q and also a :: Opening Bell
Mike Reisinger of NYC’s own Opening Bell (and Sleeping Giant Glossolalia) sent us these answers to our these questions in our next installment of q and also a.
q: What is the first album you remember purchasing for yourself?
a: Tough one. I can clearly remember some cherished flexi-disc storybooks and cassingles from my youth, but I don’t think I began intentionally amassing a personal record collection until much later. After receiving many influential hand-me-downs from older siblings and older/cooler friends, I finally managed to save up enough to procure both Nine Inch Nails “Pretty Hate Machine” and a Jimi Hendrix compilation at the same time. I recall being afraid to listen to either on a proper stereo, out in the open air, instead sitting at the foot of my bed with headphones on, before and after school, taking in what would now probably seem pretty comically tame and getting thoroughly weirded out. I haven’t listened to either in quite a while but would probably still get a kick out of both.
q: Is there an album you wished you knew about when you were younger?
a: Sure, I guess I could have benefitted from knowing about Eliane Radigue and German Oak and Pandit Pran Nath as a kiddo but then I would’ve missed out on years of bad hardcore and the aforementioned edgy synth-pop and classic rock from the first question.
q: What is the last album that you purchased?
a: The last record I bought is a compilation of jaw harp compositions by Chik White. I heard an excerpt on WFMU while I was stuck in traffic and was really entranced by it, frantically trying to figure out what it was I was listening to. Once the mystery was solved, I was annoyed that someone was able to, seemingly effortlessly, pull such substantial sound and space out of this really basic tool. I remember, some years back, trying to use the instrument myself and being pretty underwhelmed by the results. Talk about an “it’s not me, it’s you” scenario. Anyway, tail between legs, I marched down the street to Record Grouch, asked Brian for the record, and he of course knew what I was talking about and already had it on order and it was there waiting for me the next time I stopped in to drop off a batch of new SGG releases. I imagine it would be a somewhat maddening listen for some, but give it a shot if the concept of an ancient instrument with obscure origins wielded in an unconventional manner seems appealing (or appalling).
q: What is the best and worst thing about being a musician in 2018?
a: The best thing about being a musician, in this or any other year, is probably having found a way to express the things that you absolutely cannot afford to keep bottled up any longer. The worst thing is probably that there are always people who’ve decided that they should benefit from your work before you do, thus diminishing the return for all concerned parties.
q: What is the best and worst thing about running a label in 2018?
a: The best thing about running a label is probably the sheer amount of interesting work being done today and the enthusiasm people have to share that work and the thoughtful and forward-thinking audiences out there eager to absorb and appreciate that work. The worst things are probably the overabundance of uninspired and underdeveloped work flooding the limited intellectual landscape, the sense of entitlement lovers of music have been instilled with after decades of mistreatment at the hands of the “record industry”, and the lack of value placed on recorded work (and live performances). Postal rates are pretty abysmal, too.
q: What should we know about the Compound Eyes/Loma Atomal?
a: The “Compound Eyes/Loma Atomal” EP was recorded in rural Maine with the Reverend Steve Austin at his home. It was the first Opening Bell recording conducted outside of New York City. The song “Loma Atomal” was written about and heavily influenced by my friend, the late Nevada Hill, who played in groups such as Bludded Head & Drug Mountain. He was a truly unique an uncompromising visual artist and musician, a dedicated father, and a good man.
Listen to “Compound Eyes/Loma Atomal”…
The album is out now and there is a release party at The Glove on August 5 with Nastie Band and Stern (both of whom have forthcoming albums on Sleeping Giant Glossolalia).
Opening Bell is on Bandcamp
Opening Bell is on Facebook
Opening Bell is on Sleeping Giant Glossolalia
Opening Bell is on The Divergent Series