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Transmissionary Six - Desoto

  by John Clarkson

published: 9 / 5 / 2002

Transmissionary Six - Desoto
Label: hinah
Format: CD


Atmospheric very limited album made by the brooding and cinematic Transmissionary Six, which, features Walkabouts drummer Terri Moeller on vocals and ex-WGC member Paul Austin on guitar, on a pirate radio station boat in Seattle

It has been eighteen months now since the French website and micro-label hinah, www.hinah.com, first went on-line. In the time since then hinah, which is co-run by two Parisian music buffs Laurent Orseau and Eloise Steclebout, has released on a regular bi-monthly basis, an increasingly sought-after and collectable set of live and other "special one off" CDs. Each of these have been limited to just 50 copies, and, concentrating on a different band or act, have included releases by indie folk artists Vera Clouzot and Doug Hoekstra ; a French electronic duo Melmac ; the now sadly defunct Boston rock group Magic 12 ; an improvisational collective Empty House Cooperative, and a Parisian experimental two piece Donna. Now for its eighth official release and unofficial seventh release (hinah's sixth release by the American singer-songwriter M. Ward has been put back because of technical problems until the summer), Orseau and Steclebout have chosen to release a recording by the Seattle-based duo, Transmissionary Six. 'Desoto' like all previous hinah recordings, fits into the criteria of capturing a band at a unique and given place in time, and is a recording made on a pirate radio station boat, the Desoto of the title, on a wet Sunday in March. Transmissionary Six, which features ex-Willard Grant Conspiracy member Paul Austin on guitars and Walkabouts drummer Terri Moeller on vocals and percussion, formed in mid 2001, and released their impressive and atmospheric self-titled debut album at this beginning of this year. For this new recording, they have been joined by Kevin Suggs, a member of another locally-based group, country act, Evangeline, on pedal steel and baritone guitar. Perhaps, not surprisingly, considering the recency of the first album, 'Desoto' features several of the same songs. Many of the trademarks that made the debut album such an enticing option-Moeller's eerie, ethereal vocals and enigmatic lyrics ; Austin's reflective, brooding guitarwork and the group's cinematic sound-are still all present, but 'Desoto' carries a weight of its own as well. Recorded acoustically with little radio ditties and hazes of static linking the songs, it is tinged with a robust sense of echo that was largely absent from the previous recording. Suggs' gusts of baritone guitar and humming pedal steel also help to further enhance the original songs. One song, 'Dog Eared', barely two minutes long in its first version, is stretched out to nearly five minutes with a languid, but thoughtful extended instrumental work out at its beginning. There is a new song as well, the folkish 'Purely Medicinal'. Best of all, however, is a reworking of Talk Talk's orchestral 'I Believe in You' from their 1988 'Spirit of Eden' album , which stripped to raw basics, is everything that a good cover should be, and, as does nearly all of 'Desoto', successfully retains the vision of the original, but also manages to build on it as well. Nearly all the copies of 'Desoto' have sold out on pre sale. Paul Austin , who deals with most of the band's business affairs, has fortunately, however, decided to manufacture another 100 copies which he will be selling through www.pennyblackmusic.com. and the band's website, www.transmissionarysix.com. With their reputation and influence beginning to spread, maybe it is time for Orseau and Steclebout to start considering extending the number of their CDs on a regular basis. Songs and albums this good deserve to be heard by far more than the hinah faithful and lucky few.

Track Listing:-
1 Lora The Night Hostess
2 Clay Down Man
3 I Believe In You
4 Paper Party Hat
5 Rodeo Satellite
6 Purely Medicinal
7 Dog Eared
8 Short Wavegoodbye

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Interview with Paul Austin and Terri Moeller (2003)
Transmissionary Six - Interview with Paul Austin and Terri Moeller
The project of Walkabouts' drummer Terri Moeller and former Willard Grant Conspiracy guitarist Paul Austin, Transmissionary Six are about to release a second album, 'Spooked'.John Clarkson speaks to them about it and their forthcoming first European tour
Interview with Paul Austin (2002)

digital downloads



Cosmonautical (2008)
Uplifting and epic-sounding chamber pop on fifth album from previously melancholic Seattle-based band the Transmissionary Six, which is their most accessible album to date
Radar (2006)
Get Down (2005)
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Transmissionary Six (2002)

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