Nichole and the Dreamcatchers + Various Artists- Krismus Karuls (KK01)
Originally released in 2003 on Konstrictor Productions this fantastically bizzare record features both a 7 song Christmas EP from Nichole & The Dreamcatchers, whose lead singer, Nichole, is in full command of her twelve year old voice shaped at the hands of Gary Gooper. Amazing stuff. Then the full on extravaganza. Two tracks from Half-Handed Cloud, The Mary Hamhocks (Liz Janes and husband- erstwhile Slowly Rotating Fan- Michael Kaufmann) and Mary Krismus. Probably the prettiest thing Create (!) has ever recorded (”Hymn for St. John of Shanghai”- bonus points if you know what he is the patron saint of…), a great lo-fi, fun instrumental from elusive My Marathon and a simply astounding piece of music from Joel Pickell (drummer and musician in the travelling Half-Handed Cloud circus). What is Christmas without kids!?? Childhood tape recordings from 1978 and 87 bookend the tracks and the album tops off with “Red & Green” from themorningcall featuring some sweet baby chatter.
themorningcall/My Marathon- split 7″ (SAA1107)
The first split 7″ released on Sounds Are Active comes from two very different instrumental ensembles: My Marathon, based out of San Francisco, is a moody four piece which includes former Halo Friendlies drummer, Deanna Lewis now on guitar. These two slippery songs recorded by Havalina’s Matt Wignall in Long Beach, shout and murmur with highly melodic guitar interplay and a propulsive rhythm section work from Justin Lewis (bass) and Colin Dobrin (drums). Also mastered by The Album Leaf’s Jimmy Lavalle. Chris Schlarb’s themorningcall is a distinctly different musical statement from one of Create (!)’s co-founders. With Chris playing all instruments (except drums on “August” which are played by Long Beach area rapper Zyrun Jackson) themorningcall’s music transitions from brisk fusion breaks on “Sometimes…” to the acoustic piano driven “August” which also includes a 4-part clarinet section before falling into backward cymbal washes and keyboard melodies.