Jul 15, 2013

Black Forest/Black Sea - released 10 years ago this week

original USA release, 2003 - Last Visible Dog + Secret Eye Records split label release
re-issued (with bonus tracks) in France, 2005 - Asphalt Duchess label

bonus tracks:
Sea Song - live on WMBR, Cambridge MA, July 10, 2003
Lump In Throat - live on the sidewalk outside of Tonevendor, Sacramento CA, Aug 3, 2003

"On their debut, Providence-based Black Forest/Black Sea offer seven chilly field recordings placed within a half-improvised framework of guitar, cello and sundry accented glitches. After piecing together a magnificent patchwork tent of bark, calico fabric, twisted vines, and fallen stars, the duo-- featuring ex-members of experimental folk troupe Iditarod-- sets up an austere camp in the enchanted psych-folk glen also inhabited by Ghost, Charalambides, Six Organs of Admittance, Fursaxa, and the Jewelled Antler Collective. In addition to Jeffrey Alexander's guitar (finger-picked and bowed) and Miriam Goldberg's cello (pitch-shifted and ring modulated), Black Forest/Black Sea incorporate hissing short-wave radio, omnichord, haunting vocal melodies, saxophone, rusty percussion, 8-rpm phonograph, reel-to-reel noise, drone, feedback, fireside crackles, and some general knob turning." (Pitchfork)

"Black Forest/Black Sea is primarily Jeffrey Alexander and Miriam Goldberg, an unusual folk styled duo who sound straightforward enough on first hearing, until something unexpected turns the simply plucked banjo song they are playing upside down. Backwards backwoods playing, electronic effects, a shortwave radio and some knob twiddling are all incorporated into their sound, which twists from traditional folk Americana to beatbox Improv and back again. Nothing, however, is quite what it seems, and this constant sound shifting gives Alexander and Goldberg's musically metamorphic contribution to the New Weird America cult an edge over the competition. For BF/BS are genuinely strange." (The Wire)