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new vinyl preorders: brother raven & svarte greiner

June 11, 2010
hey everyone,
two new LPs ready for pre-order as they’re both being pressed and should be here by the end of the month.  SUPER stoked about ’em:

digiv025: brother raven “VSS-30” LP $15 / $18 / $26
In 2010, the ride never seems to stop so if you want to get off you’ve just got to jump head first. Brother Raven, the Seattle-based duo of Jason Anderson (Spare Death Icon, Gift Tapes, etc) and Jamie Potter (ex-Bonus, Million Mists, etc) are taking synthesizer-based music into new and unexpected realms. Anderson and Potter are total time travelers, searching out old, forgotten methods and sounds and taking them into a square-wave future. “VSS-30” is rooted in its namesake’s primitive synthesis but is forward-thinking enough to take the listener on a tripped-out cosmic space walk.

“VSS-30” picks up where the duo’s previous release on Digitalis (2009’s cassette, “Nellie”) left off. It’s a continuation of those ritualistic astral projects but with more polish and unexpected surprises. The opening piece, “Space,” acts as a segue into this new, expanded universe. Washed-out drones greet you at the gates, advancing methodically until noisy blasts and sonar-infused rhythms bring the facade crashing down. Once the first beat drops, though, “VSS-30” has arrived. Disco flirtation and blooped-out nowhere hooks rise between the waves. It’s almost pop music, but not quite and falls apart just as fast as it arrives.

As with all their music, Brother Raven’s sound is 100% improvised and always recorded to tape. That added warmth keeps their space-age intonations from getting distant or cold. The flip-side of the record dials things in and shows just how much focus and restraint the duo possess. More blitzed beats push things along at a reliable pace, underscored by repetitive tones leading into candy-striped, totally sweet synthesizer loops. “VSS-30” seems, on the surface, to be all over the map but it’s absolutely cohesive and flows like a perfect pink stream.

There’s no doubt that there’s been dozens upon dozens of new synth-based bands and artists coming out of the woodwork over the last couple of years, but Brother Raven have shown over and over that they’ve got a head above most. “VSS-30” is an impressive, fully-realized piece of work that cements their place on the astral plane.

Vinyl only edition of 300 copies housed in silkscreened jackets.

digi056: svarte greiner “penpals forever (& ever)” LP (CD edition will be released in july – pre-order is ONLY for the vinyl)
Svarte Greiner is the nom de plume of Deaf Center’s Erik K. Skodvin.  Hailing from Norway, his solo efforts are always stripped bare, white-knuckle sojourns through dark, haunted ambient sonic corridors.  “Penpals Forever (and Ever)” is the imaginary tale of a long dead Baroque painter and his telekinetic correspondence with a flightless bird.  It feels archaic; experimental death marches circa 1622.  Like Guercino’s Et in Arcadia Ego, once the end is realized there’s nowhere left to go.  It’s beyond our experience and sometimes you never recover from the shock.

Despite its rather cheery title, “Penpals Forever (and Ever),” is another step toward the abyss.  Musically sparse, Svarte Greiner finds new channels connecting desolate landscapes through ethereal nightmares.  It is music best served cold.  Chattering, looping guitar lines that feel like muscle being separated from bone slowly build into aching piles of aural dissonance.  It’s painful to a point.  Recorded voices speak a language you can’t understand underneath ominous, echoing single notes.  Distant metal fragments scrape the dirt from detuned strings while a nefarious feathered minstrel bows dying instruments in the background.  No hope left, death is just around the corner.

As it ever was, Svarte Greiner is again weaving something deliciously sinister.  This is music that is uncomfortably bare.  Within its blood-stained confines there is nowhere to hide.  Skodvin’s tangled, gnarled tale goes back and forth into infinity until it becomes clear that the flightless bird in question lives inside your skull.  Drowning slowly into one’s own twisted mind, “Penpals” is the soundtrack of loss; the procession of fears gradually becoming so overbearing that you can’t escape your own demons.

**The first side (first two tracks) were originally issued on the “Penpals Forever” cassette on Digitalis in 2008, limited to 180 copies.  Both tracks have been completely remastered.  The remaining pieces are all new and exclusive to this release**

head on over to the digi site for pics & audio samples and to order:

got a small batch of new tapes (including the ALPHABOX and “air rings vol. 2” w/ xela, matt carlson, cliffsides and analog concept) coming next week.  any questions, GET IN TOUCH.
much love,
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