Wednesday 20 July 2011

Spend A Raw Eternity In The Night Gallery

A psych album of prowess and precision coming out from Thrill Jockey is par for the course, but when two of the big guns of the past couple of years cross swords, its worth of rabid excitement. The friendship of Eternal Tapestry and Sun Araw's Cameron Stallones goes back to the Not Not Fun curated Neon Commune Fest, January 2007. Of course Stallones used to be in the much missed Magic Lantern (although their final album Platoon was a leviathan of a record that made our top of 2010 lists) so this connection was almost inevitable.

Fast forward to Austin for last year's SXSW when Eternal Tapestry shared a bizarre afternoon parking lot gig with Sun Araw. The session took place in a large TV studio on the University of Texas campus, with the band setting up in a big circle. The line-up was Dewey Mahood and Nick Bindeman on guitars, Jed Bindeman on drums, Ryan Carlile on tenor sax, Yoni Kifle on bass, and Cameron Stallones on keyboard and trademark flute. After a brief discussion of mood, the six musicians improvised together for 45 minutes continuously. The music is heard as played that evening - no overdubs, and only a few edits to create a four section suite for the LP release. The piece is titled Night Gallery (on Thrill Jockey), in homage to the surreal early 1970's TV show produced by Rod Serling of Twilight Zone fame. It was this program that the six musicians fell asleep to, and woke up with, during their five day stay in Austin.

And to be honest, it is this kind of surreal happenstance that allows true brilliance to be born. Night Gallery feels orchestrated, not the possibly disastrous jam that it actually was, and it encapsulates the cold hard fact that these two artists are brothers from another realm, one that we are not, and may never be, fully privy to. Nevertheless, they are willing to take us far into the ether as our fragile mortal souls will allow us - and you should be eternally grateful for that.

Night Gallery can be gleaned here. Do it - it's a fantastic ephemeral psych journey.

Eternal Tapestry & Sun Araw - Night Gallery III

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