Wooden Shjips, as it is today, started in 2006. The band self released a 10" and 7" that year and started playing shows shortly thereafter. Prior to 2006, Wooden Shjips was an experiment in primitive and minimalist rock. After it imploded, Ripley Johnson, guitar and vocals, assembled the current lineup of Dusty Jermier on bass, Nash Whalen on organ, and Omar Ahsanuddin on drums. West marks the first time the band recorded in a proper studio, as well as the first time with an engineer (Phil Manley). All previous recordings, either self-released, for Holy Mountain, or Mexican Summer were done more piecemeal in the band’s rehearsal studio. West was recorded and mixed in six days at Lucky Cat Studios in San Francisco. It was mastered by Sonic Boom at Blanker Unisinn, Brooklyn, with additional mastering by Heba Kadry at the Lodge in New York.
Brooklyn based Liturgy is Hunter Hunt Hendrix, Greg Fox, Tyler Dusenbury, and Bernard Gann. Aesthethica, their second album and third release, shows the band exploring, in greater depth, themes initially touched on by their critically acclaimed debut album, Renihilation. The band used every instrument, literal or figurative, to produce meaning and intensity, disregarding the genre boundaries of black metal, hardcore and experimental music.
After a whirlwind couple of years that saw them handle everything from a video game soundtrack to an opening slot with Tool, SF/DC's kingpins of tongue-in-cheek synth-rock are back with their 9th album, Thing, on Thrill Jockey. On it, "you get your sci-fi post-rock like 'Space Dock,' which would fit neatly on the Tron soundtrack, and 'Naked Singularity,' which is like the Knight Rider theme turned inside out and remixed with heavy metal drums. For a band that never seemed to take itself all that seriously, the aesthetic decisions Trans Am made ages ago fit with remarkably well with what's going on in music now. The nods to funk, the krautrock rhythms, the hints of electro, the occasional glitch in the beat-- all are just part of indie rock these days. There are times when Trans Am does it better than anyone-- fractured and funky "Arcadia", with its storm of delayed guitar set against locked-in drums and sequencer, is a good example, while "Interstellar Drift" does something similar, only with an insistent motorik bass and drum pulse. ... it's great to hear them again, doing what they do best." --Pitchfork
Lost in the Glare is Barn Owl’s second album for Thrill Jockey, and follows quickly on the heels of their acclaimed 12” EP Shadowland. Like Shadowland the album was recorded to tape by Phil Manley in San Francisco's Lucky Cat Studios. Lost in the Glare is made up of material composed over the course of a year and recorded in sessions throughout the winter of 2011. At the heart of the album's sound is the dual guitar interaction between Caminiti and Porras, a spiraling web of interlocking gestures that give way to bone rattling, monolithic progressions and dusty drifts. The mostly finger picked guitars weave in and out of each other in precise movements that recall the hypnotic influence of American minimalists.
John Colpitts (aka Kid Millions) is a Brooklyn-based multi-instrumentalist, composer and writer who is perhaps best known as the drummer for Oneida. Man Forever, his vehicle for exploring the outer limits of drum performance, was created to overwhelm, to investigate the nuances that bloom in the midst of repetitive music, and to act as a pure sound experience.
Originally based on the idea of creating a sort of punk-infused Metal Machine Music for drums, Man Forever has evolved from a five or six full drum set ensemble to something a lot more stripped down. Based on two drummers playing single stroke rolls on a single drum and the patterns that emerge from that, Pansophical Cataract is propulsive without a pulse. Patterns evolve and burst through the static surface of the material, much of which was produced by electric instruments, though "Ur Eternity" remains mostly drums with only a few bass tracks making an appearance. The sounds created by these instruments were based on the drones that Colpitts hears when he is practicing (the not fully conscious singing or humming that arises when one practices alone), and then augmented and enhanced by the other musicians on the record. The repetitive rolls create a phasing effect, a music in and of itself, and the dynamic shifts that occur when the other instruments enter become not mere notes, but grand events.
Eternal Tapestry started in the fall of 2005, conceived after original members Nick Bindeman and Dewey Mahood discovered their mutual love of Sonny Sharrock and Neu! It was these two vastly different artists who helped the band's sound take shape, free improvised guitar with structured rhythms and lots of layered ambient sound. They asked a few friends to join them in the band and so it began. Nick's younger brother Jed moved to Portland, Oregon in the summer of 2006 and joined shortly afterwards. At this time both Nick and Jed were playing drums as part of a six piece band, making very chaotic and dark psychedelic music. A few members came and went around this time, leaving the core trio of Nick, Dewey and Jed to continue on their own.