drone artisan’s LOCRIAN have completed the recording of their latest full-length record and follow-up to 2013’s critically acclaimed Return to Annihilation. The exceptionally prolific trio recorded the album earlier this month with producer Greg Norman at Electrical Audio (Pelican, Russian Circles). The as-of-yet titled record will see an early 2015 release via Relapse Records.
The band is currently split between two cities, Baltimore and Chicago, forcing them to collaborate on ideas via e-mail and phone conversations while sharing sound files over the web. These ideas were eventually manifested in the studio and led to what is surely their strongest material to date. The group elaborated further on the new album:
"It will sound like a look back into the abyss. It is darker, more foreboding, epic and cinematic than anything in our catalog. There were a lot of things on our minds at the time. The impossibility of death in the minds of the living. Dark Shales. Aeromancy. The end of all things. The great dying. Attrition. In the Dust of this Planet. Absolute Indifference. The Beauty of Terror. Environmental issues. The dead and dying seas. The KXL pipeline. We were all reading Elizabeth Kolbert’s "The Sixth Extinction," and it became a touchstone for us, impacting the general feel of the record. This record will be a document, we hope you enjoy and relate to it. Thanks to all of you who listen and support.”
Selections from LOCRIAN’s catalog are available for streaming via their official Bandcamp page HERE
Terence Hannum: Vocals, Vocoder, Moog Little Phatty, Moog The Source, Moog Minitaur, ARP Avatar, EDP Wasp, Mellotron, MicroKorg, Samples
André Foisy: Guitar, Acoustic guitar, Bass
Steven Hess: Drums, Electronics
LOCRIAN are prophetic voices of decline. The Chicago/Baltimore trio formed in 2005, as a duo of André Foisy (guitar) and Terence Hannum (keyboards/vocals). From their beginning they comfortably straddled both the experimental and metal underground. Urban decay, environmental destruction, birth/death/re-birth, and post-apocalyptic themes weave there way throughout their releases. In 2009, the group expanded to a trio with the inclusion of renowned experimental musician Steven Hess (drums/electronics), beginning with their critically acclaimed album The Crystal World for Utech Records, a breakthrough release for the band.
In 2011, the group signed with Relapse Records, which brought the group’s work to a much wider audience beginning with the re-release of numerous catalog pieces. In Summer 2012, the group recorded their Relapse Records debut Return to Annihilation, an album that Pitchfork claimed is the group’s “most provocative and engaging Locrian album to date.”
2014 marked the band’s first European appearance including a much lauded set at the renowned Roadburn Festival in Holland. LOCRIAN continue to remain exceptionally prolific, consistently releasing critically acclaimed albums, collaborative albums, and EPs, that have been praised by Pitchfork, the Chicago Tribune, Decibel Magazine, NPR, Spin Magazine, and numerous other publications. Their next full-length is set for a 2015 release via Relapse Records.
Anjou is the culmination of four years work from Labradford’s Mark Nelson and Robert Donne, and percussionist Steven Hess.
All three names should be familiar with anyone who’s spent any time leafing through the Kranky back catalogue. Hess and Nelson worked together…
Read more and listen to the track "Sighting" HERE
In experimental music, record labels remain vital for supporting, curating, and even shaping the music itself - Marc Masters and Grayson Haver Currin
Immune Recordings: Strength in Smallness
“This is the third record in a trilogy from Cleared, the duo of guitarist and noisemaker-at-large Michael Vallera and Locrian/Pan-American drummer Steven Hess. Drown cakes accessible themes and recognizable rhythms in sheets of sound and textures of bedlam, not unlike…”
Locrian "The Crystal World" 2XCS (side by side)
Utech Records will release Locrian "The Crystal World" 2XCS on July 12. Limited to 100 copies worldwide, the double cassette version contains “Extinction” previously only available on the 2XCD. This item is exclusive to Utech Records and Locrian. Pre-order your copy now.
**2XCD and 2XCS include the bonus track “Extinction” not available with the LP or D/L**
Artwork by Justin Bartlett.
LOCRIAN - “Return to Annihilation” from the album ‘Return To Annihilation’ (Relapse Records)
Director: Francesca Marongiu
Cleared is the duo of Steven Hess and Michael Vallera, both veterans of the Chicago experimental underground. With their new album Drown, Cleared integrate elements of minimalism and sound design with the textures and spirit of early dream pop. Recorded and produced in Chicago, Drown weaves seamlessly between works of classic ambience and narcotic experimental rock. The band find themselves at the crux of both the light and dark components of their past material. The result is a truly lush and enveloping experience that is the sum of the band’s evolving style and approach to composition.
Drown is the band’s third full-length recording and the final installment of a trilogy that was conceived upon their formation in 2009. Hess and Vallera have spent the last several years building upon the stark and wintery environment of their first self-titled LP, transforming the tracks through live performance and constant revision. Their second offering, Breaking Day, saw the duo expand beyond the relentless drones and clouded rhythms of the previous record, elevating the role of traditional guitar and percussion while leaning toward a darkly psychedelic and visceral sound.
While Cleared have always favored patient growth and repeated themes, those core elements are now adorned with intense melodic composition and spontaneous bursts of electronic collage. Their most expansive and organic release to date, Cleared are proud to offer Drown as the apex of a five-year exploration of image, space, and sound.
Steven Hess is a Chicago based musician who also performs in Locrian (Relapse Records), Pan•American (Kranky), Innode (Editions Mego), and Haptic (Entr’acte).
Michael Vallera is a musician and visual artist who performs as COIN (Opal Tapes), and with Joseph Clayton Mills as Maar (Entr’acte, Umor Rex). He has also released material under his own name with Los Discos Enfantasmes, Catholic Tapes, and will be contributing to the Imaginational Anthem compilation this summer on Tompkins Square.