Saturday, July 27, 2013

Public Eyesore, Eh?

In TIMR 12 I gave a call out to labels that had supported &etc through the years.

One prominent entry was Public Eyesore and Eh? - a couple of labels run by Bryan Day. PE came first and it's first few scores of releases were on CDr in simple cardr sleeves with printed front and back labels (simple structure but often complex and always interesting designs) and in the last few years has moved into some more solid cases (jewel, trays etc) with more details on, and also some vinyl. The remit has stayed a wide as possible - improv, outsider music, ambient, pop-ish and indeed anything that seems to tickle the labels fancy.

Eh? started later, maintains the simple aesthetics, and is more focussed on free form, though not exclusively.

Bryan always sends big parcels of disks - expect double figures. Packages always filled me with excitement and a degree of overwhelmedness - I know the music would be stretching me and that a lot of solid listening was coming - the basis of my reviewing has always been that I have to listen through closely at least twice before commenting; and to be honest but also positive: if I don't like something it is probably me, as the fact someone has created it and then released it means that it has something going for it. I also like to listen in different moods - sometimes noisy freeform is annoying while at other cathartic. PE and Eh? always tested me in a good way.

Of the labels/people who supported &etc Bryan was probably the most prolific: other like M Bentley, Darrin Verhagen or Soundician sent me every release, but the numbers were nothing like Bryan - until last week I had over 90 disks from Bryan from the labels plus material he has released through other labels. If you do a search here for Public Eyesore and/or Eh? you will find a bevy of reviews (there are many more on the PE & Eh? websites - Bryan is careful to copy reviews into release pages at the label websites).

With so many releases there have been some standouts - Ember Scrag's (while not on either label) still haunts my brain, Hollydrift and V are artists who went on to become significant to me (the Zeromoon label is excellent). Marina Hardy's Pink Violin review has the most page views on &etc - there is some uncertainty about her authorship, but it is still a fabulous album.

Anyway, Bryan saw the resurrection of &etc and contacted me, and then sent me another of his musical parcel bombs - another 10 releases from Public Eyesore and Eh? I will slowly build reviews of them over the next few months, so expect to see them appearing. A brief listen to bits of most of them have let me know that my ears are getting stretched again! Excellent.

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