Ryan has said that no matter what he does muscially, “the long pale arm of Goth” reaches out to touch him. He doesn’t understand the phenomenon. He thought that making a Jazz/Flamenco/Folk/Rock album would clear him, just as he thought making a Drum n Bass/Trip Hop/Ambient Electronica album would, but it seems he would have to do something much more radical than he’s done so far to duck that association.
Who knows, maybe “Ryan Lum” will be forever associated with Goth?
An insightful review of Windblown Kiss went up on High Bias. (“Consistently beautiful treatise on romantic expression.”) The Montclair Times is carrying a nice review, as well. (“Dreamy songs of love and spirituality are perfect for cool summer nights.”) Belgian site, Le Fantastique has written a glowing review, in French. [click links for full review]
Just picked up a couple new CDs; Violet Indiana’s “Casino,” and His Name is Alive’s “Someday My Blues Will Cover the Earth.” I’m happy to have “Purr la Perla” now, as well as another song or two that I really enjoyed at V.A.’s live show. I guess this album is actually just a compilation of EP and single material, but I didn’t have any of it yet.
The HNIA album is a really nice surpise. I fell in love with “Nothing Special” when I downloaded it off of epitonic.com the other day, but now that I’ve heard the whole album, I think the title track might be even better! I swear, it gave me shivers when I heard it. Ryan noted that our most recent song is reminiscent of this album. I am amazed that Warn should be moving in a similar direction as us! I used to practically worship the ground he walked on, and have enjoyed the many twists and turns HNIA has taken, though I kind of fell out of touch with his work the past few years. Lovetta has a really great voice, and I have to admit that I have a special weakness for soul singers!
Lovespirals were mentioned in a recent issue of Oui
Magazine, for their Oui Rocks section. Devil Doll gives
a brief update of the band in her “Oh My Goth” column,
alongside The Empire Hideous and Virgin Black. A
promo photo by Susan Jennings is included (with the
band fully clothed…) Thanks to Elizabeth for the press
Haven’t posted much lately… Been too busy with promotions and tour travel plans, I guess. We also wrote and recorded a new song. Ryan cut his hand and had to get stitches last week, so that’s slowed him down a bit, but he’s almost recovered now.
We’ve been toying with a new version of “Ring” for the live set, which is kind of interesting. We didn’t do any LSD songs at ProjektFest. Ryan thought they were kinda boring compared to the material from the new album. He’s addicted to Jazz chords now! I think he’s also going to work up backing tracks for the new song, which we’ve been calling “Walk Away.”
Still no final word from any of the 3 people who want to set up shows in Mexico. We got a new request this week, too. Eventually we should have something settled, though.
Lee Prosser reviews Windblown Kiss for Jazz Review, July 2002
Ryan Lum and Anji Bee are Lovespirals. With a touch of soft blues and world music motifs, this entry into the smooth jazz category is a surefire hit and should appeal to a wide listening audience.
The music is refreshingly original and likeable, enjoyable in all ways. The 10 selections include “Oh So Long,” “Dejame,” “Windblown Kiss,” “Our Nights,” and “I Can’t See You,” among others.
Ryan Lum is a master of guitar, his techniques fresh and pleasant, and the sensual vocals of Anji Bee perfectly reflect the high quality of the musical compositions. Windblown Kiss is a magical listening experience, filled with sensitivity and beautiful soft jazz sounds.
Lovespirals is topnotch.
See the original review at jazzreview.com
The Women of Mp3.com, Jianda Johnson
Jianda Johnson interviews Anji for a feature article on the now-defunct Women of Mp3.com Station.
JIANDA: How did you get into music, how long have you been making it, and when did you join Lovespirals?
ANJI: I’d say that I first got into music through my dad. One of my earliest memories is circling around the coffee table to “Here Comes the Sun,” when I was barely able to walk. I started singing very early, doing school productions from Pre-School on. Shortly out of High School, I got invovled with different garage bands, doing gigs, and recording 4 track demos. Strangely, I really always wanted to be a guitarist, but I’ve just never been very adept at it! I did play guitar in an industrial noise rock band for awhile, but it was a struggle for me. I played percussion in another band around that time too. It’s funny to think about those old bands now, in comparison to my work with Lovespirals. Speaking of Lovespirals, I began working with Ryan in early 1999.
JIANDA: Can you please explain the difference between Lovespirals and Love Spirals Downwards?
ANJI: When Ryan and I began working back in 1999 on Drum ‘n’ Bass tunes, he was in a transitional period, unsure if he wanted to make another listening album or start releasing 12’s instead. At that time, we weren’t sure if our stuff was going to be released as Love Spirals Downwards or as some kind of side project. We were just recording songs and pressing dubplates for him to spin in his DJ sets, not sending them around to labels or trying to get them released. Then I made those tracks available online through mp3.com and folks started contacting us to include stuff on compilations, so by now all of them have been released somewhere or other, which is really cool. But I digress… It’s tremendously hard to explain exactly where or how things changed between Love Spirals Downwards and Lovespirals, because it was all just a natural progression.
JIANDA: Catch us up to speed with the latest Lovespirals news — what’s new as far as your releases go?
ANJI: Our first album, “Windblown Kiss,” just came out June 18th, on Projekt Records. We’re putting together some live shows to promote it, beginning next month with 3 West Coast dates with fellow Projekt artists, Mira. We’re supposed to do a show or two in Mexico this October. Other places we are working on shows for are Los Angeles, Phoenix, and possibly Chicago. We just did our first (and second) live performance over Memorial Day weekend for ProjektFest, which was fun.
JIANDA: Do you have a songwriting routine/regimen, or do you just compose you “when the spirit moves you?” Do you and Ryan toss ideas back and forth in real rehearsal time, or take elements and play with them, layering in the writing/recording process?
ANJI: Generally, a song lyric and melody will come to me out of the blue, which I’ll capture on a little hand held tape recorder. I also write lyrics in my journal, with or without an attendant melody line. For Lovespirals, what generally happens is that Ryan will be messing around — either practicing guitar, or checking out some loops — and something will catch my attention. Oftentimes I’ll think, ‘Hey, that reminds me of that one song idea I was working on!’ so I’ll go grab my journal and start singing along. Other times I’ll just make up the lyrics right on the spot, like I did with ‘Our Nights.’ We usually jam our ideas out for awhile before beginning to record, which is when we perfect the song structure and come up with additional parts.
JIANDA: Have you been creative all your life? When did you write your first song? Piece of fiction or non-fiction?
ANJI: One of my baby dresses said “When I grow up, I want to be an artist.” I’ve always been into just about every aspect of the arts, from music to fine arts, from literature to acting, from sewing to magazine editing, and everything in between! The first song I remember composing was in Jr. High, called “West Wind.” Before that, I recall making up zany lyrics to pop songs, kind of like Weird Al. I always wrote stories, too, and illustrated them. I was the kind of kid who would get their work printed up in the school journal, newspaper, year book etc…
JIANDA: What kinds of feedback do you get from your fans? Your music has a very gentle, healing quality to it; do you get that mirrored back to you by fans?
ANJI: Fans have been great so far. People do write to tell me that my music soothes them. Some have sent me poems, or even love letters. I feel like I’ve definitely made some friends, through music.
Interviewed by Jianda Johnson for the now-defunct (but much loved) mp3.com
Last night Ryan and I went to Violaine’s one year anniversary/Dew Drop’s Cocteau Twins tribute CD release party out in L.A. The club they have it at, Vertigos, is really cute! I wish it hadn’t been quite so loud though… Local legends, The Von Trapps, featuring Rodney Rodriguez (who played the Flamenco guitar lead on “Alicia” as well as second guitar for LSD’s last live performance) performed. They are really, really good. I wish to heck that they would finally put together a full length CD. The new 3 song demo they gave us last night is pretty amazing. Jenny sounds even better than ever!
Well, at least they have given in and made an mp3.com page, so people can check them out there: http://www.mp3.com/thevontrapps
Website and radio station, Gothic Paradise, announced in their latest newsletter: “Added a review and information on the debut album from the newly formed Lovespirals, featuring almost legendary, multi-talented Ryan Lum of Love Spirals Downwards fame. Combined with Anji Bee‘s musical talents and beautiful voice, they’ve managed to create a very captivating sound. Their style reflects only vaguely Ryan’s previous work with Love Spirals Downwards and takes on a more Jazzier tone with touches of Flamenco, Folk and other genres. I like to compare them to the latest release from The Cranes, dreamy and experimental and Julee Cruise, Ethereal and Jazzy. Great stuff and one of the latest releases on Projekt Records!”
Here’s the full review written by Jacob Bogedahl:
I’ve been waiting for this release for a long time and it’s been well worth the wait. I, like other fans of Love Spirals Downwards wasn’t sure of what to expect with this release. I had heard a little bit about it and had a listen of “Dejame” early on before the release. Also being a fan of Julee Cruise and hearing that similarity, I knew I was going to enjoy this album.
Combining so many instruments, different guitars, various styles including Flamenco, Jazz and a bit of Ethereal, everything comes together almost perfectly. The beginning track “Oh so long” really sets the somewhat melancholic yet jazzy mood for the album. The follow-up track “Dejame” is my favorite from this work of art. The Spanish lyrics are pensive and Anji’s vocals are beautiful and thought-provoking. There are some upbeat tracks that have an overall happy mood to them such as “He Calls Me”. “Windblown Kiss” is probably the track that can most closely be compared to the more Gothic Ethereal style with the acoustic elements and the overall dreamy feeling you get while listening to it, another favorite of mine.
Some other great points about this album are the additions of saxophone by Doron Orenstein. Also, the addition of male vocals by Sean Bowley on several tracks. There are other contributions by these artists and others with the entire production, including mastering by Robert Rich. Such a combination of musical styles and instruments along with the talents of this duo is just outright innovative and enjoyable. I think a wide audience will really enjoy this album. I give it a 4 1/2 out of 5 rating, not quite perfect more for my own tastes than for any flaws in the music.
See the Gothic Paradise band bio for Lovespirals at: http://www.gothicparadise.com/lovespirals.htm
Also be sure to check out Gothic Paradise’s Ethereal channel radio programming!
Tom Schulte will interview Anji for the Outsight Radio Hours on Sunday August 4th. You can listen to the Outsight Radio Hours streaming live Sunday from 6 to 8 pm EST (3 to 5 PM PST) via LUVeR Underground Radio; just enter the following URL into your Real Player: http://18.104.22.168/luver/luver.ram. Outsight is also a featured archival broadcast of the Music Sojourn site and Live 365.com.