Karl Blau – Beneath Waves
K Records, 2006
Acquired: Love Garden, New, 2007
Let it be known: I have sort of an undying love for Karl Blau. I saw him play at the K Records showcase at SXSW last year and then nervously went up to talk to him, and then subsequently saw him everywhere. It was weird, but he was really nice. I basically just gushed about how great Beneath Waves is, because really, yeah, this record is great. And I first heard it when I was starting to DJ at KJ and it was in rotation. Every week I would play “Dragon Song” and then slowly branched out to other jams, in particular “Slow Down Joe” which is just so completely amazing. But I would always listen to only those two songs, so I decided to buy it on vinyl way after the fact to listen to the thing all the way through and yeah, it’s great. Have I said that already? But then again, I’m kind of a K junkie, and I usually have a hard time not liking the stuff they put out (wait til I get to Mirah, Tender Forever, and the Blow, in which the gushing will increase). This is just a gorgeous record, full of warm sounds and, like Phil Elverum, Blau creates a sonic landscape of the Pacific Northwest. In my head when I idealize Portland this is what it sounds like. It’s quirky, but not bad quirky (like Juno or something which I see as a sort of quirksploitation). It’s whimsical and wonderful. I thought about posting up the little micro-interview I did with him, but it’s embarrassing. Or, I’m embarrassing. Can you tell I’m smitten with Karl Blau?