Welcome to our Guide to the week of music, a round-up of music news, media and releases relating to the Band on the Wall program and wider musical world. This week, Melbourne-based flautist Erica Tucceri introduces us to her city’s music scene, we find some highlights within the vast back catalogue of prolific D.I.Y. musician R. Stevie Moore and share some of our favourite new sounds and visuals of the week.
The sound of 30/70 is described as ‘unmistakably Melbourne’ and the group themselves provide a window into the city’s exciting music scene. It’s through the collective and satellite projects such as Zeitgeist Freedom Energy Exchange – led by 30/70 drummer Ziggy Zeitgeist – that we come to artists like Erica Tucceri. A flautist, composer and educator – she’s another key player on the Southeast coast and has an insider understanding of what’s giving the city its current buzz. Having contributed to the Zeitgeist Freedom Energy Exchange LP – which sets out to ‘capture a live band experience closely aligned with an extended DJ set, heavily influenced by club culture’ – we caught up with her to discuss the record and her forthcoming solo project.
The Zeitgeist Freedom Energy Exchange record comes out today – was it an enjoyable record to be a part of and has the vision of the project been a challenge to respond to live and in the studio?
Erica Tucceri: ‘We’re all really excited to share this record! The backbone of the record is based around the core drums, bass and keys trio. The flute was one of the later instrumental additions, so by the time the boys got me in the studio, they already had a really strong idea of the sort of aesthetic they were going for. Each musician was encouraged to bring their own voice, so the recording has an organic and spontaneous vibe to it which I really like. Tone, texture and blend were really big considerations, so I tracked some alto flute and the regular flute, and gave the guys my blessing to go wild on the post-production effects.
Translating this to a live context has been a constantly evolving process for me. A big part of this project is working out where each musician sits in that moment of the music, and how to offer something for everyone else to lock into and work around. One thing I like about working with Ziggy is that he has a real knack for gently pressing you to explore new directions. I’m now incorporating live percussion, samples and effects pedals to push the flute into new sounds and roles within the group.’
You play with several Melbourne-based projects, including WVR BVBY, Billy Davis and Bella Wolf. How exciting is Melbourne’s music scene at present and how important is it for your artistic development to be involved in that scene and those different combinations?
ET: ‘I feel so lucky to be part of the Melbourne music scene. Despite the increasingly connected and globalised world that we inhabit, most of us Melburnians don’t realise how unique our scene is, until we travel! There’s a real diversity and vibrancy in what’s happening here at the moment, and it’s fantastic to see some of our local musicians receiving recognition and traction overseas, too. Having said this, I was in London not too long ago, and everyone was telling me to check out Manchester – so you guys will have to invite me over for some shows sometime so I can see what it’s all about!’
You recently began a project around the theme of loss and are looking for contributions from the general public. Can you tell us a little more about the project and how people can consider contributing?
ET: ‘Thanks for asking. I’m writing a suite of music, using stories as the starting point and building blocks of the composition. So… calling all storytellers! I’m looking for a diverse pool of people to record and send a short story about themselves that engages in some way with the theme of loss. It can be as heavy or as light hearted as you like. Up to 10 minutes, all languages welcome, just a voice memo recorded on a phone is fine. I’ll be sampling small segments of the recordings, and using them throughout the work and as the basis for composing. I’ve never done anything like this before, so I’m really looking forward to getting into it. If you’re interested in learning more or getting involved, get in touch via the contact tab at: http://www.ericatucceri.com.’
For the benefit of Mancunian’s who’ve never witnessed 30/70 in the flesh, what sort of impact have they had in Melbourne and what can people expect when they hit the club in Manchester?
ET: ‘Get ready to have a good time! These guys are the real deal – they’ve been honing their sound around Melbourne for years, and sending out good vibrations at festivals and venues all across Australia. Melbourne definitely has its own special blend of jazz/hip hop/neo-soul music, but this crew know how to take you on a journey, and it’s always different.’
What else do you have lined up for 2018, musically or otherwise?
ET: ‘2017 and 2018 have been really busy with sideman work. I was lucky enough to do some playing with GoldLink when he was in town recently, and have also been waiting impatiently for a few albums I’ve recorded on to drop – so keep an ear out for those flute lines! Otherwise, I’m going to be focussing on kick starting a few of my own projects. It’s been a couple of years since I’ve worked on my own music, and I’m feeling really inspired!’
Considered by some to be ‘the Godfather of home taping’, R. Stevie Moore has made in excess of 400 albums over his fifty-year career. A quick bit of arithmetic tells you that’s an average of eight per year, but he managed to double that output during certain purple patches! In his inspiring new interview with the Great Big Story, Moore stated, ‘everything is released, warts and all, because bad music is brilliant.’ His catalogue, as you might expect, is a glorious mess, littered with gems for committed fans to discover. Dig into some fine releases from the assemblage of tapes below and keep your eyes peeled for a new cassette compilation entitled Sensual Harassment: Various Artists Outperform The Hits of R. Stevie Moore, coming soon.
R. Stevie Moore – Ariel Pink’s Picks Vol.1 (2011/2014)
When venturing into a catalogue as large as R. Stevie Moore’s, a compilation record is a terrific point of entry! This isn’t your typical slapdash “greatest hits” however, it’s a careful curation of Ariel Pink’s favourite R. Stevie Moore recordings, bookended by two collaborative tracks by the pair. “I’m inside R. Stevie’s brain, and he’s in my brain” Pink sings on the album closer and he is indeed about a close as another artist might come, to understanding Moore’s musical world. In 2006, Pink released an EP with a postcard insert featuring ‘a hand drawn road-map to what Ariel considered to be RSM’s best songs from each era’ and this compilation grew from there.
R. Stevie Moore – Stevie Moore or Less (1975)
Prior to Phonography (1976) – his first studio album proper and one described as ‘an outrageous collection of musical brain spewage’ by New York’s Trouser Press magazine – all of R. Stevie Moore’s albums were self-released home recordings. Among them you can find guitar collages with Zappa-esque splicing, Moore’s early inroads into popular songcraft and some fantastic folk-rock material made with Victor Lovera. But Stevie Moore or Less is an early career highlight with “best of both worlds” qualities. There are his eccentric ‘narrative songs’; dialogues held with himself as he assumes different characters. There are tender-but-gritty ballads, piece of slide guitar blues, straight-up rock ‘n’ roll, tape manipulation – everything you could ask for from a Stevie Moore home recording!
R. Stevie Moore – Clack! (1980)
Clack! Is R. Stevie Moore in the 8-track environment, making use of a well-equipped Manhattan studio. There are angular post-punk cuts, jangly pop-rock ditties and helpings of synthy experimentation, but all things considered – this is a focussed and diverse album that may just be his greatest.
R. Stevie Moore – Glad Music (1986)
“‘Glad Music’ has convinced me that R. Stevie Moore is a genius of a rare order,” Andy Gill wrote in the NME in 1986. Its cover is a pastiche of the famous A Hard Day’s Night sleeve and as you might expect, its recordings show a poppier side to Moore’s sound. They’re rich, again recorded with professional facilities, but his eccentricity and creativity still shine through!
Jazz flautist Chip Wickham releases his hotly-anticipated sophomore album Shamal Wind today. He spoke about managing expectations for the new release on the Bandcamp weekly radio show, which also features a few excerpts from the LP. Matthew Halsall plays on centrepiece The Mirage: a gorgeous, gentle cut that contrasts wonderfully with the energetic Barrio 71, released as an earlier single. Elsewhere on the new jazz and fusion front, the return of Kamaal Williams has been a major talking point, with the London-based keys player releasing his first studio LP since drawing the Yussef Kamaal project to a close, today.
Om Unit is a man of many monikers, Philip D Kick being the one he uses for his forthcoming 12” on Fracture’s Astrophonica label. Newly released cut Vibe Off is an incredible jungle/footwork fusion, featuring Teklife producer DJ Spinn and arriving on wax any time soon.
Layfullstop released the fantastic Colour Reaction this week, with two tracks featuring fellow Roots Raddix member Woddy Green.
If orchestral collaborations are you vibe, then there are some wicked ones to dip into today! Actress’ collaboration with the London Contemporary Orchestra is a progressive electronic record, while the meeting of Henrik Schwarz and The Metropole Orkest leans more toward electronically-inflected contemporary classical music, thanks to Jules Buckley’s cinematic arrangements.
Rock fans may enjoy the new track and video by Mark Lanegan & Duke Garwood, who look to repeat the success of their first collaborative record. Elsewhere, reggae artist Samory-I published a new video for Black Gold this week.
On The Corner recording artist DJ Khalab shared the video for Dense, lifted from forthcoming LP Black Noise 2084, yesterday. The track features saxophonist Shabaka Hutchings and drummer Tommaso Cappellato, but Moses Boyd and Tamar Osborn of Collocutor also feature on the album – which also features brilliant artwork from Victoria Topping. Marco Klefisch and Christian Lattuada are responsible for the new visuals, check them out below.