Hail the Tompkins Square underdogs

COLD LIPS gets a lot of mail.  Some is beautiful, some is the kinda stuff we don’t open: bills, demands, brown, deathly, stinky – rough with the smooth, uh? (Please support us by buying a print edition, fans!  Or a T-shirt. Or a groovy black tote bag with sexy gold screenprint…)

When sieving through the overnight releases, music from Tompkins Square seeps through the hum of the Today programme, the old establishment’s news broadcast on the BBC’s Radio 4.  The former is always a reliable source for those of us who like crate digging through the dead,  falling upon outsiders, and cult leader-types.  The Today Programme never calls those they feature words like that.

This morning, Tompkins Square greeted us with news of a release from LA resident, Rick Deitrick who they first released via the Brooks Rice and Michael Klausman curated series, Imaginational Anthem Vol 8 : The Private Press.

On August 25th, they release two solo acoustic guitar albums by Rick Deitrick.

Gentle Wilderness was first released as a private press LP in 1978 (limiting to gifts, gigs, and 500 editions – kinda Crowley-style –  giving copies to various libraries and leaving a few albums in the middle of the wilderness, next to trails, “so people would find them”).

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River Sun River Moon consists of previously unreleased recordings from the same time period.

Ohio-born Rick Deitrick took up the guitar at 16 and decided to approach his playing as if he was the only guy on an island and the instrument had just washed ashore one day.  According to Rick, “I completely divorced my playing from any formal music knowledge, but it was very important to me to use original tuning. During those years, the sixties/seventies, there was a lot of acoustic guitar playing, often using open tuning as a base. I wanted to create whole tones without de-tuning and keep access to the complex sounds stock tuning provided.”

TSQ 5456 River Sun River Moon (LP)
TSQ 5432 Gentle Wilderness (LP) 

Tompkins Square is distributed by INgrooves and Revolver in North America, Cargo for Europe.

Tompkins Square was set up in 2005 by chief proponent of napping: Grammy-nominated producer, Josh Rosenthal, who worked at Sony for years before.

I love a good nap. Napping is the best ‘fuck off’ you can offer the Universe. You’re losing consciousness, you know you’re going down, then that warm twilight. It’s like free, un-dangerous heroin. You will be a more efficient business person if you can fit one into your day. There are a few different kinds of naps. There’s the 20-minute power nap from which you awake re-charged and refreshed. There’s the slightly longer 30 or 40 minute nap, from which you awake disoriented, disheveled, wobbly, and all you want to do is get back under the covers for another 6 hours or so. So set your alarm for 20. When I worked for a big corporation, one of the few ways I maintained my humanity was by telling my assistant to hold my calls, and then I’d take a snooze. When you run your own label, you can take a nap anytime.

Brave enough to release the obscure, supported by Prefab Sprout, Max Ochs, Tim Buckley, Meredich Monk and the like, this is good music to tell the universe to fuck off to…

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