Posted in Whathaveyou on July 28th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster
Back in May, Seattle trio Mother Crone were confirmed to take part in the Erosion Festival in Montana this October (info here), and it seems they’ll test the waters in August on a quick run through the Midwest and West Coast still supporting last year’s Awakening (review here) debut full-length that recently got them picked up by DHU Records for the release of their next album.
About that album: Mother Crone put word out not too long ago that they’re looking for a second guitarist, maybe guitarist/vocalist, so if you’re in the Seattle area, can tour, and get down on stuff that’s ridiculously heavy and well constructed, it might be worth hitting them up. Their post and the tour dates follow here, as seen on the social medias:
Hey dudes and dames, we here in the doom thrash band Mother Crone are seeking a second guitar player for both rhythm and leads. Our current record was written for two guitars and we are in the midst of getting the next record ready to record and would like to expand. We would also like the tunes to live up to their fullest live. If you can sing, that’s a huge plus! Hit us up if you’re interested. Please note, we tour quite a bit, but will have some down time as we get ready for the next record.
Two weeks! Stoked to go out and reacquaint ourselves the likes of Chicago and Minneapolis as well as meet y’all in Omaha and Kansas City!
This whole thing ends at Marymoor Park here in WA for HEMP FEST 2016!!
Mother Crone on tour: 08/09 Missoula MT VFW 08/10 Billings MT Muleskinner 08/12 Minneapolis MN The Hexagon 08/13 Chicago IL Livewire Lounge 08/15 Kansas City MO MiniBar 08/16 Omaha NE Dr. JacksDrinker 08/18 Boise ID The Shredder 08/19 Seattle WA Nuemo’s 08/20 Portland OR High Water Mark 08/21 Seattle WA HempFest
Mother Crone: Jeremy Schulz (AKA Walrusdrummer) – Drums, Joshua Hashman – Bass/Vox, Joseph Frothingham – Guitar/Vox
Earth, HEX; or Printing in the Infernal Method (2005)
I think it’s safe to call Earth‘s HEX; or Printing in the Infernal Method one of the most pivotal albums of its decade. Released 11 years ago now in 2005 by Southern Lord, it not only marked the Seattle outfit’s first studio full-length since 1996’s also-essential Pentastar: In the Style of Demons and their fourth album overall (not counting a slew of live releases), but it set in motion a new phase of the long-running instrumental band’s progression that continues to evolve over a decade later while also casting out a massive influence over underground heavy rock. At this point, there are atmospheric-minded groups the world over drawing from what Earth accomplished in tracks like “Raiford (The Felon Wind)” who don’t even know they’re doing it. Itself working heavily off of Neil Young‘s Dead Man soundtrack, it’s become part of the pastiche of darker post-rock, heavy Americana and, of course, drone, which is the tag with which Earth are most often saddled, rightly or not.
But HEX; or Printing in the Infernal Method has more to offer than a blueprint other bands have (understandably) followed. From the opening role of “Mirage” through the minimalist melancholia of “Tethered to the Polestar,” it is Earth proffering a style of immersion that is entirely their own, capturing something evocative and wistful without words or cliche, without losing themselves in indulgence or letting go of the ambience of the work as a whole. It’s not an easy record to keep up with by any means — sometimes it can feel so still it’s like you’re looking at tiny ripples on a lake, or, perhaps more fitting to the mood, a breeze blowing across the top of overgrown grass — but the subtlety with which Earth, which at the time was comprised solely of founding guitarist Dylan Carlson and drummer Adrienne Davies, enact the broad, sweeping scope of tracks like “The Dire and Ever Circling Wolves” and the downward sloping “An Inquest Concerning Teeth” only enhances the effect of those songs and the rest of those around them. It is a landmark both for the band and for a swath of genres.
As noted, Earth have hardly kept still since. In addition to touring heavily, sundry splits and live albums and revisits of older works, they would go on to issue The Bees Made Honey in the Lion’s Skull (discussed here), which brought rich color into a changing soundscape, and the 2011/2012 pair Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light I (review here) and Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light II (review here), which would introduce some of the British folk elements to Earth‘s sound that they’d continue to explore on 2014’s lush Primitive and Deadly (review here) and which would become crucial as well to Carlson‘s solo work under the moniker Drcarlsonalbion, most recently the full-length Falling with a Thousand Stars and Other Wonders from the House of Albion, which he released last month following a successful crowdfunding campaign for the physical pressing.
I hope you enjoy.
Next week, look out for streams from Los Disidentes del Sucio Motel, Nathanael Larochette, Swamp Witch and probably more. Still also want to get High Fighter and Colour Haze reviews going as well, and I’ve got an interview with Laura Dolan from Electric Citizen to get posted as well as an Obelisk Questionnaire from David Rodgers of Godhunter and the Southwest Terror Fest in the can, so one way or another it’ll be a full week. Also news and videos and all the rest of that good stuff.
I said as much yesterday on Thee Facebooks, but thank you for your continued support of this site. It’s been a crazy month or so with starting the new job and everything surrounding that, but I cannot tell you how far this project goes toward keeping me sane and I deeply, deeply appreciate your ongoing interest, encouragement and involvement in it. Thank you. Thank you for reading. Thank you.
Please have a great and safe weekend, and please check out the forum and radio stream.
[Stream ‘Catspaw’ from Mos Generator’s Abyssinia by clicking play above. Album is out July 15 in Europe and Aug. 5 in North America on Listenable Records.]
Nothing is 100 percent certain in life, but it’s a far safer bet that, when dealing with Mos Generator, you’re going to get straightforward, immaculately written heavy rock and roll, and that’s just what the Port Orchard, Washington, trio deliver on their third full-length since their 2012 resurgence (sixth overall, second for Listenable Records), Abyssinia. Now a seasoned road act after spending years functioning part-time, the band follows-up 2014’s Electric Mountain Majesty with 10 songs that sound as assured in their execution as in their construction, bringing stage-hewn chemistry between guitarist/vocalist/keyboardist/engineer/auteur Tony Reed, bassist Sean Booth and drummer Jon Garrett to a studio setting in a fashion that, as ever, is driven by a clarity of sound and purpose but maintains a heavy, classic presence beneath.
Duality is nothing new for Mos Generator — of whom I’ll say both that I’m a fan and that I consider Reed a friend — as Electric Mountain Majesty showed in its moments of underlying depressiveness and dissatisfaction. Abyssinia, with a title that’s reportedly playing off the Washington-state accent’s version of “I’ll be seein’ ya” but nonetheless uses the word “abyss” to make that play, has its moments of melancholy as well, whether it’s the slower roll of “As Above so Below,” “Wicked Willow” before it or the closing duo of “Time and Other Thieves” and “Outlander,” but that brooding is offset by a thrust greater even than the band showed on 2012’s Nomads (review here), songs like “Catspaw” and its side B counterpart “Red Canyons” pushing into what would be manic territory were Reed and company still not able to keep such a handle on the material.
Add to that last grouping the blown-out “There’s No Return from Nowhere” and the Captain Beyond-style shuffle over which “Time and Other Thieves” contemplates mortality and the double-edge of Mos Generator becomes even more apparent. In that, it’s a fitting answer to Electric Mountain Majesty, but the tracks as individual pieces are stronger, and it’s almost too easy to attribute that to the fact that the band has spent the better part of the last two years on tour — but they have — and so are able to deliver a song like “Easy Evil” with a defined purpose and an energy that rings true throughout the record, starting with opener “Strangest Times,” which launches immediately — no time for intros — into its first verse and seems to be the road song that Reed has been dying to write all these years, the line, “I’m just a slave to the strangest times that I’ve ever known,” belted out before each of the two solos.
Garrett starts “You’ve Got a Right,” which is a roller with a multi-layered vocal hook that presages some of the harmonies to come later on and flows easily into the tempo kick of “Catspaw.” Some classic metal riffing in the verse is offset by melodic flourish in the guitar — one of Mos Generator‘s greatest strengths has become attention to detail — and a slowdown release in the chorus, but the prevailing impression left behind is still the gallop, which makes it that much more of a jump when the relative lumber of “Easy Evil” begins, its nod maintained for the duration of its five-minute run, an airy break, solo and hard-funk fuzz highlight riffing leading the way out with an irresistible groove only to have “Wicked Willow” pick up with a more mid-paced feel that showcases the range in Reed‘s vocals as he follows the guitar line on one last unpretentious bounce to close out the first half of the tracklisting.
I’m not sure if that’s where the vinyl split is or not, but either way, “As Above so Below” works quickly in its first couple minutes to set a different, more progressive vibe, and much of what follows builds on that. Yes, it still rocks — Reed tears into a solo and soulful chorus as Garrett and Booth lock in another righteous nod — but a quiet break in the first half establishes a tone that Abyssinia takes as a central element in its back half. Of course, Mos Generator need to get through “Red Canyons” first. The most vigilant push on the record is well placed to continue the momentum from earlier into the final three tracks, which are richer in their arrangements and of course more patient — catchy “Red Canyons” is, patience it has little time for — but less about physical motion. A simple verse/chorus interchange becomes one of Abyssinia‘s standout hooks, and the effect is clear going into “There’s No Return from Nowhere,” which is the most weighted-feeling of the cuts here, though it introduces its central riff acoustically before its full stomp kicks in.
Crashing and shouting and a wash of noise cut out suddenly to harmonies and softly-strummed guitar, keys and classically progressive boogie — a return of the acoustic alongside the synth — arriving as a surprise but somehow still working. The heavier riffs continue to lurk, however, and they do come back to finish out as Reed delivers the title line, ending cold so that “Time and Other Thieves” can start its already-noted shuffle, its movement marked by double-time hi-hat, frenetic choppy guitars and Booth‘s bass holding it all together in classic power trio form. A turn begins with the subtle arrival of organ at the halfway point, but Reed takes a guitar solo before they shift back into the main riff and then on to a closing section of key-led space-prog, Garrett holding onto some of the track’s initial energy but clearly heading someplace else with it.
That’s a sudden change, even with the keys having appeared earlier on the album, but in addition to being somewhat satisfying to hear Mos Generator bust through the confines of even their own songwriting rules, it makes sense in light of the six-minute closer and longest track “Outlander,” which boasts Mellotron layers and a subdued groove initially before Reed begins his gloriously harmonized and intricately arranged vocals. Before they even get to the chorus, “Outlander” is sure enough foreign in its sound from everything else on Abyssinia — one might liken its intent more toward Reed‘s shortlived HeavyPink project — but its progression serves as the payoff for the album as a whole, moving in the chorus to a transfigured “I Want You/She’s so Heavy”-style riff that seems to answer everything the three-piece have done up to that point, be it heavy, melancholic or progressive.
They ride that to the song’s end, and rightly so, and cap Abyssinia on a striking and adventurous note, showing that while Reed has helmed the band for more than 15 years, there’s still growth underway in its scope and stylistic breadth. Mos Generator, as an outlet for his restless, relentless creative spirit, have never sounded more in command of their approach than they do on Abyssinia, and as they’ve embarked on a tour-as-much-as-possible ethic, that seems only to have brought more life into their already accomplished craft. Abyssinia stands among 2016’s finest heavy rock albums, easily.
Posted in Whathaveyou on July 11th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster
Port Orchard heavy rock specialists Mos Generator have not yet released their new full-length, Abyssinia (review tomorrow), but as ever, the Tony Reed-led outfit are looking forward already, this time toward a new EP release through Stickman Records called The Firmament. Set to be issued as a complement to a live video recorded earlier this year by Chris Mathews (now also of Ancient Warlocks) in an airplane hangar, it features tracks from the new album and others, a Joy Division cover and guest collaborators, giving it a really distinct feel among Mos Generator‘s output. That level of output has only grown more fervent over the last couple years as Reed has revamped the lineup, bringing in bassist Sean Booth and drummer Jono Garrett, and hit the road with the same intensity that for a long time was reserved just for studio work.
Still plenty of that happening as well though, but The Firmament shows just how spot on Mos Generator are as a live band. Release announcement and video for “Outlander” follow here, courtesy of Stickman via the PR wire:
Mos Generator The Firmament
Psychobabble 085 / LP (cd inluded)
Release date: September 9, 2016 VINYL + CD
Spring 2016, the northwestern coast of the United States. Strange alien lights are sighted amongst a number of uncanny solar phenomena. In response, the Joonior Space Administration develops a plan to make contact with the outsiders. And somewhere amid this interstellar singularity, a heavy rock band is blowing the roof off an airplane hanger in eastern Washington State. Welcome to The Firmament, the new album and film soundtrack by Port Orchard’s Mos Generator.
For those initiated in the world of modern heavy rock, Tony Reed and Mos Generator are most likely household names. Between writing and performing some of the most earnest rock n’ roll this side of the 1970’s and recording and producing dozens of albums, the man still finds the time to pick up unique projects that showcase the band’s diversity and creativity. So when filmmaker Chris Matthews approached Mos Generator to be part of an abstract live concert film titled “Songs for the Firmament”, it didn’t take long to realize this was the opportunity for something special.
Choosing an airplane hangar as their shooting and recording location, Reed and co. assembled a soundtrack fit for the movie’s interstellar affairs. What emerged was a collection of both new and old material (as well as a stellar Joy Divison cover), rewritten specially for the project. In the name of exploration of sound and space, guest musicians Bo Mcconaghie and Andy Sorter were recruited to pick up second guitar and Rhodes piano duties, adding another layer of lushness and complexity unique to the Mos Generator catalogue.
The Firmament is a milestone in Mos Generator’s history not only as their first film appearance or as a celebration of over 15 years of perseverance, but also as a presentation of the band’s first new recording lineup since 2000. Sean Booth (bass) and Jono Garrett (drums) are dynamic and powerful players that fit Reed’s soulful playing like a glove. In five songs, the album glides seamlessly though hard rock and progressive territory with genuine soul, both classic and eerily spacy at the same time. Stickman Records is proud to present this slab of cosmic dust on 18ogr vinyl with CD included for your listening pleasure.
Tracklisting: 1. Fall of Megiddo 2. Zero to Infinity 3. Wicked Willow 4. Dead Souls 5. Outlander
I’ll admit I’ve become less of a Melvins fan over time. The Seattle mainstays-of-riff are well over the 30-year mark at this point, and you won’t in the least find me denying the massive impact Buzz Osbourne and Dale Crover — as well as a series of bassists; six on their new album, Basses Loaded (see what they did there?) — have had on underground rock and roll especially over the last two decades or the fact that they absolutely slay live, but they’re impossible to keep up with, Buzzo‘s a dick to press in the Jello Biafra/Henry Rollins tradition and frankly, no matter who’s playing on it or whatever, there’s a lot of what they do at this point that I think comes from the same place. Even the chug of “Hideous Woman” from the new record should be pretty familiar to anyone who’s listened to any given amount of their material over the last 10 or 15 years.
So why am I posting about the Melvins? Because I respect the shit out of them. Look at that list of tour dates below and ask yourself how many groups have been around for that long and still have that kind of drive to do what they’re doing. True, they’re making a living off it and at this point it’s easy to imagine they don’t know how to live any other way, but even so, the sheer factor of the Melvins having trudged back and forth across the planet, again and again, while putting out albums at a continually impossible rate, means that yes, I still think they’re worth posting about even if I’ll just about never actually put on one of those albums.
There you go. An honest post about the Melvins. Basses Loaded CD is out now on Ipecac. Vinyl on Friday.
Video is below for “Hideous Woman.” Whatever, go to a show. Then watch Bob Hannam‘s documentary. Or watch the documentary first. Either way.
Melvins, “Hideous Woman” official video
The Melvins, who recently wrapped up their latest European tour, debut a video for “Hideous Woman” from their recently released album, Basses Loaded (Ipecac Recordings).
WATCH THE VIDEO FOR HIDEOUS WOMAN, DIRECTED BY DAVID HALL
The 12-song album features six bass players: Nirvana’s Krist Novoselic, Redd Kross’ Steve McDonald, Butthole Surfers’ J.D. Pinkus, Big Business’ Jared Warren, Mr. Bungle/Fantomas’ Trevor Dunn (aka Melvins Lite) and Melvins’ drummer Dale Crover swapping the drum kit for bass in the Melvins 1983 iteration.
The Melvins return to U.S. highways this summer, launching a seven-week tour on Aug. 3 in Las Vegas. The touring line-up features Buzz Osborne, Dale Crover and Steve McDonald.
U.S. tour dates: August 3 Las Vegas, NV Backstage Bar & Billiards August 4 Flagstaff, AZ The Green Room August 6 Boulder, CO Fox Theatre August 7 Ft. Collins, CO Aggie Theatre August 9 Sioux Falls, SD The District August 10 Fargo, ND The Aquariaum (Dempsey’s Upstairs) August 13 Eau Claire, WI Eaux Claires Music Festival August 14 Rock Island, IL Rock Island Brewing Company August 15 Des Moines, IA Wooly’s August 16 Lawrence, KS The Bottleneck August 17 St. Louis, MO The Firebird August 18 Louisville, KY Headliners Music Hall August 19 Indianapolis, IN The Vogue Theatre August 20 Grand Rapids, MI The Pyramid Scheme August 22 Columbus, OH A&R Music Bar August 23 Pittsburgh, PA Rex Theater August 24 Buffalo, NY Iron Works August 26 Syracuse, NY The Westcott Theater August 27 Northampton, MA Pearl Street August 28 Hamden, CT The Ballroom at the Outer Space August 29 Providence, RI Fete Ballroom August 31 Baltimore, MD Ottobar September 1 Carrboro, NC Cat’s Cradle September 3 Cookeville, TN Muddy Roots Music Festival September 5 Athens, GA 40 Watt Club September 6 Charlotte, NC Amos’ Southend September 7 Charleston, SC Music Farm September 8 Jacksonville, FL Jack Rabbits September 10 Baton Rouge, LA Spanish Moon September 11 Jackson, MS Duling Hall September 12 Memphis, TN Hi-Tone September 13 Little Rock, AR Metroplex September 14 Tulsa, OK Cain’s Ballroom September 15 Oklahoma City, OK The ACM @ UCO Performance Lab September 16 Norman, OK Opolis September 17 Austin, TX The Sidewinder September 18 San Antonio, TX Paper Tiger September 20 El Paso, TX Lowbrow Palace September 21 Tucson, AZ Club Congress September 24 Long Beach, CA Music Tastes Good Festival
Basses Loaded is available now via the Ipecac webstore, Bandcamp, Amazon and iTunes. The vinyl release arrives on July 1.
Posted in Whathaveyou on June 16th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster
Change has been afoot in Ancient Warlocks since before they put out their second LP, II (review here), earlier this year through STB Records, but it seems as though they were waiting for the right time to announce their new lineup with Chris Mathews Jr. (aka Chris Joonior, of the Live at Jooniors series of videos and live recordings) on vocals and lead guitar and Stu Laswell on bass alongside guitarist Darren Chase and drummer Steve Jones. With the impending June 25 release of their Live! 12″ — which was also included as a bonus with the first run of II — that time would seem to be right. Works for me.
They’ve got live dates over the next couple months with Mos Generator and Mars Red Sky, so as they say goodbye to the old lineup with Live!, they’re continuing forward keeping good company as they’ve done all along.
From the PR wire:
ANCIENT WARLOCKS ANNOUNCE NEW LINE UP, THEIR “LIVE” LP RELEASE AND SHOW DATES WITH MOS GENERATOR & MARS RED SKY
Ancient Warlocks have just announced their first round of shows in over one year, and now featuring a new line up. Celebrating their return to the stage, the Ancient Warlocks “LIVE!” LP will be released by STB Records on June 25th at High Noon (Eastern Standard Time – USA).
The band will kick things off with a few shows alongside Mos Generator and Mars Red Sky, play more shows through the summer, then record their 3rd studio LP once again with Steve Jones at Big Sound Productions (Seattle) in Sept/Oct., followed by more show dates during November & December.
The new lineup includes the veteran creative core of Darren Chase (Rhythm Guitar) and Steve Jones (Drums) along with the addition of Chris Mathews Jr. (Vocals & Lead Guitar) and Stu Laswell (Bass). Chris is known by many via the “Live at Jooniors” video series (Joonior Studios), where he has produced live music videos from bands such as Holy Grove, Sleep Capsule, X Suns, Mos Generator, Ancient Warlocks, and many more. Stu hails from the relentless touring band Antique Scream. These two bring plenty of their own experience to the table, and in addition to the existing core help to form quite a solid line up.
Ancient Warlocks NW Tour Dates (more cities to come); July 29th, 2016 – Port Angeles, Washington @ Cherry Bomb (w/ Mos Generator) July 30th, 2016 – Seattle, Washington @ The Funhouse (w/ Mos Generator) August 5th, 2016 – Bremerton, Washington @ The Manette Saloon (w/ Mos Generator) August 6th, 2016 – Tacoma/Fife, Washington @ Louie G’s (w/ Mos Generator) September 2nd, 2016 – Portland, Oregon @ The Panic Room (w/ Mars Red Sky) September 3rd, 2016 – Seattle, Washington @ The Funhouse (w/ Mars Red Sky)
Ancient Warlocks came to life in 2010; drawing from the members’ shared love for all things loud, heavy, and fuzzy driven by a solid groove. They’ve shared stages with the likes of Chris Cornell, Tom Morello, Fu Manchu, Pentagram, Mos Generator, Corrosion of Conformity, Brant Bjork, Mars Red Sky, Radio Moscow, Zeke, etc., and the sophomore LP; Ancient Warlocks “II” out now, immediately being followed by the “LIVE!” LP will only continue to fuel this band towards more of the same as well as adding festivals into their touring plans for 2017!
Posted in Whathaveyou on May 12th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster
Port Orchard, Washington, heavy rock specialists Mos Generator have signed a deal with Heavy Psych Sounds for European booking and will tour Europe this fall. The trio are preparing to release their new album, Abyssinia, this August in North America via Listenable Records, and recently took part in filming for an experimental concert video titled Songs for the Firmament at Joonior Studios in Seattle.
“This will be our first headlining tour of Europe and we are really excited to return to some places we know well and also hit some cities we’ve never been to,” comments founding Mos Generator guitarist/vocalist Tony Reed. “We will be adding a lot of songs from the new album Abyssinia to our set and we will also be revamping some old numbers that haven’t been played in years or have never been played live.”
Exact dates for the European tour are TBA, but it is set to run from Oct. 20 to Nov. 20, and so will start just days after the band’s recently announced appearance at Erosion Festival 2016 (info here). That slot follows a summer US tour set to kick off in mid-June alongside Year of the Cobra, for which you can find the dates below.
Mos GeneratorUS tour: 6/16 Portland OR – High Water Mark lounge 6/17 Missoula MT – The Palace* 6/18 Salt Lake City UT – (Crucialfest) 6/19 Denver CO – Hi-Dive 6/20 Lincoln NE – Bourbon Theater 6/21 Sioux Falls – Bigs Bar* 6/22 St Paul MN – Agharta records (7pm in-store) 6/22 St Paul MN – Big Vs (night show)* 6/23 Indianapolis IN – State st pub* 6/24 Chicago IL – Reggie’s 6/25 Columbus OH – Ace of Cups 6/26 Frederick MD (Maryland Doom Fest) Cafe 611 6/27 Raleigh NC – Slim’s* 6/28 Birmingham AL – The Nick* 6/29 Little Rock AR – Vino’s* 6/30 Tulsa OK – Holy Mountain Records(7pm in-store) 6/30 Tulsa OK – Downtown Lounge (evening show)* 7/01 Fort Worth TX – The Grotto* 7/02 Austin TX – The Lost Well* 7/04 Albuquerque NM – Launchpad* 7/05 Flagstaff AZ* – Greenroom* 7/06 Las Vegas NV – Dive bar* 7/07 Boise ID – Neurolux* 7/08 Seattle WA – The Substation* 7/09 Vancouver BC – SBC* 10/14 Missoula MT – Erosion Fest * w/ Year of the Cobra
Posted in Whathaveyou on May 9th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster
In the realm of ‘signature sounds,’ there are few who can claim a space as individualized as that of Dylan Carlson. As the spearhead of Earth, he’s refined drone rock into something that can be minimal as easily as orchestral, evocative or off-putting depending on whims, and his solo work as Drcarlsonalbion only moves further out from there, whether it’s the soundtrack he did to the film Gold (review here), reminiscent of Neil Young‘s for Dead Man, or the explorations of British folk that he’s taken up the last several years with Earth and in his own outings, typified in the upcoming solo release, Falling with a Thousand Stars and Other Wonders from the House of Albion.
What may or may not be a collaboration with Coleman Grey in its final form, the album was initially funded through a (successful) Kickstarter last year and will be officially issued next month. It’s streaming now on Bandcamp, however, and you can hear it on the player below. Like everything the man touches, it’s worth getting lost in.
Have at it:
Drcarlsonalbion self-release – Falling With A Thousand Stars And Other Wonders From The House Of Albion
Dylan Carlson is to officially self-release Falling With A Thousand Stars and other Wonders From The House Of Albion on 25 June.
“The concept behind this album ‘Falling with a Thousand Stars and Other Wonders From The House of Albion’, was my interpretations of Scotch-English folk ballads about human/supernatural interaction, specifically those ‘spiritual creatures’ known as ‘fayres/fairies/etc.’ Not the tiny winged ones of Victorian nursery stories and decor, but the beings of folklore and the historical records (mostly trial dittays from witch trials). The genesis was my own personal encounters that occurred in 2010-11 and that have occurred occasionally since that time. The album is solo guitar played by myself. It was originally going to have environmental recordings from sights of human/fayre encounters, but unfortunately those recordings were unusable. The album was recorded at crackle’n’pop studios in Seattle with Johnny Sangster as engineer. It is part of a project that was funded initially by kickstarter, and self funding on my part. There is also a short film, dir. Clyde Petersen, released with the cd, and a book (tba).” – DRCARLSONALBION
Having founded seminal rock band Earth in 1989 in Olympia, Wa., Dylan Carlson has since been recognised as the originator of what came to be known as ‘drone metal’ or ‘ambient metal’. As the sole original member and principal songwriter of the Seattle based band, Carlson continues to explore new ground and remains an innovator in his musical career and a compelling character outside of it.
As Earth continues to reach new heights, Carlson also extends his musical repertoire towards solitary endeavours. His solo projects, initially under the moniker ‘drcarlsonalbion’, continue the sustained, expansive motifs found in Earth, but under the influence of the traditional folklore, fayre lore and occult history of England and the British Isles. Shorn of band interplay, the focus is on Carlson’s unique ‘voice’ of amplified guitar and tone.
Never one to be confined to a single genre or label, Carlson’s solo ventures have given him the freedom to experiment with other genres and musicians alike: from his ongoing improvisational work and performances with Dutch free-jazz drummer Rogier Smal, to his collaboration with British experimental dub artist Kevin “The Bug” Martin for the Bug vs Earth Boa / Cold EP in 2014. Most recently he joined forces with Maddy Prior of Steeleye Span, recording a song commissioned for broadcast on BBC Radio. (Psalm For A Revival, 2015)
Guitar remains at the forefront of Carlson’s solo work. His Gold soundtrack (2014) – composed for Thomas Arslan’s German feature film of the same title (2013) – features deliberate and lingering guitar themes. They evolve into forms that fade into the horizon, evoking the desolate wilderness of the American continent. Depth becomes apparent in negative space.
His latest album, Falling with a Thousand Stars and Other Wonders from the House of Albion (2016, self-released and initially funded via Kickstarter, consisting of a documentary film and book) sees a return to Carlson’s love of Albion’s supernatural days of yore. Through droning 6 and 12-string guitars, he reinterprets traditional old English and Scottish folk ballads into sombre instrumental pieces. Though a solitary venture, the textures are lush and immersive, summoning the ambiance of a lost time. Ever-present is that meditative, yet meticulous, “restrained majesty” of uncompromising repetition and intensity that is so characteristic of Carlson’s signature sound and style.
TRACK LIST: 1. Reynard The Fox 2. She Moved Thro’ The Faire 3. Alisson Gross 4. Rose In The Heather 5. Tamlane 6. King Orfeo 7. The Elfin Knight