Friday Five: Vincent York, Declination, Seaholm, Fantishow, Visual Purple
Friday Five highlights music by Washtenaw County-associated artists and labels.
This week features straightahead jazz by Vincent York, thrash metal by Declination, emo by Seaholm, classic-style techno by Fantishow, and garage rock by Visual Purple.
Vincent York, Blending Forces
I'm glad whenever I see older Washtenaw County-associated albums appearing online, allowing a new generation to discover past works from still-active musicians. In this case, alto saxophonist-flutist Vincent York uploaded his swinging 1989 album, Blending Forces, to Bandcamp, allowing folks to hear him burn with the late trumpeter Marcus Belgrave, pianist Gary Schunk, bassist Marion Hayden, and drummer Lawrence Williams. Former WEMU DJ Linda Yohn wrote about Blending Forces here.
Declination, The Executioner
Ann Arbor's Joe West is the one-man Declination, and his new thrash metal album, The Executioner, is his first in nine years.
Seaholm, "Shirley Temples" / "Hurricanrana" and "Weatherman"
If the band name Into It. Over It. means anything to you, then Ann Arbor emo band Seaholm will be your new favorite local band. The trio mixes passionate vocals, catchy guitar leads, and plenty of effects-pedal stomps to get your brittle heart racing.
Fantishow, Hi Freq.s
The 12 tracks on Fanitshow's new album are flashbacks to the early days of acid house and techno—by design. The Ann Arbor producer—aka Nathan Wheeler—specifically used sounds from records he had collected from that era, and Hi Freq.s is an excellent hommage to the roots of modern dance music. Additionally, Wheeler is an animator and he strung together a fab megamix with trippy visuals here.
Visual Purple, Visual Purple
It's a familiar story: young people form a band, give it a go for a couple of years, then break up before releasing any material. In the case of Canton, Michigan, trio Visual Purple, the musicians were 11 years old. These six lo-fi songs, recorded in 1996 by vocalist-guitarist Kevin McGorey's dad, Chris, are described by Ann Arbor-founded label Ginkgo Records as "Guided By Voices if they were fronted by an 11-year-old boy." Three chords and the prepubescent truth.
Christopher Porter is a library technician and the editor of Pulp.