Moonlight on Ranch Road 2810, aka Pinto Canyon Road (more at Into the Green)
Join me, Arthur Vaultkeeper Daniel “Chambo” Chamberlin, and deeply embedded Marfa boho David Hollander as we return this Sunday night with a fresh two hour broadcast of New Age, ritualistic drone and long-goner psychedelic vibrations. We’ll be transmitting from 9-11pm (CST) on KRTS Marfa, 93.5 FM if you happen to dwell on or around the Marfa Plateau of Far West Texas. Otherwise intercept the smoke signals from our wi-fires at marfapublicradio.org.
Have you ever seen Boris live? Dudes cart around a huge effing gong with ’em, and as I recall from their Arthur Nights performance, they only bang on it like once or twice but when they do: Whoa boy! Just WHAM and it’s all shimmering through the air until it fades back into the wall of guitar buzzing. Anyway, they’ve got two new splits out right about now. The first, with one of Boyd Deveraux’s favorite bands, Miami-based sludge metallers Torche (click here to go read “Riffs on Ice,” our interview with the doom-metal-loving hockey great) is called Chapter Ahead Being Fake and it’s got one song from each band. They’re both minor works and a bit “meh” but far from stinkers. It’s out on Daymare Recordings.
The other split out now is a winning head-scratcher: It’s called Golden Dance Classics and it’s with a band we’d never heard of called 9dw. A quick-read of their MySpace reveals them to be a “hip Japanese combo” that does a kind of techno-jazz fusion thing that’s all manic high-hats and funky keyboards versus spaced-out keyboards. Makes us think of all those modern Japanese modal jazz guys that we could never really get into. But all that is beside the point: The two Boris songs here are totes amazing. The first is a long thing with a drum machine, keyboard squiggles and guitar lines keening around as the band kind of yelps and moans prettily. The second song is a wall-of-guitar fuzz builder with pleasantly melancholy vocals that build together into a total anthem. RAAAAH BORIS! You can find links to get this one with it’s trippy cover art and everything at the 9dw M’Space and the Boris M’Space.
Russom debuts Black Meteoric Star tracks with Assume Vivid Astro Focus at Paris’ Super Festival in April, 2008 (part 2 below)
Former Arthur cover co-star Gavin Russom has new music coming out next week on DFA. He’s recording as Black Meteoric Star, and while the tunes are still rife with droning synthesizers — a la his essential Days of Mars work with Delia Gonzalez — he’s going for more of a dance floor vibe this time. Specifically, BMS is his exploration into acid house. He expands on that a bit in this 2008 interview with the UK’s Fact magazine:
“Later I became very interested in the thematic elements of early Detroit and Chicago electronic music and the cultural environments that surrounded the Warehouse. Of particular interest was the way that a piece of music technology (specifically the Roland TB-303) generated an entire musical aesthetic because of its characteristics and its limitations. The post-apocalyptic vision of a new society, armed with electronic technology, emerging from the post industrial wasteland resonated with my own political ideals, my experiences growing up in Providence and my interest in the post-WWI European avant-garde who had similar ideas.
“Of course I always come back to the fact that it’s simply interesting and powerful psychedelic music.”
The self-titled album’s out on June 9, but you can get a preview via Tim Sweeney’s “Beats In Space” radio broadcast from back in April. Russom opens with 30 minutes of BMS material, before going into a lovely DJ set including plenty of drones plus crusty voodoo folk-rock from Exuma and Archie Shepp’s “Monkey Blues.” Download the whole 90 minute podcast over at Beats In Space.
Video of White Rainbow, ARP and Lichens’ improvisational accompaniment to Doug Aitken’s “Migration” Installation.
Adam Forkner, the guy behind maximum bliss-out drone project White Rainbow, has six different outlets by which enthusiasts of his inner space sounds can follow his activities. For those fans — such as your contributing editor — who were mostly oblivious to this WR media empire, Forkner has provided a digest update of his most recent activities on his old fashioned blog, or “Life Log.” Of particular interest:
• Upcoming shows with drone-happy lovebirds Windy & Carl take White Rainbow up and down the West Coast in late May 2009, with stops in Seattle, his home base of Portland, Big Sur and two shows here in Los Angeles. The Arthur Atwater office is raising its STOKED level to Red.
• Tracks for the next White Rainbow full length, New Clouds, have been delivered to the mastering dude, with a tentative September 2009 release date on Kranky.
• A WR collaborative EP with Stag Hare is due out “as soon as humanly possible” on Marriage Records.
• Stag Hare you ask? Stag Hare is a crunchy fellow from Utah, and his self-released album Black Medicine Music was the best ambient trail mix of 2008. Thanks to Forest Gospel for being the first to hip us to these nuts and berries desert ragas. Don’t sleep. Though its rustling drum pattering and Juniper-scented driftscapes may have pleasantly soporific effects.
• And new White Rainbow music is available RIGHT NOW and FOR FREE by way of audioblog Raven Sings The Blues, which posted its first compilation, RSTB Presents Vol. 1, back in mid-March. The comp also has top ranking earth psych and noisenik sounds from Wet Hair, Plastic Crimewave Sound, Sic Alps and more. Go get it here.
• Forkner is considering “qutting pizza” for his health. We feel you bro.
And that’s just the White Rainbow stuff. Click here to check out the full post with info on all of his doings.
We’ve been hungry for new White Rainbow jams for awhile now, so here’s a few other Forkner curated emanations that we discovered deep in the Gooogles …
In a technological down-shift that will warm many an aging Deadhead’s heart, cassette tapes continue to be the medium of choice deep in the American underground. This embrace of outmoded audio technology is old news to regular readers of Bull Tongue, Byron Coley and Thurston Moore’s Arthur column — new installments of which will be featured here on the Arthur site — but even old hands can find this network of brilliant and often purposefully obscure music tricky to navigate.
Among the many resources that your contributing editor consults in searching out the latest drone and psychedelic noise releases is Expressway To My Skull, an audioblog and review site maintained by Vancouver’s Mark E. Rich. Rich is on vacation at the moment, but prior to leaving he posted Expressway’s Guide To The Cassette Underground, a handy digest of “earth psych” labels, DIY distributors and cassette-only radio shows.
You can also check out his monthly cassette review columns by clicking here. Have a nice vacation, Mark.
The National Film Board of Canada was founded in 1939 in part as a way to distribute World War II propaganda throughout the Great White North, but went on to become a bastion for experimental animation, “socially relevant documentaries” and other film projects “which provoke discussion and debate on subjects of interest to Canadian audiences and foreign markets.” In particular the NFB is known for producing some of the dreamiest nature documentaries of modern times — it’s where Boards of Canada got their name and a lot of their soft-focus naturalist vibes. And now the NFB has started posting their library of films online.
A lot of these docs are wordless montages of natural imagery accompanied by droning Eno/Tangerine Dream-style synthesizer soundtracks — our favorite so far is William Canning’s 26-minute short Temples of Time (1971), described by the NFB as follows:
A mountain is a living thing; it has an ecological balance, a process of evolution manifested in slow, subtle ways; but it is also subject to the ravages of human intervention. Filmed in the Canadian Rockies and in Garibaldi Park, this picture brings to the screen magnificent footage of mountain solitudes and the wildlife found there, of natural splendor in all its changing moods. The film carries the implicit warning that all this may pass away if people do not seek to preserve it.
Hook your computer up to your stereo for the full effect of Edward Kalehoff’s warbling synth drone soundtrack. Who needs to figure out the whole new digital TV upgrade chip whatever thing when we’ve got this treasure trove to explore? More to come …
Note: The NFB’s online library is brand new and still a little wonky from time to time. If the embedded Temples of Time isn’t working for you, go here to watch it on the NFB site.