Right around the time that the date was set for this live session with Long Distance Poison, I was at home, acquainting myself with Klaus Schulzes' L' Vie Electronique sets, volumes 1-3 (consisting mostly of 60s-70s unreleased material from the genre-defining "Berlin-school" synthesist.)
It all seemed to fall together quite perfectly, as this band referenced Krautrock in the most pleasing of ways, which is to say just enough, but not too much. They still had plenty of "edge," and in this day where bands travel hundreds of miles to bang it out at an INC gig for seven minutes, LDP had the "audacity" to play 60-minute sets! I knew when I spoke to Nathan after the first set I saw them do live, and we talked of John Carpenter, and The Entity, that the band would eventually visit the Castle, and that they'd pull off something special.
Which brings us to Sisu. On Nathan's invitation, I "imagined" a film (from the year 1972; my choice) and Sisu was born. Everyone would expect horror, so I did a romance, which can still be quite devastating...especially in Scandinavia, in the early seventies. The band picked up on the essence that I had in mind quite deftly, and with a minimum of discussion; what was on my mind were Tangerine Dream's soundtrack to William Friedkin's Sorcerer, in addition to their deceptively simple Rubycon, as well as a much more minimal overview of all of John Carpenter's scores to his early films.
There's a keyword with Long Distance Poison, recurring, at least to me, and that word is cinematic. Several times in the two weeks that have passed since the live session, I've been in my office or car, thought to myself, "what is this I have playing? what great soundtrack CD is this? whup—it's the LDP session from my show—right on!" So, "Sisu" succeeds in my book many times over, as music to a film that never existed, might be, or could be.
The set is an often chilly, but also alive and growing, piece of top-shelf synthesizer ensemble music, and I'm always humbled by the flourishing sounds that bands purvey live and without a net when they visit the Castle, making these sessions memorable for all involved by the sheer will of making them come off at all. I have, once again, to extend huge thanks to engineer Bob Bellerue, who comes and stays late after a full day of work to engineer, mostly for bands that he's seen live before (which any band will tell you is a huge help.) Bob used to run the Il Corral experimental music and art space in Los Angeles, and nowadays lives in Brooklyn and runs the impressive Anarchymoon Recordings label, in addition to collaborating with everyone from Z'EV to, uh...me.
Thanks as always to Tracy Widdess of Brutal Knitting, for gorgeously fucking up my mediocre photographs. She made that crazy, wooly, horned-demon mask I wear in pictures sometimes. Thanks especially to Nathan, Erica and Casey for offering me this unique opportunity to collaborate, and for knocking out an excellent performance.