Axxa/Abraxas is the music and art project of Ben Asbury, a 23 year old from outside Atlanta, GA. His experiences as a record collector and music obsessive from a very young age (“I got into punk in the third grade”) are easily evident in his debut release. Going full circle from being introduced to 60′s pop as a kid, through his foray into punk rock at an early age, into post-rock and Elephant Six indie, right back into 60′s Psychedelia, Ben has honed his influences (Neil Young, Television Personalities, ‘Elevators, The ‘Dead, Olivia Tremor Control) into a cohesive blend to adapt his own take on psych-influenced art-pop.
The tracks on the record were written and demo’ed around the time Ben was in college (and shortly after) in Athens, GA where he was studying psychology, religion and sociology… as well as developing a fascination with analog synth that made it’s way into his mix of influences. Meanwhile, he started the RTA Collective, which featured his cassette and CDR releases along with his visual art. This combination arrived in a package to the Captured Tracks office in the form of a demo that stood out amongst the hundreds of others with it’s charged DiY silkscreen imagery and poppy fuzz psych music.
The label enlisted Jarvis Taveniere (Woods, Rear House Recording) to record and produce what would become Axxa/Abraxas debut. It’s the artistic culmination of prodigious young songwriter putting it all together in an erudite way despite his tendency to write lyrics which are “…generally directed at myself, often criticizing my shortcomings…” No matter how he criticizes himself, one need only listen to the record to see he’s quite confident in his music.
Gold Light is the new name for the ongoing music of Joe Chang. Probably best known as a sideman playing guitar for Kovacs and the Polar Bear, Joe has been writing, recording, playing, and mostly un-releasing his music for the past decade. The debut Gold Light full length will be his first proper release. There’s a cinematic storytelling quality to Chang’s songs, perhaps derived from his pursuits in writing and film directing (he dropped out of film school, has produced a few low budget features). Less surreal run-ons like his previous monikers, the songs are more straight forward tales of love, loss and heartache. The mixture and balance of the old/classic and new/modern, things born and dying, trying to find some permanence in an impermanent world, or beauty in the shit, are perhaps fitting themes for the Gold Light debut.