The Austin Chronicle

Off the Record

August 31, 2007, Music

Music for films

The instrumental soundscapes composed by Bexar Bexar are one of Austin's best kept secrets. Last year's Tropism beautifully enveloped hushed acoustic guitars and shimmering feedback with Alvin Lucier-inspired natural resonance, creating a gentle hum of magnetic pulses. The album was distributed overseas by Own Records, coinciding with a European tour, while Bexar's audio collages have been featured on Ira Glass' Showtime series This American Life and the soundtracks to Red Without Blue and In the House of the Sin Eater. An even bigger secret is that the man behind Bexar Bexar is Brian Sampson, sole owner and operator of the locally based Western Vinyl Records, which has put out work from Will Oldham, Songs: Ohio, Windsor for the Derby, Knife in the Water, Tren Brothers, and the Dirty Projectors. "It's hard for me to promote my own music or talk about myself," says Sampson, who formed the label in 1998 with Ryan Murphy to press a 7-inch of his partner's Havergal project. "This way I retain control of my own music while allowing me to be an outlet for someone else." Along with the upcoming releases from the classically minded Slow Six and Japanese pianist Shuta Hasunuma, Western Vinyl is readying two new installments in its ongoing Portrait Series. "The artist provides an image, then writes two or three songs inspired by or from the point of view of that image," Sampson explains. Bexar Bexar joins labelmate Salim Nourallah on Saturday for a special performance at Bend Studio, 2905 San Gabriel St.

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