Welcome to Septimania
Septimania used to be a country (prior to 800 AD, anyway). Now it's a band, or more aptly a solo project for 33 players, as devised by Jonathan Thomas, erstwhile pots-and-pans man for the Amoebic Ensemble. On his premier Welcome to Septimania CD, this longtime denizen of Providence, RI is joined by collaborators local, interstate and international. These include, from Providence, psych-progsters V. Majestic, and cowpunk songstress Angel Dean; from New York, Rick Brown of Run On, and Mofungo members Chris Nelson and Willie Klein; and from Stockholm, Micke Maksymenko of Kräldjursanstalten and Crazy Backward Alphabet. There's also a previously unreleased Amoebics tune, as well as assistance from Amoebic alumni and members of such diverse outfits as Thee Hydrogen Terrors and Amy Allison and the Maudlins. The results are, arguably, beyond eclectic. Disparate parts add up to a sometimes startling but cohesive whole. The sound hearkens as much to Spikes Jones as to Captain Beefheart, as much to Joe Meek as to the Bristol Sessions, as much to Leroy Shield as to Eno, as much to gamelan as to Univers Zéro... Media response has included an appearance on the Heavy Airplay List of WFMU (Jersey City, NJ, and the Internet) and on John Peel's monthly Record Box of recommended releases (on the BBC). Bart Plantenga of Wreck This Mess on Amsterdam's Radio Patapoe reports, 'Septimania is a precise and accurate foray into post-rock. Intelligence beyond good and evil, and humor that dwarfs what passes for cynical humor in the Indie pop market.' Or according to Bruce Gallanter of New York's Downtown Music Gallery, 'twisted exotica, surf, and other endearing weirdness ... always the element of fun involved.' Welcome to Septimania was co-produced and engineered by Frank Difficult of V.Majestic and House of Wrong Productions, and is the first release on RI cottage label Commodify This!