At a label fair last night, while perusing our table with a friend, I noted, “Shit… I had a pretty good year!”
In 2014 we released 15 physical albums and 9 videos. That is three more releases than we planned to do and six fewer videos (calculating that we’d meant to create some form of video for every release). We got 24 (to our knowledge) positive reviews on various blogs and print publications. Two titles sold out. We put on a small handful of shows and relaunched the NO LOVE imprint (just today, actually). And I indulged in our most excessive package to date for one of my own pet projects.
As we were at the start of 2014, we’re planning to drastically scale back operations in 2015. As with 2014, we’ll see how that goes (we already have two releases scheduled for January and one in February).
2014 Year End Top 5
(of Arachnidiscs Recordings 2014 releases according to Arachnidiscs Recordings)
#1. Dominic Marion: Totenbaum Träger / Projet Muet
Creeping drones and cinematic post-jazz improvisations.
#2. Uvesen: III
Creepinger drones and dark, reverb-drenched noise improvisations.
#3. Clara Engel: Ashes & Tangerines
Something like the haunting folkiness of Vashti Bunyan corrupted by the bombastic gloom of Nick Cave.
#4. Nite Audit: The Audiot
Apparently the Ween brothers, Beck and Lou Barlow had an orgy and Nite Audit is their love child. There’s something wonderfully ’90s yet incredibly current about Kyle’s music.
#5. Colin Fisher & Mike Gennaro: Sine Qua Non
It’s like Rashied Ali and John Coltrane on bath salts. Free jazz that breaks the chains of your mind.
TOTENBAUM TRÄGER / PROJET MUET // C60 // $7 (plus shipping)
High bias tape, transparent red shells, fold-out poster and stamped edition cards featuring art by Lenny P. Robert, packaged in a translucent red envelope. With download. Edition of 50.
Last year’s Neurinomes CD by Mad/Mod was probably the release we were most proud of. So much so that, even though we’ve ended our split tape series, we didn’t hesitate to jump at the chance to release a tape split between two of Dominic Marion’s (“Mod”) other equally accomplished projects. Not so much a split tape, as a split artistic personality that combines into a unified statement.
With Totenbaum Träger he explores sometimes blissful, sometimes harsh guitar drones and noir-ambient spaces. A post-rock soundtrack for a lost David Lynch film.
The chamber trio Projet Muet travel similar roads to both Totenbaum Träger and Mad/Mod, but to different destinations and by different modes of transportation. Projet Muet rides waves of minimalist harmony on a raft woven from free-jazz and experimental no-wave. Churning, industrial thrum mix with meditative drones and zentropic bells.
FILE UNDER: post-rock, free-jazz, ambient, drone, chamber ensemble.
SIMILAR ARTISTS: Mad/Mod, Don Cherry, Brian Eno, Robert Fripp, Angelo Badalamenti, Ennio Morricone, Morton Feldman, Do Make Say Think, Tortoise, Silver Mt. Zion.
Listen and purchase at the Bancamp link below.
78 mins // Pro CD-R, thermal print // Sticker-sealed fold-out sleeve// Numbered edition of 50
1st edition SOLD OUT! See 2ND EDITION.
Neurinomes (a type of nerve tumor that can affect the inner ear) is the haunting debut by the duo of Montreal-based reed player Marc-Antoine Dagenais (Mad) and guitarist Dominic Marion (Mod).
Shimmering drones and angular melody lines dance and collapse against hazy ambiance and fractured glass surfaces; ecstatic meditations give way to deep noir melancholy and fiery avant expressionism.
The album revolves around improvisation, rewriting of improvised sounds, resonant mappings, organic acousmatic, combination tones; a process one may call recomposition, using recordings of spontaneous interactions as draft mapping, free to be reinvestigated and refined. All timbers were produced solely by miking acoustic sources. With the exception of a wine glass slowed down to a low drone, these soundscapes remain faithful to original acoustic production.
The duo has developed their own vocabulary through research of improvised music based on harmonic specters, thoroughly experimenting in the fields of peculiar textures and frictions that their instruments can provide. Marion often, but not always, treats his guitar signal through a certain range of effects, working a specter of textures, going from delicate jazzy chords to screaming organ like sounds. Blending with those amplified sounds, Dagenais uses different extended techniques (trumpet sounds, multiphonics, screams, circular breathing and others) on the saxophone and flutes as well as different parts of the instruments to produce unusual soundscapes.
File under: Chamber music, post-rock, free-jazz, late-20th century minimalism, soundscape, ambient expressionism, drone, harmonic resonance