“While we were working on this record I was reading a book ‘Crossings’ by surfer journalist Michael Kew,” says Pharaohs co-founder Sam Cooper. “A lot of the music was inspired by his travels in the South Pacific, his imagery, the way he talked about places and how there were still undiscovered places in the world. I was immersing myself in this tropical island world. I guess this is my idea of what I’d want to hear if I was out there.”
Filled with irregular rhythms played on peculiar percussion, with shades of Eno’s work with Jon Hassell, guitar lines and muted saxophone drift in and out of focus, while exotic sounding synthesizers carry much of the melody.
Sam met fellow Pharaohs co-founder Ale Cohen in Amoeba Music and the pair, who each play guitars and synths, started jamming in 2007/08. Two more members were added. Diego Herrera, who also records as Suzanne Kraft, was an original member and although his relocation now prevents him from joining the regular jams, some of his playing can be heard on this album, notably its first track ‘Muddy Middle of Nowehere’. Fourth member, Casey Butler aka Stellar Rahim, studied composition at CalArts where his mentor and teacher was renowned avant-garde and free jazz trumpeter/composer Wadada Leo Smith. He is also a member of the CalArts Gamelan Orchestra.
Originally conceived by Test Pressing’s Paul Byrne, International Feel’s mini album series has established itself in a space somewhere between Worldbeat, Balearic and Library music. Following releases in the series by Len Leise, CFCF, Shelter, Wolf Muller & Cass, ‘In Oeland’ offers a mature and heady mix of diverse influences that displays the furthest extents of Pharaohs musical adventuring to date. Sit back, listen and join them for the ride.
release date September 15th, 2017
A1. Muddy Middle of Nowhere
A2. Oelan Gunda
A3. Invisible Mile
B1. Air Kiribati
B2. Coral Heads