Thursday, November 3, 2011
Mooncusser reviews & Non-Event
Some rather kind reviews on Mooncusser:
Mooncusser is a bruising, half-hour colossus helmed by a single pilot, Boston-based soundsculptor John Kolodij, who uses guitar and effects to build his High aura'd material into massive ambient-drone slabs. The new release appears on Yldemir, a year-old cassette-oriented label specializing in free improv, noise, and drone artists, and follows the 2010 releases Third Life (Reverb Worship) and Bridge Cable Suite (self-released) plus a split disc with André Foisy on Stunned Records. Each Mooncusser side features fifteen minutes of crushing, guitar-generated dronescaping, with all of it drenched in rain-like hiss and moving with the unstoppable force of a massive cloud formation.
For its opening three minutes, side one gradually swells into a molten swarm of grime and corrosion until a sheet-metal blast pierces the haze and splinters the collective sound into skin-lacerating shards. Kolodij expertly controls the sound so that a careful balance is achieved, resulting in a sonic mass that asserts itself forcefully without being abrasive or ear-piercing. In fact, ten minutes into side one, a sense of peacefulness emerges as the material quietens, clearing a path for a scalpel-sharp roar to come rolling in first, followed by waves crashing ashore and tolling bells. Side B picks up where the first leaves off with a widescreen ebb'n'flow of seething howl that roars for five minutes until, startlingly, a delicate acoustic guitar briefly appears to give the meditation a pastoral aura before a rippling mass comes crushing in to obliterate it in seconds. Once again, though, Kolodij shows himself to be a deft hand indeed at manning the controls and shaping the gargantuan sound mass into musical form. Mastered by John Twells, the set's a fine collection of blistering, axe-generated meditations that should be heard at top volume so that the full measure of its awesome force can be experienced.
John Kolodij returns as High Aura’d with Mooncusser, a thirty-minute burn of glacial (both in pacing and sheer density) guitar drones that mixes Leif Inge’s immensely blurred melancholy and Belong’s static sheen. Several solo guitar projects have excelled in the celestial pedal-processed guitar drone category in recent years, namely Brainworlds and Expo ’70 to highlight a just couple, but Kolodij’s Mooncusser will surely stand as a testament to the genre’s finer points. Even Terence Hannum’s (of Locrian fame) artwork adds to the grim vastness of the Deeeeeeeeeep-Space drones evoked by the music within. Adding to the pitch blackness of the sounds is the fine mastering work by Ken Linehan and Type head honcho John Twells, who records equally vast, haunting drones as Xela.
The tape’s A-side gradually builds it’s distant rumblings with a chorus of looped, distorted feedback. As the amplifier seems to kick in and out as Kolodij charts his course, giving the electric vibe of an improvised live recording. The rise of cavernous tones gradually swells into a sheer howl of maxed-out drone. Eerie passages and shifting chords pass alongside one another evoking Windy & Carl at their deepest and coldest moments, but Kolodij’s tones never quite sound as though they’re produced by a guitar. As the first half of Mooncusser plays out, the piece seems to weight itself down and slow to a crawl. It’s the audio equivalent of one of Eno’s 14 Video Paintings. Kolodij reveals his hand a bit on the second side when he strips back the noise for a few moments. Following an extended melancholic loop, the piece makes room for a spacious yet clean melody of plucked guitar before breaking open into complete, symphonic drone. In the end, all your left with is a frail, Basinski-like loop that decays into nothing.
More YDLMIER greatness, this time from thee mighty High Aura’d pumping out another year end contender. Boston’s number one guitar drone champ puts out his best album yet. Silky smooth feedback segues perfectly into toothy grit, a hundred layers of threatening underwater bliss, swirling in a tide pool of shimmering black gold, deep dark harmonies beaching themselves in the moonlight. Soaring Windy & Carl euphoria, brief Fahey picks, and a wall of absolute beauty. Too much of everything, if this were any more awesome I might die. Mooncusser fuckin throws it down.
I'm playing a new piece, for ebow, pedal steel, lap steel and field recordings at Cafe Fixe in Brookline, MA on November 15th-as part of a series by Non-Event
I'll be performing to a brand new film by Omar Mashaal-really cool stuff : INFO
I'll also occasionally when I have records, tapes, etc post them here for sale:
High aura'd DISCOGS