“SONG FOR EWE” is the feature where artists & music people beloved by VELVET SHEEP choose an obscure song they’ve been listening to that day.

Today’s star is an artist who I had the fortune to meet and interview back in the days of the original Velvet Sheep fanzine. It was one of the most intense experiences of my early music hack life. A teenager on the way to find the Hampstead bolthole home of Swans’ band leader M Gira and his then muse and fellow long standing Swans member Jarboe. In a house that felt surprisingly suburban for such subterranean pop heroes, Gira was unsurprisingly serious, but Jarboe was the warmer, easier presence and meant that I left feeling good about the interview. That’s not to say she isn’t a mystical spirit in her own sense. She grew up in the Mississippi Delta and New Orleans, and the voodoo influence was put to good use as a key figure in the post no-wave NY scene with Swans. She’s also collaborated with a who’s who of the esoteric underground – Philip Anselmo, Blixa Bargeld, J.G. Thirlwell of Foetus, Merzbow, PanSonic and Neurosis, and is now working with Father Murphy on a collaborative EP available out September 22nd on the Consouling Sounds label (artwork below).

I’m chuffed to welcome back to the pages of the resurrected Velvet Sheep ‘zine (now blog) the incomparable Jarboe!

In pleasingly intense and experimental style, the Jarboe and Father Murphy EP was mastered by s engineer, Davide Cristiani at Bombanella soundscapes studio in Italy, using a technique he calls “anti-mastering” whereby he irradiates the analogue master with deep, pure 432hz sounds in a process of wilful degradation, like sounds from the ether mixed in a panasonic petri-dish, seemingly musically muddying the waters but making the harmonies simultaneously more crystalline.

For a similarly lo-fi highlight – check out the original VS zine cover featuring the Swans interview that included Jarboe.

And without further ado, here’s Jarboe’s suitably cerebral “song for ewe”…

Demdike Stare
Desert Ascetic

There are no words yet poetry is abundant within the song, “Desert Ascetic”. It is told through music that, instead of evoking self-denial, is a door opening to a dream within a sensual fantasy landscape. Walking through this portal, Moroccan musicians connect us with the instruments of the raita, the darbouka, the taarija… as a lone singer (the ascetic hermit perhaps) is heard in the distance, as if within a tunnel, and carries us to a desert ceremony of bonfires and bells. The continuous tribal beat and sound of the horn-like raita are made all the more evocative with shadowy delays as they echo through the night seducing us into a hypnotic trance.”

22 BE, Eeklo – N9
23 DE, Krefeld – Südbahnhof
24 DE, Berlin – Quasimodo
26 CZ, Brno – Kabinet Muz
27 CZ, Soulkostel – Soulkostel
28 PL, Poznan, LAS
29 PL, Torun – Klub NRD
30 PL, Gdansk – Smoke Over Dock II Festival at B90
1 PL, Warsaw – Distorted festival at Klub Hydrozagadka
2 PL, Lodz – Dom
4 LT, Riga – Gertrude Street Theater
5 RU, Moscow – 16 Tons
7 RU, St Petersburg – Place
10 SWE, Stockholm – Kraken
11 SWE, Karlstad – Tinvallakyrkan
12 NO, MOSS – House of Foundation
13 SWE, Gothenburg – Culture Night Festival at Goteborg Public Library
14 DK, Aarhus – Tape
16 CH, Basel – Unternehmen Mitte (Safe)
17 CH, Geneve – Cave 12
18 IT, Pistoia – Bruma Vol.III
19 CH, Busto Arsizio – Circolo Gagarin
20 FR, Lyon – Sonic
21 FR, Paris – Instants Chavirés
23 UK, London – St. Pancras Old church
24 UK, Leicester – The Musician
25 UK, Glasgow – Cottiers Church
26 UK, Preston – The Continental
28 BE, Bruxelles – Magasin 4
29 NL, Utrecht – Tivolivredenburg
2 PT, Lisbon – ZDB
3 PT, Porto – Understage
The Jarboe & Father Murphy EP is available here on 22nd September from Consouling Sounds