Err on The Good Side (12″ ali_fib compilation liner notes)
Err on the Good Side is the first volume of a compilation series devoted to musicians, programmers, reviewers, disc sellers or whoever involved in music activities that we love. We offer them the opportunity to share their passion for it by curating a record. For this first volume we have asked ali_fib, the most interesting and adventurous gig promoter in Paris, to handle it. We hope you enjoy the result as we do.
We would like to thank Maxime and Benjamin for their wonderful investment, their patience and their open-mindedness.
“Many compilation records project a single mood, whether of melancholy, joy, relaxation, aggression, romance. . . but Err on the Good Side will put you in a state of receptivity. Sounds shift across this disc like the light on a bright but cloudy day. You might think you see the outline of minimalism in the honky tonk piano by Ilitch; of techno in the pulses of an electronic tone generated by Duane Pitre; or of straightforward virtuosity in the guitar playing by Sir Richard Bishop. But then the shapes dissolve, and you find that above all, each track has left you open to whatever the next presents. There is a logic here — it’s the logic of superb concert programmers like ali_fib, based in Paris, who are directed by a passion for sound outside questions of genre or style, and who always make it worth the price of admission.” (Damon Krukowski)
“Aucun album ne vaudra jamais l’effet électrique produit par certaines compilations, qui parviennent à saisir une époque, un lieu, un moment, un faisceau de vies. Err on the Good Side me fait cet effet-là, d’un disque qui défile sans avoir jamais besoin de citer ses auteurs ou dire sa nationalité, mais s’impose au creux de l’intime, à la manière d’un rêve en dérive au milieu d’un océan turbulent. On y est pris dans un mélange de textures hybrides, drones et guitares acoustiques, accouchant de chansons de bout de nuit, qui disent toutes quelque chose de leur époque et des années qui passent, dessinent ensemble la trame d’une vie différente, dans laquelle les bruits les plus froissés enluminent des mélodies délicieusement chavirées. Une vie tout en résonances spectrales, en surgissements fantômatiques illuminés.” (Joseph Ghosn)
Err on the Good Side.
A compilation of lingua francan sounds collected by ali_fib
Behind the ali_fib moniker (a little wink to Robert Wyatt’s 1974 classic Rock Bottom) is a crew of programmers founded in 2003 by music critic and curator Maxime Guitton, later joined by Benjamin Tellier in 2006, and Jérôme Boutinot in 2008. Within the past five years, ali_fib has organized some fifty shows and four festivals in Paris, in a dilettant fashion, nomadically and independently, and in a variety of spaces: music venues, squats, churches, crypts, art galleries, and museums. ali_fib has never emphasized particular genres: psych rock, free folk, blues, spoken word, improv, electronica, noise, garage, no wave, acousmatic, pop, ambient, lowercase music, etc., have all made appearances in our lineups. Instead, we simply sought the thread that ties mavericks and iconoclasts to rigorous modern composers and illuminated creators of all kinds within the realm of music. For instance, ali_fib has happily hosted the Los Angeles Free Music Society’s improv grammar, Josephine Foster’s personal take on German lieder, Birchville Cat Motel’s terrorist blasts into the ether, Simon Wickham-Smith’s hypnagogic drones, Little Howlin’ Wolf’s blues revisitation, Sunburned Hand of the Man’s wooden weird jams, Manuel Mota’s post-Bailey guitar wizardry, Charlie Nothing’s free speech on dingulators, Bernhard Günter’s nearly silent contribution to minimalism, James Blackshaw’s postmodern fleeting fingerpicking, and Lichens’ ritualistic vocal ceremonies, to name a few.
When ali_fib was asked at the beginning of this year to imagine a music compilation with almost no constraints except for the LP medium itself, the first impression I had was of one realizing the number of possibilities one suddenly has been given: Wow. I felt a bit dizzy. After promoting concerts since 2003 in a fairly ephemeral way (apart from some live recordings provided by Radio WNE), being offered the opportunity to release a record—to leave a physical trace of ali_fib’s musical agenda—was indisputably exciting.
The result, Err on the Good Side, reflects but our own musical tastes and friendships, and in a necessarily frustrating way: rather than one record, we would need box sets or DVDs to compile all of the works by musicians we hold in high esteem. While difficult to narrow down, you can be sure that the ten artists gathered here are people who blew our minds when we were fortunate to simply meet them or invite them to play in Paris. These are people who have deeply affected our way of listening to music; people whose work has obsessed us; people to whom we wanted to pay a little homage in return.
With the exception of Chambre 1, Ilitch’s introductory track (which was released in 2005 as part of Thierry Müller’s limited-edition picture disc, Rainy House) and Amen Dunes’ contribution, Diane (here offered in its extended version; an alternative take will be released next year by Locust Music), this record is made of previously unreleased material and has been compiled using a very simple idea of symmetry: most of the tracks here have been assembled as pairs based on musical affinities (with a little guesswork, it should be easy to identify them).
I would like to express my gratitude to the people without whom none of this project would have been made possible: Gaëtan Seguin and Arnaud Guillet at three:four records for their initial impulse and constant enthusiasm; all of the artists involved in this compilation for the trust they put in us; Zeloot for her fruitful collaborations with ali_fib; Benjamin Tellier, my ideal partner in crime, and Nicole Lanctot for her precious corrections and editing. My thanks also go to the many people who have supported the artists by coming to one of the ali_fib gigs. My friendship to the usual suspects: they know who they are.
Maxime Guitton (Copenhagen-Paris-Bordeaux, September 2008)
More information: http://www.myspace.com/alifibgigs
1A- Ilitch: Chambre 1 (4:32)
2A- Amen Dunes: Diane (extended) (5:00)
3A- Steve Gunn: Chazy Landing (3:26)
4A- Ben Nash: – (3:19)
5A- Duane Pitre: Study for “The Carpenter” (5:00)
1B- Hellvete: Osschaarts Kiste (2:28)
2B- Mike Wexler: Nomadic (3:30)
3B- Sir Richard Bishop: Moorish Tiles (2:29)
4B- Liberez: – (4:43)
5B- él-g, sus et jakob: Förgiftad gåva (2:50)
Compiled by Maxime Guitton and Benjamin Tellier
Mastered by Jason Ward at Chicago Mastering Service, in Chicago (IL)
For purchasing the record, click here.