Bethany Cosentino is one half of Los Angeles duo Pocahaunted (with Amanda Brown), known for their long, spooky, and almost meditative drone compositions. Their music is both calming and foreboding, often simultaneously, and can feel like being lullabyed into a nightmare-filled sleep. Amid war drums, lulling guitar, and howling voices, Pococaunted always seem to be beating, guiding, and gathering towards some sonic place, a place where we’ll probably never arrive. But if we can’t know where Pocahaunted are going, we can at least find out where they come from.
Archive for February, 2009
Bethany Cosentino forme avec Amanda Brown Pocahaunted, duo de Los Angeles connu pour ses compositions longues, éthérées et presque méditatives. Sa musique est à la fois apaisante et anxieuse, et donne parfois l’impression d’être plongé dans un sommeil peuplé de rêves cauchemardesques. Entre une batterie conquérante, une guitare paisible et des voix rugissantes, Pocahaunted semble toujours palpiter, tendre et converger vers un univers sonique que l’on n’atteindra probablement jamais. Mais si l’on ne peut pas savoir où les filles de Pocahaunted nous emmènent, on peut au moins savoir d’où elles viennent.
The prolific Adam Kriney is perhaps best known as a drummer, hammering it out freestyle for a handful of Brooklyn-based psychedelic and improv outfits on the Colour Sounds Recordings label (Dragonfrynd, Owl Xounds, La Otracina), which he himself runs. With Vorg Vessel (Cut Hands), his first solo outing, this Boston expat sets down his sticks and sinks his claws into a classic Lowrey organ and a keyboard, presumably cheap and battery-powered. A disclaimer in the liner booklet informs us that “The Queen of Fish Mountain” (5”) and “Illuminated by Stripes” (3”) are 100% synthesizer and sequencer free. Whether Kriney is trying to paint himself as a purist or making some kind of sweeping statement about the current state of electronic music is irrelevant: rarely has the sound of two droning instruments grinding against one another been so varied and beautiful.
Yuri Landman, a noise guitarist and comic artist from Holland, put down his guitar and his pencils ten years ago to devote his life to building electric string instruments, “a universal art” combining “music, science, and the visual arts.” Landman draws on a vast theoretical foundation in acoustics, science (Helmholtz, Chladni, Jenny), and esotericism (Partch) to craft custom noisemakers for an international coterie of experimental music all-stars. In this extended interview, Landman speaks about his working process, his creations, and his collaborations with customers like Lee Ranaldo, sharing a few interesting tidbits on harmonics, consonance, and temperament along the way.
After only a few months up and running, Visitation Rites is looking to expand its team of contributors in response to a rapidly growing readership. We are launching a new, bilingual website this spring, and are looking for French and English language music writers who like what we are doing and would like to help us build our site into something really special.
A little bit about Visitation Rites:
Visitation Rites is a bilingual online magazine that aims to bridge the gap between the experimental, psychedelic, folk, drone, and out music communities of North America and Europe. It provides up-to-date coverage of music makers worldwide, and attempts, wherever it can, to ground its reflections in a wider social, political, and philosophical context. Visitation Rites publishes reviews, interviews, and portraits in English and French, and features passionate and articulate voices from both sides of the Atlantic.
To apply, email firstname.lastname@example.org with a brief description of your background as a writer and music lover, a short writing sample, and an idea for your first contribution to Visitation Rites, be it a record review, a portrait, an interview, or mock Adornean critique of your favorite noise band. Applications will be considered in both English and French.
In the liner notes for Stone Breath’s second lp, re-issued last month in an expanded double disk by Hand/Eye, clawhammer banjo player and weird folk visionary Timothy Renner confesses that the album “almost didn’t happen.” Those of you who wish that The Incredible String Band hadn’t stopped producing records like “The 5,000 Spirits or the Layers of the Onion” or “The Hangman’s Beautiful Daughter” in the late 1960s will be glad that it did.