West Helps East: Western Standards on Benefit Compilation for Japan

Alright, so I’m not generally the biggest fan of ambient/experimental music — I truly love M83 and My Bloody Valentine, and I like Ulrich Schnauss, but honestly, a lot of music like that just feels un-anchored to me, drifting around like airy sound that doesn’t mean or signify a damn thing. Note that I said “to me,” btw; I know there’re folks out there who can listen to a 30-minute-long track of radio static and think it’s the equal of, I dunno, Superchunk’s Here’s Where the Strings Come In, and hey, more power to ’em. It just doesn’t work for me.

In most cases, that is. I have liked what I’ve listened to so far by Western Standards, aka Major Miller (ex-/currently of The Kimonos, and probably other bands I’m not remembering right now), even though it falls pretty squarely in the ambient camp. It’s low-key stuff that seeps in around the edges of my subconscious, and that’s always a pretty neat feeling…

Anyway, this is all to point out that Western Standards will be appearing on a brand-new benefit comp real soon (as in, this coming Sunday, April 17th); it’s a compilation called The Sun Will Rise, which gathers together a whole bunch of disparate musicians & bands in an effort to raise funds for charitable groups who are helping the relief efforts currently underway in Japan, following the horrific round of earthquakes, tsunamis, and nuclear near-meltdowns that have afflicted that country.

It’s a very worthwhile effort, in my book, and the way the folks behind the two-disc compilation are doing it, sans label, with contributors sending in their submissions strictly online, is pretty neat beyond that. I haven’t heard of the bulk of the people on the comp, and I suspect most are of the electronic variety, but they all look/sound intriguing.

And yes, Miller’s got a track on the first disc of the comp, Ichi, and it’s very cool, in a waves-whispering-on-the-beach-at-night kind of way. Take a listen over here — unfortunately, not having a clue how to type Kanji(?) in HTML, I can’t even put the name of the damn thing in here; you’ll have to take a look on the Bandcamp site for that.

So, if you want to check out the comp and/or help out the people of Japan, definitely check on over to the The Sun Will Rise site after this coming Sunday. Not sure how they’ll be selling this thing, but I’m assuming they’ll have more info on that when it’s done…


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