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18 Nov 2016

Casual Strangers “Pink Panther “ 2016 Texas Psych Rock,Experimental,Ambient,Kosmische

Casual Strangers  “Pink Panther “ 2016  Texas Psych Rock,Experimental,Ambient,Kosmische
A funny thing happened on the way to Casual Strangers’ follow-up to its eponymous 2014 debut. Intending to record another studio LP, the Boxing Lesson offshoot instead followed its instincts, Paul Waclawsky, Jaylinn Davidson, Katey Gunn, and Jake Mitchell turning to wordless improvisational soundscapes recorded at home. Armed with an impressive collection of analog synths, the band journeys to a distant musical planet. The guitar-driven “Holocene Dream” indicates takeoff, “Cosmic Spaghetti” the flight, and “Brinca! Brinca!” the landing. Then it’s time to explore this new world. Traversing the barren landscapes of “Cosmic Jokers,” our intrepid locals hit alien civilization via the title track. “Future Passed” follows our travelers back to their ship, and “Little Lids” finds them once more in the void, contemplating all they’ve seen. Though a sidestep from the whimsical psych-pop of the debut, Pink Panther is even stronger, an organic trip into the cosmic ether…..BY MICHAEL TOLAND,….. 
“ Probably one of the more interesting things about a group like Casual Strangers is that their music seems to be constantly evolving, never holding to a specific shape yet never really abandoning its own distinct form at the same time. Over the course of two albums–2014’s Self-Titled and this year’s Pink Panther–the Austin-based group (who describe their sound as “cosmic sludge”) have shifted from an experimental rock sound that relied on traditional song structure to a certain extent to something a little more atmospheric, glacially paced, and freeform–music less rooted in specific genres and shaped more by an expansive creativity that, at times, brings to mind the kind of experimental instrumental pieces Pink Floyd were creating during their pre-Dark Side of the Moon era, the kind of meandering ambient jams meant for late night drives into the desert that could easily set your mind wandering off on some sort of inner cosmic journey. “ ……..
“Pink Panther Review: 9.0/10.0 ‘It’s incredibly brave for a band still establishing themselves to make a statement such as this on only their second album. The fact that Casual Strangers have pulled it off effortlessly, creating something which stands on its own as more than the sum of its influences, is testament to what a fantastic bunch of musicians they are.‘”….. 
KUTX » Casual Strangers 2.23.2016
“When listening to Casual Strangers, waves of synth and guitar wash over you to create an intense mesmerizing, kaleidoscope of sound. Hailing from Austin, the psychedelic band has ditched the vocals and have gone solely instrumental with a clear focus on creating tripped out tracks with two synths, lap steel guitar, and heavy percussion. Their avant-garde music is a triumph of all things psychedelic, that is envelopes listeners, sounding similar to the Flaming Lips.

Casual Strangers stopped by Studio 1A and showcased some of their music from their new album, Pink Panther, which is set to release on February 26th with a show at Sidewinder so make sure to get tickets while you can! You can also stream their music here on KUTX.”………….. 
Casual Strangers are something of an enigma, after self-releasing their debut record in 2014, the band morphed into a new direction, composing live instrumental sound panoramas and minimal ambient experiments for the wandering mind. The new album, Pink Panther, showcases the use of synthesized textures to create back-to-nature moods where vintage electronics are counterbalanced by lap steel and acoustic guitar. The album moves from full-on psychedelic instrumental rock to relaxed experimental ambient minimalism. Casual Strangers has played festivals such as UMS (Denver) and Northside (Brooklyn) and was named Top 10 Coed Bands of 2014 by the Austin Chronicle and Top 10 New Bands of 2014 from the Austin Music Awards.

“It’s incredibly brave for a band still establishing themselves to make a statement such as this on only their second album. The fact that Casual Strangers have pulled it off effortlessly, creating something which stands on its own as more than the sum of its influences, is testament to what a fantastic bunch of musicians they are.” Soundblab

“(Pink Panther) sounds like the bounding echoes of The Man Who Fell to Earth, a missing piece of the film’s soundtrack.” Monolith Cocktail

“We gave ourselves space,” proclaims Paul Waclawsky, tracing Casual Strangers’ palpable evolution from experimental rockers to ambient instrumentalists. “Space from each other, from a recording studio, from the instruments we normally play in our live show.” The Strangers’ second movement, a rose-colored cassette called Pink Panther, forgoes the skin-melting psychedelia and cheeky art-rock lyrics of the quartet’s eponymous 2014 debut in favor of meandering synth compositions and uncharted atmospheric jams.“ Austin Chronicle….by TenOak…. 
With the pressure of releasing a successful sophomore album, Casual Strangers ditched an almost complete set of tracks to move in a totally different direction. The result is an instrumental, psychedelic record that invites listeners to take the passenger seat through an introspective journey that is Pink Panther.

Mostly a DIY record (all the way down to the album art), Pink Panther tests the bounds of ambient, trippy music through its multilayered textures of vintage synthesizers and various guitars and heavily improvised instrumentation. Because of their alternative approach to creating this LP, Casual Strangers constructs a totally different atmosphere when listening to them live versus hearing them on record.

The official release of Pink Panther is tomorrow, Feb. 26, and the band is performing and having a record release tonight at Sidewinder (get your tickets here), so you have the chance to experience the record holistically.

I had the opportunity to sit down with Paul Waclawsky and Katey Gunn to talk about the the process and work behind Pink Panther.

Arielle: What made you want to do an instrumental album?

Paul: We were writing a record last summer with vocals, and we also started getting into improv. We started doing some recording at home, and ended up side stepping the record we had written — we had all these songs, choruses, verses ready. But we started getting into avant garde, improv music. We figured we’d do this record as a fun project for ourselves, and after a while it felt like a whole album.

Katey: It was something we always thought about doing, and it was hard to express what we wanted to without words. It was a step in a different direction, but it’s a different thing to emote what you would with words, but with music — and it’s been rewarding.

P: We’re used to making music in terms of a verse and chorus and an intro, and this time it’s none of that. It’s a free flowing conversation between instruments.

K: It was about getting the best sounds — the most interesting and emotive sounds we could get. And once we got that, you can layer it and it’s a different experience than what we’re really good at. It made it a lot more minimalistic.

A: What were some of your biggest inspirations?

P: This band called Harmonia, a group from Germany, that Brian Eno loved. He visited them and recorded a record with them before he recorded with David Bowie. So this band was the quintessential krautrock band at the time. We started getting into them and it lead us down this road of minimalism and relaxed, keyboard vibes. So we went out and bought two keyboards form 1975, and we recall the sounds of these records that we love.

K: My biggest inspiration, outside of a band, was our four track recorder. We started recording on our four track in our living room, and it opened up different avenues in capturing awesome sounds. Working on it at home for an hour or two and finally find an awesome sound or vibe, you need to capture it right then because with these analogue keyboards, you won’t get that sound again. So recording with the four track at home was a huge difference for the record and helped expand what we could do.

A: Can you tell me more about the album art?

P: We made the album in a DIY fashion — we pieced it together, we lived it — and we wanted to make real art for our album art. So we got the idea of spin art, and we did nine different covers. It was a group project for the whole band, with each of us making art, which is how the process of making this album felt — very fluid.

A: Was that process of making the album ever frustrating?

P: No, I think we had a good run. It was very fluid, we were inspired constantly, we didn’t run into many bumps. “Little Lids” is actually one full take. Katey was playing lead on the keyboard, and it was one take — no cut ins or anything. That was it.

K: We had gotten so comfortable with improv that I think we were all open to it. I think it would’ve been harder in a more traditional band setting where you’re not as comfortable with that. But we were all comfortable with creating our own parts to make a whole piece….review  By ARIELLE AVILA……….. 
The US Austin, Texas, Casual Strangers have basically turned card-carrying members of TBTCI here. This is the second landing themi not to mention the presence on the album "Kosmische Musik” launched just under a month via TBTCI Records with a spectacular version of “Bring Me Up” Classic Ash Ra Tempel.

This time the Casual Strangers is present to detail the newly released “Pink Panther”, a true odyssey lysergic images and sound emotions watered kraut, space folk and numerous other possible completely dispensable labels when only their music that is the driving force larger.

Pink Panther is made especially for brain melting, and there is no escape from its effects
Interview with Casual Strangers *

Q. First congratulations on the album, What is your analysis after conclusion of album?
Thanks, we are fascinated with instrumental music right now. Music for conversations. Music for thinking. Music for wormholes. We like to describe the music on Pink Panther as “casual music for the wandering mind.”

Q. Are you happy with the result?
It feels great to be releasing this collection of music that excites and challenges us. Most of it was written as improvisation during recording so we’ve been recently figuring out where the magic lies and how to take this to the stage with the full band and maintain that off-the-cuff feeling. We are releasing the album on a run of pink cassettes and it’s been a blast revisiting this old format too. The tapes sound awesome.

Q. How was the process of creating “Pink Panther”?
On our Casual Strangers debut album, it was all four of us playing and recording at the same time live to tape. On Pink Panther, it’s still live to tape, but in an improv round-robin style. It was like a game of telephone; like this is what I hear and this is what I put on the track. It really happened around our lives this time where we’d be fooling around on our gear at home and when the moment of inspiration struck and the sound was right, we’d hit record.

It’s “the moment of inspiration” that’s the thread on Pink Panther. On our debut LP we used dialogue as the inspiration mostly. The whole band had a chance this time to record on some instruments that we don’t normally play in our live show, so it’s a totally different method of creative expression for us. We started with no expectations and that gave us the freedom to record something like this

Q. What were the influences for creating the album?
Our influences are all of the amazing instrumental albums we love - from Cluster and Harmonia and then Brian Eno to Tangerine Dream and so many others. For us, it’s some of the most enjoyable music to listen to socially since it enhances conversations and really sparks up your brain.

Q. What are your plans for 2016?“
We would love to do a few shows on the road this summer and work on completing another record. We have a strong collection of songs that we’ve written over the past couple years that haven’t been recorded yet, as we kind of sidestepped them while making Pink Panther.

johnkatsmc5, welcome music..





Cassete Deck

Cassete Deck