With a friendship stretching back nearly 20 years, it strangely ended up being a couple of childhood photographs that finally brought Ben Chasny and Rick Tomlinson together as collaborators. Both have rich musical backgrounds: Chasny being a member of the psych-rock outfit Comets on Fire but probably best known for his solo project, Six Organs of Admittance, while Tomlinson has released numerous records as Voice of the Seven Woods/Thunders and under his own name. Recorded at Tomlinson’s house in Todmorden over three days one June, initially the pair didn’t quite know where they wanted to go with their musical direction. Tomlinson kept pulling out super rare records from his vast collection for inspiration and they sat and listened to the solo piano recordings of Popol Vuh’s Florian Fricke but they knew they needed to land on something that was intrinsically them
The result is 6 instrumental tracks that capture beautifully fluid and interlocking guitars played with deft grace and skill but also a subtle looseness. On the 9 minute-plus ‘Wait For Low Tide’, the sparse and spacious back and forth playing becomes utterly hypnotic, neatly capturing the kind of natural and intuitive playing that can only come from music made between friends who understand the crucialness of leaving space for one another. While acoustic guitars are the primary means of expression on the record - from the soothing and gentle ‘i’ to the intricate playing of ‘Waking of Insects’ - the pair delve into ambient drone tape loop territory on the humming 16 minute ‘Paths of Ocean Currents and Wind Belts’, which further adds to the deeply textural, spacious and immersive feel of the album
All the tracks were recorded in one take, with the titles all stemming from translations from the Chinese book, The Dream Pool Essays, and then mixed in London at Jimmy Robertson's SNAFU studio, with additional mixing and mastering from Andrew Liles. The laid back, breezy and spontaneous approach to making this record is one that was reflective of the pair’s friendship and camaraderie, with their relationship ultimately driving the tone and feel of the finished album. “We hiked around the countryside, climbed into church bell towers, drank delicious beer in the middle of sunny afternoons, and had fantastic dinners,” says Chasny of the three-day recording period. “I think all of that wound up in the music. I really had the best time in the world
Sound file:
€ 29
Modal Dialog
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