Author Archives: Mandee Carroll

kevin’s a legend, please help keep him keeping on

Friends.

Kevin’s a legend. If not already in your world, with absolute, unequivocal certainty in ours. Kevin O’Neill has been foundational to RVNG’s label architecture, and Beats In Space, Freedom To Spend, and Commend’s adjacent engineering, devoting his wonderful and wildly diverse design to (almost) every visual moment that has happened within and surrounding our catalog / cosmos.

Earlier this year, AIGA published a piece reflecting on the symbiosis of Will Work For Good, the design studio that Kevin co-helms with his creative and life partner Karisa Senavitis, and RVNG, which congeals around our formative immersions in punk rock / DIY ethics and our shared interest in communicating consciousness through art but also levity. Without Kevin, we’d surely be lost, not only for the creative collaboration, but also of a dear friend and brilliant mind.

That’s a startling reality that we face. Kevin was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 2015. The onset of the M.S. was as mild as M.S. can be, but still a serious life adjustment while Kevin underwent numerous diagnoses and test. The real impact of the disease came last year, when Kevin suffered a relapse and a loss of mobility. While he was able to rebound from an earlier relapse, this more recent regression left Kevin to a long rehabilitation process, dependent on trekking poles to walk, and with a deep scare that another relapse may have even more severe physical impact.

Karisa, ever an enduring, compassionate force (she also helped with our successful Pauline Anna Strom rehabilitation efforts not so long ago), has launched a GoFundMe for Kevin to raise funds for Kevin to receive a Multiple Sclerosis treatment called HSCT (hematopoietic stem cell transplantation). From Karisa, “this treatment has been shown to halt the progression of M.S. for many patients, but it has only been available in U.S. clinical trials (which are extremely hard to be accepted into) or outside the U.S. — making it expensive and not covered by insurance.” Heeding his doctor’s ominous warning, this is a critical juncture for Kevin to receive the stem cell transplant, while he can still physically recover from the process.

M.S. is a chronic disease of the brain and spinal cord that affects about 400,000 people in the US alone. Probably people within your family, or that you know. We know that contributing to fund this treatment for Kevin represents one person’s journey with this terrible disease, but we hope it raises a general awareness around M.S., too. This is a first of a few measures that we have in mind to move this fundraising effort along, and one that is immediately impactful. It’s an ambitious goal for an ambitious treatment, but we are dedicated to meeting it so Kevin can make the trip to Mexico in January 2020.

If you’ve appreciated RVNG’s design, and a core essence of our releases over the years, or are just interested in seeing an excellent human being achieve this potentially life-changing event, we can’t thank you enough for supporting this campaign:

https://www.gofundme.com/f/ms-is-a-mess-but-kevins-the-best

With total love / light ~

Matt
RVNG Intl.


September 19, 2019

Visible Cloaks, Yoshio Ojima & Satsuki Shibano – Fall Tour

serenitatem, the fifteenth installment of RVNG’s intergenerational FRKWYS series, joined Visible Cloaks with Yoshio Ojima and Satsuki Shibano, trailblazers of the Japanese environmental / avant garde music scene in the 1980s and 90s.

The four musicians met in Tokyo at Sounduno Studios in December 2017, at the tail end of Visible Cloaks’ first Japanese tour, to commence work on serenitatem. Following the album’s release this past April, the quartet performed serenitatem live in Japan for the first time this June and will tour Europe together this fall.

Watch the video for “Atelier (Live)” from the world premiere of serenitatem in Tokyo, directed by Road Izumiyama here

September 12, 2019

Ka Baird – Respires

Blending the primal with the alien, the future with the past, the experimental with skeletal traditional forms, “Symanimagenic” is a track lost in time and place. Composed with the intention of self-displacement, Ka Baird sought to “alchemize [sound] into a wild conduit of energy, essence, and spirit.”

This is the first single ahead of her sophomore album release, Respires, available from RVNG Intl. on October 25, 2019.

Learn more here

August 28, 2019

Anatolian Weapons feat. Seirios Savvaidis – Ofiodaimon EP

Anatolian Weapons returns with an EP of brand new remixes following June 2019’s debut To The Mother of Gods with Seirios Savviadis.

Featuring new takes on key album track “Ofiodaimon” by Tolouse Low Trax, Mr TC and Mekine U Teksi – as well as an instrumental dub take by Anatolian Weapons – the remix collection further opens the third eye that the album’s rapturous Levantine grooves first channeled.

The EP unfolds a with a collaboration between Germany’s seasoned Tolouse Low Trax and Anatolian Weapons, a cyclic, languorous mid-tempo stomp that hones in on microscopic elements of the original, swirling and constant in its drive, falling deep into the Kraut-fantasies that the album version flirts with and beckoned by the vocals of Savvaidis like calls from beyond.

Learn more here

August 16, 2019

Ernest Hood – Neighborhoods

Freedom To Spend’s next release revisits the environs of late Portland, Oregon musician and sound historian Ernest Hood.

Sprawling through a haze of zither, synthesizer melodies, and foraged pedestrian sound, Neighborhoods is both a score and documentary composed and directed by Hood to offer, in his words, joy in reminiscence.

Learn more here

August 14, 2019

RIYL-ty Bytes: Craig Leon

Each month, we invite an artist from the cast of characters that color the RVNG, Beats In Space, and Freedom To Spend universe to compile 15 – 20 tracks that are resonating with them.

From Craig Leon, to you ~

Some tracks I played on various radio shows so far this year: Celsius Drop on dublab, Charlie Bones’s Do!!You!!! Breakfast Show on NTS, Henry Rollins on KCRW, and others. Some are my own, but they’re mainly pieces from friends, colleagues, and musicians who I admire and have been listening to lately.

There are a few rediscoveries like the piano music of George Antheil which I’ve been listening to a lot along with various prepared piano pieces. I was inspired to revisit a few of these (including one I did in 1982) when I heard the work of Kelly Moran, who is continuing on in this area. I heard her when I played Moogfest earlier this year. She drew my attention back to the work of Henry Cowell, John Cage, and Lou Harrison. There’s also a lesser-known piece from William Basinski which is piano-based…

I feel like it’s getting to be the time to write something new that features piano.

I am not particularly a fan of Spotify or streaming services and do not advocate that the format should be the sole purveyors of sonic entertainment. However, I’ve done this playlist to see if Spotify can unconsciously help fulfill the need that exists for the promotion of new and “difficult” music.

I’m going to leave this list up for a while and then contact my friends and colleagues who are on it to see if they experienced any response at all from listeners who may have first heard their work on this list. I hope that some have been able to contact new listeners.

Best,
Craig

RIYL-ty Bytes is updated by a different artist each month. If you like something, save it to your library.

August 5, 2019