Library Music I: No Space High Enough
Library Music is an anthology of new recordings from the world of Spacebomb, a growing archive of instrumentals, interstitial music, and spiritual sound effects collected in Richmond, Va. Each release is intended for practical use and distributed as supplementary material for the good times, the bad times, and the no times.
The surface of the muddy James River, twisting, glistening and opaque, acts like a textural twin of magnetic tape, a parallel ribbon of inspiration, burnt brown river spooling on and on. The skill of the producer is to wade in these waters and lay a net for a track, to catch one before it is gone.
Straight from the Spacebomb House Band, No Space High Enough is the first installment of a serialized sonic venture. Unlike other Spacebomb productions, lyrics and melody are not central here, so mood and texture come to the fore on these largely instrumental set pieces. Four constant collaborators–Matthew E. White the visionary pragmatist, Trey Pollard the pragmatic visionary, Cameron Ralston the navigator of spirits & Pinson Chanselle the spirited navigator–focus their output in a flowing mix of styles and scenes, discrete soundtracks saturated with the soul of an imaginary cinema. Operating through the blurred roles of producer, composer, player, arranger, and dub engineer, these four interlocking personalities combine to form a remarkably singular voice.
A sketchbook of sorts, functioning as mixtape, beat tape, library music, demonstration reel, but with a baseline of quality and thoughtfulness throughout, No Space High Enough reflects Spacebomb’s full life in the city of Richmond. This knotty tapestry of musical energy is the fruit of longstanding relationships with members of the symphony, the jazz scene and the gospel community. The project contemporizes that time when studios could call in strings, horns and choirs with scarcely a second thought, intrinsic tools in the musical process, as everyday as every day. The natural ease of these collaborations lends power and depth to the sound of Library Music.
The tape moves on, through gray archways, rain on a lead roof, a monastic quartet pouring over stacks of illuminated scores. Now red dust clouds swirl through a hot stereo sky, and four horsemen down below ride for home out of range. Voices in the tank, snares rattling and bells towering, analog luster and digital depth. It’s 80s Morricone, 90s hip hop beats, 60s peace chants, 70s AM radio, a party in the apartment next door, memories contained inside an empty bottle, whispers of forgotten dub sessions, smoke in the morning from the embers of last night’s fire. An organ solo wanders off into silence, then click and the tape is cut off.
Introducing Andy Jenkins – Debut album ‘Sweet Bunch’ out June 15
From the front porches, alleys, and rivers of Richmond, Virginia comes Andy Jenkins carrying a crisp, newly cut album, Sweet Bunch. Hatched in the tradition of Southern culture—unhurried in his art, yet weirdly ahead of the curve by the time he arrives— Andy is a joyously idiosyncratic songwriting talent, ripened over years of relative obscurity. Sweet Bunch springs into the world fully-formed, sitting at the crossroads of modernism and timelessness, sensitivity and decision, with the expansiveness and musical drawl of Big Star, the bounce of John Prine, and the curly, perfectly-carved melodies of George Harrison. Each song paints a wild landscape, the mood of a sun setting on a damn good day among friends and favored creatures.
Andy is a kind of unheard counterpoint, originating from the same small scene of independent Virginia youth culture that produced artists like Justin Frye (PC Worship) Natalie Prass, and Matthew E. White, all friends from his teenage years. He found the perfect seedbed for his particular sensibility in Spacebomb Records, a label known for offering high musicianship outside of the predictabilities of New York, Nashville, and Los Angeles. Produced by longtime collaborator White, with the Spacebomb crew and another old friend, Phil Cook, running hard into midnight, Sweet Bunch was essentially recorded in three days of flow-state, with the drums, bass, keys, and guitars all live and nothing to regret. The source of this musical surety lies with Jenkins’ songwriting— natural and effortless as the glide of a swan or sailboat— matched in spirit and strength by the sweet bunch in the studio. Backed by some ringers and a very full chorus, Andy’s warm words come buoyed on cool streams of melody, telling the greater world that Virginia has become, once again, a musical frontier. Read more about Andy Jenkins.
Sweet Bunch will be available on CD as well as standard black vinyl and limited edition marbled clear vinyl (limited to 300 copies only). All pre-orders through the Spacebomb store ship with a free enamel pin and zine by Andy Jenkins, both pre-order exclusive items limited to the first 100 orders.
Bedouine on Late Night with Seth Meyers
Bedouine made her television debut last night on Late Night with Seth Meyers, performing “One of These Days” from her self-titled album. Stereogum says about the performance, “Giving off a sense of serene confidence… It looks like she’s going to be comfortable doing this for a long time.” Watch the video above.
A Year in Review
In 2017, we…
introduced Bedouine and released her critically acclaimed self-titled debut album, re-introduced Howard Ivans via his smooth and sophisticated full-length album, lent our band to Foxygen following the release of their album (which also featured some Spacebomb production), released an a cappella gospel medley by Resound, launched a series of playlists, went to London to present the Spacebomb Revue, took it all in, gave a master class, went inside Bedouine’s album with a mini-documentary, announced a new partnership, went live on Facebook, recorded and released a Christmas song on Amazon, unearthed a series of interviews with musical luminaries, presented three of our artists on one night in Richmond, designed a limited tee, made a gold record, made a blue record, made a scarf, made music for a podcast, and saw releases of Spacebomb Productions by Flo Morrissey & Matthew E. White, The Waterboys, Foxygen, Swear and Shake, Charlie Fink, Alex Mejias, and Karl Blau.
Introducing Spacebomb Interviews
As part of our show on Red Bull Music Academy Radio last year, we had the distinct pleasure of interviewing a couple of our heroes. Now you can listen to each of the interviews on YouTube in our Spacebomb Interviews playlist.
The series includes conversations covering topics like songwriting, production, developing techniques, and honing a craft, between Spacebomb and guests:
- Steven Bernstein, trumpeter and bandleader
- Mac DeMarco, songwriter and producer
- Mark Dresser, jazz bass icon
- Scientist, dub legend and protégé of King Tubby
- Jonathan Rado, producer and Foxygen co-creator
- Doug Clifford, drummer and founding member of Creedence Clearwater Revival
- George Porter Jr., bassist and founding member of The Meters