Everyone Alive Wants Answers 19-year anniversary.

June 30, 2022 § Leave a comment

20 YEARS OF COLLEEN: Everyone Alive Wants Answers is 19 years old today.
This year I’m celebrating (well, kind of 😂) 20 years of making music as Colleen and I was going to write a post for each one of my albums on their respective anniversary dates, which happen to be almost systematically in the spring, but a big health scare got in the way and I had to step away from social media for a bit.
So am starting now with my first album, released 19 years ago today, the one that literally changed my life. I worked on it throughout 2002, my first year of teaching English full time in a lycée in the Parisian suburb of Poissy. I had no clue this was the start of something real and different from what I had anticipated for myself in my life. Sent it to various labels, only one of which replied positively, The Leaf Label, which subsequently released my second and third albums and my music box EP.

CD artwork Florence Manlik

It is very unfortunate that my relationship with the label was damaged beyond repair through unethical behaviour in terms of accounting and payment, because I do think the label did a great job of distributing and promoting my music internationally, which in turn enabled me to tour almost worldwide.
The record was based on samples taken from my own collection of records or from the CDs I borrowed like a maniac from the Paris médiathèques, with the exception of “A swimming pool down the railway track” which features a 1994/5 recording of the Bontempi organ I got as a kid. Everything sampled in Soundforge (pre-Burial style haha) and assembled in Acid (which I was still using until last month!) on a massive PC I’d initially bought to write my master’s thesis. In the 17m2 studio flat in which I lived in Paris. The opening title track would definitely be in my 5 favorite Colleen songs if I had to choose.
Some black and white vinyl copies are still available from the Thrill Jockey shop (copies shipping from the US too in a few days).

Vinyl artwork Florence Manlik

The Leaf Label last represses


June 15, 2022 § Leave a comment

So happy to be back in Madrid on 28 August as part of the Terraza Magnética series! It’ll only be my 4th show in Madrid, and amazingly enough it’s the 3rd time I’m playing La Casa Encendida] : I first played there on 10 March 2006 right between The Golden Morning Breaks and Les Ondes Silencieuses, and this photo is from playing Captain of None on the terrace on 14 August 2016: it captures really well the incredible light that started falling as the show progressed, and I still remember the breeze that mercifully started too and the swifts flying past us… I’m so excited to come back with a 3rd setup to play The Tunnel and the Clearing, and – time should allow for that – a couple of new songs from the forthcoming album!

Gracias de corazón a Andrés Noarbe de Rotor Discos, La Casa Encendida y Mario Andrei por la foto!

La Casa Encendida, 14 August 2016, photo by Mario Andrei

Talking of which… I have decided to take a bit more time for LP8, partly because my health hasn’t been optimal in the past few months and therefore I haven’t been as efficient as I would have wanted to, but mainly because this album just wants to be long and complex: at a certain point, my albums always take a volition of their own, and I feel like I’m “responding” to what the album needs to be, as opposed to consciously steering it in a certain direction. To do justice to the several directions the music is taking (a very “composed” style, a very experimental synthesis side, a more pop-oriented approach with singing, and a more rhythmical side with the Elka), to work out a coherent tracklisting, and to make sure mastering goes smoothly (ie no “I need to listen to a 70-minute album in as many places as possible in 3 days” rush), I have decided it just makes sense to take my time in order to savour the process as much as possible, and avoid stress.

I’ll also admit that in a way it’s almost like I don’t want to finish it, because I’m enjoying the open-endedness of it all so much 😃 Maybe the perspective of getting a new synth for LP9 will be my main motivator for finishing LP8 😅

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