Swamping Collective floods Asheville with underground goodness
New Weird Asheville, Vol. 1 is just the kind of project after our little black hearts here at Shuffle.
Composed of underground fare spanning the gamut of ear-pleasing weirdness, the collection has been assembled and distributed via the net — for free, be advised — by the Asheville-based collective Swamping. The curators are Christian Church and Spooky Bubble of Alligator Indian, who say the collective “seeks to unite Asheville’s underground musicians, artists, writers, filmmakers, and designers in the hopes of creating a stronger and more vibrant scene and community in Western North Carolina.”
As for the music? Well, you know you’re not in Bele Chere Asheville anymore from the strange horn-bleats-and-percussion of LP-opener Muntjac’s “Stinkhorn” – which sounds a bit like Morphine on a Theremin bender – to the Warp-friendly ambient whorls of Glorious Incandescence’s 10-minute “Ascend the Mountain of Light.” There are doom-metal excursions (ER Airplane’s “The Ballad of Wendy Peffercorn”), late-night chill-out soul (T.S. Rex’s “What? My Name?”), odd little looped samplings (of particular note, the definitions-of-terrorism-plus-jazz-contrabass of Tom Vinson’s “A Conversation with Tom Vinson”), and bizarro-folk excursions like Luke Puke’s ukulele-powered “Never Be This Drunk Again.”
There are even some trad indie songs here, too: the lovely post-punk garage slop of The Pilot and the Pussy’s “Close Your Eyes It’ll Hurt Less,” Wyla’s dreamy pop song “Rain for Days,” and the gorgeous American Analog Set-like jangle of Doc Aquatic’s “Bank to Keep.” In short, a marvelously broad collection of sounds and moods that deserves all the exposure the traditional Asheville fare receives. —John Schacht