We have two new radical tapes out today for y’all. From the chillest beat material to the most advanced experimental works. Check them out at the bandcamp links below of grab them from the DISTO HERE!
Cult figure Nick Wise is making glasses right now in Swannanoa, North Carolina. The two of us went to school together in the rural tourism trap known as Sedona, Arizona. While Nick isn’t carving glass for the blind he is either meditating or making music. Here wise graces us with his first enigmatic outing as “¥℃£€₱₮ ΙΠ§₫₪” grab this before it blows up.
Premier Baltimore weird duo Mold Omen make some of the raddest lo-fi experimental avant whatever around. “Ascension or Whatever” goes to that cavernous cathartic place that a lot of darker experimental music goes to, but does it in the most humorous way possible. To me these jams are tender sometimes goofy parts of what make up a radically smart existential collection of eight works from two complex buds.
Was messing around with some low res video files while I was snowed in, here is something I made for the sake of making something!
- Christian Filardo Is In My Palm Tree Garden -
I have been a big follower of all things Christian Filardo for a while now. He is a big influence to me through his originality. From his label Holy Page, to his moniker ‘baseball cap’, to his many other projects he’s been apart of that I am still finding out about over the years now. I am very thankful and happy Christian “hung out with me” in my palm tree garden and let me ask him some questions about his ideas behind his projects and what’s to come from him in 2014 here:
Liam: I’ve read a quote you’ve had in another interview when questioned about avant-garde stating it “has to have some sense of humor”. I love that and relate to that sense a lot. What are some major influences you have?
Christian Filardo: Recently I read a book my good friend Mike Pursley lent me about Japanese tea ceremonies. The concept “Wabi-sabi” is really strongly represented in the book, and in simple terms, Wabi-sabi is the acceptance of something that is imperfect. I like the way the Wab-sabi state of mind easily embraces a state of being or existence.
I think being funny is pretty similar to imperfection. At this point in my life I have been wearing the same outfit pretty much everyday for work, it’s really plain, and if I got a haircut I would look like any normal guy on the street. Lately, I have been pulling a lot of influence from this way of life. Looking this way makes me really happy, when I go out I don’t look cool, I look like I just got off of work, I get to blend into the crowd, it’s really nice.
When I play shows this aesthetic feels really good. I get to look like a square and play wildly unpredictable music. It seems a little simple and maybe I am over analyzing the situation but my blue slacks, brown shoes, and black sweater make me feel pretty regular! So I guess I draw a lot from disguise, or trickery, or illusion.
Liam: I’ve wondered how you orchestrate the precise blends of sounds into baseball cap's illusively mysterious trances. When I listen I am locked in at a visual peak.It really sets in very personal for me. It's a really interesting sound. I heard an album of early Baltimore recordings on Half-Gifts Records called 'New Popular American Music'. Tell me about recording these?
Christian Filardo: After moving to Baltimore six months ago from Arizona, I found myself a bit isolated. I didn’t know too many people in the current music scene and I was doing my best to make friends. I decided that I was going to start taking “baseball cap” a lot more seriously. So I started tracking “New Popular American Music” and a yet to be released album of similar material called “Saving Vase”. These albums are the last too of the baseball cap cable contact era. I have a newer album called “Idiot’s Smile” coming out on Baltimore’s Ehse Records relatively soon that is my return to the mono synth.
Anyway, New Popular American Music (NPAM) was created to document a few sites in Baltimore City; each track refers to a place or a person from my early time spent here. At the time I was listening to a lot of Tchaikovsky’s “Pathetic Symphony”, this work heavily influenced how I made NPAM. I wanted to create something that had a lot of density to it that seemed a bit forlorn while mildly triumphant. It was an attempt at sonically creating a world where abstract noise music is extremely popular, and people genuinely dig Avant whatever. At least that is how the album is supposed to be perceived. It doesn’t come across that way, but that was my initial intention. However, NPAM acts as a nice document of my early life in Baltimore City.
It was recorded on a four-track Tascam tape recorder and the music was created with thumb to cable contact being run through pedals and layered on top of each other 4 times per track. Angelo Harmsworth in Santa Fe, New Mexico, later mastered New Popular American Music before its release on Half-Gifts Records.
Liam: Explain your process or visions to going about baseball cap's live performances?
Christian Filardo: As a live performer I like to keep things as interesting as possible and will play between 9-15 minute sets. Live I am all about variety, trying to smash as many different sounds into the mix as possible. I absolutely hate it when people play too long or take a long time to set up and do the same thing forever. Variety for me is key. Keep things sounding wild! Another key to my live performances is dynamics I like to have really quiet sounds and really loud sounds. Mixing it up keeps it real to me. Everything I do live is improvised so whenever you see me it’s always different!
Liam: Who designs the art and format of your tapes? I think this is a huge strong point for Holy Page and baseball cap and their originality. The visual aspect makes me always want to check it out and then I hear it and realize its a complete package.
Christian Filardo: I actually do about 95% of the art for Holy Page Records/baseball cap. Occasionally, my brother Tom, my partner Caroline Battle, and my good friend Stephen Booth will lend a hand! I got a BFA so a lot of my academic training has been related to visual art so I have a strong passion for visual aesthetics.
Liam: Ive always respected how you’ve managed to release so many things through Holy Page and still it’s kept it’s originality through everything. Probably the biggest quality I look for in a label is diversity - or not sticking to one general trend. I know when you release something, it will always be new and interesting to me while it still holds the overall aesthetic Holy Page has created. What was your first wave of inspiration that made you want to start Holy Page?
Christian Filardo: Holy Page was kicking around online forever, at the time I was getting the hang of Photoshop and making a lot of collages, and wanted to expose my friends’ music to my other friends. So I would make random collages and put my friends’ music up on bandcamp and say I released it. Eventually, the idea expanded into a bigger thing. My brother bought me a cassette duplicator and I took it from there. A lot of my success as an artist I owe to my brother. He is a true visionary and has inspired me in a number of ways. We try our best to keep things changing over here, because I don’t listen to one genre over another. I like all music just like I like all food, people, art, etc.
Being diverse as a label and surrounding myself with diverse individuals with a wide array of talents keeps me inspired. So in a sense Holy Page can be quite selfish because I tend to listen to the things I put out a lot, and in turn the releases inspire me!
Liam: What was it like working with Ed Askew? I had never heard him before ‘Looking For Love’ and was religiously listening to that for a while. I then found his off and on recordings from the last some odd 50 years - having had recordings from 1966. How did you get in contact with him?
Christian Filardo: I actually blindly contacted Ed via Facebook, we ended up in this music group on the book and got to talking. On the real, he is probably the easiest and kindest person I have worked with. Ed is so intensely thoughtful and kind, he is truly a gift to have any association with and I wouldn’t trade our friendship or his influence on my art for anything. He reaches out to his fans and is really down to earth. His new album on Tin Angel Records “For The World” is a masterpiece.
Liam: What do you have planned for this year? Releases for baseball cap? Holy Page? Any tour dates? etc..
Christian Filardo: I’ve got a handful of baseball cap releases slated to come out in the near future. I hope to save some money to tour if possible; I have a lot of stuff I need to get to on the label end! I have been working this day job pretty hard as of late and things are just piling up. New tapes, from Mold Omen, Shelby Morris, Ed Askew, Angelo Harmsworth, Stephen Booth, and more for sure. Stuff will probably change up when my lease is up in July. Who knows!?
I am very thankful Christian gave me some time and “hung out” in my palm tree garden to talk about this stuff with me! I am / have been a huge fan of all of his things! Check out these links to see what I’m talking about!: