About to release their 6th studio album ‘Song of the Rose’, the prolific Arbouretum continue to wonder on through the wilderness of rock. Since their first release in 2004 the band have been perfecting their craft of storytelling in song, both lyrically and sonically.
Signed to the fiercely independent label Thrill Jockey records, Arbouretum have been called “the best of the millennial classic rock bands, a guitar-fuzzed powerhouse.” Hailing from Baltimore US, the band travels through the ever changing landscape of alt-rock with effortless motion. From brooding Americana, to dark folk, sludge, doom, psych-rock and a fleck of prog, the expanding structures lead us from the mystical, poetic lyrics of David Heumann, told over grinding grungy riffs, into guitar solos which wind into improvisations between a group of respectful players painting a vivid sonic picture in homage to their predecessors.
THE QUIETUS described 2013’s album ‘Coming out of the Fog’ as ‘..the album Neil Young and Crazy Horse should have delivered instead of the disappointing Psychedelic Pill.’
Arbouretum’s lyrics explore elements of philosophy, mysticism, redemption, and the implications of human “progress.”
“Heumann is the kind of songwriter who, when he slips in a lyric about a tree or a bird or a running river, seems to have actually observed such objects, not just read about them in books. There’s something elemental about his fuzzed-drenched, Americana-infused anthems, something both grounded and deeply mystical.”- Jennifer Kelly, Pop Matters
2011’s album The Gathering was part inspired by the ‘The Red Book’ written by philosopher Jung in 1913 and throughout the course of his writings Heumann has continued to muse over the bigger questions whilst meandering through picturesque landscapes which his Instagram mostly reveals.
“If you look at creative people throughout history, one thing that many of them have in common is going on walks. I like to put myself in that company. I prefer the scenery of the natural world than that of the human-made world. So, in that sense, it does inform my writing, though not in a literal way.” – David Heumann
From their forthcoming release, titular track “Song of the Rose” completes a trilogy of songs from past records, calling back to “Song of the Nile” and “Song of the Pearl,” which have their roots in examining Taoist and Gnostic mythic traditions. Fittingly, “Rose” is also a nod to Heumann’s ancestor Richard Lovelace, a 17th century poet who penned “The Rose.”
The glimpses you can hear of the forthcoming album sound like a scrap book of all the best tales the band have delivered so far on their 5 previous albums, woven together with a new, contemporary finesse, having recorded for the first time with Kyle Spence at his studios in Athens, GA (Kurt Vile, Luke Roberts, Harvey Milk).
Click [here] for a more in depth interview on the new release.
So, Supersonic Festival goers, come and venture through the mystic landscapes of Arbouretum this June – we know you’re bound to get lost!
Preview full track ‘Fall From an Eyrie’ off their forthcoming album, ‘Song of the Rose’
I must leave behind trying to dominate a room with just my voice and guitar, because a sea of people will always overpower one woman, and I can’t afford to be slaughtered night after night. I no longer want my guitar to be used as a weapon.
Chicago-based experimental musician, Haley Fohr, aka Circuit des Yeux, plays Supersonic on Saturday 13 June. Haley is one of those artists whose talent and vision is so complete that it feels as if you are being drawn in to another world. We’re hugely excited that she is joining us this year and we think we’ll be talking about her for many years to come.
You can now stream Circuit des Yeux’s new album, In Plain Speech at FACT.
Individual day tickets for the festival are available from here
Alexander Tucker – live video session for Spine TV
Alexander Tucker will be performing his new song-cycle ‘Dorwytch‘ at Supersonic 2011. ‘Dorwytch‘ greatly expands his sound into a larger ensemble, featuring lushly layered strings and subtle use of synths. The suite revolves around themes of “human/plant matter transcendence” and manifested in the meditative purity of Tucker’s tones and drones. This live session also catches sight of the hairy being we’re expecting to see at Supersonic.
Barn Owl present ‘Turiya’
We all know that Supersonic have got a Barn Owl exclusive this year don’t we? Well indeed we have – the festival will be their only UK date on this trip. To add to our Barn Owl excitement, the band have just unveiled a brand new video for the song ‘Turiya‘ from the current ‘Lost in the Glare‘ album. Have a look below. Directed by their regular film collaborator John Davis, the film features some really nice light diffusion and complements the slow-burn of ‘Turiya‘ perfectly.
Supersonic Q&As : White Hills
Hopefully you’ve kept up-to-date with all our artist Q&As. They’ve kept us pretty busy here at Capsule HQ, so we’re thankful to the lovely people at The 405 for doing this Q&A with kraut-glam-space-rockers White Hills. You’ll want to clicky-click this link here for all the action.
Meet Barn Owl
Supersonic 2010 attendees will perhaps need no introduction to the stunning dust-trails of sound that San Franciscan duo Barn Owl create. The band were so well received that we just had to get them back for Supersonic 2011. In the past year, the praise for their mesmerising drones and layered feedback has slowly built up into a huge wall of superlatives. It’s taking all our strength here at Capsule to avoid waxing lyrical about “hauntingly beautiful sonic waterfalls” and the like! Rock-A-Rolla even went so far as to say that their 2010 album ‘Ancestral Star’ on Thrill Jockey was “the most significant experimental drone album since [SunnO)))’s] ‘Monoliths & Dimensions’”.
What you definitely get with Barn Owl is a hugely powerful immersive experience. Frequently playing in front of modified super 8 footage, the twin guitars of Evan Caminiti and Jon Porras intertwine instinctively, equal parts slow-burning twang and spaced-out feedback drone. It’s hard to stop those superlatives flowing. The band have just released a new EP ‘Shadowlands‘ that adds a devotional aspect reflective of artists like Popul Vuh (especially their soundtrack for the Werner Herzog film ‘Fitzcarraldo’) and Alice Coltrane, and their new full-length ‘Lost In The Glare‘ will be out on 13th September. (Free mp3 here.) Both Caminiti and Porras are solo artists releasing on labels like Root Strata and Three Lobed Recordings and Caminiti is also an established visual artist.
More information on their Electric Totem site.
Supersonic Q&A no.7 : Alexander Tucker
For our seventh Q&A the questions are being fired at British experimental musician Alexander Tucker. Tucker has become a established presence in the freak-folk-improv scene since his debut album was released by Tom Greenwood (Jackie OMF)’s U-Sound Archives label in 2003. He released his new album Dorwytch on Thrill Jockey Records in April 2011 and will be performing it in its entirety at Supersonic. The record breaks new ground for Tucker by combining minimalist string arrangements with electronic manipulations and drones to produce doom chamber-pop songs and psychedelic music-concrete collages. Tucker also has a duo with Stephen O’Malley and is an established visual artist.
1. Which five words describe what you know about Supersonic?
Sonic, hairy, friendly, psych, people !
2. What can people expect of your set at the festival?
The set will include hairy yeti beings, fog, mind-bending electronics and astral projections.
I make music to illuminate the inner being, escape the doom, conjure up the almighty spirit and to communicate with my fellow human beings.
4. Who else on the bill are you hoping to see? (And why?)
I want to see both Circle and Pharaoh Overlord because they are both fuckin awesome, Bardo Pond because they are the best band in the world, Tony Conrad because he’s shit hot.
5. Finally, your essential ‘surviving-Supersonic’ items are.
Mary Jane, Stout, food and water, outrageously over sized metal t-shirts.
Supersonic 2011 tickets now on sale in Manchester at Piccadilly Records, Oldham Street, M1 1JR.
That’s right, any Greater Manchester dwellers can get their Supersonic 2011 tickets over the counter at Piccadilly Records. Available from today for £75 + booking fee. Save yourself the worry of the postal service and support your local record shop, especially after the devastating fire at the PIAS warehouse last week. Even better: order a PIAS-distributed album by one of the artists playing at Supersonic and support the labels and distribution network in a time of much need. Could we suggest maybe Alexander Tucker, Skull Defekts, White Hills, Barn Owl or Eternal Tapestry (all on Thrill Jockey)?
Meet and watch White Hills
“Fuzzed-out motorik space-rock” is what the band call it. There’s more than a little twisted psychedelic glam in there too, but White Hills are really one of those bands that creates their own worlds. Check out bass player Ego Sensation’s video channel to get an insight into their visual style. It reminds the Supersonic team of Alejandro Jodorowsky’s films like El Topo and Sante Sangre – they’re filled with violently surreal imagery, all warped-out montages and jump-cut shocks. It’s hard to work out whether this is serious, fun, deliberate or insane – or all of the above – but the sensory onslaught definitely starts to get a little more understandable when you hear from Ego Sensation:
We can barely pay our rent each month but we are willing to pull out our credit cards and go into debt each time a new iPhone promises a better connection. The joke is on us. Our greater connectivity has caused us to disconnect from our humanity. We have been sold the religion of consumerism to feed the corporate machine. We have been tricked into believing that wanting our tax dollars to pay for our own health care is treacherous to the ideals of a democratic society. H-p1 is symbolic of the simplification of complex ideas to keep the masses from questioning the system.
ENVY are now confirmed for this years festival line up. They have become a dominant band in the independent hardcore scene in Japan, their music, through their own evolution, encompasses a sound where intensity and beauty coexists. They have recorded a number of singles and albums in Japan, including split albums with bands like This Machine Kills, Endeavor, Six Pence and Yaphet Kotto. Since their beginning, Envy has toured all throughout Japan with Mogwai, Isis and many more. They have laboured and toured their songs relentlessly for over a decade, and will continue to do so well into the next.
Secondly, a hot topic thanks to their recently acclaimed album Lost In The Glare, Barn Owl will return for another year, bringing the well honed dual guitar interplay between Caminiti and Porras, only this time in a different performance space. Producing a spiralling web of interlocking gestures that give way to bone rattling, monolithic progressions and dusty drifts. The mostly finger picked guitars weave in and out of each other in precise movements that recall the hypnotic influence of American minimalists.
They join ALVA NOTO / a.P.A.t.T. /AGATHE MAX /ANTILLES /ASTRO /BARDO POND / BYETONE/ CIRCLE/ CLOAKS /CUT HANDS /ELECTRIC WIZARD / ETERNAL TAPESTRY/ FIRE!/ KOGUMAZA/ LUCKY DRAGONS/ MONARCH/ NATHAN BELL/ PART CHIMP/ PHARAOH OVERLORD/ PEKKO KAPPI/ SCORN/ SECRET CHIEFS / SILVER APPLES / SKULL DEFEKTS / SLABDRAGGER/ TEETH OF THE SEA / THE BERG SANS NIPPLE/ TONY CONRAD/ WHITE HILLS / WOLVES IN THE THRONE ROOM / ZOMBI / ZU93
Tickets for the festival are only £75 for three days of music, film, art and cake and are available from HERE
There will still be more news to follow in the coming weeks as we get ever closer to the festival but for now, please feel free to spread this news far and wide!
Skull Defekts news – 12″ EP out in time for Supersonic
News just in from via the Skull Defekts Tumblr site is that they should have a brand new 12″ EP out in time for their show at Supersonic 2011. If it’s anything like their stunning ‘Peer Amid’ album released earlier this year, fans of anything from Krautrock to post-punk to shamanistic yowling are in for a treat. That last element comes from legendary singer Daniel Higgs – the ex-Lungfish man has added an extra wow-factor to what was already a pretty powerful, muscular sound. If you want more words, direct from the horse’s mouth, there’s an interview with Joachim from the band on their Tumblr here and a video from a recent live show is below. Does anyone know what effects have been used on the footage? We like the grainy, washed-out look here in the Capsule office, but tell us how it’s done!
With just the right blend of psychedelia and hypnotic grooves, White Hills weaves in and out of anthemic chants, deep space bleeps and other worldly madness for a mix that proves to be intoxicating. Since the release of the band’s debut album, listeners have been praising their originality and unique brand of heavy space rock. White Hills formed out of the need to forge Space Rock into the 21st Century.
‘A label like “space-rock” deserves music that’s as nuanced and limitless-feeling as space, and space-rock deserves a band like White Hills. Not only do they add urgency to familiar psychedelic rock templates, but they pay just as close attention to the quiet moments as the raging ones– each track on their self-titled Thrill Jockey debut displays a careful layering of sounds and atmospheres’ -Pitchfork
There are some bands who are content to make a record, play a few shows, and exist as a musical entity only when it’s time to make a new album, and then there are bands like The Skull Defekts who are the backbone of their musical communities. Hard at work on their numerous individual projects, constantly collaborating, releasing their own records on their own imprints, and touring incessantly, The Skull Defekts are Sweden’s answer to the States’ Sonic Youth and the Netherlands’ The Ex and one of the centerpieces of the Swedish experimental rock scene.
We’ve asked a number of Supersonic regulars to tell us what they’re most looking forward to at this years festival, Anthea from Thrill Jockey recommends…
Factory Floor –
Have to be one of the most exciting UK bands for a very long time. The hype is to be believed, they are a frightenly intense and hypnotic band to watch. Their Rough Trade East show this year was for me a highlight of the summer.
Well, I think if your not totally excited about the fact such an important and constantly brutal band are gracing the stage you need to re think your life!
Voice of Seven Thunders –
Are mesmerizing to both listen to and watch live. This is going to be a big highlight for me, their eponymous album which came out early in the year, is one of my personal favourite albums of 2010, so I am really excited they are is playing the festival. And waiting for the Nurse With Wound collaboration to come later in the year is making me dizzy!
Are always a must watch band for me. This is the perfect festival for them to be playing at as their singer is one of the most entertaining, compelling front men in any London band around at the moment. Pure heavy riffage, noise and destruction, excellent ingredients for things to get messy!
Eagle Twin –
Really a little bit over excited ( in a Christmas morning kind of way, when you are 10 years old) that I am going to get to see these guys play their UK debut. I am told they do not disappoint, and come highly recommended to me – so I am spreading that love!
On 07/07/07 at 7:07pm, Japanese group Boredoms, orchestrated a performance by 77 drummers at Empire-Fulton Ferry State Park in Brooklyn, NYC. Hisham Akira Bharoocha put out an email inviting drummers to apply for a place in the performance and out of the 3000 replies, 77 were chosen, including Andrew WK (drummer no 57), David Grubbs (drummer no 23) and Lightning Bolt’s Brian Chippendale (drummer no 77). The players were positioned in a spiral that trailed from a circular stage where the principal Boredoms members – Yozoro (drummer no 1), Yoshimi (drummer no 2), Sen (drummer no 3) were situated together with Eye (0) playing electronics, a seven-necked guitar and conducting the ensemble. This is the screening of Jun Kawaguchi’s simply shot but effective documentary of the performance, complete with behind the scenes rehearsal footage, interviews, and, of course, lots of footage of the performance itself. Come and experience the power of this momentous musical landmark.
There are also a series of shorts from the Thrill Jockey discography, which will feature new videos from Pontiak, Future Islands, Oval, Imbogodom and Dustin Wong.
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