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Black Country Primitive Lu Warm: Gnome Standard - Track by Track

Black Country Primitive

Lu Warm: Gnome Standard - Track by Track

by LamontPaul, Founder & Publisher
first published: March, 2024

approximate reading time: minutes

The good thing about playing in open tunings is that you can play these big, complex sounding chords with minimum effort. There's one in Gnome Standard that only requires one finger and it sounds of longing. It is my favourite chord.

07032024091438-luwarm-art-a1635204110_10.jpgGnome Standard, is a new album of yearning instrumental guitar melodies from the Black Country's Lu Warm. His first solo record, following on from time served in various bands and things. Gnome Standard was recorded late last year in John Pye's house, mainly using Lu's old Guild acoustic guitar. You might know John from his legendary Pye band. Lu had learnt to play fingerstyle guitar whilst retraining as a mental health social worker over the last few years. His sole creative outlet during what he says was an otherwise rough time. He soon let the statutory social worker gig slip, but got pretty good at the fingerpicking guitar.  His listening interests evolved into music that was contemplative and instrumental - American Primitive guitar, kora music, Japanese ambient music, minimalism and all that leads down the rabbit hole from there. It's these sounds, he says, that have shaped his debut LP. It's a great one. If you listened all day it might not be long enough. Over to you, Lu...

LU WARM - GNOME STANDARD - TRACK BY TRACK

THE BLACK COUNTRY FLANEURS (PART 1 & 2)
The Black Country is good walking because of the way it’s laid out. One minute you’re in Homebase car park and the next ambling along some ancient stream. Musically speaking, Part 1 is a nod to the big spacey blooms in Aether by The Necks, and Part 2 has bits aiming for Joe Hiashi if his instrument was guitar and he was composing for a Ghibli film set in West Bromwich.

JOSEPH CORNELL’S WEDDING

It’s a bit safe in some ways – not much dissonance – and has that stately waltz sound. Sonically, it sounds the best with the big, round guitar. I thought it had the feeling of a lonely person dreaming of a wedding. I’d read about Joseph Cornell’s life as an artist, carer for his brother and his platonic relationship with Yayoi Kusama and decided to name it after him. Credit to Jon Pye for telling me to cut it short.

IN DUE CURSE
The title comes from a typo in an email I received when working as a mental health social worker for a certain bankrupt local authority. It’s Nathan Salsburg light because, even if my life depended upon it, I can’t play as wonderfully precise as him.

BLUE ARM PILS
Named after those blue pills one can purchase from machines in pub toilets. My stamina was somewhat lacking when I originally tried recording this one. It made my hand and arm ache. I nicked the tuning from Nick Drake.

RENTED WALLS
It has that plangent John Fahey intro that leads into a chromatic bluesy type line, and then a machine-like picking pattern throughout most of the song with kora  influenced melodies on the top. There is Four Tet influence in there somewhere.

GNOME STANDARD

A dumb play on words. I don’t play in standard tuning on the record, but I thought No Standard sounded too severe. Gnome Standard sounds better. Like an Ivor Cutler song or something. The good thing about playing in open tunings is that you can play these big, complex sounding chords with minimum effort. There’s one in this tune that only requires one finger and it sounds of longing. It is my favourite chord.

MORIBUND CUPPA

The first part of this tune sounds like a very miserable person staring into a tepid cup of tea - thus the name. 

MR PERCEVAL’S DECAYING MOUTH
The 4/4 bit is the first decent thing I wrote when learning fingerstyle. I added the 3/4 part later. It’s my favourite title but I nicked it from Inconvenient People by Sarah Wise. 

RICE LADY MARCH
There’s a fast run in there that I fluff on the record. I can only play it properly one in every fifty times. I don’t mind that sort of thing. That Jon Fosse story from Scenes from a Childhood where he can’t tune his guitar during a performance and then snaps the string - now that’s true guitarist nightmare material. A few fluffed notes is nothing compared to that…
Lu Warm walking away


Essentials
Gnome Standard is available on Bandcamp, here→

LamontPaul
Founder & Publisher

Publisher, Lamontpaul founded outsideleft with Alarcon in 2004 and is hanging on, saying, "I don't know how to stop this, exactly."

Lamontpaul portrait by John Kilduff painted during an episode of John's TV Show, Let's Paint TV


about LamontPaul »»

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