Tag Archives: Randall Dunn

Drag City set to release Ensemble Pearl debut March 2013

20 Dec
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Now ready for the light of day are the recordings made by Ensemble Pearl.
Cosmic heavy amplified rock drops and ripples, auras radiate and expand into cloudforms, through which lightning bolts. Tides rise, the moons wax upon a place somewhere between Link Wray, Hex-era Earth and early Tangerine Dream. The echoes return, leaving a trail that blows and drifts, creating a separate piece. The metal of coils is the metal of the earth, the air… the meteoric and primal elements found in space. Ensemble Pearl reaches through the clouds and atmospheres and brings it all back down to the ground, to forge further creations for woman and man. This music production is inspired by rock from the classic era (50s through 70s) and acousmatic contemporary composition alike.
Ensemble Pearl are Atsuo, William Herzog, Michio Kurihara and Stephen O’Malley.  Their debut album also features the elemental forces of Eyvind Kang and Timba Harris. These players have all moved air and earth in many other projects and can create monolith and river alike on their own – but for Ensemble Pearl they give and take, knowing and understanding each other’s strengths and lack of weakness. Rather than blast sheets of air-filling sound, their contributions float the space with positive and negative dynamics. There are no borders being patrolled, allowing Ensemble Pearl to move from place to place unhindered. Over the course of six sides of music (and four sides of vinyl) they ride the jet stream as the world revolves slowly below, static almost, shimmering imperceptibly, mostly water. In and amongst the sprays of foam, there’s a wash of twin-lead psych-proggery, a raft of tribal-beat sun worship, a passing rumble of neck-stretching, some delicate noise-blowing, a bit of float-and-drone and finally, a majestic drift into the deep waters of dub atmosphere.

Ensemble Pearl was recorded by Masato Suzuki, mixed by Randall Dunn and mastered by Bob Weston. The album features artwork from Simon Fowler and Michał Mozolewski that extends and enhances the music in integral fashion, helping to make Ensemble Pearl a complete experience for the aspirant listener, a full-spectrum sensory bath.
The album will be released in March 2013 on Drag City on double LP (housed in a gatefold sleeve), CD and digital formats. Look forward to more information on this exciting project in the new year. But for now, bask in the news of this mighty ensemble indeed.

Diminshed Men release their second album and announce EU tour January 2013

18 Nov
By distorting hard boiled film music through a cracked, overcast lens, Diminished Men refocus their influences into something entirely unique.

Capnomancy, their second release on the Abduction label (run by Alan Bishop of the legendary Sun City Girls and the Sublime Frequencies label), is a collection of stark, exotic instrumentals full of high tension energy and infected terror.  Cloaked in a supernatural fog and man made electrical storms, chiaroscuro landscapes read like a sci-fi postcard with a Giallo ransom note attached.

The bands jagged, hard-charging approach evokes images of slit jugulars and accelerated heart rates, all the while swathing you in a blissful claustrophobia, reflecting elements of Morricone’s dissonant horror scores, gritty noir cues, and the blood shot nerves of a kratom hazed Link Wray.  Distant searing guitars and pummeling drums seep with slow pan derangement, panicked suspense and clouded 50’s Americana delusion.  The smoke clears and reveals a mirage of melancholy Wenders-esque backdrops and AM radio nightmares, but quickly returns to some other world that it came from.

The final album to be released from his now defunct Aleph Studio, producer Randall Dunn (Sunn O))), Earth, Wolves in the Throne Room, etc.) contributes greatly with his visceral, heavy production, making this album their darkest offering yet.

Another bizarre series of degenerate no-hit wonders from the phantom guitars of Steve Schmitt, multi-instrumentalist Simon Henneman, and drummer Dave Abramson, who also a member of Master Musicians of Bukkake and has collaborated with Secret Chiefs 3, Eyvind Kang, Kayo Dot, Grails, etc.  Capnomancy features guest appearances from members of Master Musicians of Bukkake as well as other Northwest delinquents, saxophonist Skerik and vocalist Sara Johanne.

CAPNOMANCY (Release date – JAN 7, 2013)

Produced by Randall Dunn

Recorded and mixed by Randall Dunn at Aleph Studio -Seattle

All music by Diminished Men:

Steve Schmitt- guitars, wine glasses, breathing

Dave Abramson- drums

Simon Henneman- electric and upright bass, guitar, piano, optigan

 w/ guests:

Sara Johanne -vocals on “Hoarding Light”

B.R.A.D. (Master Musicians of Bukkake, Burning Witch) – vocals, gongs

Milky Burgess (Master Musicians of Bukkake, Earth) – guitar

Sam Wambach- saxophones

Skerik (Garage a Trois, Critters Buggin’) – saxophones

Randall Dunn- cuica

Mastered by Mell Dettmer

Abduction Records

Distributed by Forced Exposure


Side 1

1. Oblong Trance

2. Black Vapor

3. Kapnos Escape

Side 2

1. Hoarding Light

2. Tacombover

3. Capnomancy

4. Expulsion

The band will be touring the new material toward the end of January, full details to be announced next week, in the meantime, here are the dates and the countries they will visit:

 Thu 31/01/2013 – Netherlands

Fri 01/02/2013 – Germany

Sat 02/02/2013 – Denmark

Sun 03/02/2013 – Germany

Mon 04/02/2013 – Germany

Tue 05/02/2013 – Austria

Wed 06/02/2013 – Italy

Thu 07/02/2013 – Italy

Fri 08/02/2013 – Italy

Sat 09/02/2013 – Switzerland

Sun 10/02/2013 – France

Mon 11/02/2013 – France

Tue 12/02/2013 – France

Wed 13/02/2013 – Germany

Thu 14/02/2013 – Belgium

Fri 15/02/2013 – Belgium

Sat 16/02/2013 – Netherlands



FONTANELLE: Spin premieres track from Jazz Fusion act’s Southern Lord debut

12 Oct
FONTANELLE: Spin premieres track from Jazz Fusion act’s Southern Lord debut

Portland’s FONTANELLE formed in 1998 by guitarist Rex Ritter and keyboardist Andy Brown, after the dissolution of their previous band Jessamine. During the gap of nearly 10 years since their last release, FONTANELLE are prepared to return with a brand new album entitled Vitamin F which will be released on Southern Lord in the UK/EU on 5 November.

Spin Magazine is now hosting a stream of the fifth track from Vitamin F, “When The Fire Hits The Forest.” Hear it now.

For this brand new recording, FONTANELLE has been trying to transport themselves back in time to 1973 into Patrick Gleeson’s Different Fur Trading Company Studio. Through the studio expertise of Randall Dunn (sunn 0))), Black Mountain, Wolves in the Throne Room), it sounds like they made it!

Rex Ritter’s tour of duty with sunn 0))) during FONTANELLE’s hiatus seems to have irreparably changed his DNA, as well as the entire band’s. Adding an amazing array of horn players, many of whom were heard on the most recent sunn 0))) LP Monoliths & Dimensions, FONTANELLE have fortified their jazz vocabulary and have conjured a burly fusion approach that has been dubbed “White Magus” – a sound sure to appeal to fans of Miles Davis (circa 1969-74), Toritse and Mahavishnu Orchestra.

On Vitamin F – the full FONTANELLE lineup including Rex Ritter, Andy Brown, Mat Morgan, Borg Norm, Brian Foote and Paul Dickow – guest contributions from Gentry Densley (Eagle Twin), Steve Moore (Earth, sunn 0))), Hans Teuber, Eric Walton (Skerik), Jef Brown (Jackie-O MF) and Dave Carter add to the mix of influences culminating in this forty-three minute adventure. The fluidity of these enhanced and intricate arrangements as created by this dynamic force of musicians sounds absolutely effortless. Vitamin F is a masterpiece of fuzzed out funk, and a tour de force in improvisation.