Archive for February, 2009
Big hole, white label vinyl, limited, live performance by former Wolf Eyes member Aaron Dilloway and John Wiese of (Sunn O))) back in 2006 in the UK at a place known as Chislehurst Caves. These man-made caves stretch 22 miles long under the eastern suburbs near London, used for such things as mining chalk & flint, they were also used to shelter the Brits during WWII air raids. Even more interesting, the caves are speculated to have been used by the ancient Druids and also by the Romans and Saxxons. From this very rich background it would seem there was little left to accomplish until more recently when the caves began to be used as a music venue. Bowie, Pink Floyd, The Stones, and Hendrix have all played there, and now too have ear-piercingly experimentalists Dilloway and Wiese. Art noise meets electronic crunch. Three untitled tracks totaling over 8 minutes of pure noise in possibly one of the nosiest settings imaginable. Imagine sounds of Satan vs. television fuzz in a battle with loop pedals plummeting asunder with each attack. Frequencies so high they may reinvent hearing by broadening the spectrum of the human ear. Later sounds resemble background tones of the Atari 2600 game Wizards of War. Loopiness to the point of near locked groves, but leave your patience at the door as no track even reaches 5 minutes in length, distance or circumference.
Beautiful Baltimore instrumental duo of Nathan Bell of Lungfish and Arbouretum’s David Heumann. Drifts out and outer into subconscious subspace, 10 strokes above par. Recorded in Kentucky, these men of rock envision a dustbowl full of baritone and orbital spirit guitars, the bowed banjo, and amplified kalimba. If that’s not enough for your tripp into oblivion then your momma taught you wrong, and listen for the sexy trumpet smattered all over the B-side cut Ephaphatha. Themes of flooded spaces with secret hide outs and endless network of sprawling wires like rays of the sun, Human Bell takes elements of Godspeed You Black Emperor and strips them down to the soul. Much like them, it may be difficult to remember much of the melody after even multiple spins, however like their theme, they aim isn’t set to stun. Moody and morose, most build-ups perish as they build, quite opposite of powerfully moving music. Could very well be a good theme to a slow escape, or a lukewarm flood lifting you out of your seat and into the ocean ever so gently, and then leaving you there to float away. Like the best moments in life, enjoyable during the ride, but lost forever after the moment is gone.
Limited press drone dream split between A side Cloudland Canyon of Germany and Midwesterners Mythical Beast. Instrumental track for the kraut droners on the front, while the flip features seductively sad vocals by Mythical Beast’s female lead singer Corinne Sweeney. Haunting and minimal with no drums, she is backed by guitarist Jeremiah Cowlin, and bassist Aaron Hawn. Very serious and depressed sounds without the look at me emo attitude of the mainstream. Slow and steady vintage sounds fill every crack with Sweeney’s low slumbering notes. Mythical Beast will be performing in the Not Not Fun SXSW showcase along with Pocahaunted & Robedoor March 20th 2009. Cloudland Canyon is an analog duo of early-era drone, mixing tribal beats with simple repetitive but building nowave vocal drones over 70’s kraut guitar much like psychsters Ash Ra Temple and Embryo. The only sad part is that they only contributed one track to this split, and it’s also at 45 RPM. Ignoring the lo-fi elements of the recording, their classic sound is massive and methodical, like a trance dance into sacrificial volcano. Faust and German Oak fans will like their work, which has also been released on the Holy Mountain and Kranky labels.
Lovely low deep male vocals (provided by Alexander Hacke of Einstürzende Neubauten) float in ambience, minimally droning with surprise beats. Recorded in Berlin, this German foursome is made of 2 percussionists, Tony Buck & Steve Heather, along with guitarist Martin Siewert, and zietblom on bass. Trippy drugged out feel to much of the album with fuzzed out one note surf style guitar delayed fuzz solos leading the way like a super stoned version of Green Milk from the Planet Orange. Mathematical plays with timing and meter on the lap steel guitar along with a percussive eastern vibe make heaven a much easier place to reach. Relaxing vibes are at a peak with the two guest vocal cuts Scarlet Woman and Prince Priest. But beware; sweet heaven is full of demons just like anywhere as luscious vocals turn into nightmarish Golem growls. Side B opens up nearly 4 decades ago into an age where 6-minute intros in rock music was the norm. Keyboards and industrial cymbal hits join the infinite fretless foundation of sadness envisioned by the band. With their musical canvas they paint landscapes with more freedom and even less optimism than Philip Glass’s audial work in the 1982 film Koyaanisqatsi.