The Quietus - A new rock music and pop culture website


LISTEN: New Blood Music
The Quietus , March 15th, 2012 12:39

Next O Genesis single streaming here. Blood Music photo by Nik Void

Blood Music, a London-based trio, were one of the most compelling live groups we came across last year, impressing all-comers when they supported My Disco at our Lexington gig with their noisy holy triangle of Queens Of The Stone Age, Liars and early Sonic Youth. Now, they've managed to condense this into two sides of a 7" for O Genesis Records, the label run by Tim Burgess, Factory Floor's Nik Colk Void, Jim Spencer and Nick Fraser. You'll be able to go here to pre-order the vinyl, scroll down below the Soundcloud to find out more about Blood Music's track.

Simon Pomery of Blood music, tell us what you've been up to.

Simon Pomery: We've been in and out of Sub Bubble Studios, writing new material and recording with Tobin Jones. We did a soundtrack with my girlfriend, Ivana Bobic, for her short film In The Night. And now we're gearing up for the O Genesis single launch and some shows.

How did you hook up with O Genesis?

SP: When we had nowhere to rehearse, Nik from Factory Floor let us play at Mono House, their studio in Tottenham. Tim was upstairs and heard Blood Music coming up through the floor. What's funny is that Ken, Adam and I have all known Tim for years, through various other bands and projects, but we didn't know he was in the building and he didn't know who was in Blood Music. Apparently he heard it and just said 'I want to put their record out'.

What is it you like about O Genesis?

SP: Ultimately, that we've had the support to make music in our own way. It's a year-old independent label, and so there's a feeling that we're all doing something exciting. Through the label we also got to work with James Spencer, who recorded and mixed the tracks and who has a very fine ear. We also got to commission the artwork ourselves. I really wanted to work with two artists I admire: my sister Nicola Pomery and our friend Sandra Keating, who collaborated on these very beautiful, very intense spiral drawings.

Tell us a little about the themes of the single?

'Orpheé' is named after the Jean Cocteau film. I liked the idea of putting the old myth in a modern context, to have this sense of eternal recurrence, and of re-interpreting an old story. But then you don't have to pay any attention to that: you can just listen. There's a meditative aspect that comes from certain rhythmic music with strong pulses.

'Sea of Leaves' was written by cutting, pasting and re-arranging phrases from another film, the documentary Grey Gardens. This socialite, Edie Beale, has lost everything, and is living in her old, decrepit house, losing her mind. It seemed like a good metaphor the West.

How did you manage to compress the Blood Music live sound into two sides of a 7"?

With difficulty. It's months of work, with the cycle of rehearsing, recording, mixing, editing, tweaking, and caring about every detail. It's a slow, natural process, and it's obsessive. We recorded live, with no overdubs, at Eve, a vintage studio in an old house up north. When we went in we were still high from the energy of playing gigs. We've been playing a seamless set, with three songs bleeding into each other. They are strict song structures but with enough room for improv and re-interpretation so that each show is unique. Nik has joined us on stage to play additional guitar on 'Sea of Leaves' and it was great to have her on the record too.

There are parts of the tracks that we felt were right for playing live, and that would be left out of the recordings, because the very experiences of getting drawn into live sound, and dropping the stylus, are different. So you get shorter cuts on the 7”, which I like because compression brings out the intensity, and you get the longer versions as digital download, more like the live shows. You're trying to sculpt sound for the listener almost as if sound were a physical thing.