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I Heart Noise presents Goodbye Better Comp 2 Dream of Nostalgia Electronica

Words: Ben Malkin (Solilians)

Loveless Music Group started this scene. I associate it mostly with Andy now but it was also Courtney and Mike, all from Autumn Thieves. These are the people responsible for introducing me to all these bands I’ve developed life-long friendships with.

In the playground of Loveless Music Group nights you couldn’t believe what you were seeing: such unbelievable music, prism blissed mystic kissed bands playing such small clubs, -how could other people not know about this? And yet it was our little secret. Like you’re there at the beginning, like you can’t believe I’m living through this. Andy, Mike, & Courtney were the catalysts who threw gasoline on a small fire and that small fire burst into a Phoenix.

From Loveless Music Group Feature – by Ben Malkin
https://cnzine.blogspot.com/2006/04/loveless-music-group-feature-by-ben.html

The way I often made friends back then was I’d offer to write articles about their bands. I often wrote for Perfect Sound Forever and also ran a zine called something I’m too ashamed to even write today. That was my social currency. That time has long past but most of that scene is still active today. Apollo Heights has gone back to being The Veldt, Ifwhen has morphed into MRC Riddims, Soundpool into the Stargazer Lilies, Autumn Thieves into Royal Infirmary, Drifting In the Cinema into Electric Djinn and So L’il into Solilians. Panda Riot is still Panda Riot and Honeychild Coleman is still Honeychild Coleman. (And some of us every few years ask the same question about one of the absolute best from that era: Whatever happened to Sleeping Kings of Iona? [Ed. Note: We were able to get in touch for this comp.])

Some of the tracks on this comp are from the last few years and others from that time but all are nostalgic for a future that will never be but somehow was on the Lower East Side and Brooklyn from about 2005 to 2008. Goodbye Better (my label) was lucky enough to document part of this electronic dreamland, bands painting a future with washed out guitars, hovering keys, blown out beats and the infinite variations possible to take flight. (For the purposes of this comp I’ve also added a few bands who should have been part of back then, who were and weren’t, Your Team Ring, now The Earthly Frames and Guiding Light who come from Hopewell who are still Hopewell but Jason Russo can not sit still.)


The Veldt – Screaming Beneath the Stars

The Veldt Are Daniel Chavis, Danny Chavis, Hayato Nakao, Marvin Levi
https://theveldtmusic.bandcamp.com

Where the divergent lines of future soul, electronica, dream pop, and shoegaze merge lie Apollo Heights. And for those of us who’ve loved Al Green and My Bloody Valentine in equal measure over the years, Apollo Heights is exactly what we’ve been waiting for….spine tingling mind unraveling madness for a new generation of mind melders, at home in with electro beats, wall of sound guitars, & soul drenched vocals dripping with honey….Those who deny soul deny sex. And Apollo Heights is not one to deny soul….A wall of guitars. A wall of soul. Sound enveloping and caressing you, higher & higher, on the wings of a giant butterfly (or, even more specific to Apollo Heights, on the wings of the Phoenix, reborn from the ashes of The Veldt, but more on that later…). Alien as well, insofar as futuristic, foreign, unknown. Yet home. Drenched in reverb. MBV & 4AD and Mute and The Cocteau Twins and all the good things in life. But new too…the future calls for soul.

From Apollo Heights: Walls of Soul by Ben Malkin
https://www.furious.com/perfect/apolloheights.html

From GB-12, Dream of Nostalgia Electronica


Sleeping Kings of Iona – Pheromone

Sleeping Kings of Iona are J Scott, McIntosh, Ray Fulton, Molly Grace, Christopher Groves

It’s like the longing for intimacy that is constantly disappointed, so shrouds itself in music to escape the pain or, builds a cathedral of intimacy where none exists in love, giving voice to the feelings one feels when we found a love in the streets but it was not ours, swinging b/w the pendulum of dramatic and subdued because we’re human and keep it all in, but explode sometimes when the tension inside, the tension we internalize, becomes toO much to bear, and must be released, spread its wings like a phoenix rising from the ashes of the charred remains of our love, because all that’s been held in and held back (& built up) must be released: Therein lie the sensual dreams which make up the music which is The Sleeping Kings of Iona.

From Sensual Dreams: An Interview with Sleeping Kings of Iona – by Ben Malkin https://cnzine.blogspot.com/2006/04/sensual-dreams-interview-with-sleeping.html

From GB-4.5, Post-Pacino Spectacular


Soundpool – Lush What Becomes You

Soundpool are Kim Field, John Cep, Mark Robinson, James Renard, Dean McCormick
https://soundpool.bandcamp.com/music

Soundpool has now turned into The Stargazer Lilies – https://www.thestargazerlilies.com/
Soundpool reinterpret infinity through sound. As Kimberly Elman points out in her essay Frank Lloyd Wright and the Principles of Organic Architecture, …organic architecture is a reinterpretation of nature’s principles as they had been filtered through the intelligent of minds of men and woman who could then build forms which are more natural than nature itself. Soundpool’s architecture is made out of sound, but the principle above is the same (though Field admits, certain sounds rolling out into infinity are tricky: I can’t even roll my rrrrrrrrrr’s. I don’t even know how people do that stuff).

From Soundpool Their Sexy Spinning Universe by Ben Malkin https://www.furious.com/perfect/soundpool.html

From GB-05, Weird Terrain


Ifwhen – Only Faster

Ifwhen are Kentaro, Mary MacDowell, Merc
https://ifwhen.bandcamp.com

Ifwhen has now turned into MRC Riddims – https://mrcriddims.bandcamp.com
Disorientation is a strange word. It assumes that you’re oriented in the first place…To be oriented implies a version of experience that is ordinary, habitual. Ifwhen, the very name itself implying what’s coming next, seeks to shatter that ordinariness, shatter what makes you feel comfortable. Headfuck you, to put it bluntly. This is not a bad thing. In fact, it’s as fresh as fresh can be because it makes you see the world through new eyes. This should be the goal of all art: to see the world through new eyes….Ifwhen is not one of those noise bands whose abrasion is offset with the you don’t get it qualities of the highfalutin pretentious lot, because at heart, Ifwhen is a pop band. That is, Ifwhen’s the candy man. They reward ye seekers of providence, with almighty divine ear candy

From Ifwhen: The art of the headf*ck by Ben Malkin
https://www.furious.com/perfect/ifwhen.html

From GB-05, Weird Terrain


Honeychild Coleman – Echelon (ReAver Extended Mix feat. Cassandra Stanford)

Honeychild Coleman – Damali Young, The ReAver (Albert Husayn Ruhe), DJ Cassandra Stanford, Carolyn Honeychild Coleman
http://www.honeychildcoleman.com

Listen to Honeychild, the female mohawked antique-hat-making rhythm guitarist for Apollo Heights: Well, they were still The Veldt when I met them and they didn’t even live in NY but we became friends over the years and like maybe like 3 years ago Danny was like ‘oh, you should play guitar with us.’ And I’m like ‘you don’t need me,’ they had like 2 other guitars so I didn’t really get it then. And then they started telling me about the whole like Afrogaze thing and I’m like oh wait, of course, a wall of guitars, I get it now.

From Apollo Heights: Walls of Soul by Ben Malkin
https://www.furious.com/perfect/apolloheights.html

Brooklyn-based Kentucky native Honeychild Coleman is a prolific musician and DJ who has worked with such luminaries as The Slits, Greg Tate’s Burnt Sugar Arkestra , Mad Professor, Apollo Heights , Death Comet Crew (with Rammellzee), Gregor Asche AKA DJ Olive and Raz Mesinai’s Badawi.

From GB-12, Dream of Nostalgia Electronica


Autumn Thieves – Sunshine

Autumn Thieves are Andy Durutti, Courtney Hutcheson, Mike Swanson
https://autumnthieves.bandcamp.com
Autumn Thieves have now morphed into Royal Infirmary https://royalinfirmary.bandcamp.com

It’s 1985. You walk into a record store that catches your eye because of the Joy Division poster in the window. Molly Ringwald’s at the record counter. She’s taking stock, being the clerk & all, and she has on those super-cute glasses that make you think geek girls are the sexiest things on earth. Not sexy in a porn star way, but sexy in a cuddle-up-agus way. You coyly walk towards the E section & begin flipping through the vinyl, examining some Echo & The Bunnymen or other, whatever, as you stare peripherally Molly’s way. It’s sunset & you dosed earlier this afternoon, it being Thursday & all. Sunshine penetrates the window and you can see all the dust particles floating through the air as the world peels back in colors. You turn towards Molly & open your mouth, because you finally have something to say. She’s melting. You close your eyes & run out the door.

From Autumn Thieves – ‘Sunshine’: from How does it feel? Interpretations of Recent Tracks by NYC band You Should Know About – by Ben Malkin
https://cnzine.blogspot.com/2008/05/how-does-it-feel-10-interpretations-of.html

From GB-12, Dream of Nostalgia Electronica


Panda Riot – Olivia on the Downbeat

Panda Riot is Brian Cook & Rebecca Scott
http://pandariot.com

R: To me, it’s not really about turning dark stuff into joy. It’s more about describing the feeling of blissful moments. The ceiling becoming the sky is like that feeling of your chest exploding because something is so beautiful you can hardly stand it. It’s not like the ceiling turning into the sky…it’s more like the ceiling exploding and BOOM there’s the sky.

B: I want to take that 8 second moment you have and stretch it out for as long as I can, like being in the moment in ultra slow-motion.

From Panda Riot Interview – by Ben Malkin
https://cnzine.blogspot.com/2006/04/panda-riot-interview-by-ben-malkin.html

From GB-05, Weird Terrain


Your Team Ring – Heaven is Bending

Your Team Ring – Gabriel Walsh and Ricky Midnight
https://yourteamring.bandcamp.com
Your Team Ring has now turned into The Earthly Frames http://www.earthlyframes.com

Your Team Ring: When I was five years old I was given a ten-dollar bill and told I could spend it any way I wanted to and, as kids are likely to do, I wanted to spend it immediately. I insisted my father drive me to Jamesway that instant. I think he was shocked when instead of heading to the toy aisle I ran over to the LPs to grab Sgt. Pepper. I listened to it literally forewords and backwards for the many months – for an extremely introverted, and often isolated kid the characters and stories were my Tarabethia, Narnia etc. Psychedelia has been much more about the ontological mind journey then any particular chemical substance. I’ve never been able to shake a number of ideas about how to make pop music: there is fakery (an unreal band) and hidden information (a meta-conspiracy), that pop music can do some pretty crazy things with persona and memory with dialectic treatments genre, subject and texture (A Day in the Life – a dreary dead socialite becomes a working class dreamer – the longest chord meets the highest tones meets the endless loop).”

From An Interview with Your Team Ring – by Ben Malkin, https://cnzine.blogspot.com/2006/04/interview-with-your-team-ring-by-ben.html

From GB-02, Goodbye Better – A Musical Compilation

Electric Djinn – Mist

Electric Djinn is Neptune Sweet
https://electricdjinn.wixsite.com/electricdjinn

The solo project of Neptune Sweet, Electric Djinn is computer based sonic candy, the songs combine organic sounds with that of the synthetic– individual tracks are grounded in low frequencies, programmed beats,virtual synths and processed vocals. Subtle layers of binarual beats and isochronic tones are also used to raise vibrations. Add the sweet smell of the oceanic to the mix and you have Electric Djinn a vibey, downtempo groove driven music. Neptune is curious about this planet we live on and all that surrounds us, the universe, the mind, those things we cannot see, and… Love. Namaste
From GB-12, Dream of Nostalgia Electronica

So L’il – Swell

So L’il is Benjamin Malkin, Evan Sobel
https://solil.bandcamp.com
So Lil has now turned into Solilians – https://www.solilians.com

music is just the gates
for keeping all we have today

From GB-01, Revolution Thumpin


Guiding Light – Into the Arms of Nothing (Radio Edit)

Guiding Light is musical collision between Chuck Davis and Retsoor whose debut album features members of Mercury Rev, The Dandy Warhols, The Warlocks, and Sparklehorse.
https://guidethelightning.bandcamp.com/

Jason Sebastian Russo grew up playing bass in Mercury Rev when Mercury Rev was nuts.
Jason Sebastian Russo started the psychedelic rock band Hopewell (named after his hometown) in High School, and Hopewell is still around today, some twenty years on.
Then, for a Pt. 3, as if he weren’t busy enough, he gets a call to record with some buddies in England and puts together the first Common Prayer album. Neil Halstead from Slowdive helped put it out.
Chuck Davis was part of the modern dance company Stanley Love Performance Group who blew minds across the globe.
Here comes Guiding Light….the undeniable spiritual nature of the tunes (both in subject matter and sonic intricacy) somehow surpass the obvious psychedelic and approach something resembling a celebration of time passing and a joy in not being able to hold onto anything…

From Seven or More Questions with Jason Russo by Ben Malkin
https://www.furious.com/perfect/commonprayer.html

From GB-12, Dream of Nostalgia Electronica

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