Various Artists — A Sepiachord Passport
(Projekt 250, 2010, CD)
by Henry Schneider, Published 2013-04-01
There is a sub-genre of speculative fiction called Steampunk (see Wikipedia) and a corresponding musical sub-genre. For many years Sepiachord.com has been promoting artists exploring this strange musical underworld and have now released a 20-song compilation featuring some of the best. Most are unknown to Exposé readers except for Black Tape for a Blue Girl. The challenge with any compilation is to present a consistent package, and as with most, A Sepiachord Passport is uneven with only about 50% worthy of notice. Listening to this disk is an outré experience, like wading through a Victorian Freak Show. Many of these artists are odd wads, akin to, but much edgier than, the SCAs. Take for example the opening band, the TigerLillies, a British trio with the bandleader singing bizarre falsetto cabaret tunes. Other acts hail from Seattle, New York, and Norway. Each has its own peculiar take on Steampunk, be it burlesque, vaudeville, dance hall, cabaret, gypsy punk, neo-folk, twisted waltzes, or circus blues. A couple of the outstanding songs include "Scarlet Carpet Interstate, Part One," a gypsy inspired garage band psych instrumental and the gothic western song "The Ballad of Black Jack Jezebel," sounding like a twisted "Ghost Riders." Then there is "Dance Master," with its beautiful Scheherazade violin solo that almost saves the song from Veronique Chevalier's forced Yiddish accented vocals and lyrics. A Sepiachord Passport verges on being a novelty record, but it should appeal to fans of the burgeoning Steampunk scene.
SoundQuest Fest 2021 – SoundQuest Fest, first experienced as a live festival in Tucson Arizona in 2010 was created by ambient music pioneer Steve Roach. This 2021 event will unite a worldwide gathering of artists and audience members together for a 3-day online event unique in the realm of ambient music. From March 26-28th a continuous flow of streamed performances, audio-video wonder worlds and deep immersion zones will burn bright on Roach’s YouTube channel. » Read more
Chick Corea RIP – The sad news has reached us that Chick Corea has Returned to Forever, so to speak. The innovative keyboardist and composer died on February 9 at the age of 79. With a career that spanned from the 60s until shortly before his death, Corea touched many listeners with the incredible variety of music he produced in his lifetime. » Read more
Asia Minor Third Album on the Way – On January 29, AMS records will be releasing the long-awaited third album by classic Turkish-French band Asia Minor. Released last year in Japan, this will be the widespread debut of Points of Libration. The album features original members Setrak Bakirel (vocals, guitar) and Eril Tekeli (flute, guitar). » Read more
Harold Budd RIP – Harold Budd, one of pre-eminent American composers of avant-garde and minimalism, has died of complications from the coronavirus. Budd came to prominence in the 70s, championed by Brian Eno on his Obscure Records label, with music that blended academic minimalism with electric jazz and electronic music. Much of Budd's best known work was done in collaboration with other artists, including Eno, Daniel Lanois, Robin Guthrie, Andy Partridge, John Foxx, Jah Wobble, and many others. » Read more