Locrian Get to Work on Next Record

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 10th, 2012 by JJ Koczan

Well yeah, sure. You don’t get to 20 albums in seven years without working at a pretty solid pace, so I guess it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that Chicago/Baltimore drone and noise specialists Locrian are quick to follow-up their The Clearing/The Final Epoch CD with a new album. A double album, at that. No substitute for being prolific.

So I guess maybe the headline above is kind of generic — any given week, the headline “Locrian Get to Work on Next Record” could probably apply, but there’s some pretty cool stuff going on with this yet-untitled release, as you can see in the PR wire info below:

LOCRIAN Begin Recording New Album

Esoteric, experimental artisan’s LOCRIAN have entered the studio to begin recording their Relapse Records full-length debut.  The as-of-yet-titled album is being recorded by Greg Norman (PELICAN, RUSSIAN CIRCLES, SERENA MANEESH) at Steve Albini’s Electrical Audio Studios in Chicago, IL.  The album will then be mastered by Jason Ward at Chicago Mastering Service.

A two-part concept album inspired by the band’s love for prog-rock progenitors Genesis, Yes & King Crimson, this is sure to be the group’s most ambitious recordings to date. Multi-instrumentalist Andre Foisy commented on the new material:

“This is our most concise album yet. Our statements developed quickly compared to many of our other releases. We’re all really into prog rock and we made this a concept album in musical and lyrical themes.

Musically, side A ends in a trilogy of songs and side B ends in a quadrilogy. Each of these two tracks mirror each other in places. In addition to some musical themes that pop up in different places in the album, there are also some musical themes that harken back to our older catalog.”

Tentative track titles include “A Visitation From the Wrath of Heaven”, “Exiting the Hall of Vapor and Light” and “Panorama of Mirror”.  A spring 2013 release via Relapse is expected with more details to be announced shortly.

LOCRIAN, located in Chicago, IL and Baltimore, MD, has released over 20 recordings on an eclectic array of labels in their relatively short but prolific career, including a recent reissue of The Clearing / The Final Epoch and an upcoming reissue of New Dominions, a split with label-mates HORSEBACK. The Clearing / The Final Epoch can be found streaming at this location:

Tags: , , , , , ,

UK Special — On the Radar: Sunwølf

Posted in On the Radar on September 28th, 2012 by JJ Koczan

Ambient duo Sunwølf make it pretty easy to immerse yourself in their debut release, Beyond the Sun (Ark Noise). The album, which hits 26 minutes but is full-length enough at that time, will see a physical release in November but is available digitally now, through Bandcamp and the like as is the way of things these days. Drummer/organist Dominic Deane and guitarist/sampler Matt Carrington hit on a balance not unlike that of Panopticon-era Isis, finding a space to dwell between drone-minded stillness and forceful post-metallic psychedelia.

The six-track outing opens quietly enough with the fade-in feedback of “Genesis” (as appropriate a beginning as any), and gradually reveals its instrumental sprawl in a slow-boiling progression that continues for the song’s six minutes. By my count, it’s the longest of Beyond the Sun (points), but it hardly tells the whole story of what Sunwølf are setting out to accomplish musically. Particularly by veering to and away from Deane‘s drums, the two-piece add a sense of variety to their purposeful lack of movement, so that although “Solar” refuses to pay off its own build, some satisfaction comes as the thicker guitar and insistent percussion of “Morose Land” feeds into an overall heavier vibe. That sensibility continues through Beyond the Sun‘s title-track, though that cut is slower, and soon enough, Sunwølf have momentum on their side as they continue through the rest of their debut.

Production is clear and crisp — they recorded with Ross Halden (Wild Beasts) and had Mell Dettmer (SunnO))), Earth, etc.) master — but as the guitar and cymbal washes of “Inertia” live up to the track’s name, it”s clear Sunwølf aren’t interested in sticking solely to one aspect of ambient heaviness or another. Carrington samples a playground late into the track and “Inertia” winds up evocative as it moves directly into the swell of “Time Stands Still” — take them from their names alone and understand that Beyond the Sun is not an album about movement — which incorporates acoustic guitar over a bed of organ hum, culminating in a feedback outro that offers transition into closer “Home.”

Perhaps its Sunwølf‘s most complex track, perhaps not — depends on the process of crafting the prior drones — but the layering of guitars over each other makes for the most evocative melody here on offer, wistful in a still-ethereal vaguery, sad and hard to pin down. Like most of Beyond the Sun, however, it’s a blip, there and gone, faded out almost as it just seems to have set the foundation for a genuine development. Maybe Sunwølf aren’t interested in that kind of thing, but if they are, they have the groundwork set on a track like “Home,” which just as easily could turn into a nine-minute post-metal build but ultimately remains humble in its scope.

Sunwølf are a relatively new band, and Beyond the Sun is their first release, but as it makes for a solid late-night listen, I thought I’d post the tracks here for your perusal. If interested, you can check them out live Oct. 13 in Leeds (poster above), or find out more about them at their Tumblr, buy Beyond the Sun at their BigCartel store, or just check it out on their Bandcamp, from which the following stream is hoisted:

Tags: , , , , ,

Late Night Review: Aun, Motorsleep

Posted in Reviews on March 11th, 2009 by JJ Koczan

Looks like a normal guy to me.It’s well past two in the morning. This afternoon I had three false starts for reviews that I just couldn’t get moving no matter how many times I wrote a crappy opening paragraph. It happens. Sometimes you have to put it away and go have a glass of orange juice. When I got around to checking out Aun‘s Motorsleep (Alien8 Recordings), it became clear it was music for the quiet hours.

So here I am, enveloped in it again. My eyes are doing that fast blinking thing that you never think looks like you’re falling asleep until you see it happening to someone else, but the drone this one-man band emits is encompassing and chilling and hearing it is like chewing gum to keep yourself awake while you drive. I don’t even know what that means.

Aun is the solo project of Martin Dumais, who is from Montr?al, Quebec. For phonetics’ sake, pronounce that “kay-beck.” It sounds better.

Read more »

Tags: , , , ,