Peter Zummo - Dress Code (Don’t Look At My Car) LP
Optimo (like DFA!) is many things. A party? Yes. A pair of DJs and a record label, too. But it’s also an impish spirit, a focus on community and a dedication to new sounds in old forms. They’ve been part of the extended DFA family for eons - Johnnie Wilkes and JD Twitch played James’ residency at APT back when dinosaurs roamed Manhattan, and their now-retired weekly party in Glasgow hosted many DFA acts during its run.
In the spirit of having more music from our trusted friends and family on these digital record shelves, we have a selection of releases from their label, Optimo Music, available. More on this one straight from the source below...
Optimo Music is delighted to present our 2nd Peter Zummo release, this time featuring all new music. This release is a mini album containing 30 minutes of music cut at 45rpm. It is a suite of songs based around this amazing track, "The Tape Is Chill".
Some words from Mr. Zummo -
In this project for Optimo, the listener can hear that my musical food pyramid has musicians at top, or maybe they are at the bottom. In any case, they are important. That is why, from track to track, I selected segments in which one player or another is featured in the take. Some may think that we musicians do multiple takes to get the perfect performance, but I like to find the special interactions lurking in each excursion. Different players came forward in each of the takes, which were recorded in the studios Seaside Lounge and Headroom, in Brooklyn, and live in performances at Cube Cinema, in Bristol, U.K., as well as in Long Island City and on Staten Island, New York.
In order to escape the tyranny of the lyric, I am exploring in this release the possibilities of nonsensical and non-emotional lyrics. These kinds of lyrics bring the singing voices into the mix without an overweening message. The tracks include open-form compositions in which the duration was not specified.
Another fierce and unique act from the depths of the Glasgow underground appear on Optimo Music with their debut Green Door studios recorded four track EP.
Keyboard player Jim McKinven was previously in Altered Images, worked for many years in Martin Rushent's Genetic Studios, was in One Dove and previously appeared on Optimo Music as one half of Organs Of Love. He is however but one component of this transgenerational band.
They describe their music far better than we could - "Seedy Electronica, consisting of 2 Basses, Electronic Drums, Synths and Dark Vocals. Inspired by the avant-garde that influenced the electronic music scene of the late '70's and early '80's.”
Glasgow's Junto Club return with their second EP. In their own words...
This is the second in our planned trilogy of Junto Club EPs. If the first was the birth of the Junto Club, this is the middle-aged existential crisis.
We've followed the same ethos as the first EP, allowing the music to develop organically rather than being restricted by considerations of genre. Naturally, this was shaped by our experiences of the first EP.
While the first EP developed through our experimentation with new sounds behind closed doors, this EP was the result of our attempts to retrospectively understand those creations and the interpretations of others. These reflections were mixed with our reimagining of those discoveries and our experiences of their live performance.
Warm Me Up is not the same as the Junto Club EP because those virgin sessions can never be recreated. Nor should they be. This is the middle aged existential crisis of the Junto Club. And we hope you enjoy dancing to it.
“Hey Peter, just noticed you on a Rhys Chatham link. Just want to say I adore your work, I had a release on DFA recently, and they sent me some of your releases you did with Jonathan - so brilliant! I’ve had “Condo” track for a while, this completely catches my personality and when I feel disillusioned or need comfort, I always put this on, and it makes me feel good and strong.....i will stop gushing now! Thank you! Nik Colk Void x”
This was Peter’s reaction…
“I was quite flattered and was glad that ‘Condo’, one of my lesser-know tracks, was being appreciated. (I was also curious, because the most-viewed clip of ‘Condo’ on Youtube is actually a slowed down version: someone played the 12” 45rpm EP at 33 rpm. The result, however, is quite beautiful.)
I responded, said I hoped we could meet the next time I am in London, and Nik then suggested that she had a track that she was working on, and would I like to listen to it and possibly collaborate. I am always game for a new challenge, so I said sure and Nik sent an mp3.
I was immediately struck by the haunting and evocative nature of the track, the analog synths feeling fresh and familiar at the same time, the vocals having a primal quality of breath and phrasing. I loaded the track into Ableton and instinctively began recording some overdubs. I used analog (Prophet 5) and digital (Moog iPad) synths and a soprano saxophone. I then sent a mix to Nik.
Nik responded quite positively, and over the next few weeks we exchanged files back and forth, experimenting with different mixes and submixes. After a couple of dozen rough mixes, accompanied by email discussions among the three of us (Gabe had entered the process after the first few exchanges,) we settled on a final mix. Shortly after we had a final mix, I synchronized the track with a video that my partner Kit Fitzgerald was working on. This long extended shot fit the music perfectly, and we had a video for ‘Beachcombing’. (A still from this video serves as the artwork for the 12”.)
Initially, there was going to be a one-sided 12”, with ‘Beachcombing’ the only track. Nik then wrote to me that Dominic was also interested in working on a track, and would I be interested in working on a B-side with Dom. Of course, I readily agreed, and I received an mp3 of synth tracks. As previously, I began building up tracks, using the alto sax (rather than the sopranino used on Beachcombing) and the addition of a vintage Korg vocoder.
Once again, a series of file exchanges of mixes, submixes and discreet tracks ensued, and we finally settled on mix #26a. There is kind of a sweet quality which surprised the both of us.”
Optimo Music is thrilled to release the new album from Jacob Yates. Not only is he one of our all-time favourite artists from Glasgow, but he is one of our favourite artists from anywhere. Criminally unknown except to a few who have been long transfixed by his recordings and performances, we hope this release will open a few more ears to his wondrous musical world.
“The Hare, The Moon, The Drone” is the third album from Jacob Yates. This recording finds the band exploring dark hawthorn hedged lanes, moors and suburban, new build estates. There's something more earthy about the songs but the menace and darkness remains. Musically there is a big shift on this album, a field recording of a folk band from a dark, pine filled glen. The opener, The Car sets the scene for the rural side of the album, dank and stone cold. The tracks then shift through the woods, people turn into animals, we pass a sunlit glade, do you hear a love song? Cassie Ezeji closes the side sweetly lamenting in Gaelic as the snow falls.
Side two is a more urban affair opening with despair in a bedroom in Belgium, we visit a faith healer and drop in on your lonely mother. Lovatt recounts the story of a karaoke addicted murderer before we finally go home to our new build just outside of town where the pylons tower over Michael and his sister Rachel. It's a journey you can go on, looking out of the window of the bus, glimpses of lives glide by, cards on seats promise to help you. Ding! It's time to get off.