Music* Labradford – Mid-Range / Photography* Acacia Johnson – Polaris

Music & Visions selected by Anna Lisa DM

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Mid-Range, from Labradford studio album.
(All lyrics written by Mark Nelson; all music composed by Labradford).
Released: November 12, 1996.
Recorded: Sound of Music Recording Studios (Richmond, VA).
Label: Blast First/Kranky.

Labradford was formed in Richmond, Virginia in 1992 and consists of Robert Donne, Carter Brown and Mark Nelson. The band has been described as guitar,keyboards, bass & subdued vocals mix up a brew of lo-ball ambiance and occasional icy sadness. An early press release compared them to: Neu, F/i, Spacemen3, Gate, Dead C. & Jim O’Rourke. Their first full-length album was released by Kranky in 1994. By their third full-length album, the eponymous release of 1996, Labradford began to infuse their music with sampled and real time percussion traces, at times faintly delving into actual syncopation.
By 1997, the group broadened and varied their sound with their fourth release. On “Mi Media Naranja,” the group maintained their distinctive identity, adding a string section, Fender Rhodes electric piano and slide guitar to the trio’s sound bank.
In 1998, member Mark Nelson’s first full-length release as Pan•American surfaced.
1999’s release, “E luxo so” (Labradford’s fifth) features contributions from a string quartet as well as a guest on dulcimer. Subtle blips of percussion and samples interweave through blurry guitars, bubbly electric piano and plangent organ and some gorgeous piano. Later that year, Labradford toured North America with godspeed you black emperor! and hosted their Festival of Drifting series alongside notables like Pole, Matmos and Papa M. The group then returned to their homes, now in Richmond, Washington DC and Chicago.
The year 2000 saw the second full-length release from Pan•American, this time featuring guest performances by Rob Mazurek from Isotope/Chicago Underground as well as Alan and Mimi from Low. It also featured Casey Rice behind the mixing boards. Bobby Donne collaborated with Adam Wiltzie of Stars of the Lid and the self-titled debut album from Aix Em Klemm was released.
In 2001, the band released their sixth album, “fixed::context,” recorded at Electrical Audio in Chicago and engineered by Steve Albini. The new album found the trio stripping off the string trios of the last two albumns and working with interlocking sound sources and modifiers; Carter Brown’s vintage synthesizers, organs and electric piano; the distinctive Duane Eddy plays Satie guitar of Mark Nelson and Bobby Donne’s four and six string basses.

Acacia Johnson
ArcticDreams2 001
Acacia Johnson is a photographer from Alaska, focused on human relationships to the earth’s Polar Regions.
A graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, Acacia now lives in Norway and exhibits her work internationally. In 2014, Acacia was awarded a Fulbright grant in Canada to pursue a project about Inuit relationships to the winter landscape of Baffin Island, resulting in the series Under The Same Stars. She is increasingly interested in using photography to explore anthropological issues in the Arctic and Antarctica.
Acacia now works as a seasonal expedition guide and lecturer in Greenland, Svalbard, the Canadian Arctic and Antarctica, where she lectures on photography, Arctic indigenous culture, and visual representations of the Polar Regions. She has made 36 expeditions to the Polar Regions both for work and personal projects. When not at sea, she spends most of her time in Norway, working on her photographs and her first novel.
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