Steve Bates On His Favourite Constellation Releases
Fresh off the announcement of his first full-length for Constellation, entitled All The Things That Happen, we asked STEVE BATESto pick and share some thoughts on his favourite Constellation records.
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Elizabeth Anka Vajagic - Nostalgia / Pain EP
I got this record when I had just moved to Montréal and had only heard Godspeed You! Black Emperor and Fly Pan Am on Constellation. Elizabeth is phenomenal. She is so talented and goes so deep into her music. Many years later we met and shared our love for a certain guitar pedal and started making music together. I am so grateful for EAV.
Land Of Kush - Sand Enigma
I could likely have any Land of Kush record here but this is also my favourite Constellation record cover so I’ll go with Sand Enigma. Sam is always, always so interesting and he’s released a bunch of things on his own that are also great (check out his oud covers of Albert Ayler and Ornette Coleman, the latter on Constellation’s Corona Borealis Longplay Singles series). So many amazing people involved here. So much going on that somehow makes sense and then turns and re-shapes again. Worlds within worlds within worlds…
Godspeed You Black Emperor! - f# a# ∞
A million years ago living in Winnipeg, a bandmate was on a trip to Montréal and bought this record for me from a then-unknown band making remarkable music and putting all kinds of shit in their records. Looking back on this time, it was pretty exciting to hear all the directions things were traveling.
Jerusalem In My Heart - Daqa'iq Tudaiq
Like Land of Kush, I could put any JIMH record here. Radwan’s records always evoke so much. It reminds me of being young and going to shows and sometimes being a little afraid of a group, in a good way, of not knowing what might happen next. Feeling like it was potentially a little dangerous and off the rails. The uncertainty, the intensity, the beauty and the rage all forming into some kind of remarkable experience. The rhythms, textures and timbres of JIMH, both sonically and visually, are endless spaces of potential.
Fly Pan Am - C’est ça
My favourite Constellation band! Roger, Jonathan, Jean-Sébastien, and Félix never disappoint. So much talent and skill here delivered with such openness and serious play - like a Swiss playground. They always feel like they are eagerly inviting you into the world of their music. I don’t know I can describe any other band so whole-heartedly that way. But I really feel like this when listening to FPA. You can really hear their honest love of both the avant-garde and rock music. I was so excited to hear they were getting back to making records and playing live again. I love Fly Pan Am.