US - Massachusetts - Full Moon 250 - 01/12/17
Damon & Naomi
Spirit of Love (B-sides, bonuses, and soundtracks)
The couple started to play music together in Galaxie 500 in the late 80s/early 90s. Damon Krukowski as the drummer and Naomi Yang as the bassplayer. Since then, they have played in a couple
of bands and have released a couple of records, mostly as the duo Damon and Naomi, with some early work as the psychedelic band Magic Hour. After a couple of years with both good and bad experiences
with record labels, they decided to form their own label: 20-20-20, where you can find most of their work. As well as being musicians, they are also artists in other fields: Naomi is more
of a visual artist (photo, video, graphic design) and Damon is writing. Together they also run the small publishing company Exact change (avant-garde literature and artists writings).
This little treasure was released just before Christmas and consists of B sides, bonuses and soundtracks recorded in the period 1996 - 2016. As the band writes on their webpage;
"We're feeling in need of sharing some love, so we put a compilation together for free (or pay if you wish) on bandcamp". All the tracks are
covers one way or another and ranging from works dating back to 1996 to quite recent recordings. The covers ranging from the work of the Velvet underground to Gram Parson. And some of them
are collaborations with their friends in the Japanese psychedelic rock band Ghost. There is a warm mellow and dreamy atmosphere that runs through the album, a sense of longing for something
else. The duo's artistic approach is also clear in the song "I Never Knew I Always Knew" with lyrics tapped from a phone call.
One stand-out moments on the album is the beautiful English adaption of a tune by Japanese songwriter and folk singer Kazuki Tomokawa called "Watashi no Hana" - "The flower". The song is
a powerful collaboration with Ghost which gives it both edge and a sense of mystery.
But the most beautiful moment on the album, is the song "Love" - performed in Japanese by Naomi Yang (featuring acoustic guitar by Masaki Batoh from Ghost), which you can also find on
the live album: Song to the Siren (it really is!) Live in San Sebastian. (Damon and Naomi on tour with Kurihara from Ghost). Beautiful, haunting and atmospheric, this album sums up
what Damon and Naomi is all about. This album deserves to find its audience.
Copyright © 2017 Mariann Skjerdal