Here’s a wonderful mix of dusty folk, mystical jazz and kora from instrumental guitar duo East of the Valley Blues. We first came across East of the Valley in the form of Power Moves Library, a Toronto based label run by Kevin Cahill, one half of the duo. Power Moves specialise in lovingly hand-crafted tape editions of primitive guitar and far-out experiments (the long-form atmospherics and dissonant accounts of Layne Garrett, whose Reportage brings to mind Francis Plagne or Henry Caravan, are a favourite). This mix documents the inspirational sounds behind East of the Valley’s wonderful new record, EOTVB, which is out now via Death is Not the End. More words from the pair below…
“The tape version of EOTVB has an unreleased live session recorded while on tour in April at WFMU and originally aired on The Long Rally with Scott McDowell radio program on May 12th, 2016. Many thanks to Scott for helping us out with that, and an extra thanks to Mario Santana who did a great job engineering.
We want to mention that Patrick, one half of this duo, has his first solo record coming out Monday, October 24th as well. This record is a split tape with Phil Neff/Hastío. Pat’s side is under the Ocathail name and is five pieces of beautiful guitar soli that is quite light and limber but very intense in spots. His playing is getting really good, going off into celtic and folk-blues and droning motifs centered on a honing style, getting purer and more inside the semi-improv ideas that are forming. (Phil’s side is one piece of terrific long-form raga-styled slow-motion come-down with the windows open. Kitchen audio verite.) I’m super psyched on releasing this with my label, Power Moves Library.
We talked about not including very much guitar for this mix, but once we started to share our influences, the ones that sit inside forever regardless if you call on it or not, we got a little carried away. The nylon string and kora and steel string differences prevalent in some of the playing here is definitely conscious/unconscious tonally and texturally for how patterns feel and move for us. It always comes back to rhythms and moods (the blues), so interlocking and clockwork interplay things are go-to but we like to balance that with freefall off-the-rails looser things where we can free up from each other and go into a more open feel-out space, and that’s where jazz and free jazz and strange raw folk musics resonate. Different wooden/wind instruments overlapping and dancing around and falling in and out of time chasing the light and the night.
We’ll never be able to shake off the blues (and folk and drone and raga ideas and minimalist things), they’re omnipresent, and they push us to get deeper and to find that interconnected feeling or place, cleanly or with dissonance, doesn’t matter, as long as we climb inside for a little bit and face them down.
From the both of us, we hope you enjoy the mix!”
Cath and Phil Tyler – Golden Ace / Courting is a Pleasure
Alhaji Bai Konte – Fayunkunko
Alice Coltrane – Stopover Bombay
Joe McCoy w/ Memphis Minnie – Pile Driver Blues
Doc Watson – Georgie
Sonny Boy Williamson – Movin’ Down The River Rhine
Captain Beefheart – My Human Gets Me Blues
Robert Pete Williams – Hobo Worried Blues
Atahualpa Yupanqui – Danza de la Luna
Giacinto Scelsi – Anagamin
D’Gary – Raininy
Bukka White – Special Stream Line