4ad-l Mail for 12-17-1994

Mail in Archive

Subject: Re: Springhouse
Date: Sat, 17 Dec 1994 00:10:53 -0500
From: Gil Gershman ([email protected])
Subject: Rare on Air
Date: Fri, 16 Dec 1994 22:17:43 -0800
From: Cynthia Eng ([email protected])
Subject: Re: Did someone say Springhouse?
Date: Sat, 17 Dec 1994 01:48:09 -0600
From: toaster oven ([email protected])
Subject: c'mon now.
Date: Sat, 17 Dec 1994 03:11:54 -0500
From: Joe Janecek ([email protected])
Subject: closedown
Date: Sat, 17 Dec 1994 04:18:46 -0500
From: Ryan L ([email protected])
Subject: Re: Rare on Air
Date: Sat, 17 Dec 1994 08:00:49 -0700
From: "sadly however, not a trace of the bat was found" (NMARSHALL%
Subject: FSOL
Date: Sat, 17 Dec 1994 07:53:10 -0500
From: Jan Hanford ([email protected])
Subject: Re: FSOL
Date: Sat, 17 Dec 1994 17:39:29 +0100
From: Grant Goodes ([email protected])
Subject: Re: FSOL
Date: Sat, 17 Dec 1994 11:35:22 -0500
From: Edward Pak ([email protected])
Subject: Is Ivo really a corporate whore?
Date: Sat, 17 Dec 1994 18:37:28 -0500
From: [email protected]

Date: Sat, 17 Dec 1994 00:10:53 -0500
From: Gil Gershman ([email protected])
Subject: Re: Springhouse

Hmm. I never even thought about Springhouse's environmental "thing". I mean,
"Land Falls" came in that eco-pak, but the lyrics always seemed more about
personal struggles than about the crusade to save Mother Nature. I did notice
a fascination with cold/the Arctic. I also think that the 2nd Springhouse CD
(Postcards from the Arctic) is far superior. With the violinist from The
Black Watch, the band creates these amazingly lush textures which can't be
compared to many other bands in recent memory. Maybe the Chameleons, but the
overall feel is very different. Listen to "Asphalt Angels" and tell me if its
not one of the crowning moments of glory in the history of American
indie-pop. I could say the same for about every song on that album. Amazing
Yeah, I like this band.

BisonBoy (whose groovin' to the Cannanes(Witchetty Pole) right now and
doesn't care what the 4ADLers think about that, 'cause they're great -
ethereal or not.)

Date: Fri, 16 Dec 1994 22:17:43 -0800
From: Cynthia Eng ([email protected])
Subject: Rare on Air

Ok, I'm confused now. What, just what is going on here? I knew that DCD
had Towards the Within coming out, what the heck is this Rare on Air
thing? Is it another cd available with just Brenden Perry? LAst year
there was talk of a solo album done by him, and I was waiting for it to
come out and be talked about, when I was unknowingly hit by a computer
gremlin, that did not unsubscribe me, but hid any messages that came
through away from me. (Which was worse, I couldn't figure out what
happened). I'm still having problems, on and off, and finally just got
back in the groove of things. So, please, someone, tell me the scoop.

                         ,       \        /      ,
                        / \      )\_____/(      / \
                      /     \   (_\     /_)   /     \
   _________________/________\___\@     @/__/_________\_________________
   :                             :\ . . /:                             :
   : You have nothing to           \ _ /      -Cindy Eng-              :
   : fear from my baser             V V       [email protected]:
   : instincts; its my finer                                           :
   : ones that tell me to                                              :
   : kill you.                                                         :
               :    /\ /\/         \ \          \/\ /\    :
               :  /   V  '          > >          ' V   \  :
               :/     '            / /             '     \:
               '                   \/                     '

Date: Sat, 17 Dec 1994 01:48:09 -0600
From: toaster oven ([email protected])
Subject: Re: Did someone say Springhouse?

              16 Dec 1994 19:01:02 -0500

>   Hi, it's me again.  I think Springhouse were a great
>   band, and I miss them terribly.  Nice guys, too.  I saw
>   them twice on the "Postcards" tour, and they were
>   excellent.
>   Just thought I'd throw that in...
>   Jeremy Orr

if you know about springhouse then do you know about jack rabid (drummer)'s
magazine the big takeover?  quarterly or so mag, excellent interviews (much
better than any mainstream rag) and hundreds of live and cd reviews. required
reading for anybody who claims to be up on the scene.
email for the addy!

Date: Sat, 17 Dec 1994 03:11:54 -0500
From: Joe Janecek ([email protected])
Subject: c'mon now.

> From:    [email protected] writes:
> It isn't exactly that Spoonfed Hybrid were "dropped" per se.  Ian had
> parted with Pale Saints without fulfilling his contract.  Ivo offered
> him 2 options: 1) just leave 4AD altogether, no questions asked; or 2)
> He could release something via Guernica as a one-off since his contract
> was still in effect. Obviously, Mr. Masters chose to release something
> on Guernica.  It was under- stood that there wouldn't be anything after
> that.  So it's not as if Ivo hated Spoonfed Hybrid and then dropped
> them.  (BTW, I get this information from a 4AD press release I read some
> time ago).

This sounds pretty right on. Guernica is Ivo's arm to release such

> It is despicable that a corporate behemoth such as Time/Warner has been
>  placed more or less in a position to dictate the goings on at 4AD
> hence- forth.  It's an unpleasant trade off:  Greater accessibility to
> the American market, but corporate intervention at every level.  The
> artistic offerings inevitably suffer as a result, because they must
> ultimately pass muster with the overlord (Time/Warner) -- pre-Warner
> signings not included.

WRONG! As a member of Warner Bros., I can assure you that there is as little
"corporate intervention" as possible. We absolutely recognize the importance
of the label and the style and substance that goes into the name 4AD. There
is no "Overlord". Good God. Warner Bros. or Warner Music Group or Time Warner
do not own a part of 4AD. It is an independant company which receives
distribution though WEA (or ADA) and Warner's does kick in marketing and
promotion money on projects they are involved with.

4AD has acts on various levels in the U.S.- let's look at them.

First, the Breeders(through Kim Deal) and Frank Black had contracts as Pixies
and stayed with Elektra. The Breeders have probably been 4ADs largest selling
act to date. Elektra took _Last Splash_ well over 1 million copies in the
U.S. I am not sure about other parts of the world. (possible sales exception
is the M/A/R/R/S ep 4AD U.K. - 4th and Broadway here)

Second, the Throwing Muses were directly signed to Sire(Warner) in the U.S.
concurrent with their UK signing to 4AD. This is why Kristin and Tanya are
(still) on Sire U.S. And Lush were signed directly to Reprise(Warners) before
the 4AD-Warner deal went down. Technically, 4AD does not influence what
happens with these acts in the states. Their contracts are with Warner Bros.

Thirdly, Guernica acts are signed soley for the U.K. audience. Usually,
because they are already signed to other labels in other territories around
the world. (see underground lovers and bettie seervert)

Forthly, as for the rest of the acts, there are two primary areas of
concentration. One set of bands are worked almost exclusively by the 4AD U.S.
staff. They have their own press, radio, retail and video people. They are a
fine bunch of folks.  Insides, Red House Painters, Lisa Germano currently
fall into the fourth category. It is decided mutually between Ivo, Robin, and
the Warner folk as to when the Warner staff will get involved with a project
(level five)

In the second area of concentration, our (Warners) radio folk get involved,
our marketing and sales staffs gear up and we go for it. The radio staff may
decide what the best track is to take to radio, the marketing staff may have
a poster idea, Warner's publicity may get some magazines, but a lot of
decisions still come from 4AD. Dead Can Dance and Wolfgang Press come to mind
here as bands where Warner's involvement is quite indepth.

But Warners never tells Ivo & 4AD that something he wants to put out isn't up
to our muster. He's been putting out records long enough to know the score.
Give the guy some credit. Yes, he moved to America, got married and spent a
little time last year figuring out which direction he is headed. Probably his
first vacation in a dozen years.

I think that 4AD has changed a lot over they years, but what label hasn't.
Ol' Grungies Sub Pop has lounge combo Combustible Edison fer chrissakes. Even
Warner Bros. started out primarily as a studio label which hit it big with
comedy releases before the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Neil Young and Captain
Beefheart came around. Labels need to evolve. Ivo is still actively pursuing
acts, but at his pace, not Warner's.

> Although there isn't much on 4AD now that I *don't* like, K-J is correct
> in assuming that it's unlikely that 4AD would venture to sign any more
> obscure or experimental artists along the lines of a Master/Defevre col-
> laboration, which is a terrible shame.  I would imagin THAT to be the
> reason for creating Guernica: a low-budget, low-key "indie" sub-label,
> where Ivo or whomever else can indulge those "profit-less whims".

Again, Guernica is for the U.K. market and does indulge Ivo. He told me once
that doing Guernica was good in that it made him relearn the busiess of
selling records because so few at the time relized that Guernica came out of
the same 4AD offices.

jeremy orr  writes:

> (Of course, I still haven't heard the Insides' "Clearskin" or Red House
> Painters' "Shock Me" singles - thanks, Warners!

No one tells 4AD what they can and can't release. That is 4AD's decision.
They know that they can sell x-amount of imports in the U.S., and on titles
that may be marginal, they may opt not to put them out here. Remember, it
costs nearly as much to manufacture a CD single as it does a full-length CD.

Upcoming on 4AD is a Kendra Smith release. She was in Dream Syndicate and
then Opal. Her material is quite unique and I'm sure it will be a challenge
for everyone. I think late April. But before that, January 17th currently
scheduled, is Wolfgang Press' _Funky Little Demons_. Remember, for a number
of years now, WP have had the same management in the U.S. as Nine Inch Nails,
John Malm out of Cleveland. And the Wolfies live show always entertains me.

Ok, enough of me and my blabbering. Have a safe and happy Christmas and
Holiday season.
Hope I could set some of these issues straight.

go ahead and write me, I don't care...

Date: Sat, 17 Dec 1994 04:18:46 -0500
From: Ryan L ([email protected])
Subject: closedown

Where did closedown play tonight??? Those jerks (friends of mine) didn't
bother to tell me!  (some friends I guess, eh?) I saw 'em a couple Fridays
ago at Troys in downtown LA.  It was cool except for the junky sound system
that Troys had; couldn't even hear the vocals!  Their CD 'nearfield' should
be available most places that carry Silent records such as Tower.  If it's
not where you think it should be, go look in the electronic/ambient section
'cause that's what most Silent stuff gets put into, so it's very likely
that's where the record store workers will put closedown into.  Anyways, get
it cause its cool, although not as intensely driving as their live sound, but
still nice in its own way.

For the person who was asking if Silent co-releases tuff with Staalplat, the
answer is no.  Solielmoon is the lable that does it.

Date: Sat, 17 Dec 1994 08:00:49 -0700
From: "sadly however, not a trace of the bat was found" (NMARSHALL% [email protected]>
Subject: Re: Rare on Air

        Rare on Air is a compilation made by KCRW in Santa Monica of some of
the artists that have played live, in studio sets over the past couple of years,
mostly on music director, Chris Durridas' show, Morning Becomes Eclectic.
There's the track by Brendan Perry, and others by 10^4 Maniacs, Los Lobos, and
people I don't remember now.
        When it came out, the only other solo stuff available was on the 13yi,
I think. Like someone else metioned, I would expect that "The Captive Heart"
will appear on his album,.. whenever it shows up.


Date: Sat, 17 Dec 1994 07:53:10 -0500
From: Jan Hanford ([email protected])
Subject: FSOL

>      GET IT GET IT GET IT!!!!

        Its very good.  I would say much better than the LIFEFORMS album...

        There's not as much "going on" in the music (but in my opinion it makes
>      for a better"album"..)

Don't bother.  FSOL is over-intellectualized ambient.  If you really like
this style of music try Global Communications/Reload (same guys).  "Short
Stories" by Reload is pure genius.  The new Global Communication album

Also, I ADORE Elizabeth Fraser but her vocals on the FSOL single are gross.
Most likely, her vocals were great and they made a mess out of them.

I must admit that my opionion of FSOL is based less on their music and more
on their interviews.  They are obnoxious.  And the music really is dull.

Anyway, I'd love for someone to comment on Global Communication/Reload.

[email protected]

Date: Sat, 17 Dec 1994 17:39:29 +0100
From: Grant Goodes ([email protected])
Subject: Re: FSOL

              Sat, 17 Dec 1994 07:53:10 -0500)

Jan Hanford  wrote:
> If you really like this style of music try Global
> Communications/Reload (same guys).  "Short Stories" by
> Reload is pure genius.  The new Global Communication album
> "76:14" is elegant.
> Anyway, I'd love for someone to comment on Global
> Communication/Reload.

Well, I usually lurk, and certainly this isn't that
thislisty, _but_, I too think the Global Communication are
brilliant, and some of the only intelligent
ambient/electronic music being created by relative
youngsters (ie. not Eno or Sylvian, etc.).  They are a bit
difficult to track down, and keep changing names (the next
incarnation is supposed to be called Jedi Knights), but are
well worth the effort.  None of the other so-called
ambient-techno hold my interest nearly as much as these
guys, and I've sampled most of them.

The most appropos description of them I could make would be
that they have a 'technological' asthectic similar to
Kraftwerk (ie. lots of machine noise samples) crossed with a
melodic space-music kind of flow similar to early
Jean-Michel Jarre.  But of course, they sound nothing like
either of those, really, they are quite unique, and
instantly recognizable.  Their music is by turns calm or
very driving, but is always, well, tastefull, crafted.  It's
not just a bunch of layers of bleeps and blurps with some
whale noises, which is how FSOL mostly sounds to my ears.

I think the single best thing they have done is their
reconstruction of Chapterhouse's "Blood Music", which they
call "Pentamerous Metamorphois", and is sold as a single,
and therefore relatively cheap, though it may be hard to
find.  Don't worry, this sounds nothing like Chapterhouse.
If you have _any_ leanings in the FSOL etc direction, buy
this (very long) single:  you WON'T be disappointed.

Let's just say that I buy anything I find by them on spec,
and I accord this honour otherwise only to Eno, Durutti
Column, Wolfgang Pres, and Cocteau Twins (though they may
lose this status if the next album sucks).

May I refer interested parties to the Global Communications
home page at:

It has a somewhat fragmented discography, and some info on
the band.  Any mega- Global Communication -heads out there,
please email me as I would like to track down more of their
releases, but I have difficulty, er, well, 'processing' the
discography as it stands.


Date: Sat, 17 Dec 1994 11:35:22 -0500
From: Edward Pak ([email protected])
Subject: Re: FSOL

Have you heard the MAIDEN VOYAGE singles? (Global Communication) I think
they fell short (talk about a $$$ making scam).  yeah their album was
very good, and Pentamorous was a masterpiece, but FSOL's ISDN is

Watch out, the GLOBAL/RELOAD duo is putting out their LINK album soon...
should be excellent if you like ARCADIAN off of AI2....


Date: Sat, 17 Dec 1994 18:37:28 -0500
From: [email protected]
Subject: Is Ivo really a corporate whore?

This recent diatribe against 4AD's deal with WB is really odd.  It seems to
me there are a couple of explanations for it, none of which are fair:

1. I don't like 4AD as much as I used to...it must be WB's fault;
2. Indie-label snobbery/major labels always suck;
3. I want to keep 4AD to myself and my coterie of cool, like-minded friends
and not share them with the Pearl Jam-lovers of this world.

As for the first explanation, the real cause of your disenchantment may be
because of changing musical tastes -- either yours or Ivo's -- and not WB.
I mean, I haven't seen the contract 4AD signed with WB, but I doubt very
seriously that it limits Ivo's freedom to sign and release anyone and
anything he wants to.  It may give WB the option of not releasing it in the
US (i.e., Spoonfed Hybrid) or delaying release (i.e., TWP), but you can
still get it, and with no more difficulty than before the deal.

As for the second, the point is just dead wrong.  Yes, in general, indies
treat their bands better than majors.  They're less impersonal and more
committed to the bands.  However, there are some glaring exceptions to this
rule.  For example, WB does just about anything R.E.M. wants them to.  And
SST has been notorious for not paying its bands in a timely fashion (I
remember something about Husker Du suing them over this).  Granted, R.E.M.
has the power to get what it wants after developing a big following while on
the indie-label IRS.  But couldn't it be that 4AD has a similar power to get
what it wants?  When it comes right down to it, indies can't do as good a
job in getting their releases into stores all over the country.  [Yes, I
remember that whole Best Buy-independent record store debate, and I don't
want to start it up again, but keep in mind that many people can only get
stuff at Best Buy.]

As for the third, I am to some degree sympathetic.  It's much more fun to
see a band in a club that holds only a couple of hundred people than in a
stadium with a couple of hundred thousand.  And when you are only one of a
few fans, it makes everything more personal.  But hey, bands need to make a
living, don't they?  What sucks is when a band _sells_out_ to make more
money, not just making more money.  Yes, majors do press bands to sell out
sometimes.  But who is it that sells out, the band or the label?  The band!

As for me, I'm neither very pleased with the current direction of 4AD nor of
the WB deal.  But I think it's for very different reasons than most people.
I don't like the new bands as much as the old (RHP and HNIA excepted), but I
don't blame WB, I blame Ivo.  And you know what?  He can sign who he wants
because it is (still) his label!  He has every right to change the direction
of 4AD if he wants to.  He doesn't have an obligation to me or anyone else
to sign Cocteau Twins and DCD clones and release copyist garbage in
perpetuity.  The only reason I don't like the WB deal is that it makes it
harder to get the imports, which are generally of a much higher quality in
terms of packaging.  No big deal when it comes right down to it.

Well, that's it for me.  I hope this generates informed comment rather than
flames.  I can dream, can't I?

-- Jeff

Jeffrey T. Gayton
[email protected]

[email protected], last updated by Eyesore Automation on 12-17-1994