10 years ago
Welcome to Doug’s new talent-scouting-sniffer-dog-blog ‘Doug Digs’… where he’ll be doing the heavy digging for you once a month… revealing bands the mainstream hasn’t found yet like, truffles in the e-forest. If you’d like to tip us off about a great act we should be shouting about, email email@example.com
///Doug Digs/// – Level 1
The coalface of music in the digital age is a daunting prospect. Beneath the towering virtual mountains of slag and silt it’s easy to miss the glimmers of prospective gold; to discern the diamond’s hidden sheen through deep veins of dolomite dust. I am a miner. The darkest pits I hammer. Burrow and bore, tunnel and tap. Some gems lie in plain sight; others require diligent excavation. Here lies a sample of treasure unearthed.
Atlanter are an enigmatic bunch – their captivating album Vidde is a hard one to pin down. A schizophrenic voyage, self-described as ‘Norwegian mountain blues’, that takes in the scenery of Sahara desert folk en route to an altogether more familiar Mancunian breakbeat shuffle. The band, in turns, evokes Belgians dEUS at their pioneering ‘90s experimental peak, Hail to the Thief era Radiohead and the frazzled baroque pop-psychedelia of Arthur Lee’s Love. A supergroup of sorts (leaders Jens Carelius and Arild Hammerø are renowned solo artists in their own right and are joined by electro percussion pioneer Jonas Barsten Jhonsen and seasoned jazzist Morten Kvam) the band is garnering much deserved hype in their native Norway where they are nominated in the 2014 Norwegian Grammys (Spellemannprisen) and also the wider Nordic Music Prize (Mercury equivalent).
Vidde is out now on Jensen Plateproduksjon. Check them out performing album standout track Pike below. Atlanter plays the excellent Ja Ja Ja clubnight at The Lexington, London on Feb 13th.
Walton Hesse are responsible for some of my very favourite music of 2013, as such it would be remiss of me to leave them out of my very first music blog. Bittersweet, bourbon-drenched last orders country hymnals morph into cosmiche wig-outs as beautifully unnatural as the metamorphosis of pupae to moth. Central to the recipe are lead singer/writer Matt Grayson and bandmate Nicola Crosby’s melodic harmonies evoking the nostalgia of Emmylou Harris and Gram Parsons through the melancholy of a grim Salford February morning. Reference points here include Big Star, Wilco, The National, Springsteen, Low and Beck whilst adding a fresh yearning to the trodden path.
Apparently their debut album is due for completion in the next month or so and we at Karousel have our fingers crossed pretty tightly that when it’s done they’ll be hopping on a Pendolino from Manchester to grace a stage that bears our name.
Listen to my fave Dying on the Mountain below.
///DOUG MORCH/// -‐ Karousel’s Doug was guitarist and a founder member of the band Longview, whose debut album Mercury was critically lauded and achieved gold sales in the UK in 2005. The band toured extensively in the UK and US alongside acts such as Elbow, Doves, The Cure, Phoenix and Embrace and notched up festival appearances at Glastonbury, SXSW, Reading/Leeds and V to name a few. Doug has also played with German electronica artist Ulrich Schnauss and more recently Norwegian chanteuse Carmen Villain. For the past 8 years Doug has been working in live music venue management in Manchester and London, and helping build the Karousel collective community.