Saturday, March 7, 2009

la celestina: blue period

TW 1010.

detail from "
la celestina" by pablo picasso, 1904, in his blue period.
"Like a slingshot, only using a sibling ? Where do I get one ?"

Quite unexpectedly, I recently received an email from Jackson Del Ray of Los Angeles based experimental collective 17 Pygmies, including links to their 2008 CD release on Trackwerx, "Celestina"; a concept piece loosely based on the classic 15th Century Spanish novel "Tragicomedia de Calisto y Melibea" - Tragicomedy of Calisto and Melibea - by Fernando de Rojas. Thematically, the album updates the tragedy as an ill-starred deep space flight which sees a trio of voyagers lose themselves in the midst of "a giant gas nebula in the constellation Cassiopeia".

Next stop, the Twilight Zone.
From their official biography:

17 Pygmies officially began in 1982 when then Savage Republic member Jackson Del Rey (aka Philip Drucker) began jamming in a garage with keyboardist and guitarist Michael Kory (Radwaste) and drummer, soon to be singer, Debbie Spinelli from Food & Shelter and Radwaste...

Their cinematic fusion of progressive psychedelia and experimentalism - deliberately recalling the early Pink Floyd - allegedly harks back to the signature sound laid bare on 1984's "Jedda by the Sea", recorded in Santa Monica and released originally on Resistance Records in the States and Rough Trade in Europe. Quite beautiful in both its quiet and sometimes grating tribal ambience.

17 Pygmies - with new bass player, Bob Mora - are currently at work on a new CD scheduled for release later this year. Material for it has been previewed at live performances including a gig at the IPO Festival, Spaceland in Los Angeles.

Jackson Del Rey: guitar, bass, keyboard, vocal;
Jeff Brenneman: guitar;

Meg Maryatt: guitar, keyboard, accordion, vocal;

Dirk Doucette: drums.

Produced by Jackson Del Ray; mastered by Paul du Gré.

17 PYGMIES: CELESTINA (I) from "Celestina" CD (Trakwerx) 2008 (US)
17 PYGMIES: CELESTINA (V) from "Celestina" CD (Trakwerx) 2008 (US)



Löst Jimmy said...

Weekend of cold right here in the Frozen North, trust all is well with you ib?

ib said...

The weather has been furiously cold here too this weekend, Löst Jimmy; earlier this afternoon I lost all sensation on the left side of my face when I ventured out in the icy rain and sleet. On my 'GHA' thermostat the reading is officially "A BIT COOL", the bastards.

I am well, thanks, as I hope you are also, brother. There has been a surfeit of activity here the past week or so. All positive, happily. I am slowly building up to an official post, but I have guarded against tempting fate with undue optimism thus far. Keep warm, Löst Jimmy. And thank you for your good wishes.