Exclusive, Signed Copies
Cindy’s Karina Gill and label mates Violent Change effortlessly throw out two incredible records of alternatively hushed and wild manna from some warped heaven. Both Signed and customised.
Standard Candle Demos
LTD LP, each copy signed and customised by Karina Gill
By now, if you’re not thoroughly, bodily enchanted by the songs and craft of Karina Gill I’m not sure there’s much hope left for you. Ah but don’t fret, there’s still time and Karina Gill is a true master of time. Gill’s songs open up time in the listener’s head, stretching out, unfurling, uncurling and unravelling slowly and at their own pace.
On these Standard Candle Demos, Gill gingerly strums her single coil axe with her voice, close to the mic as if trying not to disturb the universe, dancing a slow waltz on top of the music. It’s kind of crazy how music this minimal, played simply and without ornament is so full of character and ache: even the strumming patterns, the lightest of pressure on each string feels completely owned by Gill. The chords ring out, gently following each other dutifully and with charm, folding in on themselves coaxed forth by the songs. As Karina mentions on some of her hand-written notes on each copy on the back of the sleeves, these songs were written ad hoc on a Tascam 4-track, with borrowed instruments and a hell of a lot of implicit, in-built magic. Oh god damn it, you know this stuff is special. It was special the first time you heard it, the last time you heard it. The songs eaked out onto the ferric here sound very much like the first time you heard them. Almost apologetic in existence but defiantly beautiful. Special, special stuff.
Violent Change – Starcastle
LP – Signed
The world turns and another superlative, obscuro, weirdo, brillo group seeps out of the Bay Area on the coattails of the Madcap laughing. Violent Change are just fucking brilliant, I can’t deny it. It’s Matt and Stanley who are in all the Bay Area bands, we think, though it’s hard to keep up. What’s the sound? What isn’t the sound? It’s wonky, inspired, dipped into swirling, lysergic tea that’s been left out in the south london sun since 1967, uncovered in 1982 by Swell Maps, and then left again until being teleported to San Francisco in 2023.
What’s inspiring by this nexus of musicians circling the Sloth Mate household is that they’re clearly fanning out on all the classic sounds we all love, deeply in love with English and sometimes other parts of UKish psychedelia and DIY nutso music but they also deeply don’t give a shit about conforming to whatever it is you want. These songs veer off into Television-y 1970s territory, with ferric-ly damaged vocals hissing and moaning over the Tascam heads, the songs at first feeling contained before spilling their lurid, melodic guts into drawn out passages that reek of vintage mould in Tenderloin basements. Like the Swell Maps, there’s deeply weird experimentations that punctuate the more “conventional” songs. Check out a song like Whipping Boy in all its Cleaners From Venus glory, albeit submerged somewhere in the Atlantic, or Pacific, just under a large body of sad water. At other times they sound like Faust excavating the remains of an ancient society that collapsed under its own hubris.
Inject this stuff straight to our brains