Live in London – John Vanderslice

The re-opened, re-named Relentless Garage has pulled off another cool coup by booking in John Vanderslice for a show in November.

Vanderslice is an odd character, one who has largely gone unappreciated by British music lovers thus far.  He’s famed for using analog instruments and recording equipment to produce a richer, more raw sound, one to which he’s given the glib moniker “sloppy hi-fi”.  If like me (I had to look this up!) you’re not sure what ‘analog’ entails, then JV’s explanation of sloppy hi-fi in an interview with Soma FM ought to help:

“Sloppy hi-fi is having a very expensive and tweaked out signal chain, great microphones, great compressor, and mic pre, but not being fussy about the way that you use these chains and systems of recording. You just try to get the performance on tape. You don’t obsess on making things perfect, you don’t dump things on a computer, you don’t quantize or grid out drum tracks, you accept performance when it happens as it is, and you try to work quickly but the instruments and the equipment you are using are the best that you can afford. I think it makes for an interesting sounding album. It’s loose, but it’s hi-fi. And that is a great combination.”

What this seems to mean is that Vanderslice’s recording style is pretty much like a live experience… meaning if you like his stuff, then the live shows can’t possibly fail to deliver!  Especially when there’s the good chance of hearing an excellent cover of Radiohead’s Karma Police. Even better yet,  check out JV’s recent update on his webpage:

“Jason, Ian and I have started trio rehearsals for the European tour in October. I have to say it’s really sounding incredible. We’re trying to play as many different songs, new and old, as we can.”

After founding an analog studio in San Francisco in 1997, Vanderslice started releasing solo albums in 2000 after gaining fame via a hoax song about Bill Gates’ death.  And his latest songs are amazing – blissful, fuzzy indie with lyrics enticing empathy.  Listen to Fetal Horses and admire its gentle tonks of the piano and “noooo” refrains, as smooth and pleasant as having someone stroke your hair while you drift off… Or try Too Much Time, full of subtle electro effects, a percussion sounding like maracas and the sweetest little chorus you ever heard. These are exquisitely-constructed numbers, made for dark rooms and red wine.  November can’t come soon enough.

John Vanderslice on MySpace
John Vanderslice’s website

Live date:
Mon 2 November – Upstairs at The Relentless Garage, Highbury & Islington (info & tickets here)
Tues 3 November – Borderline, Soho

John Vanderslice – Too Much Time (zSHARE)


~ by ripamel on 10/08/2009.

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