Saturday, September 20, 2014

THE EBONY TOWER "1Q84" 6CDr (AOW 232)

New and lengthy work from The Ebony Tower, a very focused HNW project that bases all of its music on great works of literature.  This release tackles Haruki Murakami's recent novel "1Q84"; while I have not yet read the book (although I have read other Murakami works), Mitchell (of The Ebony Tower) told me that it "asks a lot of questions and then doesn't answer them."
The resultant work takes the same approach.  This is incredibly meditative HNW; while on their surfaces the pieces appear to be very static, almost zen-like in their obstinance, deep and intent listening will reveal a dizzying multitude of minute textures and tones at work.  This is one of the best HNW works i've heard in some time, and I am honored that AOW is releasing it-this sort of work is emblematic of the label's mission and aesthetic.  "1Q84" will numb you, sedate you, transport you, and will ultimately allow you ascension and transcendence if you give yourself over to it fully.
Packaged as a triple volume set in double DVD cases, each with their own artwork utilizing interpretive images drawn from passages in the novel.  Released in an edition of 10 hand-numbered copies.  $35 ppd. in the United States, $48 rest of world.

ORDER HERE: www.altarofwasterecords.storenvy.com


CORY STRAND "HOTEL CHEVALIER" CDr (AOW 234)

No filmmaker inspired as much division during my time in film school than Wes Anderson.  People either liked or hated him with equal passion.  I was clearly in the former camp; seeing "Rushmore" was one of the cinematic experiences that made me very much want to study film seriously (the other film: Paul Thomas Anderson's "Boogie Nights.")  While i love all of Anderson's films for their emotional vulnerability and beautiful enclosed universes, none strike me as more heart-crushing and beautiful than his short masterwork, "Hotel Chevalier."  Few films so accurately capture the potent mixture of anger, yearning, and desire that can haunt the memory of failed relationships; few films so beautifully depict the psychological damage those memories can inflict.
This release represents three different approaches to working with the film.  The first piece is an HNW manipulation of the film's real-time audio track; the second is a lengthy death ambient treatment of the film's audio, stretched to a gray and empty evocation of decaying dreams.  The third piece is a blurry, vaguely melodic transformation of Peter Sarstedt's "Where Do You Go To (My Lovely)" as it appears in the film. 
Packaged in a DVD case in a limited edition of 5 hand-numbered copies.  $10 ppd. in the United States, $23 rest of world.

ORDER HERE: www.altarofwasterecords.storenvy.com

CORY STRAND "CODA" CDr (AOW 235)

A sort of epilogue piece to my two large Paris Hilton reconstruction sets, "Paris, Do You Speak French?" and "Overdose My Heart."  "Coda" is a blending of the two source tracks used on the big sets (Miss Hilton's "Good Time" and "Come Alive"), transformed into a massive slog of vaguely gorgeous deep ambient sludge blur.  The piece effectively functions as a relaxing end to a severely intense and massive listening experience (if you have both sets, try listening to them plus "Coda" and see how it works.)
This is not my last work with Paris Hilton material, it's simply the end of this particular cycle.  I have tried to create something lovely but nebulous, much as Miss Hilton as with her recent singles.
Packaged in a DVD case in a limited edition of 5 hand-numbered copies.  $10 ppd. in the United States, $23 rest of world.

ORDER HERE: www.altarofwasterecords.storenvy.com

Saturday, September 13, 2014

G'MORK "UNTITLED" 2CDr (AOW 225)

Newest release from Hal Harmon's G'Mork, a project that bases its HNW pieces on the beloved 1980s fantasy film The Neverending Story.  A favorite film of mine as well, I was immediately smitten with G'Mork's debut release on Vagary records, and I approached Hal shortly after to inquire about releasing a G'Mork album through AOW.  Viewed as a noise provocateur grouped alongside Joe the Stache, James Killick, and myself for our nontraditional approach to themes and art in HNW, Harmon's work here is distinctly hopeful but suffused with a penetrating nihilistic sadness that seems to make momentum nearly impossible; the onus is forced onto the listener.  Much as the film The Neverending Story encourages the viewer to find reserves of courage and selflessness within, so too does G'Mork's work, asking the listener to find within themselves the meaning of the work and its relation to their being.  This is an absolutely gorgeous release on every level, and I am honored to be releasing it.
Packaged in a DVD case in a limited edition of 15 hand-numbered copies.  $15 ppd. in the United States, $28 rest of world.

ORDER HERE: www.altarofwasterecords.storenvy.com

CORY STRAND "STONER WITCH: A REINTERPRETATION, VOL. I" 2CDr (AOW 233)

First in a multi-volume rework of the Melvins' most widely-regarded album, 1994's "Stoner Witch."  This first double CD reconstruction splits the album into two distinct sections ("ambient" and "rock/noise"), much as the album proper itself.  The ambient disc is another slice of menacing, sonorous drift and drone, daring you to find connection to the album beyond simple comparisons to "Lividity."  The second disc embrace a more violent and "rock" oriented approach (ha!), resulting in a multifaceted 50 minute slog through tone, texture, and sludge, a torrent of vomit and filth that hopefully matches the Melvins' own anticipatory attempt at HNW structures as evinced by "Magic Pig Detective."  This volume attempts to look at the album as a whole; future volumes (i am unsure of how many there will be) will look at each song individually.
Packaged in a DVD case in a limited edition of 5 hand-numbered copies.  $15 ppd. in the United States, $28 rest of world.

ORDER HERE: www.altarofwasterecords.storenvy.com

CORY STRAND "LYSOL: A REINTERPRETATION" 5CDr (AOW 230)

Rightfully regarded as one of the Melvins' finest and most influential albums (one of the models for my personal guitar tone was King Buzzo's on this record), "Lysol" is drone metal par excellence, a crushing dirge of slow-motion feedback laden destruction that virtually no one has been able to touch since its release decades ago.  In working with the pieces here i have sought to intensify the drone experience the album provides, crafting five discs of extremely deep and glacial tones that achieve a heavenly sort of ambience; the result sounds a bit to me like a more despondent Arvo Part, a neo-classical sort of sound dripping with sorrow and yearning.  One of my best recent recordings, easily, a set of massive constructions to absolutely immerse and lose oneself in.  Beautiful and haunting without sacrificing a modicum of power.
Packaged in a DVD case in a limited edition of 5 hand-numbered copies.  $25 ppd. in the United States, $38 rest of world.

ORDER HERE: www.altarofwasterecords.storenvy.com

CORY STRAND "SONIC SEASONINGS IN HELL" CDr (AOW 229)

Another "evil twin" recording, this one being the extremely dark mirror to my "Sonic Seasonings: A Reinterpretation" release.  This time, I played everything all at once and manipulated the resultant din into a massless piece of ambient menace, which I then re-manipulated into a baroque grand guignol noise symphony.  It's short (about 23 minutes) but extremely brutal and restless; the tones are ever-shifting, unsteady, angry, nebulous, hungry for void.  Wendy Carlos' original recording was already rich with menace, malevolence, and a sort of cautious beauty; this piece pulls more desperately at the violence lurking deep beneath the solstices.
Packaged in a DVD case in a limited edition of 5 hand-numbered copies.  $10 ppd. in the United States, $23 rest of world.

ORDER HERE: www.altarofwasterecords.storenvy.com