CT News – 04 Feb 2000

2000 looks like being a busy year for Cocteau Twins’ Simon Raymonde & Robin Guthrie. Fresh from his production work on the forthcoming Autumns’ record In The Russet Gold Of This Vain Hour, Simon and partner Robin launch a fresh assault on the USA with work from their label Bella Union, recently prominent with the Ryko release of the Cocteau BBC sessions.

First up, (street date 2/25/00) licensed to NY’s Shadow Records, is SNEAKSTER, a trippy, dub-bass-heavy-techno duo and their acclaimed album ” Pseudo Nouveau “, (extra tracks for the US release includes Guthrie’s remixes only previously heard on the UK EP ” fifty-fifty “) Then shortly after this, NY’s Instinct Records release the gloriously-titled “Pearl & Umbra” from RUSSELL MILLS/UNDARK, (OUT NOW in USA)-another dark slab of confectionary, made all the sweeter by performances from the likes of Peter Gabriel, Trent Reznor, David Sylvian , Michael Brook, Brian Eno, Bill Laswell, Harold Budd, etc etc etc.

As if this weren’t enough, the Bella Union stable presents a special night of its’ music at SXSW 2000 in Austin, Texas. ON WED MARCH 15th at Maggie Mae’s East. That night will see the debut of Robin Guthrie’s new band, VIOLET INDIANA, and his first public performance since the Cocteau Twins’ split. They will headline a show that will include THE AUTUMNS plus Simon Raymonde, & THE CZARS, whose appearance at the Ritz Lounge for SXSW’99 made such an impact, and they will include material from the forthcoming album “Before…but longer” ( European release date May 2).

Next month’s Virtually Alternative features the band who hail from Denver, and the CD includes the wondrous song ‘Dave’s Dream’, (familiar to those who recently received the BU purple sampler) as Bella Union look to license THE CZARS for the States. SNEAKSTER fly from London to make their SXSWdebut on these shores with teen singer Sophie Hinkley and warp DJ Mark Clifford keen to see how the US audience takes to their unique sound.

And finally, troubadour TIM KEEGAN & DEPARTURE LOUNGE, recently seen across the States opening for Robyn Hitchcock, is back for more. Simon has been remixing tracks from the band’s new album for a single called ‘New You’ due out on Bella Union in May.

All-in-all, a frantic few months ahead for Bella Union, but it won’t end there…… THE WAVE ROOM, classic pop-tinged slices of ambient and trancey song-smithery from singer Hamish Mackintosh, with guest appearances from Jah Wobble(P.I.L. & Invaders of the Heart) on this great debut “Love Medicine”(BELLACD20) Streetdate-June 10

A new instrumental series is due in July featuring new cds from MICK TURNER(Dirty Three), HAROLD BUDD, JAH WOBBLE, new music from RAYMONDE & GUTHRIE (their first work together since CT split)and hitherto unknown dub-space-rock from Cambridge band GWEI-LO and the three bass players who make up the wonderfully strange ROTHKO.