For the past four years the band have been conducting parapsychological experiments based upon the classic Ganzfeld (“total field”) experiment, but with a twist: instead of sending and receiving simple graphic patterns, test subjects were put into a state of sensory deprivation by covering their eyes and listening to white noise on headphones, and then Matmos member Drew Daniel attempted to transmit “the concept of the new Matmos record” directly into their minds. During videotaped psychic experiments conducted at home in Baltimore and at Oxford University, test subjects were asked to describe out loud anything they saw or heard within their minds as Drew attempted transmission. The resulting transcripts became poetic and conceptual scores used by Matmos to generate the nine songs on this album. If a subject hummed something, that became a melody; passing visual images suggested arrangement ideas, instruments, or raw materials for a collage; if a subject described an action, then the band members had to act out that out and make music out of the noises generated in the process of the re-enactment. “The Marriage of True Minds” boasts a promiscuous cast of guest musicians, an array of sonic tactics, and a broad swathe of musical styles, but this diversity is joined together with a common purpose: the translation of this archive of psychic experiments into a delirious hybrid of conceptual noise and electronic pop.. – Thrill Jockey
M. C. (Martin) Schmidt and Drew Daniel, Ph.D. of Matmos have created something very special for modern music with their first full length in five years, The Marriage of True Minds. As mentioned above, the method and process of creation to the album is very unique, relying on modified experiments that would server as the basis for composition to the whole. Conversations the test subjects attributed to these experiments are interwoven into various areas of the music, reflecting the sources of inspiration Matmos ran with for creating the songs. Matmos are always going the extra mile for their releases and have created some of the most unique concept albums in music history. With an unclassifiable sense of achievement through their sonic musings over the years, it’s not hard to believe Matmos are reinventing themselves album after album.
Capturing experimentally unhinged pop music to field recordings sourced from unthinkable destinations, they utilize instrumentation from unusual sources and have results of the same nature. I have given up trying to determine what type of group they are and have given myself to how long the impressions go when I encounter their albums. Releasing their first self titled LP in 1997 on the imprint Vague Terrain, the two have continued to bend different genres and unique sounds into their identity without compromise to artistic integrity. I have learned a lot about the act of listening to music through Matmos and The Marriage of True Minds has become one of their brightest moments in recorded form.
Their signing with Thrill Jockey last year resulted in the full length experimental masterpiece The Marriage of True Minds this year, a record we are absolutely enamored with when listening from beginning to end. Created out of the momentum and recording process of the groups first release with Thrill Jockey last year in the Ganzfeld EP, The Marriage of True Minds is dense in color and texture, full of surprising wonder through a labyrinth of shape shifting music. There is a wide variety of guests present on the album, extending the musical pallet even further than the places Matmos take things. Nothing is culturally normal about The Marriage of True Minds and that is normal if you have been staying up to date with the duos career since the beginning. It’s a record that leaves me with that feeling of not knowing where to even begin, something I love about the connecting power of loving something without having direct thought out reason for doing so. When something is good you just know it and these leaps of faith have to be taken for the unknowns in this world.
The Marriage of True Minds is the type of album that I feel has to be absorbed with full attention given to every moment. When trying to skip through tracks, pulling out any type of piece to gain a sense of the whole is impossible as every moment is traversing through so many different areas of music growth and decay. There are many moments on the album when abstraction takes full weight and the sense of rhythm is relegated to a state of chaos. When percussion and drum tracking is in place, the atmosphere above it is always breathing outward into every direction like tentacles. With only nine tracks present, every song has a multitude of parts to absorb and process, giving way to many angles of entry. Every track is pleasing and beautiful in the most oddest of ways and has been on repeat for the last 2 months. I could speak about the components of this album for hours and is an album that would take miles of writing to truly represent. This is a highly recommended experimental album from the staff at Sound Colour Vibration.
Order a copy from Thrill Jockey Records by Clicking Here
Video by M.C. Schmidt
Five years between full length releases, Brooklyn New York’s Dan Friel is back into the light with his electronic and experimental noise sonic ventures in the full length Total Folklore (Thrill Jockey). Friel released the 12″ Valedictorian/Exoskeleton in October of last year as the first contribution to his singing with Thrill Jockey and put out his last full length Ghost Town in 2008 with the long standing independent label Important Records. Total Folklore has a really big experimental pop sound to it, diving into wild states of quirky synth and stadium electronica along side the deep grime of experimental noise converged into the beat movement. It’s a really saturated and powerful record that vortexes in and out of extreme states of texture and winds down with calm and beautiful drop out moments. I have never felt so consumed then free to roam everywhere in the matter of minutes like this album has done so.
Creating the music with gear from the 80′s and up, there is a lot of primal moments that just grab me and refuse to let go. Very towering synth lines and drum tracking is given that glistening aura from the wild overtones that spill out of everywhere and reaches sonic climaxes in every degree. It’s some of the wildest music to be derived from machines that stay in one place, sounding like a band in many ways, especially the phrasing of a lot of the lead synth lines.
The albums opening track “Ulysses” begins with a ear shattering dose of penetrating frequencies that is recycled into every few measures over some bone crushing drums, bass and synth. It’s carnivorous and consuming, sizzling and rattling. The bass has one of the most incredible tones I have ever heard; complete doom and destruction. The synth lines are the balancing force that brings the music to an entirely new and somewhat 8-bit derived world. Intricate deviations on the main synth themes are interjected with short rests to balance out the crushing beats. It all somehow resorts back to that anthemic reflection of a dawning age through sound and the intense melody that carries itself into all phases of the lengthy track. Each section submerges even further into the bass line and drum tracking as if there was a black hole. Intensity is abundant and dynamics are a constant, recreating the same theme with added layering that keeps it active and fresh. It’s a bold beginning to an album that goes far deeper into states of pop fusion and unexplained territory.
“Windmills”, the second track on the record, takes on the opposite affect to the albums opener for a very short and calculated ride that is throw into its fullest state in very quick cycles. Surrounded in a transfixing groove of rhythms and tones, it has a much cleaner and open sound and pulls the music out of the consuming energy that was in the beginning 10+ minutes. “Valedictorian” has been out in 12″ form for a few months now and is a power synth pop track that takes the vibe of the music to a much more mainstream world. The influence is completely switched and this switching by the track is a constant of this record. You never settle into one setting abd it’s always a jolt of something new and entirely conducive to the large synth and drum sound that you find on most of the album. The albums path then becomes increasingly dense, diverts on call and is thrilling to every degree. You can feel Friel really add so many flavors and worlds into the final recipe of Total Folklore that defining it as any one thing would be impossible.
Total Folklore has an incredible story to tell and one that I feel will mean completely different things to every individual who hears it. From all of the field recordings sourced around New York to those created in Japan, the life of this artist opens up and his personal love for what he has found through music makes a really honest statement. Total Folklore is an album that I absolutely love front to back and am really pleased to listen to over and over. Nothing is filler despite how circulatory many of the themes are and how out there the overtones become. It’s truly the type of record that can only be made in this age.
Baltimore’s Matmos have been a duo since 1994 and their legacy continues to stretch into the each successive decade after the next. It’s been three years since the eclectic two piece has released new material and has recently dropped their first full length LP on the Thrill Jockey imprint this year. The Marriage of True Minds has been released this week to critical acclaim and one half of Matmos known as The Soft Pink Truth has completed remix work for one of the albums tracks, “Aetheric Vehicle”. Check out the press release from Thrill Jockey Records and listen to the new remix.
From Thrill Jockey Records
Yesterday, Matmos released The Marriage of True Minds, their first new album in over five years, via Thrill Jockey. It follows 2012′s The Ganzfeld EP, which was the culmination of four years of parapsychological experiments based on the Ganzfeld (“total field”) experiment and prominently features vocalists and voices for the first time in Matmos’ work. Earlier today, Los Angeles Times’ Pop & Hiss premiered a remix of album cut “Aetheric Vehicle” by Soft Pink Truth (aka Matmos’ Drew Daniel), which is available as a bonus track with the album on iTunes. “Aetheric Vehicle” is based on the Ganzfeld session with Keith Fullerton Whitman and includes vocals by Jenn Wasner of Wye Oak. Matmos broke down the album version for The Believer/KCRW podcast ”The Organist”. They’re currently on tour in North America playing fully transformed arrangements of new and old songs with fellow tour mates Horse Lords and offering a mix of video art, cover songs, improvisations and telepathic demonstrations. A full list of tour dates is below
LISTEN TO/SHARE/POST MATMOS’ “AETHERIC VEHICLE (SOFT PINK TRUTH REMIX)”: http://bit.ly/ZpKOhT
MATMOS TOUR DATES (new date in bold):
Wed. Feb. 20 – Seattle, WA @ Neumos*^
Thu. Feb. 21 – Vancouver, BC @ Media Club*
Sun. Feb. 24 – San Francisco, CA @ Public Works*
Mon. Feb. 25 – Los Angeles, CA @ Masonic Lodge at Hollywood Forever Cemetery*
Thu. Feb. 28 – Austin, TX @ The ND*
Sat. March 2 – Louisville, KY @ Zanzabar*
Fri. May 24 – Sao Paulo, Brazil @ Sonar Sao Paulo
* with Horse Lords
^ with Mouse on Mars
Praise for The Marriage of True Minds:
“The song, ‘Teen Paranormal Romance’…is a study in contradictions: at once restrained and busy, highly conceptual with occasional sprinklings of pure electronic poppiness… It is as textured as music comes these days…and makes clear that ‘The Marriage of True Minds’…is an album to watch for this spring.” – ArtInfo
“The Marriage of True Minds is Matmos’ most accessible album to date… The outwardly fun melodies and rhythms are what define the album.” – Exclaim!
“A theme that appeared in numerous psychic sessions produced the album’s catchiest song, ‘Very Large Green Triangles.’ Fellow Baltimore rocker Ed Schrader’s booming voice repeats the song’s title against gothic-pop-inspired chamber music, creating an eerie, post-industrial tone harkening back to mainstream popular music so well that the tune lingers between the listener’s ears.” – The Advocate
“Matmos has made a career of translating highly improbable concepts into astonishing, utterly singular music, and with The Marriage of True Minds (Thrill Jockey), it’s fair to say they’ve outdone themselves… It’s a welcome reaffirmation that these guys are capable of anything.” – Philadelphia City Paper
Brokeback’s latest LP Brokeback and the Black Rock for the imprint Thrill Jockey is a majestic ride into David Lynch style grooves and tones, where singular guitar lines shimmer deep with the resonance of reverb and soul drenched notes. Coming a long way from their inception in the 90′s, it’s a testament to the will and strength to move forward that Brokeback’s leader Douglas McComb’s has stood for in his music career. Instrumental in design, Brokeback and the Black Rock is a fresh breath of air in an overstimulated age of electronics and software. Reaching this legacy was – like every other journey from artists of worth – no easy task for Douglas McCombs.
McCombs contributions to music since the late 80′s have been very important, creating a body of work with so many musicians across the board that defining his legacy properly is a task all on its own. His muscular and lyrical bass work in the indie rock band Eleventh Dream Day was first brought to the world with the groups self titled 1987 release on Amoeba Records. The group would sign to Atlantic and along with a handful of other groups during that era would help create an entirely new form and approach to the bass in rock music. Tortoise, one of the greatest rock bands to come out of Chicago, has been the group of his who have been releasing amazing record after record. The sense of atmosphere the group created together with those first records on Thrill Jockey has remained some of the most influential pieces of work of their era. Carrying both projects with full force, McCombs would work with many other innovative groups and artists. Calexico to The Eternals to Stereolab, McCombs has put his hand in a lot of music that has really defined this age and it’s incredible to see the fire still lit and his projects rolling out the gates.
In the span of a decade between 1987-97, McCombs had released over a dozen releases between his three major projects and compilation releases and would join Thrill Jockey for his long standing project, Brokeback. Carrying a very distinct sound on every release of his own band Brokeback, I feel the cinematic elegance of old spaghetti westerns and other movies of mystic value in the way the music is composed. McCombs arranges the music and for every release brings in different players and different instrumentation for new approaches to his solidified Brokeback sound. Expanded outside of his bass duties that has defined his purpose with Tortoise, he has added guitar and other instrumentation to his craft for this project along with providing bass. 1997 would see the first release from the group in the Thrill Jocky 7″ Returns to the Orange Grove.
15 years later and McCombs has revamped the line up of Brokeback for a completely brand new release on Thrill Jockey in Brokeback and the Black Rock. More driven as a band recording and not detailed into mysterious mazes that many of their previous works evoke, it’s a gift of unspeakable words that opens wide open ranges and feelings of emotion track to track. Crystalline guitar runs, simmering bass and dynamic drum work that always compliments the music, it’s a simple yet adventurous sound. The pieces rely on very subtle build ups that change dynamics in huge chunks and sections, allowing for solo’s and other flourishes to submerge to the surface. The bass really anchors the recordings in with how deep and soulful it sounds inside the mix. Very clean but it still has that slight essence of rawness. Every track flows seamlessly into the next and I find myself in a very confident yet peaceful mood after hearing this record. Mood music for those who love to dream and explore through the depths of sound.
I love everything about Brokeback and the Black Rock and will continue to praise the works of McCombs until he stops making music or the quality of his content stops raising the bar like it does release after release. Brokeback and the Black Rock is feel good instrumental music with a lot of passion and heart inside of every note. It’s music that’s extremely honest and strips away any extra layering that doesn’t add to the direct voice of the Brokeback sound. Exhilarating considering how long it took for a follow up to their last LP, Brokeback and the Black Rock is something that will stay with me forever.
Order a copy by Clicking Here
- Pitchfork: http://pitchfork.com/reviews/albums/17587-brokeback-and-the-black-rock/
- All Music: http://www.allmusic.com/album/brokeback-and-the-black-rock-mw0002460252
- Exclaim: http://exclaim.ca/Reviews/PopAndRock/brokeback-brokeback_black_rock
- CriticalMob: http://www.criticalmob.com/music/review/brokeback_and_the_black_rock
- Pop Matters: http://www.popmatters.com/pm/review/166839-brokeback-brokeback-and-the-black-rock/
- The Vinyl District: http://www.thevinyldistrict.com/storefront/2013/01/graded-on-a-curve-brokeback-brokeback-and-the-black-rock/
- Dusted Magazine: http://www.dustedmagazine.com/reviews/7529
- Premier Guitar: http://www.premierguitar.com/Magazine/Issue/2013/Feb/Album_Review_Brokeback_Brokeback_and_the_Black_Rock.aspx
- The Chronicle: http://www.dukechronicle.com/article/music-review-brokeback
- Any Decent Music: http://www.anydecentmusic.com/review/5182/Brokeback-Brokeback-and-the-Black-Rock.aspx
- Stereoboard: http://www.stereoboard.com/content/view/176931/9
Portland, Oregon’s Eternal Tapestry are a band whose high velocity electric blues, psych folk, fusion and experimental forays of sounds beyond description reflect the rich cross over culture of the 70′s experimental era. With all of the members collecting records from many corners of the world that came from the 70′s, you hear this connection the group holds through all of their music. Dense and unusual shapes of sound, beautiful wah wah guitar passages, loose and free drumming with soulful bass that keeps the music anchored and a psychedelic tone as a whole that is mind blowing, I feel elevated when encountering any of their albums. It’s music to vibe to and to remember a time when communication and a searching through the core of the groups heart was key in the expansion and captured state of the music. From the cosmos to the gardens of earth before humans came here, the spacious and organic nature of the music is always in full view.
As a group who started releasing music in every format imaginable in 2007, Eternal Tapestry has been putting out a prolific amount of work since their inception. The groups inclusion into Chicago’s Thrill Jockey Records has brought a lot of attention to their sound and the group has been slowly expanding on the path and legacy they started a half decade ago. As a group who releases more than one record a year, the band has done the same this year with the second full length A World Out of Time. Departing from the long process of extensive studio sessions that the quintet has relied on for a bulk of their albums creations, the group instead went into the studio and did it like bands used to before the advent of multi-layering technology in the 60′s. The album was recorded as a whole and the free willing and loose feel of the album is right on target for the perfect type of dreamy landscape that the higher energy moments of the album rest into. A World Out of Time was then mixed as a collage and dream state, representing different worlds that cut in and out of one another. The element of sounds is expansive , comprising organ, guitar, bass, drums, sax and vocals.
The beginning and longest song of the record, “When I was In Your Mind”, comes in at a little under thirteen minutes and sets the stage for the odyssey of sounds and improvisatory setting the album is steeped in. Set in an electric blues and psych format where drums are loose and flowing, the bass rides out smooth and beautiful rhythm guitar keeps the music in motion while second guitar explores every region possible. Organ adds another dimension of psychedelic sounds and it’s a euphoric jam based groove that goes into some lovely territory. Based around a revolving groove, the dynamics shift but the main theme stays intact the entire song. The guitars identity in the second half of the song smooths out to accompany wah-wah laced lines that fall into a rich and milky warmth. Organ closes out the song with an experimental voyage into the cosmos and sets up the transition perfectly for the next song “Planetoid 127″. As a lush and charging acoustic folk and psych piece, this is where the music starts to transform into an even more galactic and dream like realm. It’s the shortest number on the album and has an elegant aura to it that no other song on the album sounds like. I love the experimental sounds that transition the ending of this piece into the next, “Alone Against Tomorrow”. The album is connected in full with these small transitional elements and it really retains the filling of a collage album.
“Alone Against Tomorrow” is my favorite song on the album and is a song that elevates the spiritual essence and weight of the album into another world. With exotically interwoven guitars, crashing and swelling bass and dynamic wave like drums, the song is superb to all of my senses. The energy the band accumulates on the song is outside of description and it’s the one song on the album that leaves me speechless. Five songs later and I feel like I have experienced a modern day masterpiece. The album art is one of the most incredible things I have seen all year on the fron of an LP. If you love the 60′s and 70′s era of cross over forms of rock music as much as I do, you will love what A World Out of Time stands for.
The pre-order for this release includes a very special bonus disc: Prometheus Rising is a CD-R that plays like a full album. Clocking in at 42 minutes, the six tracks span the full extent of Eternal Tapestry’s existence. The disc opens with “The Prowler” – a set standard that the band has been playing live for years, previously unavailable. Title track “Prometheus Rising” is purposeful and driven as it leads into “Bridge Over an Abyss” – a psychedelic, ominous cosmic chasm of loose, foreboding darkness. The disc closes with live track “Blots and Blurs,” an epic burner of a track, crescendoing over the course of 13 minutes in impressive fashion.
Pre-order by Clicking Here
Video by Nick Bindeman
Live footage shot by Anton Long
From Thrill Jockey Records | http://www.thrilljockey.com/
Matmos – The Ganzfeld EP – Out Now!
Production Company: l.inc design
Directors: Ed Apodaca & Audrey Karleskind
Producer: Donnie McCormick
Creative Director: Lisa Berghout
Designers: Audrey Karleskind, Deb Schedivy, Amy Law
DP: Danny Wang
Animators: Audrey Karleskind, Ed Apodaca, Danny Wang
Editor: Ed Apodaca
Bay area ambient and exploratory soundscape artist Evan Caminiti has been setting in stone his own imprint onto this world for many years now and it is through his solo recordings that we have found the music of his that has connected with us the most. As music expands constantly and bridges more tonal possibilities, there will always be those at the forefront of this change and wave of new creative growth. Evan Caminiti is among many who account for this wave and has really stunned us with the recent album release of Dreamless Sleep on Thrill Jockey Records. His approach to the guitar is singular, creating a voice that is remarkably fresh and recognizable and explores regions of a cosmic reality. We had the opportunity of exchanging emails with Evan about his new record and much more and have come to understand this artist a lot more. We hope you enjoy what Evan had to say and will check out his music if you have not already.
Sound Colour Vibration: Hello Evan, I wanted to first say that I am really enjoying your latest record Dreamless Sleep. I had heard your group Barn Owl but this was my first experience with your solo work and I fell in love immediately with what you have created. The album Dreamless Sleep is built largely around guitars and effects. What types of guitars or guitar did you use for this recording and what were some of the effects that allowed you to get the tones that you did?
Evan Caminiti: Thanks. I played a Telecaster 72′ Custom with various delays, fuzz pedals, reverbs, tube amps…
SCV: You have released solo albums on labels for a few years now and each one has been with a different label. How did a release with Thrill Jockey come about?
EC: It really made since this year we won’t be doing a Barn Owl record. Barn Owl has still performed pretty frequently this year in addition to writing a recording a new record, we wanted to take our time with this and work on it at home over an extended period of time rather than doing it all in the studio. So this freed up space to work on solo material with Thrill Jockey.
SCV: When I listen to Dreamless Sleep, I feel like the music speaks a very deep language, something that I connected to right away. Where were you at mentally and spiritually when constructing this record?
EC: This record began around December 2010 when a bunch of my friends had gone home to visit their families and I was stuck in San Francisco because I was working Christmas Eve. This gave me some pretty solitary time to get a start on the record. I found Alice Coltrane’s devotional tapes from just clicking around YouTube and they had a profound effect on me. I think I was also listening to a lot of Dead C so I was interested in this hybrid of healing energy and abrasive sounds. I want to explore a musical language beyond songwriting, focusing on immersion in sound, sound as experience.
SCV: What were you trying to achieve when making Dreamless Sleep and what does it mean to you in context of your other solo records?
EC: Dreamless evolved over a longer period of time than my past records, there was a big emphasis on the process and obscuring the source material. And there was a long time where I just completely took a break from listening to it or working in it at all because of touring. I deconstructed my own work more than I have done in the past, I wanted something different out of the music when I came back to it a year after it was recorded. ”Night Dust” definitely was the start of taking this approach, and the two records are like brother/sister. In context, I don’t know. I try not to repeat myself too much, just doing something that you’re excited an passionate about is always the main thing.
SCV: What have been the most important records, books and film in your life?
EC: That is a really serious question. Aphex Twin’s Selected Ambient Works Volume II, Popol Vuh’s track “Vuh”, Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian, Terry Riley, Werner Herzog, Keiji Haino, Journey in Satchidananda, David Lynch…
SCV: What type of perspectives into music do you see now that you didn’t when you were first releasing records?
EC: Well I’ve definitely gotten a better taste of the political and business aspects of the industry. Touring frequently you come across some of the most generous, welcoming people and also the occasional shady person who tries to take advantage of you.
SCV: What are the biggest non musical sources if inspiration to your creativity?
EC: Traveling and visual art.
SCV: I wanted to dive into the process of what you do. What have been your most rewarding methods and approaches to constructing music over the years?
EC: Spontaneous composition and improvisation is constantly one of the most satisfying approaches. Hermetic isolation is rewarding in a different way as well.
SCV: What type of lifestyle do you live to ensure that you have a focus for the life of a musician?
EC: I live in a tiny studio apartment and possess no financial security.
SCV: Making a record and performing are definitely different entities, requiring different states of focus and energy. Do you have specific preparation methods that you take place for both mediums and what are the most challenging aspects to both areas?
EC: Absolutely. The most challenging part of performing is generally touring, when you are jet lagged, can’t sleep at night even though you’re exhausted and you have to summon the energy to perform from somewhere deep inside yourself. You really push yourself in new ways. With both, you can’t really have an “off-day” and get away with it. You’ve always got to be on it and make it count.
SCV: In your pursuit to have your music connect to as many people as possible, what have been your favorite places in the world to perform?
EC: One of the most memorable performances we’ve ever done as Barn Owl was at the OFF festival in Katowice, Poland. The energy was just amazing. Maybe people think that for “ambient” or “experimental” music the artist/audience relationship is different than rock shows. But for me, the feedback loop of energy between performer and audience is really important. I’ve found myself enjoying festivals much more than I thought I would. Roadburn is another great example of this.
SCV: Now that Dreamless Sleep is in the world, what plans do you have for the next year or two for touring, recordings, special projects and so forth?
EC: I’m recording for Painted Caves (http://paintedcaves.tumblr.com/), and also just debuted that project live. Bay Area and New York solo dates with Vestals are coming up in September and October, and then more extensive Barn Owl touring. We’re playing the Goldrush festival in Denver in September and then going to Europe in October.
SCV: Thanks for your time Evan, I really love what you are doing with sound and I look forward to seeing you perform live.
EC: Thank you!
* Photo by Paul Ruben Mundthal
“The first version of the album – a kind of rough draft – was completed in San Francisco during Spring of 2011 before leaving on an extended tour that found me traveling without a home base for a period of 10 months. Upon returning to San Francisco and settling again in the Winter of 2012 I approached the material in a completely different way, changed by a year of travel and new challenges. It was deconstructed and reformed into a different album than what it had once been, echoing some of the themes I wanted the songs to reflect initially – the way our memory changes events in the past and how our surroundings define us.” – Evan Caminiti
Evan Caminiti of Thrill Jockey Records has released one of the most beautiful ambient guitar based albums I have ever heard in my life. Titled Dreamless Sleep, the aura that exists on every song makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up as each piece drifts in and out of a kaleidoscope of translucent tones. Fuzz, hiss and other oddly shaped sounds are manipulated into beautiful states of resolve on every piece and it’s a melting of sound that is all its own. The cover has the same calming and colorful resonance as the music, something that adds to the depth of the album when reflected on together.
As one half of the group Barn Owl, Evan Caminiti has been notching out a lot of music that is highly texture based and speaks on levels that transcend rhythm and regular pop compositional formats. It’s music that reflects something very deep and speaks of an age where human influence was of little to no affect on this planet. Created entirely from processed guitar loops, solo’s and texturized layers that were first committed to take in the 4 track realm and later processed further, Dreamless Sleep breathes the calmest voice into highly grafted and saturated pieces of tonal bliss. On every track, as the layers and sheets of sound become more pronounced yet merge in configuration, the sheer volume begins to extend beyond normal measure and the possibilities of guitar become endless.
The balance in energy is stunning as there is still a calm state that rests under this climaxing of energy. It’s a state that keeps the drifting drone atmosphere encapsulated inside of a warm energy field. It’s this energy field that connects all of the music seamlessly and gives the album a really strong voice. Cosmic music in terms of the label can deviate but Dreamless Sleep is truly of a cosmic nature to me. When this album is turned up into the higher register of volume, the sheer sonic power that comes forth in vibration is beyond explanation and is a very important component of the Dreamless Sleep sound.
With seven tracks that come in at a little over forty minutes, the expansion of each piece comes in very long intervals, never forcing any added deviations of the path. As the music breathes, there is always constructing forces of harmony that exists on top of the layers. This is what I’d want to hear if I was flying over a long stretch of clouds and a sun that is caught in between that path. “Leaving The Island” begins Dreamless Sleep and is a glowing beautiful beginning to the full length. With one guitar drenched in fuzz and another set of guitars that sounds like voices coming from the heavens, the slight traces of layers around these parts is a sublime treat to say the least. The presence of manipulated guitars and color schemes coming from them is somewhat overwhelming on first contact. The integrity is preserved when the is masked in a pointless direction, giving this beginning a really fresh and out of body type of perspective in ambient music. Guitars waver in cross patterns over lines that scream out in expression and color in what feels like endless waves of reprise.
“Bright Moments”, the second piece from the album, shoots into right the cosmos as the minimalistic wave of guitars morphs into states I have rarely heard. The presentation isn’t new as people have been creating music like this for decades now but the results are stunningly different in ways I can’t even begin to process. It’s the type of song that takes me to being in a space where light pollution doesn’t make the skies blank and the sight of galaxies and star systems feels endless. As a song that extends over six minutes, it doesn’t leave its original axis despite how far the music stretches and is a mind trip into a deep cavern of expression.
Dreamless Sleep from Evan Caminiti is filled with the most beautiful micro fragments of every kind and is without a doubt my favorite ambient record of the year. Dreamless Sleep is a record that all fans of experimental music will love. Highly recommended from Sound Colour Vibration.
Order from Thrill Jockey Records HERE
*Film of “Absteigend” from Evan Caminiti by Paul Clipson
Malian guitar player and songwriter Sidi Touré has presented his second album on Thrill Jockey this month, which has come as a real treat for those of us out here who are heavily into the sounds of Africa. Last year’s Sahel Folk served as Sidi’s debut full length and was found primarily in a duo setting, relying on the heavy musical traditions of his home city of Gao. His latest release and second album with Thrill Jockey, Koïma, is accompanied by a bigger band and infuses traditions created by African-Americans in the west.
“Accompanied by a guitarist, calabash player, traditional violin (sokou) player, and singer“, Thrill Jockey mentions in their notes for the album, “Sidi has given us ten new songs that naturally mix tradition and modernity, African magic and city-dwelling dilemmas. The songs are personal tributes to the Songhaï folk music traditions, which, depending on the rhythm, are called Takambas, Holleys, Gao-Gaos, or Shallos.” The sensation of dance through celebration overwhelms most of the music with only one of the numbers relying on the lack of percussive elements.
Sidi Touré’s Koïma is a triumphant achievement in the exploration of the African and African-American emergence of sound with an emphasis on the African elements. One of the most interesting pieces on the album is ‘Euzo’ from its raw and striking nature. Stripped of the percussive identity that drives the previous nine songs, this five minute and highly lyrical composition leaves the album in the resting state of an ancient scenery. The folklore of Malia is at its most embedded at this ending point and the finalization that I didn’t want to come.
The background and history of Sidi’s heritage can be felt in a fuller light on Sidi’s second long player Koïma, an element that allows for a feeling of emotional impact that is as stunning and deep as it is soft and innocent. Lyrically, this album is as rich, metaphor filled and mystical as the music itself and the two share a relationship that gives the album a lasting affect listen after listend. Koïma is a must hear album for any fan who loves an eclectic branching of African harmony, the fusion of western ideas into this African framework of music and the overwhelming feeling of communion through the beat of the drum and the natural rhythms in music that come from Africa. With the help of Thrill Jockey, Sidi Touré is gaining wider and wider recognition for a timeless form of music.
- Ni see ay ga done (It is to You That I Sing)
- Aïy faadji (I am Nostalgic)
- Woy tiladio (Beautiful Woman, Godess of Water)
- Koïma (The Pink Dune of Koïma)
- Ishi tanmaha (They No Longer Hope)
- À chacun sa chance (To Each His Own Luck)
- Kalaa ay makoïy (I Must Go)
- Tondi karaa (The White Stone)
“The album title Koïma literally means “go hear.” Koïma is an emblematic place of Gao, “a Dune with his feet in the waters of the river Niger, and with his head touching the sky,” says Sidi. In Malian folklore, Koïma is the meeting place for the most powerful wizards of the world. Sidi received permission from the dune’s chief to go on the dune and to swim in the Niger. This album is an offering to the mystical power of that place.” – Thrill Jockey
Dustin Wong is one of our favorite guitar players at Sound Colour Vibration right now. Highly complex loop schemes and a color pallet all his own, Dustin Wong has been with the Thrill Jockey Records family for some years now and has been gaining wider and wider exposure as time passes. Due to the large usage of loops in Dustin’s music, the release of this 9-piece orchestra under his guidance makes perfect sense. The type of interaction between everyone is unreal and comes at a point in musical cross roads where those who take on the weight of innovating and pushing what is standard are needed more then ever. Everyone has different guitars, different amps and effects and it all meshes together seamlessly. The guitar orchestra for this special one off gig includes:
Camera and edit is by Sam Meech.
This performance was part of a double header with an SJ Fowler (vimeo.com/35193059), exploring the light/dark of loop and mantra, at Liverpool Music Week, in partnership with Samizdat. Part of Mercy’s OVERLAP programme, exploring shared territories across writing / music / performance mercyonline.co.uk/who-we-are/what-we-are-up-to/article/2011-summary-the-year-of-overlap
Born in Hawaii, raised in Japan and now residing in Baltimore, Maryland, loop pedal specialist and innovative guitarist Dustin Wong is now preparing the release of his second long player on New York independent label Thrill Jockey Records. Founded by Bettina Richards, one of Atlantic Records A&R’s, Thrill Jockey Records has been around since the early 90′s and has run strong into the new millennium with releases by Future Islands, Barn Owl, Wooden Shjips, Glenn Jones, Boredoms, Trans Am, Ponktiak, The Eternals, All Natural, Tortoise and a list that extends far beyond explanation. The label has constantly evolved since its inception and this year we find an arsenal of new and old artists to the label launching brand new material for the world to feel. Their catalog runs over 300 releases when accounting everything and Dustin Wong has fit right in at home with the label in the last few years. To define the label by genre would be pointless and would take away from the overall expansion of sound the label has covered.
Dustin Wong’s second full length, Dreams Say, View, Create, Shadow Leads, showcases this young guitarist letting loose with his family of pedals to show how detailed and dynamic the world his sound goes. It’s hard to fathom the intricate spaces of sound he achieves around his advanced style of sheeted layering, especially when you see it in live form. With any guitar player that is this self contained in live presentation and studio output, we were very intrigued by the reasons that make Dustin Wong who he is. We were very happy to make contact with Dustin earlier this week and t have the chance to send him some questions for this interview. Dustin Wong has released the first official video to promote this album for the new year and the timing felt perfect to reach out to Dustin. The video has been constructed in a very unique way and has been included at the bottom of this article for viewing pleasure, we really hope you take the time to check it out on top of this interview. Dustin Wong is ground breaking to us at SCV and is someone we will be following for a very long time. Enjoy this dialogue created over the last few days with one of our new favorite guitar players. Dreams Say, View, Create, Shadow Leads is now available for pre-order and has been pressed on high grade double vinyl, cd and digital formats. Definitely grab a copy of the first run from Thrill Jockey before they sale out.
Hello Dustin, thanks for taking the time out of your schedule to answer our questions. We are really excited about your second full length release with Thrill Jockey Records “Dreams Say, View, Create, Shadow Leads”. You have stated that with your first record tracking for each layer was done separately where as with the new album coming out you have done everything in live takes with the inclusion of a vast amount of loops. Did it feel more natural with the loops and doing all live and do you see yourself sticking with this process for future albums?
Dustin: Thanks so much! I’m excited for this release as well. I definitely want to keep going with this is the type of recording process. Recording it the way I perform is just a very natural way of getting it documented. Recording it at home there are compromises, like the equipment I’m using and the recording software I’m using. I would love to experiment more with space in the future, stereo mics in a room and mixing different parts of the room to get a more interesting picture of the room I’m performing in. When I recorded this album, I had to work with virtual space, with reverb effects to create a space for the recording. As an idea it’s interesting to me, but I would like to try to document a real space for the next record.
With the amount of precision it takes to pull off loops the way you do, how long did it take before you felt comfortable enough to present this live and now on your latest full length?
Dustin: With new song ideas I try to slip it in when I play shows just so I can get a better feeling. When there are people watching and listening it definitely changes the experience of the sounds. I’ve heard something about the editor Walter Murch that he used to put little cutouts of silhouetted people in front of his editing monitor, just so he can get a feeling. For the full length it took a long time to put all the songs together as a body of work. I had a lot of songs that i cut out just to make the journey feel more efficient and smooth. I had the whole structure and I sat on it for another long period of time before I recorded it, for many reasons. I thought about it and when it felt like it was time, I decided to document the music as a whole. Precision is definitely a tough one, I still have trouble getting it right, even if the audience doesn’t notice, I notice it and I try to practice as much as possible so that I can present it to the audience in a complete way.
When composing with the type of experimental deviation towards the norm that your guitar sheets create, do you fully realize the layers before they happen and find what you need to create that sound or does each successive layer present an opportunity to expand into something new from performance to performance?
Dustin: Yes, its the melody that presents the opportunities. The first sheet allows so many different possibilities. As it builds more and more the idea becomes more focused and becomes its own thing. When ideas build up to become its own thing, for me its done and I move onto the next, for me each song/idea is the extension of what was prior. Like that game when you have a phrase and you pass it down through a string of people at the end it becomes a different phrase. The strings of ideas slightly mutate from one to the next.
You released your first official music video for the new LP “Dreams Say, View, Create, Shadow Leads” on the track Diagonally Talking Echoes. The video is phenomenal and is very original in our opinions, who all had a hand in creating the video and how important do you feel the visual presentation of music videos is to the process of your new album giving birth and finding it’s way into the public?
Dustin: Thank you! My dad helped me shoot some of the footage of me floating in the water and me jumping up on the water. Everything else I shot it myself. The animation in the beginning of the video was something I made using a bunch of tissue papers. I would get a bunch of sheets of them and would paint on top with water colors and I scanned each sheet so you get these color expansions. I studied film and video in college so it was really great to get back into this medium. I always enjoy this process, it is similar to the way I approach music and paint. The visual interpretation is important but for me, the listener’s visual interpretation that happens in the mind is a lot more interesting to me. The video is just my interpretation and that is all. It could be interpreted in so many other ways. Don’t get me wrong, I think its great it can reach a lot of people!
In the press notes we got from Thrill Jockey for this new video, it had another announcement that really blew my mind. It regarded your Say Your Dream, Create a Sound” project. I love this idea of allowing people to record themselves speaking about a significant dream and selecting your favorites and creating music to them. I have never heard of an idea like this and I am really intrigued as to what is to come from this. Did a series of dreams you have spark this idea or did the origins of this idea come from another place?
Dustin: I think I dream as much as any other person. There are times where I wouldn’t dream at all, and then there are times where I would have dreams all the time. Some are mundane and some are fantastic. The title for the album came from a time when I had a dream when I was in DC. I played a show with Hume who are my friends in DC. I spent the night at a house where Britton (the singer of Hume) was dog sitting. I had a dream about him that night and he was really mean to me, which is really strange because he is a really nice guy. In the dream he dragged me around different rooms by my collar, very violently. When I woke up I realized that it wasn’t him and it was my shadow. I was reading the book of Hermes at the time so I opened that up. I flipped to chapter 9 and saw there were tiny alphabets next to the words in the text that didn’t reference to any index or other references. I noticed the first word that had the letter “a” in lower case was dreams. When I put all the lower cased letters together it said, dreams say view create shadow leads. I thought it was wonderful. I have been having some interesting dreams recently too and have been writing them down. out of curiosity I thought it would be a neat idea to get people to submit some dreams and collaborate. To reflect the mood, it can be this imageless film that can tickle the listeners imagination. I really do love Jung and reading “Man and His Symbols” was very influential. I didn’t want to interpret people’s dreams, I just want to go along with it.
Do you see yourself pressing this as a release down with a nice size liner book that contains all the dreams in written form that correspond to the tracks you created?
Dustin: I’m not sure if it’ll be release, but it will definitely be available online. I think the dreamers narration will be enough to convey. I think it maybe appropriate that it hangs out in the digital cloud rather than an object.
You will have the honor in performing in Brooklyn, New York with Akron/Family in late January and Hospitality in early February. What are some of your records from these groups and what types of other tours do you have planned in support of the new record coming out?
Dustin: The one record I own from Akron Family is, Akron/Family & Angels of Light. I really enjoy that record a lot. I don’t own a record from Hospitality…sorry! I’ll be touring to sxsw this march, a tour in Japan in April and a tour in Europe this May. For now that is the schedule.
As you are very close to releasing “Dreams Say, View, Create, Shadow Leads”, what were some of the biggest challenges to the recording of the album that you feel have made you a stronger musician from the experience of it all?
Dustin: The biggest challenge, it might be patience? I feel like I had to wait a while before I could actually record it. There were a lot of changes in my life at the time, so rather it being about music, it became more about how I was living. It’s all connected you know? The approach to music and the approach to life. That connection could be directly connected or loosely connected.
With guitar players, there is always a very different way each one approaches gear, pedals and so forth. Do you have a preference with companies and exact arrangements of your gear and pedals or can you work with anything thrown at you?
Dustin: When you are working with effects or pedals, especially when its a number of them it becomes very crucial what comes before and after, because each one effects the other. When using pedals, artists are essentially creating their own factory machine. To me my set up is very orthodox, and its as efficient as it can be, if it gets scrambled up i wouldn’t be able to play the songs i’ve written. The pedals as a whole is a tool and an instrument. I got to learn each pedal very well, I’m not really the type where I buy 5 pedals at once. I get one every few months or once a year. I have a relationship with each one and together they are kind of a family unit. Each one has a vital function. The tuner keeps things in check so the machine runs efficiently, the octave pedal is responsible for timbre/texture of the notes, the distortion pedal is also responsible for timbre/texture but adds a different color, the noise gate makes sure there aren’t any excess (it trims the strings that hang out on the textile), the delay determines the pattern/tempo, the loop pedal is responsible for replication, the synth way is kind of a pinch hitter but is very important to change the color of the loop as a whole, and the last delay can change the pattern the first delay pedal determined. So this family has a twin, two delay pedal children. I guess the loop pedal would be the mother. I wonder who the father is, i have a feeling, if he’s a strict one, it would have to be the tuner.
With your dad lending his helping hand towards your video, how have your parents supported the growth of your creative side?
Dustin: My mother and father were both art students back in the day. My mom did photography and made some pretty funky photos of models with spandex and dynamic make up. My dad actually studied sculpture and film too. My dad was pretty experimental back in the 70′s and 80′s and made some pretty interesting work; that definitely had an influence. An example of his work in the 80′s: http://youtu.be/Y07Dr-tKvBw Apparently he sampled some of my voice for the music that was used for this piece.
Do you see yourself working closer towards film as you expand more as a musician and release more albums?
Dustin: Sure! That would be really amazing, its definitely one of my other passions but right now since I’m focusing on music its harder to make the time, since its a lot more time consuming for me to make a video piece than music in itself.
Who have been some of your most inspiring musicians growing up?
Dustin: I grew up listening to The Ventures a lot. They were a huge influence to me and music in Japan. They were really interesting because their melodies really spoke to the Japanese people. Especially the song Pipeline sounds like traditional Japanese music from the northern region called, “Tsugaru Jyamisen”. I really appreciated them being so universal, but to them they were just making surf music. That misunderstanding or nonchalant approach is very inspiring.
You have toured in so many places in this world already, with your tour hitting Japan and Europe this spring, what are some of the activities you will be getting into during your time schedule outside of the shows themselves?
Dustin: I’ll probably working on more music and taking my time drinking tea with my friends. My favorite people time are when I’m there with them one on one having a lovely conversation.
Thanks for your time Dustin, we really hope you enjoy your travels and we hope the best for you on the release of your new record “Dreams Say, View, Create, Shadow Leads”. Take care and thanks again for your time, means so much!
Dustin Wong and Thrill Jockey will be releasing Dreams Say, View, Create, Shadow Leads in record stores on February 21, 2012. The CD version contains a 4 panel mini-LP gatefold package and the vinyl is just as stunning. 2012 is here and stellar music is already coming in left and right, can’t wait to hold this vinyl in my hands! Pre-order Dustin Wong’s newest full length Dreams Say, View, Create, Shadow Leads on Double LP and CD from Thrill Jockey Records. Now for that video we promised in the beginning of this article for Dustin Wong’s ‘Diagonally Talking Echo’ off Dreams Say, View, Create, Shadow Leads.‘Diagonally Talking Echo’ by Dustin Wong