Haunter – Yarn Trails (self released)
Solo project of K. Arthur Miller, making some somber tunes out of drone, folk, and doom. Exceptional stuff, using all weapons at his disposal, quietly screaming Godspeed guitars, layered, processed, & rewound, delicate picking inside on a rainy day, lush washes of bliss, hushed echoes in haunted halls, a few moments of doomed & distorted crunch, all wrapped up in a dark, melancholic shroud, bright enough not to push you over the edge but gloomy in all the right ways, a melodramatic dance through fog with Death waiting for you on the other side, beautiful & depressing, the best kind of drone. Free if you want it to be so there’s no reason to pass over this, and seeing as this is his first proper full length, you might want to keep an eye on him.
Christopher Glenn – Not So Near, She (Individual Lines)
Downoad C30 Tape
/minimal space warmth/
/soul gazing & mind clearing/
/trick of the content/
Night Worship – Mantaka (Vestige)
Night Worship is an awesomely monstrous doom drone project with a revolving cast anchored by Ryan P. Jobes. Three tracks on Asterism (the last clocking in at 30 minutes and taking up the whole B side), Jobes is joined by Andrew Weathers (more guitar droning), Scott Siler (subtle percussion), and Carolyn Waiter (ethereal woodwinds), together they make the unholiest fucking drone that dives deep into reverb worship and sonic meditations, blackened distortion crumbling out of amps, chaotic incantations on the brink of conjuring the purest of evils, honoring both sides of the volume spectrum, breaking souls with blistering intertwined feedback and whispering the secrets of shamans through silent prayers, obvious Sunn O))) comparisons but never quite as monolithic, instead going for a more crusted pagan sound, but just as black, just as demonic, and fucking brilliant. Amazing work, breathing fresh doom into the world via an hour long tape on the new label Vestige Recordings, who you should clearly keep an eye on.
5 years ago today, Anti-Gravity Bunny debuted. Since then, I’ve discovered & befriended more insanely talented artists than I even knew existed. These 16 were kind enough to contribute an original piece of music for this celebratory compilation. The artists here span the full 5 years, from my first nerdy drone obsession with Ophibre to 2012’s drone record of the year champ Superstorms. Each & every track is a fucking triumph. If there’s anyone on here you don’t recognize, I implore you to check out their catalog. These guys have literally put out the best fucking records I’ve ever heard and if they’re not sold out yet, buy ’em all.
You’re All The Fucking Best is a free digital release with exclusive & unreleased music. As is most things on AGB, this is 100% killer drones. Share it with everyone who cares about sound. If you feel like burning it to CD (or rather, two CDs) the appropriate break point is between tracks 12 and 13. Zurvan closes disc 1, High Aura’d kicks off disc 2.
The artwork up there is courtesy of my lady Elise Towle Snow.
I can’t thank you all enough for making Anti-Gravity Bunny worthwhile. This is an accomplishment on every level. You’re the fucking best.
Download You’re All The Fucking Best: Anti-Gravity Bunny 5 Year Anniversary Compilation
1. Ophibre – The Crystal Dulcimer Part I
2. Andrew Weathers – Ain’t No Snow In California
3. Aquarelle – The Thread That Pulls The Hole
4. Superstorms – Balconing
5. Mike Shiflet – Mid-Winter Waltz
6. Benoît Pioulard – Pleas
7. Howard Stelzer – American Music (Part I: Over)
8. Howard Stelzer – American Music (Part II: Preserve)
9. Howard Stelzer – American Music (Part III: Where We Sleep)
10. Howard Stelzer – American Music (Part IV: Song)
11. Lawrence English – On Hold
12. Zurvan – Praevidentia
13. High Aura’d – Hodge’s Lament
14. Planning For Burial – In The Water That Washes Onto the Shore
15. Millipede – Lost Izalith
16. Brendan Murray – My Jam Back In The Day Was Justin Snow For President
17. Brandon Nickell – Shalimar’s Master Is A Scorpion
18. Nicholas Szczepanik – What Remains Of The River
19. Kyle Bobby Dunn – Psaume De Peut-Être
Radere – Marin (Full Spectrum)
A fantastic hunk of guitar bliss for your V-Day courtesy of Radere, aka Mr. Carl Ritger. Dreamless is his first album recorded to tape and the analog warmth shines through. Glorious layers of processed shimmer, drifting in the hiss, chilling on your mountaintop porch watching the sun rise over the peaks, touching the skies while stardust floats down, gorgeous grit smoothed over into washes of static euphoria. Ritger even forgoes his guitar for one track, using only feedback loops and voltage controlled oscillators to create a panning & searing whirlwind, definitely the rowdiest I’ve ever heard him get. And Full Spectrum co-head Andrew Weathers adds a heavenly vocal harmony to the final track, which he & Ritger recorded in San Francisco military bunkers last summer. Truly wonderful work here. The physical limited letterpressed edition comes with photos from Ritger’s Instagram stream, which if you haven’t scoped yet, I’d recommend fixing that asap. His beautiful aesthetic sense isn’t limited to his tunes.
Saåad – Hieronimus (Hands In The Dark)
Top of the fucking line right here you guys. This French duo, who took part in Sustained Layers, that three way intercontinental collaboration with EUS and Postdrome last year that made my Top Drone list, are back with tape of pure melancholic bliss. Huge drones on this, majestic and perfect in every way, like a dense fog rolling on from the shore in the middle of the night, foreboding as fuck, like everything’s about the go down the drain, the breath of Lucifer almighty on the back of your neck, dank walls echoing dejected howls, waves of depressing drones inducing hypnosis, horrifically satisfying with harmonies peaking through the darkness, sounds with no origin that just hover in the air, bittersweet & overwhelmingly gorgeous, a massive heartache of a record that’ll make you weep, Orbs & Channels sweeps me up with my favorite sounds, I can’t love this any more. Limited tapes on HITD are almost gone, so grab one while you still can, or if you miss out, Saåad have put it up for name-your-price style download on Bandcamp.
On February 20th, Anti-Gravity Bunny will turn 5 (and I’ll turn 28). From day one on Blogger, AGB has always been first and foremost something I’ve done for myself. No offense to you guys, but I started writing about records because I would get super excited about really cool shit and wanted to share with some anonymous internetters. The fact that there are people out there who cared (and still care) about my enthused incoherent ramblings continues to surprise me.
So AGB has turned into this perfectly symbiotic relationship where we’re both happy and neither of us ask too much of each other. I appreciate that. None of you are exploding my email box asking for more content or wishing I’d get back to my roots (whatever the fuck that would even mean I don’t know) and I just post about records and wet my pants every time I get a comment. It’s like we were made for each other. This mutual kindness deserves acknowledgement and celebration.
I asked some of my most favoritest artists that I’ve discovered & befriended over the past 5 years to contribute an unreleased original piece of music that I would gather into a free digital compilation of new exclusive awesomeness. I’m calling it You’re All The Fucking Best because obviously. This seemed like the perfect gift for both you and me. I can’t even tell you how fucking psyched I am about this. It’s basically the coolest thing ever. That image up there shows you who’s contributed so far (I’m still waiting on a few more but we’re already at an hour and 45 minutes) and let me just tell you that every track is a goddamn slice of heaven.
So this post is just an announcement. The official comp will drop on the 20th (if all goes according to plan). If you’re like me, that means you have 12 days to hyperventilate, shit yourself, and scream your throat raw until you can devour this bitchin comp.
And I would be a total jackass if I didn’t remind yall of the crazy cool show I’m putting on also in celebration of my 5 years. The Saturday after You’re All The Fucking Best gets released, 2/23, it’s party time at PA’s Lounge in Somerville. High Aura’d, Planning For Burial, Giles Corey, and Ehnahre will all be playing. And maybe, mayyyybe, if I can get my shit together, I’ll have a few handmade copies of this comp that I’ll hand out to the first people who show up. How’s that for incentive? This show was already worth the trek regardless of where you’re coming from, now even more so? I can’t even handle this. I’m freaking out just thinking about it. Nothing but good times ahead.
The North Sea – Vagrants (Rubber City Noise)
There’ve been plenty of Brad Rose eulogies what with FoxyD shuttin down and this being his last record as The North Sea, but Grandeur & Weakness is just too fucking awesome to let slip by. And since this is ostensibly a synth record, and since I’m usually bored by synth records, that should be enough to pique your interest. This isn’t a nostalgiac kickback or a plunky noodlefest, this is some dark n stormy shit with African percussion that’s stemming from Frantz Fanon’s The Wretched Of The Earth which “explored the psychological effect of colonization.” Rose has gathered a potent blend of instruments to work on that colonization theme, he throws down some evil fucking drones that work towards a bittersweet bliss but end up just drenching your soul in disgust, blippy synth loops taking turns with blown out drums for conjuring frantic nightmares, nothing at ease, everything heaving & terrorizing, abrasive grit scouring the depths of your guilted mind, droning machinery impossibly pouding along well after it’s rusted solid, a record that trumps the rest in Rose’s catalog, The North Sea’s swan song that’ll go down in the books as a triumphant fucking masterpiece of noise/drone refuse. R.I.P.
Aeronaut – Coronal Mass One (Fabrica)
If there’s any justice, this is gonna get mad praise, because this tape is the fucking best. Aeronaut is Steve Fors, half of the criminally underrated The Golden Sores, and Coronal Mass is, hopefully, his breakout record. Two side-long tracks of limitless bliss, synths floating through dark matter on its way to the brightest supernova, soft glowing static making way for restrained guitar feedback, majestic but not ostentatious, the dude goes all out shimmer & shine but (with the exception of the climax) is still refined, not show-offy or gloating, just pure drone joy, the kind that puts you at ease with it’s gloriousness, but to be honest the final half of the second side does get pretty rowdy, incorporating what sounds like some of Fors’ vocals, some deep space angel holding your hand through the golden stardust, and the feedback ramps up, blurs your vision, and effortlessly sends you soaring through hyperspace, stars & planets streaking by, wholly submerged in euphoric drones. The (second) best part about Coronoal Mass is that it comes in a beautiful hand-assembled/hand-painted wooden box, edition of 50, for only $10. Buy two and give one to your friend. Trust me.
Download The Hammons Family: A Study Of A West Virginia Family’s Traditions
This is the best fucking thing right here. Banjos & fiddles, ballads & stories, all from one West Virginian family. Alan Jabbour & Carl Fleischhauer just went to the Hammons family’s home, asked all the right questions, and pointed the mic in all the right directions. Truly excellent display of old American traditions. The highlight is Maggie’s songs, and luckily she’s featured pretty prominently, because her voice is otherworldy. She’s also nearly incomprehensible with the thickest West Virginian accent you could imagine. I’m definitely a sucker for this kind of thing but this collection is on another level.
The 2xLP box came with a huge booklet that has tons of photos & liner notes, and the Library Of Congress has published it as an updated PDF, which saved me the trouble of scanning the whole booklet. Also, while this is out of print via Rounder (who reissued it on CD in 1998 along with another Hammons collection of their own), I think it’s possible you can obtain a physical copy on demand from LoC on either CD-R or tape (like the Folkways stuff). The site seems dated, they say some of their titles might not be available on demand, and you have to mail a letter or call them to find out. So, jumping through all those hoops is definitely worthwhile for this album but I thought I’d give you a headstart. Enjoy.
The fine folks at Workin’ Nights flattered me by asking me to make a mix for their site. I obliged with some old & new folk & blues about death & dying. It includes Giles Corey, Nimrod Workman, Michael Hurley, Mount Eerie, and Robert Johnson. I think you’ll like it.
Download Every Choice Is A Death.
Mark Templeton – Carved And Cared For (Under The Spire)
A true winner right here. Templeton’s newest solo venture is the stuff dreams are made of, taking the murky majestic melancholy of Leyland Kirby and tying it in dynamic loops, reminding me a bit of Nicholas Szczepanik’s We Make Life Sad but with loops that grow, a half-forgotten memory of a seaside jazz lounge playing swamp horns, drugged drums, and meandering pianos, all smeared into an intimate haze of organic harmonies, ancient gritty tape loops warped by your brain under the load of more recent experiences, found object clattering in the back room, an impossibly perfect balance of everything, retaining a beautiful clarity in the fog of drone, the analog warmth amidst the glitchy processing, the dark dank depression intertwined with bright bittersweet hope, nothing sounding more right at this moment. Only 300 copies pressed, available in March, preorder now and save yourself the heartache of missing out on this masterpiece.