Country/folk album recorded at various times and places between 2002 and 2005. Robyn E. Kenealy sings on The King and Maybelle. Dean Brown (a.k.a. Lil’ Skull) produced You Be Welcome and Way Over Yonder, and played percussion on Way Over Yonder. Rick Jensen recorded Dirty Old Townes live in his lounge. Everything else played and written by Dick Whyte and his Golden Guitar. Includes tributes to both Townes van Zandt and John Fahey. Download the full album for free (in flac or high quality mp3) from Bandcamp.
“There is no history to tell us of the beginnings of Memphis, only legend. It’s legendary founder, Menes, may have been one or several of the shadowy figures whose identity has never been established. Menes however… has been acknowledged through the centuries as the first ruler of Egypt. Before his time, the country was divided into Upper and Lower Egypt, each separate and distinct from the other and largely made up of independent kingdoms. Menes united these into one undivided Egypt.” (Marion Teena Dimick, Memphis: City of the White Wall)
“‘Memphis’ is a consistently flowing top-shelf example of how electronic and acoustic sources work together in improvised music today. It’s nearly impossible to not mention the classic example of AMM’s pioneering work in this field or the more contemporary efforts of Evan Parker’s group settings, even if Jensen’s reed work owes more to someone like Jon Butcher. The interplay between Jensen’s multiphonics and ornamental work and the brass-playing on the opening track is almost Scelsi-like amidst the drones and looped sounds from Whyte’s guitar and the other subtle sonics. Some truly sublime and captivating music. “Rosetta Stone Paperweight” features more feedback and the sort of scraped sound aesthetic found on “AMMusic” circa 1969, but perhaps with a more sensitive set of ears. This is not improvised music of reckless abandon, but carefully crafted abstract soundscapes of the most deliberate nature. The dynamic interplay gets a bit sloppy in moments but really exposes how in touch these cats are with one another in the moment.” (Heathen Harvest)
“The recordings were done at 2 seperate gigs at Photospace Gallery in Wellington, NZ. I exhibited at the gallery twice and we began performing there quite often (the owner even played drums for my group The Rick Jensen Trio). Nova Scotia played a number of times there as the environment was particularly suited to us, outside was the main street in Wellington, where everyone would go drinking at night. It was all nightclubs and bars, buskers and drunk people. When we performed we’d open the windows and use any street sound that came through and integrate it into our performance. For the track that features Antony, we played a gig with him and then invited him to join us, it turned out to be an unusual song. All of the performances we did at Photospace had a particular feel to them, and we certainly developed our sound a lot with these gigs. There’s not a lot more to say about them, at this point we were using many homemade instruments, broken electronics, 4 tracks, and anything we had at hand. This album represents a highly experimental period for us and shows the way we were going at the time.” (Rick Jensen)
Fourth album by electroacoustic improvisers Nova Scotia (Dean Brown, Rick Jensen, Dick Whyte). Originally released on the independent label Nezvanova Nova this album was unavailable pretty much as soon as it came out. Finally, thanks to the beauty of Bandcamp, it’s in print again for the first time in two years. And while I may be slightly bias, this album is one of my favorite Nova Scotia releases so it makes me especially happy to see it reissued digitally. Find out more about Nova Scotia on the weirdly comprehensive H-Town Wiki.
Liner Notes: Track 2, 3 and 4 recorded at the Photospace Gallery in Wellington on 16/07/03. Track 5 recorded during the 2002 Lines of Flight festival at Arc Cafe in Dunedin on 29/09/02. Track 6 recorded at the Photospace Gallery on 17/12/05. Who knows what instruments we’re all playing – but I can hear horns, harmonicas, bells, tape loops, acoustic guitar and radios, among other things.
“Clearly, the practice of employing geographical themes in band designations has produced largely dubious outcomes (e.g. Asia, Boston, Chicago, America, Kansas, Berlin, Danzig, Hanoi Rocks, etc.). Also personally, I regard naming anything after anything to do with the frozen wasteland otherwise known as Canada to be a questionable aesthetic move. This is just my prejudice. I firmly believe that America has been watching the wrong border for far too long. But that’s another discussion. The music of Nova Scotia, however, has got enough swank to make me forgive any misgivings about their moniker. For those who thrive on other band comparisons, their m.o. could be described as the Animacathedral Lab Technicians Orchestra of Admittance. This is not, however, to imply that these folks smartly rip off obscure bands whilst most stupidly rip off well-known bands. No, if you dig the four outfits I just referred to, you’ll be happy to shovel this dirt too. Sparse, ramshackle drug shuffle that fuses kooky “ethnic” influences and improv abstractions with aplomb.” (Reid Gilchrist, from a review of the 2002 Lines of Flight Festival)