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    Leighton and Eugene have been quietly dropping brilliant musical pebbles in our pond for years, yet they have remained way under the radar of all but a few close followers, even in their hometown, Brisbane, Australia. Eugene Carchesio's timeless work as a visual artist has unjustly eclipsed his extraordinary output as a soundmaker. Since the early '80s, Mr E has steadfastly proliferated a sackful of barely-released cassettes and cdrs under the D.N.E moniker, consisting of some of the most waywardly original and exploratory music made in Australia. Similarly, Leighton Craig's work, usually documented in tiny editions on his own kindling label, has been heard by relatively few ears, but those who listen are immediately struck by the sublime sensibility, the effortlessness, and the exquisitely detailed understatement of his music. Leighton and Eugene are core members of the freely improvising psych-primitive ensemble 'The Lost Domain', whose cds on 'pseudo arcana', 'broken face' and 'digitalis' have created a fairly hefty underground stir, yet as a duo, their music has never previously traveled further then the ears of a handful of close friends. Originally a micro-edition of 30 handmade cdrs on the 'kindling' imprint, 'Leaves' simply has to be heard by a wider audience. Now, with its international release, we ask listeners to discover these two incredible artists for themselves.


    One of the few people to hear 'Leaves' first time around was Foxy Digitalis honcho Brad Rose. Here is what he had to say....

    "Over the course of 34 minutes, Craig & Carchesio create a solemn atmosphere that will relax your mind and soothe your nerves. These 11 tracks are brilliant. Cicadas chirp alongside recorder whirls and banjo plucks. Many of these pieces are minimalist in approach and execution, but that does not mean there is little happening. It shows how well these two understand that when you're playing with Mother Nature as the third member of your group, sometimes you need to just quiet down and let her do most of the work. The most magnificent track, though, is the opening piece. Craig plays the organ and Carchesio picks an acoustic guitar. It hints at dark clouds overhead and torrential rains ominously looking on. But you feel at peace. This is so beautiful I can barely stand it. There is a bit of a Jewelled Antler vibe here, but this trumps just about every great thing I've heard from that label. "Leaves" should be released in a much wider format. This is too amazing to go unheard by more people. This is Craig & Carchesio's masterwork, and will instantly give you the sensation that you are outside, breathing the delicious Australian air. Highly, highly recommended." 10 out of 10

    Here is what he had to say....

    "Over the course of 34 minutes, Craig & Carchesio create a solemn atmosphere that will relax your mind and soothe your nerves. These 11 tracks are brilliant. Cicadas chirp alongside recorder whirls and banjo plucks. Many of these pieces are minimalist in approach and execution, but that does not mean there is little happening. It shows how well these two understand that when you're playing with Mother Nature as the third member of your group, sometimes you need to just quiet down and let her do most of the work. The most magnificent track, though, is the opening piece. Craig plays the organ and Carchesio picks an acoustic guitar. It hints at dark clouds overhead and torrential rains ominously looking on. But you feel at peace. This is so beautiful I can barely stand it. There is a bit of a Jewelled Antler vibe here, but this trumps just about every great thing I've heard from that label. "Leaves" should be released in a much wider format. This is too amazing to go unheard by more people. This is Craig & Carchesio's masterwork, and will instantly give you the sensation that you are outside, breathing the delicious Australian air. Highly, highly recommended." 10 out of 10





    The Wire - November 2006


    It's the 11th of September. A date, as the saying goes, which will live in infamy, though it's already five years since the images of Lucifer's greatest artwork, as Karlheinz Stockhausen memorably and controversially described it (to his cost) first filled our TV screens, and I'm walking along a leafy alley in a quiet suburb of Paris in the early morning sun listening to Leaves. On this latest offering from the wonderfully-named Naturestrip label, which was originally released two years ago as a limited edition of 30 on Craig's Kindling CDR label, Carchesio and Craig follow in the footsteps of Brötzmann / Bennink, Kuwayama / Kijima and Forge / Epinat, dispensing with the recording studio altogether and making their music in the great outdoors – in this case Craig's backyard in Brisbane – with leaves, bamboo flute, parladote (that's a bird btw), keyboards, sticks, guitar, crows, ektara (single-stringed instrument from the Indian subcontinent), wind, chime balls, cicadas, violin, aeroplanes, finger cymbals, hammer, toy xylophone, windchimes, bottles, clarinet and lorikeets (and other feathered friends). There's none of the tree-whacking boy-scout festivity of Schwarzwaldfahrt here, just a quiet, delicate communion of man and nature, modest in its scope and touching in its directness and simplicity. Quite simply the only thing to listen to on a day like this .– Dan Warburton Paris Transatlantic Oct 06



    Simply put this is one of the most impressive releases we have encountered this year. The concept (like all great concepts) is incredibly simple. 2 folks playing all kinds of instruments in various modes (melancholic 'tunes', baily-esque tinkering, minmal electronic drones etc..) in a 'backyard' recording studio. As a result the sounds of the environment become an intergral part of each finished piece. Sometimes as a textural background, occasionally punctuating the actual music being played as some kind of spontaneous 3rd member of the group. It's a fantastic idea and works equally as well as a concept and as a rich listening experience. I can't say enough good things about this release - Synaesthesia Records



    Almost two years ago, I received a copy of the insanely limited, original CD-R of "Leaves." It was first released on Leighton Craig's impeccable Kindling imprint in an edition of 30 copies. This was almost criminal. "Leaves" was easily one of 2004's best, and I ranted and raved about its brilliance to anyone who would listen. My hope was that someone would take notice and give the damn thing a proper reissue. Well, that's exactly what happened thanks to Joel Stern and Hamish Sinclair at the always great Naturestrip imprint. They've just reissued "Leaves" in all its glory on CD, so those who missed out on the first one, will finally get a chance to bathe in its glow.
    Here's what I wrote in 2004 when I originally reviewed the CD-R:
    I will sing the praises of the Kindling label to anyone who will listen. So now that I've got your attention... "Leaves" is very limited CD-R release from Kindling kingpin, Leighton Craig, and his partner-in-crime, Eugene Carchesio. These two artists have been doing some of the most interesting solo work in Brisbane for some time. Craig is also a member of the magnificent group, The Lost Domain. On "Leaves," we find the duo taking their act outside and exploring new methods of interacting with the ambience of nature. Over the course of 34 minutes, Craig & Carchesio create a solemn atmosphere that will relax your mind and soothe your nerves. These 11 tracks are brilliant. Cicadas chirp alongside recorder whirls and banjo plucks. Many of these pieces are minimalist in approach and execution, but that does not mean there is little happening. It shows how well these two understand that when you're playing with Mother Nature as the third member of your group, sometimes you need to just quiet down and let her do most of the work. The most magnificent track, though, is the opening piece. Craig plays the organ and Carchesio picks an acoustic guitar. It hints at dark clouds overhead and torrential rains ominously looking on. But you feel at peace. This is so beautiful I can barely stand it. There is a bit of a Jewelled Antler vibe here, but this trumps just about every great thing I've heard from that label. "Leaves" should be released in a much wider format. This is too amazing to go unheard by more people. This is Craig & Carchesio's masterwork, and will instantly give you the sensation that you are outside, breathing the delicious Australian air. Highly, highly recommended. 10 / 10 ...
    Brad Rose Foxy Digitalis



    For nearly twenty years now, Eugene Carchesio and Leighton Craig have been creating wayward recordings in barely-released editions on cassette and cd-r for their exploratory free-folk / semi-improvisational communions with the Australian landscape. Only recently have any of their recordings made their way across the Pacific, mostly by way of their contributions in the group Lost Domain, whose drifting, monochromatic ragas have been released by such shambolic stalwarts as Digitalis Recordings and PseudoArcana. Leaves is another such entry in their humbly spectacular wanderings; this time, it's through the exceptional Australian label Naturestrip. The easiest comparison that anyone could make to Leaves would be to The Blithe Sons, where two dedicated listeners creating droning harmonics alongside the unpredictability of natural events. Carchesio and Craig often are found slumped over their battery powered keyboards, creating shimmering drone vibrations that accompany the cacophony of lorikeets, crows, cicadas, and wind in Leighton's Brisbane backyard, where these recordings were made. When the birds and insects allow it, Carchesio and Craig pick up an acoustic guitar, violin, and recorder (amongst other instruments) for some purposefully primitive arrangements pocked with dreamily psychedelic references and quietly clattered improv. Really, really nice! - Aquarius Records

    Everybody loves hanging out in their garden on a warm summers day. If for example you live in Brisbane and the birds are singing, the sun is shining and there is a light warm breeze, out under the trees is probably the coolest place to be and that’s where Eugene Carhesio and Leighton Craig have recorded Leaves. Beginning with some gentle organ, there’s sparse instrumentation, in which Mother Nature plays an important role alongside cicadas, lorikeets, aeroplanes, crows, clarinet and the ever-present wind and a bunch of other toys and instruments. It’s such simple calming and beautiful work it immediately transports you to their soothing world. There’s a relaxed almost playful sense of structure that’s remensicent of Yoshimi and Yuka (Ipecac) who climbed a mountain in Japan to connect nature to their music, however the familiarity of the surrounds and the warmth of the day no doubt contribute to making Leaves much more relaxed and low key. - Bob Baker Fish at Thermostat

    Upon hearing this CD it's not difficult to see them sitting in the garden and see them loosely improvise their music. Plucking a guitar, playing a bit of xylophone and let the tranquility of the moment do the rest - listen to the environment and let that act as a third, equal player. Very peaceful music, quiet and relaxing, but not in a microsounding sense of the word: there is something to hear throughout these recordings. Music and nature never worked this closely together and not as often in such a beautiful way. (FdW) - vital weekly

    Novedad del sello de Melbourne NATURESTRIP, uno de los más importantes y serios dedicados a la música que utiliza principalmente grabaciones de campo para su composición. Eugene y Leighton tienen una brillante carrera dentro de la música experimental australiana. En Leaves, crean una atmósfera solemne capaz de calmar la mente y los nervios del oyente. Once temas brillantes donde utilizan instrumentos como organo o guitarra acúsica de una forma minimalista, e inspirados por la madre naturaleza.
    - Rotor Discs



    New from the Melbourne based label NATURESTRIP, one of the most important and serious dedicated to music composed principally with field recordings. Eugene and Leighton have a brilliant career within australian experimental music. In Leaves, they create an solemn atmosphere capable of calming the mind of the listener. 11 brilliant themes where they use instruments such as the organ or acoustic guitar in minimalist form, and inspired by mother nature. - - Rotor Discs (translation)

    Includes unlimited streaming of Leaves via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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about

Leaves

 In the backyard on a windy summer’s day. Human sound cedes to the environmental symphony.

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released January 1, 2006

NS3005

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naturestrip label Australia

Naturestrip is an independent Australian sound and art supporter that has evolved to fund and assist a variety of projects. Visit website for more information. Naturestrip started life in 2003 releasing seven albums creating quite a following in the world of experimental sound. It focused on working with artists who created compositions using field recordings as material in their art making. ... more

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