dying for bad music
is a small label from the mountains of germany that for years has been carefully selecting the cream of the crop in weirdo americana and releasing it in small, tastefully packaged batches. DBFM has been way ahead of the curve on artists that are having major success now, such as finger-style virtuoso daniel bachman
and ascendant guitar hero ryley walker
(check out the DBFM bootlegs for both of those guys here
) while consistently highlighting under-appreciated practitioners of what john fahey
might've called the "volk-musical" arts. if you like roots, folk and american primitive music that has the ability to cling to that dubious pillar of 'authentic-ness', DBFM is where you might find it for real.
if that is what you're looking for you are in luck because DBFM dropped a 4 album blast of releases recently. they range stylistically from american primitive ragas and unearthed private press finger-style blues to folk song interpretation and surrealistic, jandek-esque confessionals. here's a little bit about each one:
abraham chapman - nothing to leave behind
'nothing to leave behind
' by abraham chapman was a demo tape discovered by psychedelic guitarist anthony pasquarosa
while buying old reel-to-reel tapes at a flea market to use to make his own recordings. luckily, he did not record over this one. these warbly, slow-burning solo guitar country blues rambles are priceless artifacts, though no information about the artist was to be found. originally released on pasquarosas's own label, 4th eye musick
jonathan nankof - live at charles river variety
boston artist jonathan nakof's
songs sound like they walk an extremely thin line between tight composition and complete stream of consciousness. a tough trick to pull off, but so great when it works as well as it does in this live radio performance. strange melodies, raw lyrics, far out angular finger-style guitar playing. ends with an interesting interview.
lukas read - neo age
is adept at the alt-country song form, as demonstrated by his last album 'ramble man, ramble
'. his new album, 'neo age
', steps fully off that dusty road into the free-flowing territory of american primitive psychedelic wonder. his pure, silvery acoustic picking is paired with found sounds and waves of electric reverb and slide guitars forming a gently freaked-out musical landscape.
c. strøm - sings and plays
c. strøm is my favorite connection made through DBFM. i have written about his music and his efforts to digitize 78 RPM
records many times over the history of MFOA, i'm glad to have gotten to know him and what he does. he lives in a rural seaside area of norway and his original songs and folk song interpretations, in his words, share a rhythm with 'the sound of stoney shores meeting the watery waves'. his love and reverence for this material flows out of the speakers when you play his recordings. his voice has a hint of that gravity the carter family brought to their renditions of the old songs. 'sings and plays
' is an anthology style collection of his music from the past 15 or so years. a good place to start, as previous releases have mostly been made unavailable or sold out.
each of these releases, with the exception of 'live at charles river variety
', which is digital only, are available in beautifully packaged CDR editions. this stuff receives the top MFOA recommendation, don't sleep on it. get it all here