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Index Of Releases

Garrincha & The Stolen Elk Life Is Wasted On The Living LP
WEIRD-099 Garrincha & The Stolen Elk - Life Is Wasted On The Living LP

This is an album about death. More precisely, it's about dying and the realization of one's mortality. Even more precisely, it's about all the worrying thoughts and emotions that smack you in the face in light of this realization: nostalgia, regret, legacy, a vague nagging urgency & the eternal quest to find meaning in any of it. Garrincha & The Stolen Elk wrap these heavy themes in a strange brew of 21st century post-everything music -- drones & processed field recordings nestle snuggly against synths, electronics & guitars that shift from plaintively melodic to heavy headbanging to freak psych-out. Voices play a central role in this music, sometimes through vocals but moreso via samples and musique concrete pieces. A wide range of influences somehow meld into an organic & unique sound; after all, who else marries a throbbing Wolf-Eyeslike beat with new age stylings as on the centerpiece track, “Wait Think Fast”? G&SE, that's who. Just one example of the abundant aural alchemy found on this stellar album.

Front cover artwork by Myste French (Stunned Records).
Mastered by James Plotkin & limited to 200 copies. Digital version available at online retailers and Bandcamp.

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Excavacations Four CD
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WEIRD-085 Excavacations - Four CD

After exploring maximalism to the, well, max, Excavacations seem to have coalesced into a much slicker machine. The concise Four EP represents a new direction, seeing their sound refined to its most impactful and focused to date. The duo continue to expand their ambient form of noise pop by means of reduction. They've somehow herded in the length of their drones and abstract wanderings to become laser-guided jabs. Electronics and vocals lead the way over sonic territory that may feel familiar one moment but uncharted the next. Still remaining is their trademark of placing catchy rhythms and melodies into traditionally "uncatchy" structures and environments. It's all further enhanced by abundant vocal harmonies and bass lines designed to wedge into your psyche.

Starting with Dolphins, endorphins, listeners are immediately invited to visit this new space the duo has been cultivating, revealing its abundant layers of moss and mysteries to discover. The male-female duet of Succession, the apparent single of the EP, combines the heaviness of Gil Scot-Heron with the sky high sound of M83. Participants are then moved forward to The Field-esque leanings of Floating in Balloon before losing themselves entirely in the computerized desert chants of Sweat Drips in Ear.

Four songs, four sounds, all crafted by the same four hands. One might understandably wonder how to classify these tracks but, really, who cares?

It's Excavacations.

Artwork by Phil French (Stunned)
Ltd Ed CD EP. Digital version available at online retailers.
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Excavacations In Perris-Beauchamps Digital
WEIRD-084 Excavacations - In Perris-Beauchamps Digital

Following last year's compilation of songs gathered from their tapes on Stunned Records, Avant Archive, and Paramita Recordings, Excavacations has finally announced their album of all new material for Weird Forest Records: In Perris-Beauchamp.

Mastered by M. Geddes Gengras, this is the duo's most accessible presentation of their trademark amalgamation of ambient, rock, drone, pop, and electronic music. Employing a frontier-centric approach similar to current and former labelmates Grouper, Emeralds, Sean McCann, and Sun Araw, Excavacations are set apart by their ability to transport noise-laden soundscapes into the pop realms inhabited by Sufjan Stevens, Van Dyke Parks, Dirty Projectors, and Sonic Youth.

As was the case with Weird Forest's release of Lil B's trailblazing record Rain in England, it is evident here that rather than imitate or corral their sound to fit within an existing genre or throwback style, Excavacations write music that can only be described as their own.

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Ava Mendoza & Nick Tamburro Quit Your Unnatural Ways CD
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WEIRD-082 Ava Mendoza & Nick Tamburro - Quit Your Unnatural Ways CD

No doubt Ava Mendoza's star is on the rise and deservedly so. Her technical virtuosity and broad artistic vision defies easy genre classification. Guitar World magazine recently spotlighted her to its shredhead readers while a recent collaboration with tUnE-yArDs brought her to the attention of indie rock fans. While the music world is just beginning to learn about Mendoza, I first jammed with her over a decade ago and knew straight away how amazing she was. Since then, she's graduated from Mills College vaunted music program (graced by the likes of Fred Frith and Pauline Oliveros) and gone on to work with such diverse artists as Carla Bozulich's Evangelista, Nels Cline, Weasel Walter, Liz Allbee, Henry Kaiser, Mike Watt and many, many others.

Mendoza's musical diversity extends to releases under her own name as well. For someone so steeped in San Francisco's free music scene, her first album was a bit of a surprise, a CD filled with intimate solo guitar pieces, a selection of covers and originals influenced by old fingerpickin' bluesmen and a touch of American primitivism. Quit Your Unnatural Ways goes nearly 180 degrees in the opposite direction. First off, there's the addition of drummer Nick Tamburro but it goes beyond instrumentation. Quit Your Unnatural Ways is all fire and brimstone with Mendoza and Tamburro accomplishing a rare feat -- marrying the intense energy of free jazz to instantly memorable tunes anchored by Mendoza's monstrous riffs. While most songs here follow the familiar head-solo-head jazz structure, the album feels closer to a marriage of free jazz and metal. Every song, save a brief musical interlude, features a heavy, glorious riff serving as a springboard for Mendoza's dazzling guitar pyrotechnics. While Ava's guitar is at the center of proceedings, Tamburro's contribution is essential as his drums provide much of the ecstatic energy, somehow propelling the songs forward without losing the beat and going completely free. The end result is a wild, exhilarating ride that's sure to appeal to music fans of all stripes.

Mastered by Jake Rodriguez. Artwork by Christina McPhee with layout by Suzanne Shaffer.
Deluxe CD digipak edition. Digital version available at online retailers.
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Gustafsson & Paal Nilssen-Love , Mats I Love It When You Snore LP+7"
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WEIRD-063 Gustafsson & Paal Nilssen-Love , Mats - I Love It When You Snore LP+7

Mats Gustafsson is perhaps the pre-eminent saxophonist of this post-free jazz/improv era. A perfect combination of Peter Brotzmann's fiery passion, Evan Parker's extended technique and Ken Vandermark's willingness to explode genre boundaries, Gustafsson's discography spans over two decades and sports numerous must-hear recordings with a long laundry list of collaborators, including such luminaries as Brotzmann, Vandermark, Joe McPhee, Jim O'Rourke, Derek Bailey, Sonic Youth and The Ex. Illustrious company to be sure but one of his most important musical partnerships throughout his career has been with Norwegian drummer, Paal Nilssen-Love. The pair have collarborated numerous times as a duo and in larger ensembles, playing music ranging from paint-peeling free improv to more accessible rock arrangements. Here at Weird Forest, I Love It When You Snore has always been a favorite album of the duo (CD 2001, Smalltown Supersound) and we are proud to issue it on our preferred vinyl format, along with a special bonus 7" chronicling the first ever musical meeting of Gustafsson and Nilssen-Love. It's rare that such historical moments are preserved for posterity so we are beyond pleased to have this opportunity. Here are Mats' thoughts on this release:

I found something really spectacular in my archive -- the very first recording and the first music I did with paal ever from 1998! It is a recording with some Swedish musicians but also includes a separate duo track of 6 minutes length -- music is freakin BURNIN!!!! It also has some amazing conversation in the beginning of the track, a dada-like exchange between the great drummer Raymond Strid and legendary sax player Bengt Nordström, the guy that produced Albert Aylers first LP, Something Different!!!! on his own label Bird Notes. Bengt died 10 years ago but he was like a master to me. I totally forgot that he was at this concert. We are really happy about this release -- its a very special recording for both of us. I Love It When U Snore is one of my all time faves. Extreme dynamics and very well recorded, seriously it's insane. There's a great story about this specific CD being used to empty a bar in Oslo at closing time. It's a really great bar, very noisy and a lot of musicians and artists go there. But when the owners really want to empty the bar quick, they just put on I Love It When U Snore and the place is empty withoin seconds. We are very happy about this fact. I'm very very happy that it will be on vinyl now.

Layout by Sean Johannessen.
Includes bonus 7" archiving 1st ever meeting between Mats & Paal.

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Ava Mendoza / Mucky The Ducky split Tape
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WEIRD-081 Ava Mendoza / Mucky The Ducky - split Tape

Special tour edition tape of Mendoza's upcoming CD release on Weird Forest. Joined by Nick Tamburro on drums, the duo meld heavy metal riffage with free jazz energy for a spectacular musical eruption.

Helmed by Sean Johennessen, Mucky the Ducky is definitely a collective of the 21st century. Raised on a bevy of underground musical influences, their side of the split finds the group seamlessly blending free improv, drone and drummer Jon Bafus' propulsive rhythms into a coherent, compelling listen.

Special tour edition release limited to 75 copies.
Ava Mendoza / Mucky The Ducky - split Tape

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