Mission Trips rallies a strange Southern legacy 

Magicicada's Chris White rallies a strange Southern legacy

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Other songs such as "Confused Heap," "Once I Was A Little Light," and "Jigsaw Forms" take shape as random slices of life filtered into a collage of eviscerated and reconstructed found sounds.

One of the more intriguing numbers, "Blossoming Snares of the Earth," was recorded differently. On a trip to San Francisco, White visited his sister's gallery in the Mission District. While staying in a small apartment behind the gallery he discovered that the previous tenant had left behind a battered drum set, some amps, a microphone, and a Korg synthesizer. White set the instruments up in the gallery and started improvising — playing the drums with a pair of chopsticks — while a homeless man screamed at him through the door. "It was the perfect San Francisco moment," White says.

A subtly reworked vinyl pressing of Wrack With Ruin arrived the same day as Faun and a Pan Flute's LP. Like the first two CD releases, both are pressed in a limited edition of 150 copies each. When the vinyl sells out, whether or not they get repressed is to be determined. Of course, all of the music that Mission Trips releases will be available for download. The label is also cultivating an archive of live shows to post on a streaming section of the website to increase the music's visibility. The idea behind sticking to such limited quantities for the physical releases is to avoid the age-old indie label dilemma of having stacks of unsold media sitting around in unopened boxes for years. The market for local and regional experimental music is small, and every penny counts toward keeping the label alive. "There is nobody here with a bag of cash offering to make this happen, and I cannot handle the pressure or responsibility of a Kickstarter approach," White says. "We are doing this one project at a time and working hard to achieve our goals, and trying not to get ahead of ourselves."

Other releases due over the next year include recordings from Tuscaloosa, Ala.'s Ramble Tamble, along with Them Natives and a Davey Williams release. From Atlanta, deadCAT bassist Gage Gilmore is preparing his first release of solo compositions. Other Atlanta acts Narrator, Lindsay Smith, and Easily Suede have releases in the works as well. There's also a Lunar Creature/Meghanz/Judas Horse three-way split cassette tape planned.

In the meantime, Mission Trips is prepping for its first pilgrimage to spread the good word of its music to the people of the Southeast and far beyond. Throughout the last half of June, Magicicada and Faun and a Pan Flute will tour the South, with stops in the Midwest and the East Coast, to support Mission Trips' inaugural releases. The tour is another step toward building the community this music needs to truly thrive and consummating the ideas that were planted on that "reality-enhanced" night in Birmingham so many years ago.

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