Long out of press mighty gamelan collab from members of US drone collective Pelt, the UK's Part Wild Horses Mane on Both Sides and New Zealand guitarist Michael Morley aka Gate. Recorded at 2012's TUSK festival in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, the huge ensemble folded up into a mid-size room in a little corner of England and tapped into the music that has long transfixed the world - but with as much raga and hillbilly influence as Indonesian. Be warned, this is not 100% holy. Soon, avain hymns give way to drones akin to those of Vibracathedral Orchestra, and low, slow tones eat at your redeeming thoughts. A one time super-group and damn were they super.
Official MIE press release:
"In October 2012, at the Tusk Festival at Newcastle-upon-Tyne, noise emissaries from three continents came together on a Sunday to make music for an hour or so. From the United States came Mike Gangloff, Nathan Bowles, and Patrick Best of the mighty Virginia drone collective Pelt. Representing the United Kingdom were sonic pilgrims Pascal Nichols and Kelly Jayne Jones of Part Wild Horses Mane on Both Sides. And from Oceania came the transcendent New Zealand guitarist Michael Morley of Gate and, of course, the legendary Dead C. This summit proceeded without words. Their chosen means of deliberation was the gamelan: an array of gangsa and saron metallaphones and singing bowls sprawled out on the patchwork oriental rugs; a rig of gongs; the flurry of hammers and mallets; a few dozen onlookers seated cross-legged or just laying prostrate on the floor. And everyone and everything was transported. - Brent S. Sirota
Recorded at TUSK Festival 2012 at Star & Shadow Cinema, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK. Live sound by Steve Nicholson and Stosh. Recording by Sam Grant. With thanks to Henry MIE.
Pelt Part Wild Gate - Hung on Sunday
Effigy is Pelt's first new batch of new recordings since 2007, and their first album since Jack Rose's death in 2009. Simultaneously frenetic and meditative, it's a raga seared in pulsating low-end piano, scorned and mournful strings and swarming harmonium.
“What separates Pelt … is the willful sonic escalation from monk chant and Appalachian bowed sitar to Blue Ridge mountain grinding ear-death. … They’ve not become giants; they’ve become the mountain.” - The Washington Post
From the original MIE press release:
MIE Records are unbelievably honoured to be releasing, the first album recorded since 2007 by the acoustic-only droners Pelt. Recorded live in June 2011 in an old yoga studio in Mount Horeb, Wisconsin and a decommissioned synagogue called the Gates of Heaven in nearby Madison, the band have laid down their most accomplished and fully realised work to date. Epic in every sense of the word, Effigy is a sprawling journey through their singular plan on the musical map. Layer upon layer of droning strings melt over never-ending harmoniums which threaten to engulf you whilst peals of gongs ring out to mesmerising effect. Effigy sees Pelt reaching their blissful sonic enlightenment.
Effigy is a testament to the ancient animal shaped mounds called ‘effigy mounds’ which dot the landscape in and around Madison, Wisconsin. No one has yet managed to work out who built these creations. Over the centuries they have greatly reduced in size but still the largest can measure up to 400ft in length, and the outlines of birds, lizards, deers and bears are all clearly visible to the observer. Soil would have been carried from afar to construct these huge monuments with only crude implements to hand. The erection of the monuments would have surely have to have been carried out by practically an army of workers or inhabitants and taken a very long time to build indeed.
Recorded by Pelt. Mixed by Jason Meagher. Mastered by James Plotkin. Artwork by Jake Blanchard. With thanks to Henry MIE. 'Ecstatically dedicated and indebted to eternal spirit of Jack Rose.'
Pelt - Effigy
Blood n guts folk from the Anglo-American duo. Searing harmonies and sparse, vital instrumentation breath new life into timeless tales of love, loss and death. Originally released to critical acclaim by No-Fi Recordings and then reissued by MIE Music in 2011, Dumb Supper is by all means one of the most interesting and exciting revivalist recording of traditional songs we've heard in years. Cath and Phil believe in folk retaining its original storytelling function, so all the songs on the album are adaptations of songs they have unearthed or which have been passed on to them through family members, musical collaborators, and their own love of the original information highway - folk music. If you missed the physical, snap this up and get yourselves down to see them here this Thursday.
“Dumb Supper is one of those rare modern folk albums that will find a home in both the longstanding ‘traditional’ music community and among those attracted to the form’s more experimental and lo-fi possibilities….It’s a weird looking-glass effect many folk fans will be familiar with: the straighter you play it, the stranger it gets…Shirley Collins always understood this and so do Cath & Phil Tyler.” – Frances Morgan, Plan B Magazine
All songs traditional except: Farewell My Friends & Morning - adapted from Sacred Harp. Death of Queen Jane - Words trad. Music Tyler Yellowhammer - Tyler Dewdrop - Words trad. Music Tyler Wild Stormy Deep - by Homer Cornett Slumber Boats - by Alice Riley/Jessie Gaynor
Recorded at Summerhill Square, Newcastle Upon Tyne in the first half of 2007. Arranged by Cath and Phil Tyler. Artwork by Jim Oss. Produced by Andrew Hodson.
Cath & Phil Tyler - Dumb Supper