“There are quite a few many beautiful gems on the new Al-Cisneros-curated mix CD from Arthur publications, entitled Transmissions From Sinai. In all honesty, sometimes when I think I might be losing interest, these cursed West Coast conjurers brew up something that I have to buy. And it is always worth it. … We have quite a range of beauties here. From Lichens’ totally amazing cosmic yawn opener, to the sweet, sweet dubbed out reggae in hits from Linval Thompson and an outrageously good Alpha & Omega. Two of my personal favorites–Wino’s fuzzed-out, drippy hot pickle sandwich of creeping doom “Silver Lining” (on the kickass album that I wrote about here) and Grails’ really (seriously) cool Pink-Floyd-y “Acid Rain”. Please understand that this is an expression of great joy. … This is a great record. Good job for ruling, guys and gals.”
“TRANSMISSIONS FROM SINAI”
curated by AL CISNEROS (Om, Sleep)
cover artwork by ARIK ROPER
1. Lichens – “Kopernik Trip Note” (previously unreleased)
2. Linval Thompson – “Wicked Babylon”
3. Grouper – “Everyone in Turn”
4. Current 93 – “Mockingbird”
5. Scott Kelly – “The Ladder In My Blood”
6. Quixotic – “The Breeze”
7. Hush Arbors – “The Valley”
8. Mia Doi Todd – “Night of a Thousand Kisses”
9. Six Organs of Admittance – “Bar-Nasha” (previously unreleased)
10. Holy Sons – “Drifter’s Sympathy”
11. Pantaleimon – “At Dawn”
12. Grails – “Acid Rain”
13. Sir Richard Bishop – “Almeria” (previously unreleased)
14. J. Mascis – “War” (previously unreleased)
15. Wino – “Silver Lining”
16. Alpha & Omega – “David and Goliath”
All proceeds go to supporting Arthur Magazine’s mission.
Edition of 1,000.
“Here are sixteen reports, differing approaches that, through their own individualized methods, access the one ground. It’s a privilege and blessing to have known many of the musicians on this disc, to have shared in song with some, and stages with others. In all cases I have been the healed recipient of their craft sitting alone with my headphones… Here is their auditory journal.” —Al Cisneros February 2009
My favorite story about Om, the bass and drum duo of Al Cisneros and Chris Hakius—the rhythm section of now defunct drone metal icons Sleep—takes place on the back patio of Los Angeles club The Echo. It’s a cool winter night in 2007 and we’re all gathered here—hippie goners, young punks, indie rock squares—to take in a few breaths of fresh air before the band takes to the stage inside. One group stands out from the crowd: two women and a guy who are having a whale of a time, gesticulating wildly and laughing like crazy. At one point the dude approaches a hipster who’s nervously dragging on a toothpick joint. Our man offers his flask to the young fellow and a confusing exchange takes place: I can tell that he’s looking to swap quaff for toke, but for some reason he’s having trouble communicating this. I catch on about the same time the stoner does, giving up the doobie to the guy and his gal pals: They’re deaf, this happy trio of Om heads. That’s how deep the band’s sensual, mantra-like music goes.