Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Brian Grainger / German Shepherd / Millipede / MOTH - Traveling (Sunrise Acoustics / Imperfect Music, 2009)


Brian Grainger - Galivants Ferry








There's something about noise that seems very subjective. In fact, the first AGB post was about that very topic. But what I mean here is that if you are a noise artist and create music using a specific something as inspiration, there's a great chance that it won't come through to the listener. Not that I think that's a bad thing. Not at all. A musician needs inspiration and it shouldn't matter whether the listener knows about it. But I'd say on our end, it's little more than an aside, something to read in the liner notes and think "Oh hey, cool, this album was inspired by the work of Francis Bacon." Traveling is supposed to be created with the musicians keeping the idea of traveling in mind. Does that make it any better or worse? Nope. What makes this album ridiculously fucking awesome is the four dudes who are on it.

So, yeah, I almost fainted when I saw this split was coming out. Four ways are cool enough. And each of these individual guys are amazing all on their own. But holy fuck there's really an album out with Brian Grainger, German Shepherd, Millipede, and MOTH? Still kinda seems like a dream. This thing was going to be epic way before the music was even recorded.

The songs on Traveling are pretty exemplary of the respective artists. Each of them got 15 minutes worth of playtime and Grainger's 15 minutes sound like Grainger, Millipede's sound like Millipede, etc. But that shouldn't deter you, in fact just the opposite. It should leave you hell bent on grabbing a copy as what gets laid down here is some of everyone's finest work to date.

Grainger's 2 songs are some superb smoothed out gorgeous guitar drone that bring you closer to the sky. German Shepherd's takes the guitar drone in a different direction, focusing a bit more on physical notes that when contrasted with Grainger seem like straight up pop songs. And then Millipede forsakes his Zelda inspiration once again while still churning out thick rusty guitar noise with sweet hidden melodies that have you thinking Skullflower and Kevin Shields had a little baby prodigy. MOTH records multiple songs all onto one track, reminiscent of his youthful days spent listening to handfuls of tapes, forced to listen to the whole side, unable to instantly skip to a favorite song.

I kinda get the feeling that if they aren't already, the four of these guys would be best friends. They all seem to be pretty like-minded, especially when it comes to making music with a guitar. Maybe I should learn how to play guitar, too, so we can all hang out together and put out a 5 way split about how awesome we are at playing guitar.

3 comments:

caleb said...
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caleb said...

There's something about noise that seems very subjective . . . . But what I mean here is that if you are a noise artist and create music using a specific something as inspiration, there's a great chance that it won't come through to the listener.Why not say the same for instrumental music of any kind?

If the music isn't lyrical, then I would think you'd notice a larger variety of response regardless of whether its experimental or not. Just curious what you thought.

Justin Snow said...

I feel as though instrumental music (noise excluded) tends to elicit more specific emotions in people. I think it's easier for people to hear a song without words and say "Oh, this makes me feel sad" or something along those lines. Maybe it's because people are so used to hearing instrumental music give them cues in film that they've almost become conditioned. But I definitely think that noise (and drone, to some extent) tends to be a little less direct and abstract when it comes to how people interpret it.