This week on Poltergeists, we have some special selections from a friend of the show, Brant of ∆AIMON!
Wrekmeister Harmonies - “Then It All Came Down”
I’m cheating a little with this track selection in that it is also the entire album - an epic 34 minute composition making up Wrekmeister Harmonies’ most recent release on Thrill Jockey Records. Wrekmeister Harmonies is a musical collective lead by JR Robinson and the source of some absolutely harrowing and breathtaking works. Last year saw the release of “You've Always Meant So Much To Me,” an unexpectedly cathartic exploration of isolation and existentialism. Joined by a cast of guest musicians this time - including Sanford Parker (Minsk, Corrections House), Bruce Lamont (Yakuza), Ryley Walker, Chanel Pease, and more - “Then It All Came Down” acts as the more demoralized and menacing follow-up. Uneasy impressions of defeat and pastoral doom slowly creep into transcendent reflectiveness and withdrawal as distortion crackles, threatens, and eventually annihilates all remnants of light in a crushing avalanche of decay and howls followed through to a disquieting resolution. Basically a bunch of words that mean this thing appeals to every raw emotional nerve-ending in my entire being.
Dolor - “Halfway A Siren”
I actually know very little about Dolor other than through his long-time and frequent collaborations with the musician Lorn, who incidentally acts as mastering and mixing engineer on this particular album - a context not lost in this track’s penchant for gritty and precise production. The vibratory low end is blown out in glorious and lush amounts of saturation, while the blurred synth work faintly bleeds through as an anachronistic telephone rings desperately on and on. There’s an incredible amount of storytelling breathing in these inky spaces, fleshed out even more thoroughly within the breadth of the full album. My sensibilities align pretty dramatically with the smoky, late-hour, loneliness conveyed herein. And while this track doesn’t illustrate some of the quirkier synth work or haunting vocals that sets Dolor apart from his partner Lorn, it still manages to carry across an impressive amount of emotion through such humble means. Beautiful and sad, like I like ‘em.
The Legacy - “Sand and Time”
You thought it was going to be the new Neuroticfish huh? WRONG! I have had a very post hardcore/hardcore/youth crew kind of week after seeing metal shows two weeks in a row. Having just had to reload all of my music into iTunes I was very pleased to find The Legacy’s Beyond Hurt, Beyond Hell from 2008. “Sand and Time” is my ideal hardcore/post-hardcore track - it starts off nice and slow and builds with the feelings of aggression. I would definitely suggest it for fans of Defeater, Have Heart, and Verse. Unfortunately The Legacy is very hard to find in terms of what is going on with them, or if they tour, and I do not believe they are still making music together (last release in 2008 according to iTunes music store.)
youryoungbody - “Bishop”
Seattle-based youryoungbody manages to bring together some very interesting and seemingly disparate sounds to create the feel of their song “Bishop”, off their EP Hashira. There is an airiness to the percussion and the vocals that reminds me of some of my favorite tracks from The xx, while the bass and vocal sample elements are more reminiscent of bass music acts like Krampfhaft, though admittedly moving at a much slower pace than you would expect from bass music. The downtempo feel almost adds a wonderful dark atmosphere, almost but not quite witchy. There is also this interesting, unexpected touch of what almost sounds like the sort of flute you would hear in a Putumayo meditation jam, that just floats around in the background; even more interesting, the flute sound seems to fit with the dark feel of the rest of the song, avoiding the cheese I would have associated with the instrument.