claudine coule met as teenagers on a holiday pilgrimage to lourdes, during which coule's mother died of an incurable lung disease and forque's mother was killed and her father paralyzed in a grisly auto accident.
the marine girls were a post-punk group from hatfield, hertfordshire. the group was formed in 1980, by two sixth form school friends: tracey thorn and gina hartman. originally, thorn just played guitar and hartman was the lead vocalist and percussionist. thorn overcame her shyness and started singing too by the time they started making records. they were later joined by jane fox on bass and her younger sister, alice, on joint vocals and percussion.
when snowball was released in 1989, the cover art itself made a statement. released in a plain mauve cover, on 10" vinyl, with the song titles simply printed on the back, the debut album from london's the field mice showed their post-punk roots with artwork so basic as to be boldly provocative.
colleen is french multi-instrumentalist cecile schott, who uses her voice and the treble viola da gamba (a baroque instrument with gut strings), to weave intricate stories about the human mind and heart. captain of none is the most melodic album in her repertoire, with fast-paced tracks rooted down by prominent bass lines and assorted percussive effects. it is also an album that breaks new ground for colleen in terms of production. while previous works centered around sample-based or looped, minimal compositions, on captain of none schott significantly changed her approach, setting her viola and her voice as focal points. captain of none is inhabited by delicately crafted, other-worldly pop songs incorporating dub-inspired techniques.
launched from the lower east side, manhattan, in 1983 as a subscription only bimonthly publication, the tellus cassette series took full advantage of the popular cassette medium to promote cutting-edge downtown music, documenting the new york scene and advancing experimental composers of the time – the first 2 issues being devoted to ny artists from the downtown no wave scene