July 24th, 2007


Scenic vistas -- the ultimate music accessory.

 I was curious about what Ivo-Watts Russell, the founder of 4AD was up to. For those who don't know, he's the person who helped discover bands like Bauhaus, Cocteau Twins, Dead Can Dance, Modern English, The The, The Birthday Party (Nick Cave's first band), and, yes, even imomus  ' first band, 'The Happy Family'.

Turns out that he's no longer running things at his old label, and has moved to a sleepy town about thirty minutes outside of Santa Fe.

He claims that he moved there for "the light. It’s beautiful, simply." 

Well, the light and the solitude... 

" . . it’s an escape for me. I’m here to be quiet. I’m alone most of the time." 

Well, that and the certain environmental je ne sais quoi...

"Years ago I went on holiday with Vaughn Oliver and we just had Brian Eno records. And we were in the mountains in Majorca, naked most of the time, and we had Brian Eno on a continual loop and it was absolutely astonishing, the effect—the environment, the music, it would slip in and out of focus. I have often tried to recreate this sort of wonderful calm with the environment and the music and I found within the first two days of being in my house I realized I had it, that environment."

So, he settled on ten acres in an area many Americans would consider "the middle of nowhere", in large part because the starkly beautiful scenic views and environment go wonderfully with ambient music. I hate to say it, but this actually makes sense to me. Gets a bit hot sometimes, sure... but it's a dry heat.