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På skive


«To Speak»
«Now That You’veFound It»

Aaron Turner is known as the guitarist of the American metal band SUMAC and the ambient-noise band Old Man Gloom, the founder of Hydra Head Records and o0-founder of SIGE Records, but over the last decade, he has increasingly focused on improvisation. To Speak is the third release of solo guitar-based material under his Turner name, and was recorded at Avast! In Seattle in February 2019, with additional recordings done from January to March 2021. Turner did also the abstract cover art that captures faithfully the spirit of To Speak. It is his second album for the Austrian Trost label after Keiji Haino and SUMAC’s Even For Just The Briefest Moment / Keep Charging This «Expiation» / Plug In To Making It Slightly Better from 2019.

Turner dives on To Speak into subconscious playing and the deeper possibilities of the electric guitar. The seven pieces vary in timbre, volatility, and volume while being collectively rooted in the core principle of expressionism. All the pieces were free improvised, devoid of any premeditation, with minimal post-performances treatments. During the process, abstract drawings of Turner were hung in the studio to act as visual cues and «displays of things from the interior manifested outwardly». He calls the final outcome «dramatic topography of the interior mind as articulated by the electric guitar, working in concert with the performer’s body».

To Speak acts as Turner’s way to communicate with his aluminum-necked baritone guitar and dimed tube amps, beyond language and verbal constraints, and an «opportunity to examine and exalt in the mystical aspects of life». In Turner’s case, these singular speech acts are often translated into anxious and aggressive drones, based on raw and primal riffs, best captured in the climatic and noisy last piece  «A Deep and Instant Regret». But «Granny’s Pendalogue» and «Brittle Expectancy» explores some tender, contemplative veins surfacing above the lurking noisy mayhem, and «Wingehaven Descension» offers a minimalist, highly vibrating drone.

Now That You’ve Found It is the first full-length collaboration between Turner and drummer-percussionist Jon Mueller (founder of the bands Pele, Collections of Colonies of Bees, and Volcano Choir), and their second after last year’s EP In The Falls (SIGE). Mueller dreamt that the duo played a concert in which they hardly played a note. «Yet the energy of the performance was very intense like something could blow at any moment». Turner and Mueller began to recreate this powerful dream at Turner’s House of Low Culture studio, then «reality became something to both work from and against».

The five distinct pieces sketch dreamy stormy waves of urgent, stormy guitar riffs and feedback and abstract resonant, metallic percussive sounds, pushing the envelope of Turner and Mueller’s practices into enigmatic, hallucinogenic sonic territories. The opening «The Yellow Bath» set the waves-like dynamics of rattling-resonant percussion and nervous guitar riffs. «Piteous Cur» suggests mysterious cinematic landscapes while «An Underestimated Climb» explores an impressionist and otherworldly industrial-tribal territory. «Lokum» dives into meditative waters of rattling percussion and deep feedback sounds. The last piece «Hatched» deepens the delicate ping pong of quiet yet noisy percussive sounds and the electric guitar’s train-like feedback sounds, until all blend, disintegrate and drown in an unsettling sonic swamp.

Eyal Hareuveni

Aaron Turner (g, tapes, eff), Jone Mueller (dr, perc)

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