Possessed of one of the coolest names around -- actually a Greek surname -- Texas' Charalambides made a name for themselves in the '90s and beyond for their many recordings of a haunting, psychedelic-informed brand of exploratory electric guitar instrumentals. Husband-and-wife team Tom and Christina Carter -- the former a veteran of the Mike Gunn -- originally formed Charalambides in pre-marriage days with a friend, Kyle Silfer, in 1991 in Houston. Initial recordings at home for self-satisfaction led to both local gigs and a series of recordings; Silfer soon left the group, but the Carters continued on, making their first major splash with 1993's Union on Siltbreeze Records. Jason Bill joined the band after Union and played with the group live and on record through 1996, after which the Carters once again did things on their own. In that year, Charalambides reached a new level of fame by appearing alongside such equally inspired bands as Bardo Pond and Flying Saucer Attack on the tremendous Harmony of the Spheres box set. Numerous recordings and the occasional live appearance followed in future years; other players at times joined the Carters, but the band essentially revolved around the core duo, who had relocated to Austin. The 2000s brought a new flood of material, including a variety of compilation appearances and the excellent Home and Sticks collections, followed the next year by a tour recording, Water, and a lathe-cut LP, Branches. Being as Is appeared in 2002 on Crucial Blast, while 2003's Unknown Spin, 2004's Joy Shapes, 2006's Vintage Burden, and 2007's Likeness were all released on Kranky Records. The Carters have also released numerous solo projects on a host of labels. In 2010, Three Lane Blacktop was released on the Two Lane Blacktop imprint in a limited edition and documenting the Charalambides trio -- the Carters and Bill -- playing two live sets in 1994.
In 2006, the Carters began recording new material in a series of of studios in New Hampshire, Western Massachusetts, and New York City. In late 2010, they finished and resumed their solo careers. The results of those sessions are the most aggressive of Charalambides career, and mark their 20th anniversary as a band. The songs were mixed at Black Dirt Studios, and mastered by Paul Gold, resulting in the album Exile, which was rreleasedby Kranky in the fall of 2011. The Carters pperformedall the songs on the record as a duo, with the exception of one track which featured contributions from string players Helena Espvall and Margarida Garcia ~ Ned Raggett, Rovi
Mar 06 SundayQueens, NY, US Trans-Pecos