John Dwyer (synths), Tom Dolas(synths), Kyp Malone(synths), Heather Lockie (strings), Brad Caulins (sax), Ciriza (vocals and lyrics) Andres Renteria (hand drums), and Archis Carey (bassoon) have banded together to form a brand new powergroup, with their debut LP, RITUAL/HABIT/CEREMONY, out October 13 via Castle Face.
To commemorate the LP’s announcement, the group have also shared its first single, “Memory Mirror Overfloweth.”
John Dwyer describes the avant-garde effort as “an experiment in symphonic improvisation paired with synthesizer-scapes. Strings, reeds, synths & hand percussion all blend sweetly into an odd landscape indeed. The final touch was to bring aboard some singers I have loved over the years. I’m so pleased they were all willing to participate and I’m very tickled by the plane we navigate. Once YoshimiO agreed to be on board, I knew we were going to be OK.”
The album was recorded and mixed at Stu-Stu-Studio in Los Angeles and remotely. The singers are YoshimiO (Boredoms, OOIOO), Albert Wolski (EXEK), Gracie Jackson (GracieHorse), Ciriza (Artist Extraordinaire), Kyp Malone (Bent Arcana, TVOTR, Rain Machine, etc.), Brigid Dawson (Thee Oh Sees, The Mothers Network), AZITA (Scissor Girls, Bride of NONO).
“This one was a slow burn to see the light of day,” says Dwyer. “And here it is in its final crystal form. Celebrating the spaces between ritual, habit, and ceremony. And all the parallels between. The line is blurred. This is occult adjacent strain of sound. At home in daly ritual, contemplation and meditation.”
Listen to the full album below:
We had a few questions for John about this intriguing and inscrutable Tangerine Dream-meets-Eno extravaganza:
Could you talk about your collaboration with YoshimiO on the album? How did that come to be and what was it like working together?
It was remote, so we didn’t really get to “hang,” but we have met briefly in the past. Basically i reached out to hear through a common friend and it turned out this project sounded eerily like her newer set of recordings, so it was just kinda kismet…and just as expected, she brought something completely original to the mix. Couldn’t be happier with her contribution to the opening track of the album.
How do the ideas of ritual, habit, and ceremony interact with each other? How did those concepts inspire you to create this record?
My daily life is full of these things, and I think they are interchangeable as far as title goes – even the act of improvisation, practice, writing or performing are ritual in my mind…certainly cathartic, when it goes well. There’s something cleansing in the freedom of spontaneous music, and then comes the ceremony of editing to make it palatable to anyone not in the moment with us. Not so much cutting up, but a proper mix, really. All of these things are in constant crossover and necessary parts of my life to keep the wolf from the door.
Is this ever a project that you would perform live with? Or do you think it lives best as studio recordings?
I would like to, but that is likely not in the cards as the players/singers live all over the globe, and I’m already up my ass in Thee Oh Sees. What a pickle!
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