Sunday, April 16, 2006

April 17, 2006: Corporal Blossom

April 17, 2006: Corporal Blossom

Spring is definitely in the air! I don't want to speak out of turn - I'd hate for Mother Nature to feel she had to take me down a notch and prove me wrong - but I've got all the windows open and I am loving it. It feels so good to wake up with that spring breeze and sunshine hitting your face. Fittingly, though this week's program (episode 91) was of course produced quite awhile ago (as the podcast project is currently an archive of old episodes from last year), the theme this week on Some Assembly Required is COLORS - which we're seeing a lot of right now, as Winter fades away. I believe we've pretty fairly represented the color wheel - let's see... Brown, White, Red, Orange, Gold, Green, Blue, Pink... If you count Gold as Yellow and Pink as Purple, then we're doing ok...

The featured artist this week is Corporal Blossom! I first encountered Corporal Blossom, when Illegal Art put out the now legendary Deconstructing Beck. I'd say my favorite tracks on that very noisy (and excellent) release were by Steev Hise, Jane Dowe, Spacklequeen and Corporal Blossom. If you don't remember the release - it was a concept album. There was a notice put up somewhere, a call for submissions, asking for sound collage tracks composed from nothing but samples from various releases by the pop artist Beck. It made quite an impression, by DIY standards anyway, and its gotten a lot of airplay on Some Assembly Required.

Corporal Blossom showed up again on another Illegal Art concept album: Extracted Celluloid. Same concept, except instead of Beck samples, all the source material was supposed to be culled from films. My favorite tracks on this CD were by Natasha Spencer, Wobbly, Pedro Rebello and Corporal Blossom, who contributed the plastic surgery-themed "Plastic Job." One of the great cut and paste tracks, in my opinion - no pun intended.

He's been a writer, tape editor, bass player and engineer, and has worked in television and commercials. He has one full length CD, which is no longer available. The only other material I have by Corporal Blossom got a lot of play during our special xmas mix awhile back.
Corporal Blossom Presents A Mutated Christmas (another Illegal Art release) is probably my favorite xmas record ever, not counting some of the records which got burned into my subconscious as a child, of course. DJ Olive, Fognode, The Grassy Knoll and DJ Kudzu's xmas tunes were featured alongside several inspired tracks by Corporal Blossom, whose "White Christmas" lends itself well to this week's color theme ...though not to the feeling of springtime which surrounds me as I am typing this. I usually like to wait until July before breaking out the xmas music... but that's beside the point, really. Its a great track, whatever the season!

Without further ado, here's the SAR Q&A with Corporal Blossom...


*Name: Corporal Blossom

*Do you use a pseudonym? Yes, this is a pseudonym - not my birth name.

*Members: Layng Martine III

*Founding Member: Just me.

*Tape manipulations, digital deconstructions or turntable creations: Really none of the above. It's usually a mixture of found sounds and performances.

*Another genre descriptor: Micropop

*Why you use this descriptor: I've always loved songs and pop song structure. I still think of my compositions that way and try to keep things very concise. Most of my time goes into trying to compose the piece in a way that feels natural and keeps your interest, like a good pop song would do. I'm talking about classics like "All I Have to Do Is Dream.” The micro came from the fact that there's usually a lot of minute detail, and it's music that is dependent on digital manipulation / computers.

*Location: I'm currently in a very rural area at the far end of Long Island, New York.

*Original Location: I grew up in Nashville, TN.

*What is your creative/artistic background: I have a degree in creative writing from the University of Colorado. I'm glad I just got to say that, because that is the first time it has been useful for anything. I worked as studio assistant to producer Bill Laswell for a few years after I graduated.

*History: I think Corporal Blossom music first started appearing on records in 1994.

*Born: Weird question... '69 in Greenwich, Connecticut. Please don't print my SS#.

*Motivations: That I can't explain. It's built-in somehow.

*Philosophy: I just try to keep it fun and keep it interesting for myself.

*How would you like to be remembered: As someone who lived life well and was fun to be around.

*Web address: I don't really have one right now. Recently I found myself with 5 websites for various projects. I had to simplify. Most of my work has been in commercials / television for the past few years. That work doesn't come in through a website, so I lost some interest there. I'm sure I'll put one up again for the next record.


Thanks to Layng Martine for being the focus this week. Be sure to tune in to episode 91, where Corporal Blossom is one of 16 sound collage tracks featured in our "colors" themed episode. Uploading as I speak - Check it out.

Until next week... I'm out to take in some springtime.

Thanks for listening,
Jon Nelson


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