Thursday, October 25, 2007

The lo-fi splendor of the Capstan Shafts

I completely fell for Environ Maiden, a 29-song agglomeration of the last year or so of Dean Wells' lo-fi output. It sounds like he's sort of a mad genius, holed up somewhere in Northern Vermont, recording six or seven new songs a day, little hooks and shards of melody buzzing around his head like black flies. But damn, this is the good stuff. Here's my review which ran today at Dusted.
"Dean Wells, the reclusive songwriter known as the Capstan Shafts, spends his days in northern Vermont, 4-track running, headphones on, laying down sweet shards of fuzzy melody and abruptly revelatory turns of imagery. From this Northeast Kingdom stronghold, he has been sending out homemade cassettes and CD-Rs since 1999. By one count, his discography now extends to 10 EPs and seven full-lengths, each packed to the gills with one and two minute songs, the music on all of them lo-fi to the point of primitivism, the parts overdubbed in a cacophonous parfait, as Wells plays guitar, drums, bass and keyboards. Up to this year, he had never played live and never assembled a band. (He finally performed at CMJ.) The whole shebang would be sort of a freak show…except that the music is so good. Environ Maiden, which collects songs from three self-released EPs from 2007 alone, is the aughties answer to Bee Thousand. It's a pure blast of eccentric creativity and discontinuous inspiration, a rocket launch of songwriting ideas that trails clouds of distortion in its wake."
More here:
Here is a video of the guy playing his first ever show earlier this year (he's been recording since 1999):

You can buy the album from Rainbow Quartz ( a fine, underrated label which bills itself as "your source for perfect guitar pop."


michaeldustdevil said...

thanks for this Jen... wonderful... you know where my heart lies... appart from the brevity i would say more Clean than Guided... big XXX's

jenniferpkelly said...

hmmmm...maybe, I was having huge Bee Thousand flashbacks all week. Glad you like it.

michaeldustdevil said...

flashbacks!!!!!... DUCK!...