A dossier of illuminations and orientations relating to the work of Daniel O'Sullivan.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

ATGCLVLSSCAP


House of Mythology proudly presents the new Ulver gatefold double album vinyl (also available on CD), with over 80 minutes worth of material. This album consists of multitracked and studio-enhanced live, mostly improvisational, rock and electronic soundscapes, 2/3 of which has never been heard before.

In Newton’s basic laws of motion – those which lie at the heart of modern physics – the paradox stands that constant velocity is essentially as natural as being at rest. True to form, in the now twenty-two-year-old life of Ulver, only one constant has remained, that being a forward-driving spirit that has moved this mercurial Norwegian-based collective forever through challenges and adventure anew, irrespective of reductive genre pigeonholing. Moreover, their latest voyage into the unknown is no different, marking another new chapter for an outfit characterised by wild and inspiring unpredictability, along with a fresh triumph for one of modern music’s most iconoclastic forces.

The basis for ATGCLVLSSCAP – which the band has been working with under the moniker ‘12’ – arrives from recordings made at twelve different live shows that Ulver performed in February 2014, in which band the band vaulted into the deep end of an improvisatory approach to their performance. As Kristoffer Rygg, the prime mover of the band since its inception puts it wryly, “The tour was to be an experiment, kind of loose and scary for a band as ‘set in their ways’ as us.”

Although the line-up for these shows remained similar to that on 2012’s psychedelic covers album Childhood’s End, and the band had taken succour from the sounds and headspace they explored on that record, this was another break into new territory, using their live energy and spontaneity as the fuel for aural explorations that would surprise even the band themselves. “At the end of any album process, I can’t wait to do something else,” comments Rygg. ”So yeah, it is partly borne out of that feeling, being a bit bored with the circumstances. It was quite liberating to do something more in the moment. One night a jam could be five minutes, and the next it could be fifteen. We couldn’t have captured these songs in a studio environment.”

Once the tour was over, it was down to his bandmate Daniel O’Sullivan to take charge of these multitrack recordings, sculpting and editing hours of material in his North London enclave, formerly owned by charismatic artist and Coil associate, the sadly departed Ian Johnstone – as O’Sullivan noted, “The hungry ghosts of the now empty house appear to be burrowing into this record.” Anders Møller, Kristoffer Rygg and Tore Ylwizaker got involved a bit later, honing things from their end in Subsonic Society and Oak Hill Studios, Oslo, before the vinyl cutting process took place at THD Vinyl Mastering, also in Oslo, in which the band was fully involved in the crucial initial cut of the 14” lacquer. What resulted is the widescreen sweep and atmospheric splendour of ATGCLVLSSCAP, ultimately a piece of work that exists above and beyond any conventional live recording, rather a hallucinatory travelogue as potent an experience to bear witness to as it was to construct.

As always in the world of Ulver, influences are disparate and diverse, yet as Rygg notes, “It’s quite tributary in a way, there are clear nods to sounds from the past.” Many of these dwell in progressive, electronic and krautrock realms, heralding a lifelong love within the band for the music of the 70s – the fiery mantras of ‘Om Hanumate Namah’ and the motorik drive of ‘Cromagnosis’ draw an astral trajectory between the propulsion of Kraftwerk/Neu! and the ritualistic intensity of prime Amon Düül II, whilst the spirits of both Klaus Schulze and John Carpenter are audible in the electronic soundscapes of ‘Desert/Dawn’, not to mention the Bernard Herrmann touch in the closing ‘Solaris’. Even when the band revisits an earlier gem from 2000’s Perdition City album, as on ‘Nowhere (Sweet Sixteen)’, its reinvigorated by their expansive and emotionally charged approach.

“We always feel like, independently of what kind of instrumentation we use, we’re still playing the same nocturnal stuff,” laughs Rygg. “There are a few motifs that keep recurring all the time in what we do, and if it’s in a rock form or an electronic form, it’s always there.” Yet as true as this may be, by shaking up their creative process, the band have summoned up a unique testimony to the creative power of a mighty force who remain blissfully free of genre or convention, ATGCLVLSSCAP is progressive in the truest sense of the word, a record that may be this capricious band’s pièce-de-resistance. (words by Jimmy Martin)

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

GF vs Erasure

Shapeshifting cultural DNA. Contorting childhood memories. Happy to present our reworking of Erasure's amazing paean to the working man.

 





Tuesday, August 4, 2015

And Suddenly Everything, Absolutely Everything, Was There


I have contributed an exclusive Mothlite song to this compilation on bandcamp put together to raise funds for Keith Utech and his children Piper and Jackson. Please support these beautiful people in their most desperate hour of need.

Kim Utech lost her battle against breast cancer on July 1, 2015. She leaves behind her husband Keith and their two children, 12-year-old son Jackson, and 9-year-old daughter, Piper. Keith's sister-in-law, Michelle Kubler Utech, created a GoFundMe page to raise funds to assist Keith with living expenses while he takes time off to be with their children and to help with the expenses incurred while Kim was receiving treatment.


This compilation, assembled by friends and supporters of Utech Records, contains forty-one tracks worth of exclusive material–some previously unreleased, some recorded live, some created specifically for this release–with a runtime of nearly 4 1/2 hours. 
100% of the proceeds (after Bandcamp and PayPal take their cuts) will be donated to the Utech Family Fund. For more information about the Utech Family Fund, visit the GoFundMe link below:

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Goodbye Tower Gardens


Where I come from
Where I'm going
What's leading me there
What in hell
a downward pull that won't allow time
for anything that doesn't try to know itself.


Ian gave me a home for my life and my art.


It would rain here and a gamelan would commence. I'd be peaceful, making tea and looking out into Ian's beautiful woodland garden. The pan would sometimes look obsidian. And of course moths that myths are made of in the summertime.


A verdant dance. The magick twisted willow which loved to be climbed. Her neighbour, the acer and the bird's foot ivy joined in the swathe. In the summer we'd get peonies and irises. A naughty buddleia with it's gorgeous purple pyramids carefully obscured the blue orbs of ceanothus. You were to barely notice the bay tree by the back wall. I remember when Tarka shat on that beautiful mossy stone and actually killed it. Poor scorched chloroplasts. Took years to heal. But this was where the healing took place. For many a sick heart. 


Pile of Wires by the loo. The flush, an awkward chain, designed for awkwardness. Geoff's dragon on the unused cistern. The box above the black bath was a lens into a kingdom of flowers in refraction. Ian's world was forever convex.


This angle hurts the most. As it was so often where he would sit. Watching any old crap on his laptop or reading or resting or wearing a funny hat. There were the most mesmerising paperweights on that window ledge. 


All that Coil stuff, preserved in formaldehyde and cider vinegar. A great love, a great abundance and in the end a great big dead albatross.


The best thing to do when daddy was out jaunting in the woods was to fawn over his menagerie of power amulets and avatars. Ivory clowns and black rubber eggs, big brass cocks and swastikas reclaimed.


Jumpy Zos, always leaping off that wall was he.


A silver plinth to elevate the boney equine legs of the leg cutter. The engraved details on the sides of this thing are astonishing. He was a great maker of things. His eyes would dig for the truth behind every surface.


Mr. Todd was a disco diva. Hips like a lubricated potter's wheel and the nose of a fox in season.


At the top of the stairs lived Geoff's mixing palette beneath an odd painting by Orlando Greenwood who lived till he was a hundred and two.


As mentioned. Appear to have had a bit of a tiff.


He prepared himself with such humility. You were too big for your body really. You kissed the water and felt it's ubiquity. I never knew anyone capable of such a love. The love of a flower. The love of the soil. Extended towards all sentient life-forms. You planted your exquisite clematis outside your cabana on top of the mountain and there it still grows. We live in the Virgo supercluster, my moon and your star. 

Time to dance. 


Time to crochet.


I miss you Ian.


Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The Hearing Trumpet


Hello friends. Thank you for all your blessings towards our new son, Ari.


He responds very well to Virginia Astley and breastmilk. Now I have some information I would like to share with you on recent musical developments.

GRUMBLING FUR - Dearest Alexander Tucker​ and I are touching the summit of album #4. We also have a collaboration with Neil Campbell (VCO/Astral Social Club) underway and a record of our composition for Mark Titchner​'s ROSE is coming out via Paul Purgas​' new unnamed imprint in the coming months. Some live actions approaching including further time travel with Charlemagne Palestine​. A document of this collaboration is now available through Important Records​.

ÆTHENOR - Yesterday I finished mixing the fifth Æ album. Assembled mostly from recordings we made in Italy back in 2010. Slowly stroked and poked into columnated vapour. She is currently in Oslo being fed through Misterffer Kristoffer's valves. Same line up, O'Malley, Rygg, Noble and little olde me.

ULVER - As mentioned, I am mixing a new record which finds the wolves in a state of zoetropic dervish. Embellishing recordings from a European tour last year. A great line-up resulting in a real shift in current. Air and water. Deadheads rise.

MOTHLITE / SOLO VENTURES - Been whittling away at VELD, an opus borne since 2011. Who can say when something is finished? On one's own steam, this is a tall task. But safe to say the end is nigh. Documenting wet foliage, atavistic resurgence, domestic portals and astral mildew. It's a bit of this and that. More of that than this.

What more? Some suburban pop musicks with electronic musicians Mike​ and Lara Rix Paradinas​ from the Planet Mu. What else, what else? Mixing records for all sorts of wonders. Keep it coming! Gimme that bread and butter pudding. Painting a bit, drawing a bit, writing a bit - wrote some liner notes for a very special reissue on Light In The Attic which I'm not supposed to talk about.

"Nobody knows who I am or what I do. Not even I."
- Carlos Castaneda

That's enough. Thanks for your support.


Sunday, February 1, 2015

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Furlemagne Grumblestine


















Charlemagne Palestine & Grumbling Fur Time Machine Orchestra - Gggrrreeebbbaaammmnnnuuuccckkkaaalllooowww. Out on Important Records, February 2015.