June 20, 2021 § Leave a comment
NTS MIX (broadcast 28th May 2021)
The NTS mix is a trip to Japan, Nigeria, Senegal, Zimbabwe, the UK and the US through some of the music that keeps inspiring me, in terms of sound production, instrumentation and playing style, and unusual or freeform song structure.
- NTS TRACKLIST
- Colleen – The crossing
- Juju Gyps – Hakoari no uta
- The Servants – Everybody has a dream
- Mission of Burma – Trem two
- Ahleuchatistas – Vanished
- King Sunny Ade – Syncro System Movement
- Star Number One de Dakar – Mathiaki
- The Green Arrows – Madzangaradzimu
- Alhadji Haruna Ishola And His Apala Group – Late Matthew Toye
- Antipop Consortium – Heatrays
- Shun – Landscapes #3
TUNNEL INFLUENCES MIX + INTERVIEW FOR DUBLAB CELSIUS DROP (broadcast 17th June 2021)
Ever since my first album back in 2003, Dublab co-founder Frosty’s support has been unwavering: mixes, interviews, two live sessions, and also co-hosting my last LA show at Zebulon in 2017… I never take this type of “loyalty” and generosity for granted or something that I’m “due” in any way, and am floored that relationships like this can exist in the music world, where the support received goes way beyond the idea of “promotion”, and feels more like an extended friendship via music.
I absolutely love Mark’s beautiful words on the album, “an archive of personal transformation humming with the resonance of a soul realigned through sound”, and hope you will enjoy our interview (in spite of me stupidly recording it with a microphone way too close to my mouth, which means it’s plosive festival), and most of all I hope you will enjoy what I think is perhaps one of my FINEST MIXES yet: I put so much love into it, and I have two things to say about it. One: it’s kind of a Heartbreak Special, which sounds cheesy, but so many musical gems were born out of heartbreak… Two: during the making of The Tunnel and the Clearing, even though I listened to very little music, I felt accompanied, as if by a friendly ghostly presence, by *all* the music I’ve ever listened to. I think the album distills my many influences into a coherent sound, and this mix throws as precise a light as can be on the type of musical jewels which acted as “beacons” for me. I’m leaving you the tracklist below, though I do encourage you to first listen to the mix without looking at said tracklist, so you can enjoy the surprising links I created across songs…
- DUBLAB – TUNNEL INFLUENCES MIX TRACKLIST
- The Green Arrows – Dororengu Rinonaka
- O.V. Wright – Gone For Good
- Low – Heartbeat
- The Blue Rondos – Little Baby
- Hermanos Tuirán – Lluvia
- Can – Spoon
- Canned Heat – Poor Moon
- Silver Apples – Love Fingers
- Suicide – Cheree
- Stereolab – Doubt
- Delia Derbyshire – Dr Who Theme
- The Beach Boys – God Only Knows (Stack-O-Vocals)
- Wendy Rene – After Laughter
- Marvin L.Sims – Danger
- Stevie Wonder – I Don’t Know Why (I Love You)
- The Upsetters – Too Bad Cow
- Tindersticks – Marbles
- Talk Talk – I Believe In You
- Low – Tomorrow One
JAMAICAN SELECTION FOR DUBLAB.ES PARGUELAND (broadcast 4th June 2021)
I was also invited to Pargueland, a programme on Dublab.es, Dublab’s Barcelona-based little sister, and chose some Jamaican songs and chatted about the selection with the host Jorge Paez (a second programme is coming with an interview on the new album on 2nd July).
- PARGUELAND TRACKLIST
- The Upsetters – Scratch Walking – 1976, unknown format
- Ranking Devon – Death Ballarena – Death Ballarena 7’’ (Reggae Connection,1977)
- Burning Spear – Call On You – Rocking Time (Studio One, 1974)
- Tapper Zukie – I King Zukie – Man Ah Warrior (Count Shelly, 1973)
- Ras Michael And The Sons Of Negus – Wicked Got To Go – Love Thy Neighbour (Jah Life, 1979)
- Lloyd Robinson – It Deep (Extended Play) – It Deep 7″ (Studio One, 1978)
- Bullwackies All Stars – Morning Star – Black World Dub (Hardwax Records, 1979)
- Scientist vs. Prince Jammy – Round 1 – Big Showdown (Greensleeves, 1980)
June 19, 2021 § Leave a comment
I’ve had the pleasure of being asked some really interesting questions on both the new album and my entire output for several media outlets across various countries and in several languages, and this has been such a positive, heartwarming experience: at bottom, every artist hopes that their work will be understood and appreciated, and it has felt incredible to feel this so strongly on an album that has such deep personal roots and which I also see as a kind of “sum” of my musical influences and past work.
To also have all of my 7 albums celebrated – with an actual Bandcamp Daily retrospective and an 8-page article in Italian magazine Blow Up – has led me to feeling even more gratitude: I had no expectation when I started work on what became my first album, Everyone alive wants answers, back in 2002, that it would even see the light of day as an album, let alone be the start of a long adventure, and still be talked about and listened to almost 20 years down the line.
Here’s a list of all the interviews so far, in English except where mentioned, starting with the most indepth one for Aquarium Drunkard’s Transmissions podcast.
Bandcamp Daily retrospective “Colleen guides her through her fearless discography”
The Quietus (UK), “Taking stock: Colleen’s favourite albums”
Tush Magazine (Germany), “Between beauty, Brancusi and breakup”
Rock Delux (Spain), “El arte de desaparecer” – Spanish
Blow Up (Italy), 8-page retrospective (you need to buy the issue to read the whole article) – Italian
Magic (France), “Colleen: la création artistique, une thérapie obligée” – French
June 16, 2021 § Leave a comment
I apologize for abandoning the newsletter and news section of this website this past month: the truth is that between the whirlwind that was the Chiquita Room weekend, maintaining both Instagram and Facebook (thankfully with the same content published in one go), all my other promotion duties, ongoing admin stuff that never ceases, daily life AND the fact that I really dislike the new WordPress editor which has made everything way more complicated than need be and is trying to charge its users for almost any useful feature, it’s been hard to find the energy to keep updating this website. However, I know that some of you are not into social media, and hopefully maintaining a website and newsletter does make sense in this day and age, so… here we go: a massive update which I’ll try to keep going throughout this week, in both the news section and the various sections of the website that need updating.
First things first, The Tunnel and the Clearing, my 7th album, and 3rd for Thrill Jockey Records, was released on May 21st.
Making this album has meant so much to me both musically and personally, in a way that I’ve touched upon in various recent interviews which I’ll link to in the next post. Having the actual physical product out in the world was also its own challenge due to Covid’s ongoing repercussions on the music industry and especially the waiting period in vinyl pressing plants: you had to wait a lot before Covid, and now it’s even worse, with apparently no end to this problem in sight since there is simply too much demand for pressing plants’ capacities.
I also know that many of you in Europe received your preordered album late, so I thank you for your patience and understanding. The state of postal and courrier services – as well as their overwhelming cost to both businesses and customers – is another thing that I could rant about, but I won’t. I will just say this though: thank you for parting with your hard-earned cash, there is never any obligation to buy a record and now more than ever, I personally appreciate the gesture even more.
If you wish to purchase the album in a way that benefits the label and myself most directly, you have the choice between the label’s own webshop (which ships from both the US and the EU – so take that into consideration when it comes to shipping costs) and Bandcamp, with orders shipping only from the US (so beware of shipping costs to Europe ). Tote bag only available from the US sadly.
The record looks glorious in its vinyl version, and I also love how incredibly elegant the CD version is. Andrés Gómez Servín is the Mexican artist responsible for both the artwork and design. Do check out the rest of his work, including his amazing cyanotypes.
May 19, 2021 § Leave a comment
That unicorn. I’ve had my sights on her for as long as I can remember. I’ve tried the gentle approach: it hasn’t worked. I tried the drastic approach once, 12 years ago, with mixed results: I removed stress, but also a great part of my identity by removing too much work, which… led to stress. Fast forward to now and this impossible-to-ignore realization: work-related chronic stress has been my own personal mental gangrene for 20 years now. A 20-year-old gangrene does not look nor smell pretty. How have I managed to keep going that way? At great cost. So it’s not a small temporary band aid that I need: amputation is what I need. In much the same way I’d want to keep my leg if I did have real gangrene, I’d love to keep playing live (one of my two professional legs – the other being making records), forever. But the thing is I’m me, and I have this problem with handling stress. No amount of wishful thinking, nor all the things I do to reduce my stress and be somehow “different”, is going to change the fundamental way in which I operate at certain basic levels.
The Barcelona shows at Chiquita Room to celebrate the release of the new album are of course still happening, and I’ll try to make the London show at King’s Place on 7th August a fitting “goodbye for now”. Indeed, in my head this is not a “forever” decision, and although – to state the obvious – there is no knowing what the future will be made of, I’d like to think that it is precisely this retirement right now that will enable me – if I have the good luck of being alive and well and if we haven’t destroyed the planet completely by then – to be back at some point, let’s say, in the 2030s?
This decision has been harder to make and announce than I anticipated, and has made me feel like writing a long series of posts: not a litany in the “touring-is-so-hard” style (I have little sympathy for that). Instead, time cost, self-care, self-love, self-image – stuff that we can all relate to.
Those of you who been to my shows know it anyway, but I do THANK YOU, again, for being part of one of the things I’ve most loved doing in my life.
April 30, 2021 § Leave a comment
Post in English + Castellano abajo!
I am so thrilled to finally give you all the details on the 3-day celebration of the release of The Tunnel and the Clearing at Chiquita Room! It’s the first time I get the chance to do this, I get the sense it might possibly be the last time too since people and circumstances have to align for this sort of stuff to happen, and I guess that in a weird way, Covid is in great part responsible for this happening :-) So, without further ado, what will you get?
- Me smiling and all this gear – Sol the cat not included
- 6 concerts performing the new album, 2 each day – LIMITED CAPACITY – ALL BOOKING DETAILS IN LIVE SECTION:
5-7 pm: live show + technical demonstration + Q and A (in English and Spanish)
8-9 pm: live show
Regarding the “tech demonstration”, think super informal workshop: showing you in as much detail as you want the way I played and produced the album, with an opportunity to see up close a rare machine (I don’t think there are many Elka Drummer Ones in Barcelona… ) and some not-so-common analog gear such as a Space Echo in perfect working order and the now discontinued Moogerfoogers (which, by the way, I was officially asked to celebrate in a session at Moog Soundlab Studio back in 2017).
In the Q and A I will welcome all types of questions, whether artistic (and these can be on my older albums too) or on other subjects I’m passionate about, such as the mental and physical health of musicians, more down-to-earth aspects of the music business such as labels and publishing, etc.
Also on the menu:
- screening of Daniel Barreto’s mind-expanding animation video for “Hidden in the Current” and Luis Torroja’s minidocumentary on the album
- limited screenprint edition of Andrés Gómez Servín’s original artwork
- records galore: limited white and gold vinyl of The Tunnel + CDs, vinyl of A flame my love, a frequency and Captain of none, vinyl and CD of the hard-to-get The Weighing of the Heart
- super limited edition tote bag of the new album
Will you join us?
Estoy muy emocionada de poder por fin daros todos los detalles sobre la celebración de 3 días que hemos planificado para la salida de The Tunnel and the Clearing en Chiquita Room! Es la primera vez que tengo la oportunidad de hacer algo así, y tengo la sensación que posiblemente será también la última, dado que la gente y las circunstancias se tienen que “alinear” para que pase algo asi, y creo que de cierta manera, el Covid es en gran parte responsable de este evento :-) Pero sin más preámbulos, que os propongo?
- Yo con esta sonrisa y todo este material – Sol el gato no queda incluido.
- 6 conciertos tocando el nuevo disco, 2 por dia – AFORO LIMITADO – DETALLES DE RESERVA EN LA BIO:
17h-19h: concierto + demostración técnica + Q and A (en Inglés y Castellano)
Con “demostración técnica”, se entiende un especie de taller muy informal: enseñándoos con todos los detalles que queréis la manera en que toqué y produje mi disco, con la oportunidad de ver de muy cerca una máquina muy poco común (no creo que haya muchas Elka Drummer Ones en Barcelona…) y material análogo tampoco muy frecuente como un Space Echo en perfecta condición y los ahora-discontinuados Moogerfoogers (que, por cierto, me invitaron a celebrar en el Moog Soundlab Studio en 2017 – enlace en bio).
En el Q and A están bienvenidos todos tipos de preguntas, tanto artísticas (incluso sobre mis discos anteriores) como sobre otros aspectos que me apasionan, como la salud mental y física del músico, aspectos más prácticos del music business como discográficas y edición/derechos de autor, etc
También en el menú:
- proyección del mind-expanding (no sé cómo decirlo en Castellano!) video de animación de Daniel Barreto para “Hidden in the Current” y del mini-docu de Luis Torroja sobre mi disco.
- serigrafía limitada del artwork original de Andrés Gómez Servín para la portada
- lluvia de discos: vinilos en edición limitada oro y blanco de The Tunnel + CDs, vinilos de A flame my love, a frequency y Captain of none, vinilos y CDs del no-fácil-de-encontrar The Weighing of the Heart.
- edición súper limitada de tote bags del nuevo disco.
Te apuntas? Gracias desde el corazón a la gran Laura . Foto del también grande Luis Torroja.