Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Aarktica (SCQ's Year-End Questionnaire Part III)

One of the finest ambient records I’ve discovered this year, In Sea found Aarktica returning to his sonic forte: writing instrumental compositions layered with chilling guitar tones. I catch up with Jon DeRosa, who discusses his gorgeous and contemplative new album and what else he’s been listening to. (Photo by Jake Hensberry)

SCQ: What have been some of your favourite records of 2009? Gush away.

I was really focused on making In Sea all year, so it wasn't too big a year for me to discover new artists/albums. The newer releases that stick out, though:

Black Angels - Directions To See a Ghost
Silversun Pickups - Swoon

Pains Of Being Pure At Heart - s/t
Mastodon - Crack The Skye
Shrinebuilder - s/t

What I really listened to a lot of during the past year while making the new album was some very old La Monte Young recordings taped off of Dutch radio at least 30 years ago. 4 CDs worth. A friend gave them to me years ago, and I dig them out when I need some perspective and mental clarity.

Also in heavy rotation: Lungfish, Guided By Voices, Townes Van Zandt, The Walker Brothers, Sleep, Danzig, High On Fire, Big Business, Echo & The Bunnymen (Ocean Rain, mostly).

SCQ: Be it from the radio, lost on Myspace or from your roster, what song(s) could you not stop spinning?

"Another Tear Falls" by the Walker Brothers.

SCQ: Seldom celebrated but crucial to The Album’s identity is cover-art. Can you offer any shortlist of personal favourites from the past year?

Saxon Shore had a pretty great die-cut album design for "It Doesn't Matter." Great album too.

SCQ: When you look back on what transpired this year, what will stand out as your most memorable professional moment(s) of 2009?

Manning up, getting my shit together and making the fucking record I should've made 8 years ago.

SCQ: Most of us probably haven’t thought as far as New Years Eve plans but still, looking forward, what do you have on the horizon for 2010?

In Sea remixes. New album with my former Flare bandmate LD Beghtol. Peace and prosperity, health and wellness.

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