Sunday, 27 November 2016

The (re)birth of a Record Label

"Café Grössenwahn" – "Café Megalomania". Such was the nickname of several cafés in Central Europe at the end of the 1800s. Here they would sit, the demagogues, dreamers and drunkards who would leave their mark on the coming century.

These cafés in turn gave name to a music club in Oslo, Norway, where a select invitation-only door policy, strict dresscode and artists such as Tony Wakeford, Spiritual Front, Solblot and The Green Man created a suitably megalomanic atmosphere. The absinthe fountain helped a bit too...

Which leads us to Café Grössenwahn Grammophon, created as a living monument – or perhaps a folly – to the club we loved. We aim to bring together some of our favourite artists both in music and the pictorial arts.

Our first release will be an extended play record entitled "Ghostly Whistlings". It is a tribute to the greatest ghost story writer of all, Montague Rhodes James. Four bands: Sol Invictus, Solblot, Sonne Hagal and Of the Wand and the Moon each deliver their interpretation of an M.R. James story set in their own country.

Cover art is by Swedish artist Fredrik Söderberg, and sleeve design is by Trine og Kim Design Studio. A small peek at the work can be seen above (Trine og Kim also created the Café Grössenwahn "absinthe grail" logo).

The record will be a strictly limited (250 copies) 10 inch record in art-edition gatefold cover.

More information will be forthcoming soon. A web page is being (re)built and a release event is planned for late January. In the meanwhile, feel free to follow the proceedings on Facebook.

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

The soundtrack for summer

We here at the Chronicles have tried to get a coherent comment from Lord Bassington-Bassington on the new Jännerwein album. But so far to no avail, as his lordship just plays the record over and over while running in rings, barking and howling and saying things that sounds like "the pop-neofolk album I've been waiting for all these years" and "my Dog, all the songs are in German and it's so awesome" and suchlike.

So while we've given up on getting any serious response from the droopy-eared one, you can check out the album for yourself here. Or just do what Lord Bassington-Bassington did, buy the CD after hearing just two songs. There's rumours of an upcoming ultra-limited vinyl version in the fall, which his lordship really hopes to get his paws on.

We have a strong suspicion that this will be the soundtrack for summer here at Bassington Manor.

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

The perfect basset-cessory

It would hardly be an exaggeration to say that Lord Bassington-Bassington likes to accessorize, whether we're talking about bow ties or, well, more eccentric accoutrements.

A nice thing to liven up an otherwise down-to-earth outfit is the thing known in modern parlance as bling, which His Lordship is also quite fond of. Indeed, he could even be accused of joining clubs to get even more such accessories.

So imagine the droopy-eared's delight when he received this generous gift from in-laws, a lovely hand-crafted pin that is a perfect depiction of the above young lady, the lovely Balbina – award-winning member of the extended Mju clan.

The silver pin is indeed the perfect accessory, and gives even the sturdiest Harris tweed a touch of velvety basset-eariness. But it works particularly well with Lord Bassington-Bassington's recently acquired summer tweed jacket.

This might well lead to some outrageous style experiments, because His Lordship finally has a tweed jacket that can be worn with shorts. A bit over the top, perhaps, but hey – it's all about basset pride, saying it loud, being tricolor and proud and all that.

As one says in India, as important as having a good spouse is to get good in-laws. And we can safely say that Lord Bassington-Bassington is lucky enough to be very well off on both regards.

Sunday, 31 May 2015

Your garden still blooms

As Lord Bassington-Bassington and Lady Mju found themselves in those parts of Oslo, a return to the house of the mysterious Sufi master was suddenly on the books.

The roses are gone, but the garden still blooms, which of course led His Lordship in a leap (or waddle) of thought from Sufism to neofolk. Typical of absent-minded bassets, really.

Well, the sight of the blooming garden led Lord Bassington-Bassington to consider the sad fate of Forseti frontman Andreas Ritter, and to remember this beautiful tribute to him by German group Sonnentau.

And as His Lordship is also a bit of a (cough) record enthusiast, here is a picture of Forseti's Windzeit vinyl box set, perhaps the ultimate neofolk release and certainly Lord Bassington-Bassington's most expensive Discogs purchase.

(Pictures stolen from the Discogs Forseti page. Yes, morals are sorely lacking in Basset hounds).

Sorry for rambling, we promise the next post will be more coherent. Possibly.

Confessions of a Norwegian Record-Buyer

Apropos of a previous post...

Picture by comics genius Robert Crumb.

Saturday, 2 May 2015

Dandy revolutionists?

Does dandyism have political implications? While Lord Bassington-Bassington certainly has political opinions, he likes to think that they have little relevance to how he dresses. Even if his taste for the classic might reveal a predilection towards conservatism. And sure, today people assume that if you dress a bit old-fashioned it's because you long for the days when the lord of the manor held sway, peasants knew their place and pheasants lived in fear.

An assumption as stupid as suspecting that all who wear jeans hanker back to the social order during the Wild West.

For men who take an interest in clothes come in all shapes, sizes and colours, from all walks of life and hold all sorts of political convictions. So while perusing an edition of The Communist Manifesto the other day, Lord Bassington-Bassington was pleased to find these comments on the connection between men's dress and revolution in A.J.P. Taylor's insightful introduction.

"None of them (Marx' early disciples) was a proletarian in the new Maxist sense; none, that is, was a factory worker. Their occupations provide striking examples of the class from whom revolutionaries are often drawn. Most of them were tailors - an occupation which gives a man much time for solitary revolutionary reflection and also perhaps an intimate distaste for the upper classes."

"In old England the village cobbler was always the radical and the Dissenter. After all, the lord of the manor had to have his boots made and mended, whatever the cobbler's political opinions."

So how better to celebrate these astute observations than to publish a picture of Russian Futurist poet Vladimir Mayakovsky? Lord Bassington-Bassington first saw this picture when still a puppy, on the back of an LP of Swedish punk and hardcore, and it's fair to say that it has exerted a certain influence on how His Lordship dresses.

A gentleman's armour

"No, no, really, I, uh, I don't think it went in too deep. The... advantages of layers of tweed. Better than kevlar." – Rupert Giles