Damien Jurado’s solo career began during the mid-1990s, with him releasing lo-fi folk based recordings on his own cassette-only label, Casa Recordings. Gaining a local cult following in Seattle, he was brought to the attention of Sub Pop Records by Sunny Day Real Estate singer Jeremy Enigk. After two 7″ releases (“Motorbike” and “Trampoline”) Sub Pop issued his first full album, Waters Ave S. in 1997. His second album Rehearsals for Departure, released in 1999, was a relative breakthrough.
He often makes use of found sound and field recording techniques, and has experimented with different forms of tape recordings. In 2000 he released Postcards and Audio Letters, a collection of found audio letters and fragments that he had found from sources such as thrift store tape players and answering machines. After signing for the Indiana-based label Secretly Canadian, Damien Jurado reverted to his trademark folk ballad-based style, releasing four more albums: Where Shall You Take Me? (2003), On My Way To Absence, (2005) And Now That I’m In Your Shadow (2006) and Caught in the Trees (2008).
The Black Country strikes again with this latest offering of talent featuring Richard Labran formerly of Black Country legends Solway Fifth, Deadsunrising and Formation Flight and Andrew Walton of the impressive West Bromwich post rock trio, Cellardoor. Ions put together well crafted songs that are a mix of dance, pop and rock, where the notes ebb and flow from the darkness into the light and back again. An intruiging sound that will at times get you dancing and at other times leave you perplexed.
Twelve feet strong with a head for dizzying heights, Health & Efficiency were raised by wolves in a forest. Leaving the pack and relocating to their practice space in historic Deritend, they experiment with sounds and music, surrounded by priceless works of contemporary art.
Their music traverses an encyclopaedia of influences; psych, folk, no wave noise and electronic perhaps being some of the more predominant. They utilise banjo, two basses, two guitars, synths, samplers and more effects and loop pedals than it’s reasonable for one band to need.
Uniquely tuned guitars howl, chiming harmonics sing, drones and loops are punctuated by distant chanting and crisp syncopated drumbeats. Sometimes loud, sometimes quiet, always Health & Efficiency.
Poster by Ben Javens