|Arnold Dreyblatt & Megafaun — Appalachian Excitation |
Arnold Dreyblatt & Megafaun — Appalachian Excitation
Ξ Generations to come will speak in hushed tones of the APPALACHIAN EXCITATION.
Ξ "If you're already a fan — get your hands on this! If not, this is as good a place as any to start exploring Arnold Dreyblatt’s brilliant music, but for what I consider the quintessential Dreyblatt, do also look into Nodal Excitation and Animal Magnetism." — Gordon B. Isnor
Ξ Arnold Dreyblatt has charted his own unique course in composition and music performance. He has invented a set of new and original instruments, performance techniques, and a system of tuning. Often characterized as one of the more rock-oriented of American minimalists, Dreyblatt has cultivated a strong underground base of fans for his transcendental and ecstatic music with his Orchestra of Excited Strings.
Born: New York City, August 05, 1953
Location: Durham, NC & Los Angeles, CA/New York City ~ Berlin, Germany
Album release: September 17, 2013
Record Label: Hometapes (N.A.)/Crammed Discs (EU)/Northern Spy
01. Home Hat Placement (8:27)
02. Recurrence Plot (5:15)
03. Edge Observation (8:47)
04. Radiator (10:54)
| Brad Cook
| Phil Cook
| Joe Westerlund
By Will Moss | Score: 7.3
Ξ The merging of Dreyblatt & Megafaun isn’t the first collaboration that might spring to mind when considering a new left-field folk act. Arnold Dreyblatt’s Beirut-like eclecticism when it comes to instrumentation and truly out-there sound shouldn’t work when blended with the intimate bearded Americana folk of the three Megafaun boys, but somehow, for some reason unbeknownst to the listener, it kind of works.
Ξ You get the impression that Arnold wears the trousers in this relationship. Not only is the record extremely short in number of tracks (only 4), but the soft wistful vocals of the Cook brothers and Joe Westerlund rarely make an appearance. Instead we have plodding drum beats, out-of-tune guitar notes and an atmosphere that wouldn’t be out of place in a David Lynch movie.
Ξ Although there are only four tracks on Appalachian Excitation, each is a 5-10 minute trek in to the sonic unknown and leaves you wondering what the hell you just listened to. Home Hat Replacement is like walking into a Victorian circus, with almost child-like guitar chimes that prance along in a definite drug-induced jitter. Edge Observation is what the darkest moments of Twin Peaks would have sounded like if Lynch hadn’t chosen synths, while Recurrence Plot’s nearly-infuriatingly slow kick-snare beat soundtracks a stoned evening lost in your own head. Despite sometimes wanting to pinch yourself to check that you are still in a fit mental state to continue, Appalachian Excitation is an intriguing listen that isn’t for the musically short-sighted. But with repeated listens and an open mind, you can lose yourself within it.
Ξ "Appalachian Excitation is the sound of four people in a room. It’s the sound of expat composer Arnold Dreyblatt — in the States from Berlin, where he’s lived and worked since 1984 — and the members of experimental folk outfit Megafaun, Phillip and Brad Cook, and Joseph Westerlund, specifically, at Pinebox Recording studio in Graham, North Carolina. Following successful collaborations at the Wire Festival in Chicago, Hopscotch Music Festival in Raleigh, and the Ecstatic Music Festival in New York, Appalachian Excitation finds the 60-year-old playing his “excited string bass” live with Megafaun live in the studio, in close proximity, with no click track.
Ξ The resulting recordings find Dreyblatt employing long stretches of his bowed prepared bass in lockstep with Westerlund’s twitching southern rhythms, as the Cooks add color with banjo, guitars, electric bass, mandolin, and a magical Moog lap steel. The trio’s flashes of sideways Americana blend perfectly with Dreyblatt’s compositional stew, and the record is at times dizzying, at times patiently meditative. In the liners, Jim O’Rourke describes trying to “pinpoint what is going on” in Dreyblatt’s music like “looking for a wizard behind the curtain while all along there is a fantastic giant thing there in front of you the whole time.” In Megafaun, the giant thing/wizard has found a set of able and confident collaborators. There’s more than enough going on to sustain repeated listens, but as Appalachian Excitation’s last track, the surging “Radiator” ends, you have to hope there’s more where this came from."
Ξ Un album en grande partie expérimental et assez minimaliste, mais ça s'écoute.
Agent: Dave Rowan — High Road Touring
Management: Bradley Cook
Publicity: EUROPE: Crammed Discs: http://www.crammeddiscs.com/
Booking (N.A.): Lisa O’Hara at High Road Touring (http://www.highroadtouring.com/
Booking (Europe): Bas Flesseman at Belmont Bookings: http://www.belmontbookings.nl/
By TAYLOR PETERS on Jul 26 2013
Ξ SEPTEMBER! SEPTEMBER! SEPTEMBER! Get ready, internet, for the biggest collaborative experimental folk LP of the year! This September, your brain is going to explode! Drink will flow!! Blood will spill!! MEGAFAUN and ARNOLD “DRY SPLAT” DREYBLATT come together to collaborate in destruction. It’s the APPALACHIAN EXCITATION! Psych-folk trio Megafaun, living up to their genre, are unstoppably psychotic. Dreyblatt is known the whole world over for grinding his opponents to an even more minimal pulp than his compositions! On September 17, tune in when the two go head-to-head in collaborative fury inside the NORTHERN SPY RECORDS THUNDERDOME ARENA OF DEATH!!!
Ξ Megafaun and Dreyblatt have intermittently worked together since 2008 when Megafaun unleashed some of Dreyblatt’s compositions at the Wire Festivals in Chicago, Boston, and New York City. But those, those were mere warning shots. The true frenzy did not come to pass until the two collaborated at last year’s Hopscotch Music Festival and later entered the steel-cage battle studio of Pinebox Recording in Graham, North Carolina (the collaboration was put off for so long because of conflicting schedules and fear of uncontrollable outcomes!!!) Recorded mostly live and without a click track, Megafaun’s Joe Westerlund says the album “marks a step towards Megafaun becoming more of a live-in-the-studio recording band,” one capable of unimaginable fervor!! Of collaborations such as this, Dreyblatt has said, “We are no longer one-dimensional people,” because the unbridled furor violates the very laws of physics!!
The APPALACHIAN EXCITATION, coming this September is a once-in-a-lifetime event that only the gravest of fools would dare to miss. Fortaken: http://www.tinymixtapes.com/news/
By Chuck Foster
Ξ Born in NY, but now based in Berlin, composer Arnold Dreyblatt came up under the likes of La Monte Young before developing his own vernacular through instrument innovation. Here, he teams with NC via WI-based psych-folk trio Megafaun to bring his brand of driving minimalism to a new generation.
Ξ The opening “Home Hat Placement” is a Terry Riley-esque bluegrass march, where tones and rhythms repeat for brief periods before altering into something else. It’s a highbrow hillbilly fanfare for the man who’s not afraid to get his hands dirty. “Recurrence Plot” changes direction with a slow, heavy plod that’s somewhere between Can, French soundtrack composer Alain Goraguer and Low, while “Edge Observation” is pure drone driven by screeches and frequencies humming and reverberating in unison. Ξ Finally, “Radiator” closes, bringing a Glenn Branca feel into the thumping, rolling Terry Riley/Can dynamic.
Ξ While these track are highly compositional and tightly controlled, they lose none of the organic elements that make music so immediately tangible and accessible. Explore Appalachia in a new context and discover a new musical dynamic in the process. The trail is overgrown, but clear… (http://www.bigtakeover.com/)
by Gordon B. Isnor
Ξ Appalachian Excitation, Northern Spy Records, CD, 2013, with Megafaun
Ξ Resonant Relations, Cantaloupe Music, CD, 2008
Ξ Live at Federal Hall, Table of the Elements, CD, 2006
Ξ Lapse, Table of the Elements, LP, 2004
Ξ The Adding Machine, Cantaloupe Music, CD, 2002
Ξ Escalator on “Renegade Heaven, Bang on a Can All-Stars, Cantaloupe Music, CD, 2000
Ξ The Sound of One String — Previously Unreleased Live Recordings 1979-1992, Ξ Table of the Elements, CD, 1998
Ξ Animal Magnetism, Tzadik Records, CD
Ξ a haymisch groove, Extraplatte, Vienna, CD, 1994
Ξ Propellers in Love, and “High Life”, HatART, CD, 1986
Ξ Nodal Excitation, India Navigation Records, LP, 1982
|Arnold Dreyblatt & Megafaun — Appalachian Excitation |
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