Volcanic Tongue Catalogue

Imaginational Anthem
Imaginational Anthem 2

Tompkins Square TSQ-1424


Follow-up to the first volume of this on-going series that joins the dots between an earlier generation of American Primitive guitarists and contemporary intuitive sound-as-thought players. Once again Jack Rose is featured (with an absolutely gorgeous 6 string re-think of "Cross The North Fork 2") but every other player puts in a first-time appearance on this volume. The inclusion of Christina Carter is a particularly inspired move and one that speaks of the liberated range of the series in general and her track is a beauty, a stubby acoustic guitar miniature. Nice cover snap too. Other tracks include a particularly mesmeric recording from UK guitarist James Blackshaw and contributions from Peter Lang, Jesse Sparhawk, Michael Chapman, Sean Smith, Fred Gerlach, Billy Faier, Sharron Kraus, Robbie Basho and...uh...Jose Gonzalez. Another rich, far-sighted assortment from this great label.

Christina Carter
Of The Gutter

Many Breaths Press No Cat


"Incredible archival set by Christina Carter from a solo performance in London on 26 October 2004.  This art edition comes in a run of only 122 signed and hand-numbered copies with a variety of art paper sleeves in the usual Many Breaths style and is available exclusively from Volcanic Tongue.  Described by Christina as her ‘most broken and expressionist performance to date' this set features radically reworked interpretations of early solo and Charalambides material in a style that can be best described as deconstructed Texas blues by attempting to combine the voice, rhythm and slide guitar of these complex songs via a single solo performance.  Here Christina seems to be taking direct inspiration from original country blues slide players like Blind Willie Johnson and Bukka White while translating them to the present via a variety of aggressive playing styles filtered through the psychedelic blues of Jandek and Keiji Haino.  At times the playing reminds me of Bill Orcutt, not necessarily in terms of technique or sonics, but more in approach, the way the guitar is attacked furiously combining both lead and rhythm techniques simultaneously. She launches frantic flurries of slide notes while always returning to the root chord’s open tuning in the same way that Orcutt's playing always returns to that de-tuned bottom C-string.  The rhythm playing itself is anything but straight-forward with syncopated and staccato-styled playing of slashed chords.  You could imagine this as being a very physical performance with Christina moving and contorting between playing high-end slide and off-beat open chords that seem to continually resonate providing the songs' wayward rhythms and building intensity.

 On the opening track "Namaste" the slide playing gets particularly aggressive towards the end, with flurries of improvised notes sounding almost like Christina's interpretation of Heather Leigh’s wilder pedal steel work transposed to slide guitar.  The song is offset by a vocal melody that sounds as connected to traditional Celtic folk as much as country or gospel blues, giving the track a strange balance that reflects the inner conflict perfectly. One of the highlights is her interpretation of two classic early Charalambides tracks from Joy Shapes and Unknown Spin: "Here, Not Here" and "Voice Within".  The guitar playing moves seamlessly between delicate finger-picked melodies and crashing chords laden in reverb and echo providing a permanent wall of sound.  Slightly reminiscent of the atmosphere on Keiji Haino's classic Affection album and with a similar use of overlapping repetitive rhythms as on his recent Seijaku recordings.  This also really demonstrates Christina's ability as an accomplished guitar player with at times some slightly more eastern or Malian blues-sounding scales being used.  The more aggressive wailing vocals often heard on her Scorces recordings is also evident.  There is a wonderful moment where Christina moves between one of her falsetto screams and her softer tone when her voice breaks reminding us of the fragility of the performer herself. 
With so many of the recent Many Breaths releases focusing on voice and melody such as A Blossom Fell or even poetry as on Seals, it’s great to hear this other dimension of such an important artist. This is Christina as a blues-influenced solo performer jamming wild interpretations of the form in a psychedelic outlaw style that could only come from Texas. Highly recommended." - Andrew Ross

Various Scrawl
Pine Meoquanee: An Anthology Of Poetry

Digitalis 2005


Nice anthology of pomes from some modern days heads/musicians, the highlight of which is Christina Carter’s wonderful “Center Of Exits”. Also features work by Michael Anderson, Michelle Angelini, James Barrett, James Blackshaw, Julie Cook, Michael Donnelly (Brothers Of The Occult Sisterhood et al), Sid Fallon, Spencer Grady, Denton Harris, Denton Harris, Robert Horton, Paganini Jones, Eden Hemming Rose, Brad Rose, Mainon Alexandra Schwartz, Indigo Tempesta, Kade L. Twist and Keith Wood (Hush Arbors). Hand-numbered edition of 120 copies. Each book hand-bound with cloth tape and a hard cover with a design by Keith Wood.