30 08 2007
#1630

Jet lag 2007 part 23.

Back in Kyoto after a week in Berlin.

Kindertotenlieder had great success with 2 performances at Tanz im August Festival. KTL also had a pretty punishing one off gig at the Festsaal Kreuzburg, and we even managed to get some Deutsch history in (museums, beer), socializing with the likes of Best, Balthazar, Vainio, Nilsen, Nine, Hilde etc. Good times.

Next up in SOMA: KTL vs Australia and Japan in September. Cannot believe I will be playing both Perth and Niigata for the second time in six months. Saturation? In any case for the tour we created an edition of 300 live CDRs of the KTL performance from Luminaire in London last May, with Russell Haswell as guest. We should also have the tour shirt, etc and hopefully wax of KTL2 2LP and KTL 3 12".

Somehow KTL and the Kindertotenlieder piece seem to be dominating the Autumn schedule. Scandinavia in October, Nottingham, France, Belgium, Holland, etc. There is also talk of supporting Earth on the February 07 tour (along with Sir Richard Bishop wowowowow!).

SUNN O))) have the forges stoked and theres some serious casting going on the end of the year in the form of the 7th album and a few select dates.

BURNING WITCH "Crippled Lucifer" will finally see the light of the lord in late November. This will consist of a double CD containing all works recorded during the September 1996 "Towers..." and March 1997 "Rift.Canyon.Dreams" sessions. 10 tracks in all. Eventually we hope to amend this with a proper vinyl issue as well. Working on this design now.

The audio for this summer's Banks Violette show at Barbara Gladstone (which I created with vocalist Csihar Attila and engineer Randall Dunn) will emerge as part of said gallery's catalogue of the show. This will be in the 12" vinyl format. 7 dubplates have been created so far.

I'll be participating in the 24 hour drone project in Stockholm next February together with Mika Vainio, CM von Hausswolff, Henrik Rylander, BJNilsen, Hild Sofie Tafjord, C.Spencer Yeh, Hildur Gudnadottir, Mark Wastel and Joachim Nordwall. Very much looking forward to this as well!

Stay tuned and thanks for reading. I plan on working this blog a bit more the coming weeks.

25 08 2007
#1629
22 08 2007
#1628

SUNN O))) vs PAC NW

NOV. 1ST @ Manium//Olympia, WA. w/ Earth, Wolves In The Throneroom, Grey
NOV. 2ND @ Neumos' //Seattle, WA w/ Jesu and Eluvium
NOV. 3RD @ The Hawthorne //Theater Portland, Or.

Joining sunn 0))) on stage for these performances are very special guests: Attila Csihar and Justin Broadrick. Be prepared for other special unveilings at these shows as well!
The shows will come at the end of initial recording sessions for the 7th SUNN O))) album.

21 08 2007
#1627
20 08 2007
#1626

STOKED CORNER

Miles Davis' On the Corner Given Box Set Treatment

In the vein of The Complete In a Silent Way Sessions and The Complete Jack Johnson Sessions, Columbia/Legacy will release a six-disc box set version of Miles Davis' seminal On the Corner titled, yep, The Complete On the Corner Sessions.

Originally released in 1972 as the studio follow-up to A Tribute to Jack Johnson, On the Corner found Davis using synthesizers and distorted electric guitars in the creation of what was basically funk music, and it remains one of his more divisive records, even among fans of his often-noisier electric period. It also made it onto our "Top 100 Albums of the 1970s" list at #30.

The Complete On the Corner Sessions comes out September 18, and it features newly mixed and mastered versions of these tracks as well as plenty of liner notes-- everything from general memories of Davis to accounts of the album's recording.

The Complete On the Corner Sessions:

Disc 1:

01 On the Corner [unedited master]
02 On the Corner [take four]
03 One and One [unedited master]
04 Helen Butte/Mr. Freedom X [unedited master]
05 Jabali

Disc 2:

01 Ife
02 Chieftain
03 Rated X
04 Turnaround
05 U-Turnaround

Disc 3:

01 Billy Preston
02 The Hen
03 Big Fun/Holly-wuud [take 2]
04 Big Fun/Holly-wuud [take 3]
05 Peace
06 Mr. Foster

Disc 4:

01 Calypso Frelimo
02 He Loved Him Madly

Disc 5:

01 Maiysha
02 Mtume
03 Mtume [take 11]
04 Hip-Skip
05 What They Do
06 Minnie

Disc 6:

01 Red China Blues
02 On the Corner/New York Girl/Thinkin' of One Thing and Doin' Another/Vote for Miles
03 Black Satin
04 One and One
05 Helen Butte/Mr. Freedom X
06 Big Fun
07 Holly-wuud

from Pitchfork

17 08 2007
#1625
17 08 2007
#1624

ARE MOKKELBOST

ION.
Great collage work. www.b-o-r-g.org

16 08 2007
#1623

ORACLE on PITCHFORK (or vice versa)

Sunn O)))
Oracle EP
[Southern Lord; 2007]
Rating: 7.8

A couple of years back, nobody had an inkling our favorite drone duo would become Artforum regulars. Yet Black One, Sunn O)))'s crowning achievement, initiated a fascinating crossover, and Greg Anderson and Stephen O'Malley's subsequent stream of releases-- both Sunn O))) and non-- along with O'Malley's ongoing art and theatre collaborations, solidified and extended things beyond the influence of a New York Times Magazine piece. (The 2005 album also provided U.S. black metal "outfits" Xasthur and Leviathan/Lurker of Chalice with their biggest audience to date, leading to a number of other, very different tremors in the underground. Note, for instance, that Xasthur's forthcoming Defective Epitaph will be Malefic's second for Hydra Head.)

Of all of Sunn O)))'s work with visual artists, the most important and ongoing is O'Malley's collaborations with "bad boy" NYC sculptor Banks Violette, which recently culminated, for the time at least, in concurrent shows at Team and Gladstone galleries. Pretty big deal. A precursor took place at Maureen Paley in London last June. Oracle, described as an EP, was birthed directly from that piece: Violette cast salt'n'resin reproductions of Sunn O)))'s amplifiers, instruments, and effects (i.e. the backline); he also built, in his signature black lacquered style, a stage platform, as well as sound panels, for Sunn O)))'s actual set up. Oracle's first half is comprised of the 18-minute "Orakulum" and the 16-minute "experiment" "Belürol Pusztít", which are described as "Sunn O)))'s interpretation" of that Maureen Paley show.

The live lineup of Mark Deutrom (on bass), Mayhem vocalist Attila Csihar, Tos Nieuwenhuizen (Beaver, God) on moog, and the Sunn O))) core performed on the Violette-built stage at the opening. Much like Malefic's claustrophobic performance on "Báthory Erzsébet", Csihar was sealed in a coffin, incanting tracts in old Hungarian, sort of speeches for the dead. The big twist at the peformance-- much to curiosity seekers' chagrin-- was that the gallery goers weren't allowed to see it. The band, decked in robes et al, were in a sealed part of the gallery, basically trapped within their own coffin. As stated in the liner notes, they hoped this style of staging would create, "a feeling of absence, loss and a phantom of what once was." (Judging from some art rag reviews, it also pissed folks off...)

The resulting CD was sold (in an edition of 2,000) during live shows-- Sunn O)))'s 2007 "Pacific Rim" tour and the Southern Lord "West Coast 777" tour. The vinyl version was released in July in an addition of 7,777 copies. (Very 07/07.) As the liner notes detail, the Oracle recordings are not a recording of the live performance. O'Malley explained to me via email: "There is no live recording of the action, although the tracks were written and sketch recorded (mixes were done later) beforehand for the collaboration."

Instead, the recorded versions are Sunn O))) proper along with Boris' Atsuo, Csihar, and Joe Preston. On the brittle, angular "Belürol Pusztít"-- "destroys from the inside," or thereabouts, in Hungarian-- Preston puts his back into a jackhammer solo and Atsuo rattles some cymbals/smashes drums, but Csihar's low, throaty, scowling/growling and then instantly high-pitch/nails-on-a-chalkboard vocals are the focus (check the tiny tinkling at times from from beneath the drone). "Orakulum", the composition that was played at the opening, is a more sumptuous, standard Sunn O))) affair: Lots of slow, heavy guitar resonances and Csihar's anguished tones emerging from the background like an echo-chambered Hobbit (or, really, the dude from Inquisition). Eventually he's multi-tracked, consuming the notes around him.

For the CD version of Oracle, a second disc is given over to the 46-minute "Helio)))Sophist", "an audial collage of performances in Europe from July 2005." The performers here are Anderson, O'Malley, Oren Ambarchi, Csihar, and Nieuwenhuizen. It builds and intensifies with Csihar's vocals, which are at first a low growl and eventually turn crackling, witchy, rumbling until they temporarily cut-out or are subsumed at the 20-something minute mark, making room for the milky drone of the instrumentalists, all GrimmRobe style. Occasionally the crowd cheers, reminding you that the shit's live, that Sunn remains especially important and effective (to say the least) in the live realm.

So yeah, Sunn O)))'s work with Violette has led to interesting material; it also raises age-old questions about the art world dealing with and fetishizing "outsiders." Interesting, for instance, to see Violette's fascination with black metal described as a fascination with "death metal," that folks think (or wish?) Snorre Ruch from Thorns is still in prison (I visited his Norway home last year; dude's definitely not behind bars...but it makes a juicier story). These seem like minor slips, but hint at a larger misunderstanding (willful? confusion? disinterest?) in the subculture from which Violette's pulling some of his ideas. This sort of uneasy, half-baked relationship isn't new, but Sunn O))) have managed a level of art-realm success/integration that's currently unparalleled even by Gang Gang Dance, Forcefield, Lightning Bolt, Matmos, Japanther, etc. Congrats to 'em, I say: Oracle includes some excellent Sunn O))) material, and for all my obsessive detailing above and below, as long as you get what dudes are doing, who really cares how the fuck it came about?

-Brandon Stosuy, August 16, 2007

16 08 2007
#1622

dub plates of Gladstone being cut

In the great UK. Made a few of these of a room recording of the sound design for Banks Violette at Barbara Gladstone gallery.

16 08 2007
#1621
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