Sunday, May 11, 2008

Sunday Videos: from Si Schroeder - Coping Mechanisms


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HFN105 - taking you in the complete opposite direction to screamo.


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Si Schroeder's 2006 album, Coping Mechanisms, got a re-release on vinyl this February with new album artwork. (That's a photo of the LP directly above, beside On The Road: The Original Scroll, and some Polyvinyl invoices)

The concise version of his Myspace description states:

"Si Schroeder is a six-foot hairy male who makes 'music'. This 'music' has generally sounded like the combined contents of his record collection (mostly classic sixties pop, scratchy old ethnic recordings and the odd bleep or two), on top of which he layers ruminative, whispered vocals about the tough times we all live in and go through. His adventures have lately brought him into the arms of Dublin tastemakers Foggy Notions (***** Best Album of 2006 for his debut COPING MECHANISMS); nomination for the 2nd Choice Music Awards (the Irish Mercurys); and National radio and TV appearances. An argumentative sophomore album is currently in the works. His current live shows attempt to find a bridge between live electronics, guitars, drums, percussion, and the combined singing of men, women, children and machines. In various guises Si Schroeder has blown the PA systems of Dublin, London's influential Kosmische club, PopKomm Berlin, Oslo, New York's IntelFest, and Chicago. Expect toy pianos and toy planes, bleeps and beats (and bleats...) bells and chimes, drones and choirs..."

The Si Schroeder track I posted before, on last month's 21st Century Bites 'electro' mix, was instrumental (track 2, 'Brailowsky - schroedersound remix'), but the album is not. Soft, understated singing over an eclectic mix of guitar sounds, keyboards and electronic beats, all with an eerie minimalism which unfolds into potent emotional force. There's a gentle rise and fall in all of the songs, and a tendency to absorb themselves, slowly, into your mind so that they make the world outside seem beautiful.

"hats off to mr schroeder for doing something very new and inventive with laid back electronica. really really superb stuff"

road records - coping mechanisms [no longer in stock]

This album works really well on vinyl, what with its ambience and exuded calm. That's not to get elitist, Luddite or overly romantic, but sometimes a thing works well in a particular setting. The titling of the cover, which looks totally like something from the 1980s, is an added bonus in that regard. I have both Spiderland and Loveless on LP, and Coping Mechanisms is just as enthralling as those on the record player.


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All the songs are good, but I keep coming back - naturally enough - to the first two, 'The Reluctant Aviator' and 'Lavendermist'. Just last weekend, I saw this video of 'The Reluctant Aviator' from the Airfield sessions for Channel 6's Night Shift (via graveyardshiftshane from Phantom FM). It has about a minute of 'natter' at the start between Si Schroeder and the Night Shift presenter, on the origin of the song's theme and the transferance of phobias, and then a very sparse, yet powerful, live performance of the song:




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There is also this video of 'Lavendermist' performed at the Eurosonic exhibition, in January of this year, in Holland. I'm not sure if it's just me, but I get this strong Lungfish vibe off the deep, circular electronic riff at the heart of the song. 'Lavendermist' was the track that got me into Coping Mechanisms and Si Schroeder in the first place (sorry I can't embed it, as it is probably the one video most worth watching):

Cineversity.tv/Si Schroeder


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From the same festival, another performance of 'The Reluctant Aviator' - not quite as good video quality-wise as 'Lavendermist' above, but an interesting take on the song vs. the Airfield session as well:




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And finally, a video for the track from later on in the album, 'A Little More'. It's a little wackier - both in images and sounds - than the two songs above, but still very good in its own way. The Myspace credits the video to "some derd niffer" (and the YouTube just to Si Schroeder) so I'm liking the probable Albini/Slint reference:




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Myspace - Si Schroeder

Trust Me I'm A Thief Records; (buy releases)


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oh yeah, and he's playing with Matmos in Dublin on my birthday, as part of the Foggy Notions Future Days festival, with Dan Deacon playing two days later. woo!

3 comments:

gonzo said...

long time reader here. great blog id say. when you have time feel free to check ours.
cheers from croatia.

gabbagabbahey said...

hey gonzo, I linked you up in the sidebar.

nice blog, but I'm not all that interested in old-school hardcore. but the Ramones, yes...

gonzo said...

heh, dont worry about it...it`s not (old school) hardcore specific at all. and thanks for the linking :) (if you can please use the http://www.diythisandthat.com/ adress since that one you linked is off original site and likely to change.thx:)