In a world of “slow” movements that rail against mindless consumption, rock survivalists Windsor for the Derby represent “slow” music. For their latest outing, they began with a set of seemingly infinite drones and loops inspired by their early beginnings as a band. As those recordings were passed back and forth, the sounds were further sculpted by Dan Matz and Jason McNeely into their own leftfield brand of pop song. This became Against Love.
Despite the connotation of its title, "How We Lost" is a celebratory album. It's a reflective record and, in its own way, celebrates the Windsor For The Derby continuum that's been created from their first release (Calm Hades Float, 1996) to their last (Giving Up the Ghost, 2005). Each of these recordings is a sequel to the next both in narrative and musically and as the band's first two records (Calm Hades Float and Minnie Greutzfeldt) were re-released last year they found themselves in constant dialogue about their body of work and the paths they'd chosen. Also a part of that ongoing dialogue were the records that the band finds itself consistently re-visiting (Swell Maps, Section 25, Psychic TV and much of the Factory Records catalog) and what makes those recordings timeless and resonate in a personal way with the band. The songs on "How We Lost" are reflections of those records and those conversations. It’s about the band and the ways the band has changed over the years, the things they hold onto and what's been left behind.
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Originally released in 1996, Calm Hades Float is a timeless record that sounds like a dream collaboration of Martin Hannett and Brian Eno. Snaps of electronic drums collide with warm hum and reverb-drenched guitars on this ambitious release recorded by Adam Wiltzie of Stars of the Lid. This re-release also contains the ‘+/-’ flexi that came with the first 750 vinyl copies, along with 2 previously unreleased live tracks.Originally released on the legendary Austin label Trance Syndicate.
Veering from their debut, Minnie Greutzfeldt – the band’s sophomore album - is a study in nothingness. Also engineered by Wiltzie – Minnie came on the heels of a Kramer induced world of rolling bass lines and oceanic reverb. The record is paired with the long lost Metropolitan Then Poland EP, a collection of home experiments with synths, scissors and drum machines.Originally released on the legendary Austin label Trance Syndicate.
Windsor for the Derby are a study in dualities. It is made of two primary band members preserving not only a musical identity but a friendship over many years and many miles. Creating music that is equal parts dance and folk, a truly disparate combination of styles that come out sounding completely organic. While listening to "Giving Up The Ghost", you hear not only the beautiful stylistic tension of two styles at play, but also the room and atmosphere itself. Windsor's music has always been a play on modern pop, infused with giant amounts of space, a space which both reflects the physical distance between its members as well as providing an artistic counterpoint to the massive inundation of noise and data that our society is bombarded with daily.The past eleven years have seen Windsor For The Derby reach across the country and make the long distance relationship somehow work. With founding members Jason McNeely in Austin, TX and Dan Matz in various locales along the east coast, WFTD always seemed more a "project" than a band. Last summer both found themselves living in the same city as they both relocated to Philadelphia. In the past WFTD had to rely on their semi-annual meetings to conduct their business, but now they are regularly playing live shows and prolifically recording in their home studio.
This year Windsor for the Derby celebrates its tenth year with the release of its fifth full length, We Fight Til Death. Over those ten years Dan Matz, newly relocated to Philadelphia, and Jason Mcneely, from Austin, have managed to arduously maintain this project over the many miles. Those years have seen personnel changes with much help along the way by their talented friends. Over the last few years, Timothy White and Ben Cissner have jumped on board to lend their invaluable assistance to WFTD and helped to create a solid quartet. We Fight Til Death finds WFTD in Bloomington, Indiana with Dan Burton (Early Day Miners, Ativin) at the controls. This record was recorded and mixed over the last year at Burton’s Grotto Home Studio with Burton and a few other locals sitting in. WFTD finds a way to take each release to a wholly different trajectory while at the same time creating a progressive connection to the last. The skewed pop sensibilities of The Emotional Rescue LP are hinted at on We Fight Til Death as well as the dark refrains of 1998’s Minnie Greutzfeldt. By combining elements of previous releases and exploring new terrain, We Fight Til Death is Windsor For The Derby’s most realized release to date.