>> EVEN OLDER NEWS
TO BLACKEN THE PAGES remixed by Alan Butler - free downloads!
Alan Butler has done some kewl remixes of TBTP's work from 'North', with more to follow. First up is a 25 min remix of 'I am screes on her escarpments'. Check out Alan's Bandcamp page for the downloads:
TO BLACKEN THE PAGES on the cover cd of The WIRE October 2010
THE WIRE October 2010 out now
The Wire Tapper 24
All copies of the October 2010 issue of The Wire will come complete with an exclusive free CD attached to the cover, The Wire Tapper 24, the latest volume in the acclaimed series of new music compilations. As with previous volumes the CD, which has been compiled by Shane Woolman, Lisa Blanning and Andy Tait and is packaged in a heavy duty card sleeve designed by The Wire's art director Ben Weaver, contains a range of new, rare or exclusive tracks from across the spectrum of the kind of underground/outsider musics covered in The Wire. THE WIRE
FROM THE MAGAZINE:
To Blacken The Pages 'Sodium Haze' From Bogland (Colony) 'It's a panoramic overload of emotion, as immense as a visit to a Bronze Age city or a legendary lake, a music that drenches listeners and leaves them ensnared in its clutches and weakened with sonic exhaustion,' wrote Julian Cope, about To Blacken The Pages. This is the solo project of Paul McAree, Dublin musician and curator, who bases his work on chance, randomness and mistakes. Layering looped guitars, 'Sodium Haze' at times recalls Argentine composer Gustavo Santaolalla's soundtracks for Alejandro Innarritu's films (Amores Perros, 21 Grams, Babel).
Bogland is something I am working on now, and hope to release early 2011. Recent recordings are more experimental in nature, after the ferocity of North I've been trying to work in a simpler way with guitars, making the experience more immediate and direct. I'll post up some updates on progress soon... P
TBTP & Korperschwache free track on CD with Dutch magazine Gonzo (Circus) now!
Abandoned Car at the White Cliffs of Dover is one of the new tracks from the now available double collaborative album between TPTP & Korperschwache, and is also featured on the latest issue of the CD free with Gonzo (Circus). Check it out here:
To Blacken the Pages & Korperschwache: A Way Dark
Album orders + FREE track download
Download Inside the Mariana Trench for FREE right now.
Inside the Mariana Trench is one of the new tracks from the now available double collaborative album between TBTP & Korperschwache. Get it completely free over at our Bandcamp page.
Click HERE for the free download.
Over at the Store page you can now order K&TBTP's 'A WAY DARK' album.
iTunes, emusic, Rough Trade, Aquarius, Crucial Blast
A WAY DARK is also currently available on iTunes and emusic, with copies also available in Rough Trade London and Crucial Blast. Aquarius will be selling copies soon.
Press for A Way Dark - Rock Sound and Rock-a-Rolla. More soon.
A WAY DARK
9 November will see the release of a collaborative double album between Austin Texas-based Korperschwache and Dublin's To Blacken the Pages. Recording began in late 2008 and saw the two artists work in directions neither have previously explored - from lighter, shoegaze inspired tracks, to harder, more abstract compositions, and of course exploring the juxtaposition of each artist's extreme guitar work. The final track is a 38 minute opus called 'Stranded in the Hertzsprung Crater'. Colony Records (Dublin) will release the 10 tracks over 2 CDs on 9 November 2009. Album is called 'A Way Dark'
KORPERSCHWACHE & TO BLACKEN THE PAGES: A WAY DARK
2 x CDs
Sonic Kingdom (11:20)
Black Dawn (9:51)
The Fall of Popolac (8:18)
A New Seat in Hell (11:58)
Abandoned Car at the White Cliffs of Dover (8:23)
Inside the Mariana Trench (5:20)
Absent Friends (7:53)
Stranded in the Hertzsprung Crater (38:33)
Pre-order direct from this site from 1 November - all orders sent out early and include an exclusive postcard.
Hear the complete track 'Abandoned Car at the White Cliffs of Dover' from A WAY DARK on TBTP's MySpace page.
26 SEPTEMBER 2009 : :
Download Crow's Nest for FREE right now.
The vinyl version is available to buy direct from here at the store page - a lush heavy duty vinyl, complete with handmade oversized obi strip, and bundled CDR containing an alternate version of the second track. This longer version comes with the vinyl only.
Click HERE for the free download.
More freebies to come really really soon.
NEWS : : 11 July 2009.
Making some changes to the website over the coming weeks - plus a few sweet goodies to come real soon.
More shop news - setting up some stuff for sale over at my Discogs page - TBTP stuff plus also some stuff from other bands - labels I've taken stuff from and also doubles of cds I have etc. Lots more to follow- I just haven't had time to organise yet.
Also some fresh reviews for recent releases below - more to follow.
Aquarius have taken a big bunch of recent releases including Crow's Nest, so you can check those over at their site. Will post the Crow's Nest review when it goes up.
27 June 2009
News - working on collaborative album with Korperschwache, should see the light of day autumn 2009. Really excited about this - a record which sees both artists exploring unexpected areas and occasionally more subtle sounds. Needless to say its also pretty damn heavy too.
Also working on new TBTP material now which should come out later this year, maybe at the same time as the above.
TBTP releases available from Rough Trade London, Aquarius Records, Crucial Blast and The Omega Order. Older releases also available from Road Records Dublin. Of course, all releases available direct from the TBTP store and Colony Records store - occasional goodies on offer and thrown in just for the hell of it.
We've also taken stock of some pretty cool releases by some fine folks in other bands and labels - haven't had a chance to put these in our store yet, but hoping to do shortly. Some pretty sweet sounds on the way.
1 JUNE 2009: CROW'S NEST: 12" VINYL + CD - OUT NOW
Crow's Nest' is a 12" vinyl record - our first - the A-side of which was part of an exhibition in Dublin (see below). Release date 1 June and available direct from here right now.
2 long pieces of music - much more abstract pieces than before, the medium offering the possibility to do something new. The record will also come with a CDR of the audio, but will be different, the 2nd track presenting a much longer version of the B-side track, 'Crow Sun'. Version of this on the 12" is 12'25", version on the cd is 15'31". For the 12" the first few minutes were cut out - you can be the judge as to which version is the better for it. CD version is also mastered differently.
12" in black disco sleeve with handmade wide obi-strip style wrap around the release, all within clear pvc sleeve. Black-bottomed CDR with info on charcoal card within black envelope.
12 Euro including postage to Europe and 16 Euro world. You can get this at the Store page right now. Limited release on this one - Rough Trade shop in London will stock it, and Aquarius in the US.
"Someone said once that my music sounded like it was made alone in a dark room - I guess it is! How a track gets made depends from song to song – I usually just pick up a guitar, hit the record and just start arsing about. I hate rehearsing stuff, hate having to re-do takes, hate having to learn any structures."
To Blacken The Pages, a one man avant garde project founded by Paul McAree – a man anyone interested in the slightly more out there aspecs of Irish art and music would do well to look up. His most recent album, North, was released in February of this year and is the prolific Paul’s fifth release. Previous work has been hailed by Julian Cope, who described it thusly, “Creeping around the walls, seeping deep into your cupboards and drawers, the music of To Blacken The Pages dissolves linear time and swallows all misery whole.” Sounds like something I wanna know more about.
Is TBTP Ireland’s answer to Sunn O)))? Is nebulous abstract sound collage really music? These are the things we try to find out...
Connected: Firstly, the tough questions: What do you think you're doing? Call that music? What's wrong with an acoustic guitar, three chords and a rhyming dictionary?!
To Blacken The Pages: Christ. I've never been interested in the “3 minute pop song”, or at least only sometimes. I'd buy a single and always give the a-side a quick listen before wanting to flick over to the other side and see what the band was really made of. Albums were the same - I could always barely hold back from wanting to skip ahead to the, like, second-last track where everyone's hopefully letting their hair down.
C: What were the major influences which led you down the ambient/abstract path? Was it the likes of Dylan Carson (Earth) and Stephen O'Malley (Sunn O))), KTL, Khanate, etc.), or was it the voices in your head?
Oddly, my influences came more from the likes of the Jesus and Mary Chain and My Bloody Valentine. JAMC's "Barbed Wire Kisses' has had more influence on me than any other record. I played 'Mushroom Head' so many times I wore the tape out. Other influences came later - its funny, as you start going down certain roads you notice other people making similar material. For example, I only belatedly picked up on Expo 70 because I was compared to them, but now, its like, yeah, that's so cool!
C: Can you lead me through the creation of one of your songs? F'rinstance, a 13-minute epic like 'I am screes on her escarpments' - what comes first and how does the idea develop?
TBTP: Someone said once that my music sounded like it was made alone in a dark room - I guess it is! How a track gets made depends from song to song – I usually just pick up a guitar, hit the record and just start arsing about. I hate rehearsing stuff, hate having to re-do takes, hate having to learn any structures. I usually just start and see where it goes. So then I'll have a central core around which I build other instruments. Sometimes other instruments will take the lead, 'The Urgency' for example, started life on the bass guitar first. Sometimes I'll have a general feel for something - I'm just in the mood to record something, but never quite sure how it'll work till I get the guitar out, other times, I'll have a real sense of wanting achieve something- the song 'Alien' was called Alien because I had watched the film on my own really late one night with a few beers, and afterwards knew exactly what I wanted to do, that is, in a pissed state, blow up my amp by pushing the damn thing way too hard!!!
C: How much actual song-writing/structure goes into your music and how much of it is improvisation?
TBTP: Mostly its improvised, but thats improvisng with some desire to to dress it on a structure. I've done a few completely structureless pieces, but I've never been entirely happy with them. At the back of my mind is something of a core which may or may not emerge as the song progresses. I guess I'm interested in music which teases with a sense of structure.
C: What do you hope to achieve through your music? Personally, professionally(?) and so on...
TBTP: Its the old fine line between noodling away in a dark room and being on an endless world tour! Right now I'm still happy to just have the opportunity to put out some music, as experimental as I want - and just knowing there are a small number of people around the world who like what I do blows me away. Having said that I'm going to mix things up a little bit soon - I'm working on a double album with Korperschwache, which is really great fun, and I'd like to do more of that. After 5 cds of just me, collaboration seems like a way of keeping off the cobwebs. I would like to play this music live too, but we'll see - there's a lot of pressure within the industry to perform live, and to my detriment I've been resisting it, as I've tried prove its not essential. But still, I'd like to unleash TBTP upon some unsuspecting gig-goers at some point. I'd also like to see what happens when other performers would step in and take on aspects of music and make it their own, creating a new dimension in a live setting.
C: Can we expect you to appear as a guest on a Sunn O))) album anytime soon?
TBTP: I doubt it! I don't know those guys. But what they do is cool. Sunn O))) are an interesting phenomenon - on the one hand they've helped to expand, bring attention and respect to what was a relatively small scene and expand it in many ways, and on the other they've been the focus of an incredible media expectation and benchmark against which all others are compared. The forthcoming media interest for their new album is astonishing, its been a rising reverence for the last few months now. As far as most media are concerned, if you hold a note for longer than 5 seconds you are a Sunn O))) wannabe and, ipso facto, shite. I can easily get fucked off about that, but I'm trying not to let lazy reviews get to me so much...
C: How much drugs? Too much drugs?
TBTP: Ah, tamazepam, bethedrine, halcion, seroxat, cipramil, tianeptine, restoril, sarafem, venlafaxine, escalitopram, cogentin, prozac, effexor, fluvoxamine, trilafon, citalopram, alaproclate, bupropion... No seriously, a cheap addiction to Neurofen is as heavy as it gets at the moment.
C: Tell me about your other musical projects, Slaves of War Orphan Farm, curatorships, etc...?
TBTP: Slaves is just me again - I was going to try and pretend it was 5 of us and get friends to pose as band members but in the end just couldn't be bothered. Slaves is more of a band idea, and I guess plays more of a homage to certain influences - Les Rallizes Denudes, German Oak, etc. I wanted to create a no-strings-attached anything-goes just-enjoying-the-music environment, in opposition to TBTP which at the time was having a 'somber moment'...
I'm curator for Flood, a contemporary art project which was launched in 2008. At the moment its a venue-less space - we are commissioning artists to create work in a poster format which is then disseminated for free, though various galleries and pickup points, and is also posted out for free to anyone who requests it. Its an ongoing series, we'll hopefully keep producing 3 or 4 a year, as well as other projects.
I'm also project manager/curator for Breaking Ground, the contemporary art scheme for Ballymun. We commission artists to create artworks in collaboration with or in response to interaction with the community in Ballymun. We commissioned the Hotel Ballymun project last year which saw the conversion of the top floor of a tower block into a hotel for one month by artist Seamus Nolan, and soon we have a huge bronze sculpture by John Byrne - a fantastic piece which will see the figure of tracksuited teenage girl from Ballymun on a majestic horse. Its going to look amazing, and completely turns on its head the idea of who these heroic statues are for. Well, here we are - local, everyday people can be heroes too.
C: It might just be that I only recently discovered the world of drone, etc, but it seems to me that there's more and more interest in extreme or avant-garde music in the mainstream all the time... What are your thoughts on this?
TBTP: Yeah, I guess there is - I can kind of stand back and watch the spectacle, and see it rise and fall. I can't help but feel the media attention is a fad of sorts, they'll find a new genre to lick soon. While boundaries seem on the one hand to have expanded, on the other hand things are pretty narrow - I keep getting referred to as being 'ambient black metal' or somesuch, which is as much to miss the point as it is amusing. I've been reading a couple of magazines, and its awful really, some really cool bands are getting thrashed by critics because they wake up one morning and decide they've had enough of all the sunn-wannabees (see above), write awful reviews and say what they now want is for some musicians to start indicating or leading the way out of the post-drone egg-basket. Pleeaaassseee.....
C: What's next for TBTP and Paul McAree?
TBTP: I'm working on about 40 - 50 new TBTP tracks at the moment - maybe a new release in the autumn. I'm hoping there might be a 12" record in May or June, just 2 tracks. And then theres the double album with Korperschwache, we're still recording so maybe October or November 09 for that.
I'm in an exhibition in Draiocht in Blanchardstown in April and May which is loosely based on sound art - this will be a large installation of images, photocopies, 3 videos and an audio piece - its called Crow's Nest. The audio from that may appear on the 12" to come out in May.
I'm curating a few more Flood projects this year - in March a poster of 38 drawings of tits called 'My Berlusconi' by Flavia Muller Medeiros and in May a project by Terry Atkinson - I'm particularly super-excited about this one as Terry is (at least in my opinion) one of the most important figures in contemporary art, so that will be a personal milestone. Hopefully from this autumn we'll also organise the first of several exhibitions in an actual venue - the plan is to find ad-hoc spaces for each exhibition, be they run down, derelict, unused spaces, etc. Should be fun... and a bit of work...
Review on Creative Eclipse for NORTH
Anknüpfend an die letzten Veröffentlichungen von To Blacken The Pages, ist "North" eine noch mehr auf den Dynamiken von puren Gitarren- Rückkopplungen basierende siebenteilige Reise, hin zu den dunkleren Regionen des Lebens. Auch neu ist der Gesang auf dem dritten Stück "Give To The Sea, welcher sachte und ruhig dahinschwebt, während im Hintergrund die Gitarrenwand kontinuierlich anschwillt und lauter wird. Hinter To Blacken The Pages versteckt sich immer noch der in Dublin, UK ansässige Paul McAree, Künstler und Kurator. Die Gitarren auf "North" schwellen meist lange über Minuten hin, an – man braucht Muse und Hingabe um "North" richtig zu ergreifen, am besten in den Abendstunden, nach getaner Arbeit und in schläfriger Stimmung. Die Aufmachung von "North" ist fragmenthaft mit grobpixeligen, ausschnittartigen Bildern – sie stehen in Beziehung mit den langsamen, einzelnen Akkorde der dunklen Gitarre und fügen "North" somit zu einem ganzen Bild zusammen
A track off the recently released NORTH album will be on the free cd with GONZO (CIRCUS) magazine. Track is LOWLANDS. Think it's out now - haven't seen it yet...
Another revew of NORTH, from Ox-Fanzine. Only a vague idea what it says, but it gets 9/10 so it can't be too bad.
To Blacken the Pages: NORTH. 9/10. Ox-Fanzine March 2009
Nimmt man NADJA-Mastermind Aidan Baker als Maßstab, der seine Aufnahmen (ob eben mit NADJA oder solo) quasi im Zwei-Wochen-Rhythmus als „normales" Album, als CD-R oder sonst wie veröffentlicht, ist Paul McAree dagegen beinahe ein Lahmarsch.
Mit TO BLACKEN THE PAGES hat er es in knapp zwei Jahren gerade mal auf fünf Alben gebracht und das letzte, vierte, „A Semblance Of Something Appertaining To Destruction", ist sogar schon im Mai 2008 erschienen.
Wenn ihn diese „langsame" Veröffentlichungsweise aber davor bewahrt, kreativ auszubrennen und ihm zu so fantastischen Platten wie „North" verhilft, dann kann man McAree ruhig verzeihen, dass er nicht zwanzig Platten im Jahr mit seinem Gitarren-Ambient füllt.
Im Ernst: der direkte Vergleich mit NADJA kommt natürlich nicht von ungefähr; wie Baker holt auch McAree mittels einer Armada von Effektgeräten eine größtmögliche Anzahl verschiedenster Sounds aus seiner Gitarre, arbeitet mit Loops und ist sich der Effektivität einer Verbindung brachialer Feedback- und Noise-Drones mit Minimal-Elektronik bewusst.
Die dem ganzen Lärm zu Grunde liegende Schönheit aber, die NADJA-Songs so besonders macht, ist bei TO BLACKEN THE PAGES verborgener, die Gitarrenwände dafür brüchiger; die Stücke insgesamt also etwas sperriger.
Andererseits zeigen Teile von „North" aber auch, dass das eigentlich Offensichtliche manchmal erst greifbar wird, wenn man direkt darauf gestoßen wird: legt man unter Drone-Monster eine groovende Schlagzeug- und Bass-Begleitung oder versieht sie mit Gesang, werden daraus beinah „normale" Songs.
Review below taken from HEAD HERITAGE
TO BLACKEN THE PAGES North (Colony)
Anyway, enough of my complaining, instead we’re gonna commence this month’s review section by celebrating the return of Ireland’s To Blacken The Pages, whose new Colony Records album NORTH (www.colony-records.com) is something of a departure from when last they appeared here as January 2009CE’s Album of the Month. Retaining their huge ambient cavernousness, the afterburner buzzsaw guitars and all of the ponderous ‘limping storm God’ elements of previous releases, this new incarnation of To Blacken the Pages reminds me of an even more alienated Residents during their ESKIMO period. And although NORTH features several shorter pieces, the odd intoned vocal and a whole new occasional percussive element that sounds like some great beast playing the Polar Ice-cap with pieces of 20-mile-long hollow industrial tubing, by the middle of this lonely record, all signposts have been long lost, the psychic frost and pack ice forcing listeners to bundle up in all their warmest clothing. It’s an essential sound and hugely useful to those of you looking to access your inner Titan without shelling out on the full Gore-Tex, snow mobile and huskies.
Review below taken from The One True Dead Angel
TO BLACKEN THE PAGES North (Colony)
Sculptor (of both art objects and sound) Paul McAree returns with more epics of drone and reverb, but while the sound -- one part Skullflower to one part reverb abuse -- remains largely the same, there are some new elements in the mix this time around. The opener, "Crossing," fades in from absolute silence into a cavalcade of heavily-reverbed percussive sounds, sounding very much like a guitar being dropped repeatedly in the world's largest cave, while two tracks, "Give to the sea" and "Lowlands," feature vocals for the first time. The use of silence is the album's secret weapon; several of the songs begin with silence and take their time fading up and building to the inevitable tower of drone. "I am screes on her escarpments," the first epic song, opens with a more restrained version of the same sound strategy employed on "Crossing" and eventually blossoms into vast sheets of drone and feedback that billow for thirteen minutes like cosmic dust trailing in the wake of a comet. "Give to the sea" fades up into a ominous cycling drone and forlorn vocals that ultimately give way to more wailing feedback and writhing drones, while "Lowlands" -- another epic at nearly fifteen minutes -- opens with dark, clanging percussion that's eventually joined by clattering sounds, guitar notes repeating endlessly, and a steadily growing thickness in the mordant guitar sound. By the time vocals appear, nearly ten minutes into the track, the droning, distorted guitar sound is so enormous that the vocals appear submerged, buried under ten tons of guitar-driven fear. The best track on the album, though, is "To be Dead," in which the fiery blasts of feedback and furnace drone play out over a simple but hypnotic beat for fifteen minutes, lighting out for the far reaches of the cosmos, anchored only by the insistent rhythm track. The track also features some of his most bowel-scraping guitar, not to mention plenty of painful high-end feedback wailing. "Night Drive" is almost as long but not quite as apocalyptic, filled with drones that sound like wind roaring through giant pipes and more endlessly repeating guitar lines, a sound less about dread than painting pictures of abandoned satellites drifting through deep space. The album ends with "August," built around the same brand of percussive rattling that opened the album, neatly bringing things around full circle. As good as the band's back catalog is, this is by far McAree's best and most consistent release, and one of the best drone-rock guitar albums you're likely to encounter anytime soon.
'North' now available to buy from Aquarius Records - if you're in the States, you might prefer to get your dose of TBTP direct from them. Review below taken from Aquarius.
TO BLACKEN THE PAGES North (Colony)
The third part in an ongoing series of blackened drone guitar missives from Irish one man slow and low wrecking crew To Blacken The Pages. Fans of the first two TBTP records (None and A Semblance Of Something Appertaining To Destruction) are already well versed in the bleak abstract soundworld this guy can conjure, fusing the low end explorations of groups like SUNNO))), Expo '70, Bohren, Slomo and the like, with something a bit more psychedelic and space-y. Sure, TBTP is capable of unfurling some planet crushing black hole heaviness, but also of tossing handfulls of notes into crystalline expanses of murky reverb, letting the various notes flutter and fall, before tossing out another handful. The first two tracks on North are perfect examples, "Crossing" and "I Am Screes On Her Escarpments", the first begins as a swirling almost static field of slow shifting reverb and delay, peppered with percussive thumps and creaks, sent careening into the ether, while shards of clean guitar, sounding a bit like super mellow Keiji Haino, unfurl like clouds of grey smoke, while underneath, a guitar rumbles and whirs, gradually becoming more and more rifflike, ringing out a bit chaotic and noisy, before slipping into the second which begins with the same sort of reverbed stretch of echoey thumps and creaks, before the guitar thickens into a crumbling corrosive wall of swirling chordal hum and keening feedback, a roiling blackened bit of guitar ambience, infused with melody and moodiness and shot through with strange high end streaks and swoops that are probably effected guitars, but almost sound like children's voices here and there. Quite haunting.
The next few tracks take TBTP's sound in a different direction, the root again being shimmering guitars, but this time the focus is on the voice, a lazy drawled croon nestled down in the mix, that drifts along side the increasingly caustic guitar buzz resulting in a sound not unlike some strange Dead C / Roy Montgomery hybrid, a sort of sun baked noise drenched dronedirge slowcore. Dark and woozy and melancholy and way druggy and drowsy sounding. Later, "To Be Dead" introduces actual drums, and gets all propulsive, a lurching noise rock take on spaced out krautrock, but with the guitars in full on overdrive, a constantly swirling squall of feedback and psychrock freakout. And then the last two tracks are massive billowing clouds of coruscating buzz and skree, blurred into gorgeous multi hued smears of blown out guitar and a gorgeous hazy shoegazey drift, in fact the nearly 15 minute "Night Drive" might be one of the prettiest heavy guitar tracks we've heard in ages, anyone into Nadja or Jesu, will love it, it's like the slow motion metalgaze of those two outfits but stripped of drums and allowed to just sort of hover. So nice.
Needless to say, the drone and dirge and doom obsessed out there probably already added this to their shopping cart (or if they didn't yet, probably should now), anyone who bought the other two records definitely NEED this too, and folks not necessarily into metal, but who still dig on dark drifty hazy heaviness might be pretty into To Blacken The Pages, North in particular...
Below details on an exhibition I'm in opening this week. The show features a new audio piece called 'Crow's Nest' which I'll also be making available on 12" vinyl. Officially this will be available from stores on 1 June but as soon as I have it in my hands I'll make available from here - probably the beginning of next week or from 1 May. More info on vinyl coming later in the week - should be a really sweet thing, we're pretty excited about this.
Sounds Like Art
Preview Thursday 16 April 6-8pm
Sounds like Art is an exhibition of 7 new sound works by artists David Bickley, Jenny Brady and Andrew Fogarty, Maeve Collins, Michael Doocey, Aileen Lambert, Paul McAree and Fiona Reilly. Our relationship and response to sound and our experience of listening is explored in different contexts, some private, some public. From reverb to high pitch, from sounds of the sea to a cityscape, this exhibition will explore the familiar and the surprising.
David Bickely, Erebus & Terror
In May 1845 under Sir John Franklin, the 120 strong crew of the North West Passage expedition set sail from England on the HMS Erebus and HMS Terror. Using their ill-fated voyages and the speculation that surround the vessels’ disappearance as a starting point, Bickley has created a piece that ponders the question; what if they were able to leave a video record, would it make any sense or would it too have been infected with dark forces?
Michael Doocey, Falling Tone
Upon activation Falling Tone begins a 3 minute descent from 20,000hz to 0hz. Falling Tone relates to human experience in that it mimics the trajectory of gravity. This may evoke a sense of celestial anxiety; or appeal to the concept of a decline in human dignity.
Maeve Collins, The Sea Full In
Collins has created an audio track of the sea coming in and out. The soundscape of Draíocht’s surrounding forms part of the work, as it weaves into the fabric of the sound of the tides. The intended effect is to allow passers by and gallery goers an experience of the sea coming in and going out within in the local sound scape and the visual landscape of the industrialised and suburbanised centre of Blanchardstown.
Jenny Brady and Andrew Fogarty, Wellington Pentagram
Using the writing of Irish New Age author Jeremy Ajmes as a point of departure, the installation spatially and sonically represents the idea of an esoteric ‘occult grid’ which exist with the city planning of Dublin. The finished piece is a composition made with field recordings from meridian points of the Wellington Pentagram and other sound sources. The piece will be played through a custom speaker configuration.
Paul McAree, Crow’s Nest
McAree’s work explores the concept of Heroes through both audio and visual representation, in all-encompassing surroundings. His work attempts to contextualise - through a myriad of references - what possibly forms the makeup of personal and social identity in Ireland today. Images juxtapose historic Irish images of martyrs and peasants against contemporary images of rock bands and celebrity figures. Woven within this patchwork of visual references, 3 videos further juxtapose and re-present historic and contemporary images. Throughout this is an abstract guitar-based audio piece, which serves to negate and underpin the installation.
The audio from the installation has also been produced as a limited edition 12” vinyl record available from Colony Records www.colony-records.com
Fiona Reilly, So I Sat There, Again
Fiona has created a piece recording the commute she has made between her studio and Draíocht during the development of this exhibition. Each journey recording remains unedited and will be played through an ipod. Her piece proposes flip the concept of blocking out the noise of our daily commutes by listening to personal music players.
Aileen Lambert, Song for the Chapter House
This soundwork was created as part of a residency in Kells, Co. Kilkenny, and was presented in the ruins of the old priory as part of Sculpture at Kells, in August 2008. The soundwork comprises of a repertoire of vocalisations, and features the voices of Elizabeth Lebedova, Angela Hegarty, Rachel O' Sullivan and Ann Mulrooney.The chapter house is the room in which the general business of the priory was attended to, where the community of Kells Priory assembled and worked out their daily tasks and activities.
Draíocht, Blanchardstown, Dublin 15
April to June 2009
Looks like we're Album of the Month for January 2009 at Head Heritage. The Mightiest of Hails to Senior Cope!
Foxy Digitalis Review of 'A Semblance...' posted 14 January 09.
Check Foxy here
DEBUT CDR EP 'WAITING FOR THE NIGHT' BY 'SLAVES OF WAR ORPHAN FARM' NOW AVAILABLE FROM COLONY RECORDS WEBSITE ONLY. RELEASE DATE 10 NOVEMBER 2008. CHECK IT OUT AT THE COLONY RECS SHOP PAGE.
CD HAS 4 TRACKS. BLACK-BOTTOMED CDR, BLACK ENVELOPE IN BRONZE CARD WITH 2 STICKERS AND CONTAINED IN SILVER FOIL BAG.
PREVIEW NOW AVAILABLE AT LAST FM. CLICK HERE
November 10 2008 sees the release of the 'Waiting for the Night EP' available for the moment ONLY through mothership Colony Records site. We might expand this out, but for the moment its only here. Samples coming soon. Slaves is another side project of Paul McAree / To Blacken the Pages, with a more band retro-white-noise-Rallizes-worship-fiesta.
Rock-a-Rolla review, Jan 2009
NEW RECORD: "NORTH"
NOW TAKING ORDERS AT THE STORE PAGE
PRICE EURO €10 INCLUDING SHIPPING, ANYWHERE
SPECIAL CD + TSHIRT OFFER EURO €15
ORDERS NOW SHIPPING!
COLONY RECORDS announces the release of TO BLACKEN THE PAGES’ fifth CD, ‘NORTH’, release date 9 February 2009.
Building on from To Blacken the Pages’ relentless creative output, ‘NORTH’ sees the band step forward in a major way – significantly progressing the development of their sound. NORTH is TBTP’s most ferocious work to date, focusing on the dynamics of pure guitar overdriven sounds, while also witnessing a greater space and dynamic in the work.
‘Give to the sea’ sees McAree singing for the first time on a TBTP release, relaying a tender fear of the ocean, while backed up by a furious and ever rising swell of guitars. 'To be Dead', the title inspired by a Patrick Kavanagh poem, sees a deep drum machine and crushing bass knock out a deep pulse in the background while the guitars lock head to head in a 15 minute exploration of screaming harmonics, while 'I am screes on her escarpments' features a title borrowed from another Irish poet, Seamus Heaney. 'Night Drive' begins the ride out on this intense record, slowing the pace down but never once letting go of the ferocity within. Locked within this cacophony of noise is a beauty and tenderness which at once compliments and negates the other.
Tshirt is size large only. Image to right is a mockup, we haven't received them back from the printer yet. Printed with grey ink on black Fruit of the Loom tshirt.
3 TRACKS OFF 'NORTH' NOW AVAILABLE FOR FULL PREVIEW OVER AT LAST FM - LINK BELOW
AND FREE STUFF!
Happy New Year - here's the track 'Trek In' off the 'A Semblance...' record for free download. We've stuck this over on the Last FM site too, so you can download there for free.
If for some reason the link above doesn't work just cut and paste the following link:
REVIEW ON AQUARIUS RECORDS
TO BLACKEN THE PAGES: None
Highlighted last list, we had A Semblance Of Something Appertaining To Destruction, the most recent disc from Dublin, Ireland's To Blacken The Pages. Now we've got their prior release, None, released just a month or two earlier in 2008, which is essentially the part I to A Semblance's part II. Don't get 'em confused (and we'll try not to, too), 'cause they do look virtually identical, the same almost-black-on-black no-color scheme for the cover photo and logo. The black-on-black music is similar too, of course, but different and equally essential for anyone who loved the minimal doomdrone instrumental ambience of that other disc. And again, there's three tracks. 13:45, 16:10, and 8:06. Each stately, somnolent, fuzzed out and, this time, drumless... heavy in a restrained, spacey, spacious way.
Track one, "Alien", tiptoes in, super slow, individually suspended guitar notes one at a time connecting the dots of melancholic melody over a void of silence. Then, suddenly, the needle jumps. DISTORTION. An electric crackle and buzz. The song is still super sloooooow and sparse, but each note is now planetarily weighted with rumbling vibratory effect, surely speaker shredding if it all happened at once, and at volume. An underlying howling hum begins, buried beneath but gradually filling all that empty space with its own not so silent emptiness. The next piece, "None", starts with an eerie electric wind, and some sparse Earth-style guitar strum over it, reverberant and lonely, before sheer fuzzdrone kicks in, fuzzdrone nirvana to our ears, that continues in like manner on final track of the disc, "As If Forever"... Ah, yes, so glacially good. For fans of Earth, SUNNO))), Expo '70, Bohren & Der Club Of Gore, Slomo, Boris, Skullflower, Nadja, etc. All at their darkest yet dreamiest.
To Blacken The Pages is actually a solo project, the work of one guitar wielding, amp abusing man, Paul McAree. We're told he has a non-solo side project coming up, a band called Slaves Of War Orphan Farm (!) that is supposed to be a worthy offering of Les Rallizes Denudes worship! Can't wait to check it out...
[EARLIER REVIEW ON AQUARIUS RECORDS]
TO BLACKEN THE PAGES: A Semblance Of Something Appertaining To Destruction
The world needs another SUNNO))) or Earth like it needs, well, it doesn't. Nor does it need another Slint, or a Mogwai, or a Justice, or an Animal Collective. Every time a band blows up, suddenly a million bands are there to get sucked along in their wake. But never was this phenomenon more egregious than with the new wave of doom/drone/dirge outfits. At the risk of repeating ourselves again, it seems like every band, heavy or otherwise, that features at least one member with a "drone side project" or a "minimal doom side project", barely keeping ahead of the various people dabbling in back metal, but we digress.
Like most things, it probably seems easy, but isn't. The whole leaning your guitar against the amp and letting it go, sure we joke about that in reviews, but it's way harder than that. Compare the millions of ho-hum guitardrone cd-r's to something like the last amazing record by Vulture Club (we still have some, if you haven't bought one, you should, really). It's like night and day. So we're always pretty cautious when we hear about a new guitar drone group or some doomdirge record we oughtta dig.
But once in a while, a group comes along, who only just barely fit into that whole genre, skirting it, creating something totally their own, with just the merest hints of sounds more familiar, like all great bands, borrowing and stealing freely, but not just regurgitating those sounds right back at us, instead, spreading them out in some underground lab, pulling them apart, exploring how they tick, dissecting them, then attempting to put them back together again, with some of their own parts, some sounds and songs that have been fermenting in a dusty corner of said lab, the results then something new, a patchwork of sounds, that in the right hands, can be deftly woven into something beautiful, something dark and mysterious, something like this.
A Semblance Of Something Appertaining to Destruction is the latest from the mysteriously monickered To Blacken The Pages, part four of an ongoing series in sound, a sprawling dirgescape that owes much to meandering post rock, downtuned slow motion sludge, drifty abstract doom, and the sort of heavy doomic countrified sludge that Earth has been exploring over the last few records.
Three tracks, the shortest 11 minutes, the longest nearly 18, each a dusty, moonlit drift, simple minor key twang, slowed down space rock riffage, streaks of feedback and buzzing distant drones, swirling FX, layers of guitar fuzzy and druggy. The opener, more than Earth or SUNNO))) or any of those, sounds much more in line with Loop or Spacemen 3, a drugged out soporific riff, that lumbers a little too slow to rock, even a little too slow to constitute any sort of groove. Instead, it's a dreamy droney drift, heavy and mutedly chuggy, churning onward through a sky of whirls and swirls and rumbles, underpinned by plenty of buzz and fuzz and blur. It's like a super slowed down way more abstract Loop, which we probably don't need to explain to you is in fact a very good thing.
The second track introduces drums, which do little to up the propulsion, this is still weary, dreary and delightfully spaced out. A super spare, abstract doomy lope, the sky above criss crossed with high end guitar skree, the drums supporting another blown out slow motion space rock riff, the whole track trudging across an endless expanse of shimmery buzz and swirling space-y effects. Everything muted and mumbly and lazily mesmerizing.
The final, longest track, ditches the drums, returning to the lazy smoky sprawl of the opener, but this time even more abstract, the central guitar part, drifting well below the constantly shifting layers of sound, coruscating high end, over billowing deep rumbles, a glacial, stately, almost funereal anti-groove, perfect late night, drift off, trip out slow motion space rock krautdrone. Fans of Earth and Expo '70 will dig especially, as in some ways, this does sound like a strange hybrid of the two, although all of you into the slow dreamy droney heavy minimalism would do well to check this out.
Review of 'A Semblance...' from Skyscraper magazine. And fuck me if the music isn't made alone in a room at full volume too!!!
Current issue of 'Under the Radar' magazine has a cd sampler with a track by To Blacken the Pages. Track is an edited version of 'Trek In' off the current album, 'A Semblance of something appertaining to destruction'. Tracks can be downloaded here:
If Yr desperate for the cd above drop me an email and I'll bundle one in with any order of 'a semblance...' from this site - I've got a couple to spare.
A video made in collaboration with artist Rachel O'Hara. Images by Rachel, music by To Blacken the Pages. An early audio piece by TBTP, unfinished and unreleased...
RELEASED 12 MAY 2008
NEW CD BY TO BLACKEN THE PAGES: 'A SEMBLANCE OF SOMETHING APPERTAINING TO DESTRUCTION'.
CONTAINING 3 TRACKS, JEWEL CASE CD, INLAYCARD WITH ARTWORK BY TO BLACKEN THE PAGES
Following on from their third CD, 'NONE', released in February 2008, this release forms a sister record of sorts to 'NONE', and follows on from sessions begun in late 2007. 'A semblance...' continues their exploration into sonically drenched guitar work. From the sublime to the extreme, this release sees TBTP incorporate substantial drum work and sampled voices into the music, and sees them approaching a more refined sound through a repetition of simple motifs and structures. 'A semblance...' continues their expansion into the exploration of reverb, echo and delay, while being underpinned by a ruthless simplicity.
'A SEMBLANCE...' also available to buy from Road Records Dublin, Rough Trade shop London, ArchiveCD, Conspiracy, Foreshadow Poland, The End Records New York, Crucial Blast... see links for details. iTunes and eMusic also available...
Plan B magazine
From Julian Cope:
Okay, I’m gonna commence this month’s review section by eating a large portion of ‘umble pie’ and throw myself upon the mercy of Dublin’s finest band To Blacken the Pages (www.toblackenthepages.com), whom I unintentionally dissed in my last month’s Drudion Big-Up of our own Urthona. Shit, kiddies, only the very next day did this Irish ensemble’s brand new release drop through my letterbox, and – Sheesh! – but it’s easily the best Cunted Metal thing I heard in a new age! Entitled A SEMBLANCE OF SOMETHING APPERTAINING TO DESTRUCTION, this monstrous offering brandishes three epic instrumental missions for our delectation; the introductory ‘Trek In’, followed by the stentorian title track, concluding with my favourite of all, ‘Trek Out’. The record starts at the gates of the Underworld, takes you down for a guided tour, then leaves you there to have a go for yourself. Kiddies, I gots to scream this out loud, “Fuck Me It’s Good!” Me’n’the missus both musta listened to this sucker 15 times already (not even counting repeats). Again released on Paul McAree’s superb Colony Records (www.colony-records.com), To Blacken the Pages have, with this release, secured themselves a place in the hallowed ranks of the Uber Psychically Useful. Bravo gentlemen, U Dunnit!
To blacken the pages are a Dublin based hypnotic guitar drone/ doom and dramatic instrumental project of one Paul McAree,which manages to stand out from the pile of seemingly similar projects with it's ability to paint effective, varied and compeling sonic mood spaces to get lost in.
On offer are three tracks that each settle around the 15 minute mark each, with each having its own distinctive vibe and method of working within the fairly tight instrumental constraints. Opening up the album we have 'Trek In' which slides in with a chugging yet fairly clear sounding dark rock guitar tones with atmospheric feedback rise and synth drift in the back ground, as the guitar firms up its harmonic and riff structure your well and truly sucked in. As McAree shifts subtle, dramatic, building and often quite spacey tones around- it's simply in its building blocks yet executed with such grace, flare and sonic understanding. Next up we have the title track which rather brought to mind a slower more doomy rock Godflesh type vibe with it's bass wonderings, up-front simple drum pattern and traces of sampled /modified vocals, again it sucks you into it's vibe and keeps you there.
Lastly we have 'Trek out' which present such a hypnotic, gloomy and 'can't get enough of it' riff that seems to hum, buzz and simmer through you with great emotional depth and bleackness. Again it's using fairly simple instrument building blocks but manages to keep you completely captured in its blacked wings- as it sails, swoops and ebbs over its unfolding sonic landscape. With such a primal, pained and sombre air you feel like you could just walk and walk for evermore into it's potent and meandering guitar tones. It really is the blacked cherry on the top of the cake and the highlight of the album.
An album of great darkened atmospheric grace and feeling. McAree has the very special ability of being able to bleed real emotional intensity, his own sombre personality and depth from a genre that has become mighty crowded and cliched - something very special - so don't miss out!
A Semblance... reviewed by the One True Dead Angel:
Hailing from Dublin, Ireland, To Blacken the Pages (the solo noise-drone vehicle of artist Paul McAree) is certainly prolific -- this is the fourth TBTP release in less than a year, if my sense of time is correct. At three tracks and approximately 35 minutes, this is not the longest TBTP release, but in terms of sound it's every bit as much in the same vein as the earlier material, with minimal guitar figures expanding over soundscapes of hollowed-out, droning black ambient noise. The tone is closer to black metal than anything else, but the concept and execution owe more to mid-period Earth, Maeror Tri, and especially Skullflower. "Trek In" opens with a brooding guitar figure played over and over against a backdrop of wailing noise like a dying cyclotron, ending with several minutes of nothing but droing interstellar noise. At approximately fifteen minutes, the title track is a long journey through realms of blackened drone, and it pits an equally minimalist drum beat and ghostlike guitar fragments against more of the droing comsic howl, eventually adding a fuzzed-out riff and a few extra beats as the piece progresses, and remains remarkably engaging for something in which, technically speaking, not a hell of a lot is happening (or else is happening over such a long period of time that it's difficult to track). The title track makes it clear that TBTP's aesthetic is rooted as much in the exploration of extended time scales first pioneered by artists like Tony Conrad and Lamonte Young as in pure grinding space rock. "Trek Out" -- a variation of the same theme set forth in the opening track that's even longer than the track before it -- ends the disc with more mysteriously minimal riffing buried in cloudlike ambience and drone. Excellent, as always.
A SEMBLANCE... reviewed by Vonger Musikmagazin
Aus dem irischen Dublin kommt das Ein-Mann-Projekt von Paul McAree. Der vielseitig engagierte Künstler (Musiker, Gallerist, Fotograf) präsentiert hier nach zwei Debüt-CDRs und dem Album 'None' das vierte Werk auf dem eigenen Label. 'A semblance of something appertaining to destruction' entstand mehr oder weniger parallel zu 'None' und nimmt den Hörer mit auf eine Reise in gitarrenbetonte Klangwelten. Angelehnt an vor die allem Drone Doom Größe Earth spielt auch To blacken the Pages langsames und dahingleitende Gitarrenverzerrungen. Dabei sind sie allerdings nicht so langatmig wie Earth und melodischer als zum Beispiel Sunn O))), da die Gitarre nicht so extrem verzerrt wird und immer eine Harmonie in der Musik erkennbar ist. Das Booklet besteht nur aus einem in dunklen Grautönen bestehender Vermischung von verschiedenen Bildern zu einer Collage. Das Cover bildet dabei einen Hinterhof ab.
Die drei Stücke, zwischen elf und 18 Minuten lang, leben allesamt von dem Spiel auf einer Gitarre gepaart mit Hintergrundgeräuschen, Samples und akzentuierten Schlagzeugakkorden. Im ersten Stück 'Trek in' spielt die Gitarre einen sich immerfort wiederholende, leicht verzerrte Melodie, die nur aus sechs Tönen besteht. Dazu beginnt eine geheimnisvoll klingende Synthesizerpartie im Abseits immer lauter zu werden. Nach zweieinhalb Minuten dann die Erlösung für den Hörer, und es wird ein kleiner Wechseln in der Melodie vollzogen. Wenn man das Stück mehrmals gehört hat, wartet man regelrecht mit Spannung auf diesen Moment. Danach setzt das alte Thema wieder ein. Im Grundtenor erinnert mich das ganze an einen Western - gerade die unerträglich langen Minuten wenn sich die Kontrahenten gegenüber stehen und alles gespannt darauf wartet, wer als erster schießt. Im zweiten Teil des Stückes wechselt die Hintergrundmusik zu mehr dahinfließenden Tönen, welche die Gitarre mitträgt. Sofern man bei dieser Geschwindigkeit des Spiels von energisch sprechen kann, wird dies zumindest im Schlußteil des Stückes hörbar. Es gibt immer wieder Ausbrüche der Gitarre, die sich in den Vordergrund drängt. Am Ende klingt das Stück verzerrend aus - gleich dem (übertrieben) Geräusch in einem Bienenstock.
Das Titelstück beinhaltet eine Melodie, die nur aus zwei, zeitlich versetzten Schlagzeug- und Beckenklängen besteht (entfernt langsamen an Herzschlag oder Atmung erinnernd). Dazu offenbart sich im Hintergrund abermals eine schrill verzerrte Klangwelt und so langsam beginnt auch die Gitarre, in diesem Gemisch mitzumachen. Dies ist auch das einzige Stück, in dem 'Gesang' zu hören ist. Es wird allerdings nur ein paar Mal eine kurze Textzeile wiederholt, die für mich wie 'Wer hat hier erbrochen?' klingt - dafür würde ich aber nicht meine Hand ins Feuer legen.
'Trek out' beginnt nur mit der Gitarre, die verzerrt und mit Hall belegt leise vor sich hin surrt. Danach wird der Hintergrund, wie schon beim ersten Stück, sehr verzerrend. Aber der Mitte kommt die Gitarre wieder etwas in den Vordergrund, bäumt sich am Ende noch einmal auf und läßt das Lied sanft ausklingen.
Wehrmut am 29.03.2008
Το να μουτζουρώνεις τις σελίδες είναι κάτι που ίσως να κάνεις όταν το κείμενο ή η περιρρέουσα κατάσταση δε σε εκφράζει. Ίσως πάλι να εκτονώνεις κάτι βαθύτερο που σε απασχολεί, αλλά και πάλι με κάτι τέτοιες κομπογιαννίτικες ευκολίες δεν εξηγείται η δημιουργική στάση του Paul McAree. Καλλιτεχνικά πολυπράγμων ο μόνος ιθύνων νους πίσω από την τέταρτη κυκλοφορία αυτού του ονόματος, με έδρα το Δουβλίνο παρουσιάζει τρεις συνθέσεις συνολικής διάρκειας σαράντα τριών λεπτών σε απόκοσμο, ατμοσφαιρικό ύφος που συνηθίζεται ως υπόκρουση κινηματογραφικού θεάματος. Αργό σε ανάπτυξη με μονότονα ηλεκτρικά έγχορδα αλλά και μηχανική μίμηση των ήχων του αέρα, δε διεκδικεί επ’ ουδενί τη θεωρητική και εκτελεστική μουσική επιβράβευση. Αν το ακούσετε σε κάποια στιγμή που θα επιτρέψετε στον εαυτό σας να ταυτιστεί με κάτι το εσώτερο, παρά με τις δυναμικότερες επιλογές σας, ίσως και να το βρείτε αρεστό.
NEW CD BY TO BLACKEN THE PAGES: 'NONE'.
CONTAINING 3 TRACKS, JEWEL CASE CD, INLAYCARD WITH ARTWORK BY TO BLACKEN THE PAGES
ORDERS ON THE STORE PAGE!
Following on from the success of our first 2 CDRs, 'NONE' continues our exploration into sonically denched guitar work. From the subtle to the extreme, this represents our most malevolent and beautiful work yet. This would also be the work to break our beloved Matamp amplifier... you can hear the glass tubes just about melting about three quatters way through the first track, 'Alien'. NONE continues the expansion into the exploratioin of reverb, echo and delay, while being underpinnned by a ruthless simlpicity.
Artwork by TBTP. The cover is an image of the old visitor centre at Newgrange, Ireland.
'NONE' also available to buy from Rough Trade shops, Archive, Conspiracy... see links for details. Also be available from iTunes and eMusic...
NONE reviewed by The One True Dead Angel:
To Blacken the Pages -- NONE
Ireland's favored purveyor of black guitar drone returns with three more long tracks of blackened sonic destruction. The opener, "Alien," starts with relatively clean single-note guitar drones, a slow and minimalist riff that is repeated for some time until it grows far louder and more distorted, until that increasingly distorted riff is matched by squealing feedback guitar that adds a dark ambient field around the centerpiece notes. As the piece evolves, the din in the background grows louder and more insistent, a swirling vortex of screaming white noise that threatens to bury everything else as it approaches. Eventually the arpeggiated riff disappears and all that's left is a humming, swirling vortex of black noise drone that mutates into waves of subterranean distortion and high-pitched howling; by this point we're fully into old-school Skullflower territory, where's it's all about violent power-drone and noise chaos, the audio equivalent of watching a solar system explode and then drift apart. This segues into "None," which features more droning dark-ambient guitar and endlessly-reverbed chords that dissolve into clouds of noise and still more wailing interstellar drone. The final track, "As If Forever," is more of a celestial drone (although still plenty thick and loud), and every bit as heavy. So far TBTP is batting a thousand; those who didn't get enough of the molten-guitar heaviness of the recent Skullflower reissue might want to check this out.
And from www.creative-eclipse.com:
To Blacken The Pages ist Paul McAree. Nach zwei CD-R Veröffentlichungen ist "None" nun die erste richtige CD Veröffentlichung für Colony Records und den Künstler gleichermaßen. "None" enthält 30 Minuten und 3 lange Klangforschungen mit der Gitarre. Anfangs noch in der Nähe von Stimmungen die gut zum Dead Man Soundtrack (Neil Young) passen, verschiebt sich nach und nach der Fokus zu mehr verschrobeneren Ambiancen, die dann immer wieder im Verlauf der 3 Stücke zum Dead Man Thema zurückkehren und das gekonnt umgarnen, umspielen und uminterpretieren. Die dunklen Akkorde variieren in feinen Nuancen und werden über weite Minuten getragen und immer wieder neu unterbrochen und anschliessend wieder aufgebaut. Es ergeben sich dabei düster- dunkle Stimmungen. Visuell auch ganz dunkel und eher einfach ist das Artwork gestaltet, das dem Gesamteindruck noch mehr an Einsamkeit und Tristesse verleiht.
2 x debut CDRs, also available on iTunes and eMusic...
2 CDs in an edition of 100 each, hand made and numbered.
To Blacken the Pages 'The Urgency' marks not just this bands debut release, but also the first release from newly formed Colony Records. The Urgency presents 1 massive track clocking in at 47 minutes. Beginning with luscious, gently lulling guitars, it becomes saturated with a droning holler of feedback. The Urgency is a testament to failed hopes and dreams, residing somewhere between Earth's Thrones & Dominions and Skullflower.
Foldout cardboard sleeve, hand numbered in an edition of 100.
And we started again, as if nothing had happened before
And we started again, as if nothing had happened before presents 3 tracks, the first, The Shadow which Remains, crashing straight into 17 minutes of feedback and overdriven, burnt out riffs. The second track, I saw you it / and slid away, is 35 minutes of fucked guitars and bizzarrely, about 10 minutes in, a Sisters of Mercy style drum machine. Halfway through the track breaks down into full-on meltdown with a luscious, fuzzed out ending. And then we changed our minds finishes things off with a 6 minute, one note, amp blender.
Foldout cardboard sleeve, hand numbered in an edition of 100.
Each disc in an edition of 100. NOTE: THE URGENCY now almost sold out, last few left.
The first 60 of each printed on brown card, with 20 each on green card and 20 on charcoal. The print on charcoal is a little darker as you may expect. Images and ordering on the Store page.
Reviewed by The One True Dead Angel:
To Blacken the Pages -- THE URGENCY [Colony Records]
Lots of bands get compared to Skullflower; few of them really deserve it. This is one of the few that does. Based in Dublin, Ireland, the "band" is actually the work of artist and curator Paul McAree, whose background as a visual artist gives him an eye for detail that carries over into his sonic architecture on this disc, the band's debut. The disc is one long track (approximately 47 minutes) that opens quietly with droning processed guitar stuck in repeat-and-fade mode as howling bowed guitar rises and falls around the ping-pong noises; over time, the work grows noisier and more chaotic, with heavily-reverbed guitars taking on an enormous heft as the sound grows more cosmic and interstellar. The piece takes its time in unfolding, but gradually grows in density, eventually coming to resemble something akin to the drifting celestial sound of mid-period Skullflower (think CARVED INTO ROSES with a more cathedral-like tone and heavier reliance on efx processing). About midway through, the sound takes on a muted noise-drone more in keeping with the sound of OBSIDIAN SHAKING CODEX, all splintered noises being sucked into a vacuum like a whirling hall of knives funneling down an endless drain, a sound that finally settles into more a more ambient style punctuated by intermittent clanging. Eventually things quiet down and return to the beginning aesthetic of lonesome guitars pinging and shuddering through lots of delay as everything begins to slowly but surely revert to a more static desert of drone, a drone whose density lessens until the the piece ends as it began, with sonic rumbling that fades away, completing the circle. Great stuff that leans more toward the ambient space-drone end of things without ever becoming too sonically violent, and definitely worthy of attention for those who miss Skullflower's earlier adventures in formless space-drone. Limited to 100 copies and comes in a letterpress folding booklet of sort with excellent graphics.
To Blacken the Pages -- AND WE STARTED AGAIN, AS IF NOTHING HAD HAPPENED BEFORE [Colony Records]
The band's second disc is a bit noisier and at times far more "rocking" -- and it's also broken into three pieces of varying size as opposed to one long chunk of interstellar drone. The first track is approximately seventeen minutes of the same kind of metallic space-drone featured on the first album, only heavier and darker; with plenty of the same kind of amorphous, fuzzed-out black drone that made Skullflower great. The best (and longest, taking up most of the album) track is the second one, opening with a hollowed-out, rhino-sized guitar drone that is eventually joined by monochromatic beats and gets some serious skronk on before finally ascending into the reverberating sound of space cathedrals. The final track, around seven minutes long, is a more zoned-out affair, with lots of rhythmic fuzz and shrill reverb-heavy bleating, like a spaceship set on hover and stun. All of it is an excellent collection of guitar-driven zone 'n drone calling up fond memories of old-school Skullflower. Like the first disc, this comes in a nice letterpress foldout package and is limited to 100 copies.
Fuck Yeah! Check out The One True Dead Angel at:
And from the Arch-Drude himself, Mr Julian Cope:
Anyway, back here in 007’s present day rock’n’roll scene, things continue to look up (or down, if I’m being utterly true to my metaphor) with such a slew of essential new releases that I feel almost guilty for naming only six this month. However, I’ll commence with THE URGENCY, the superb debut album by Dublin’s To Blacken The Pages. Comprised of one single 47-minutes epic, this awe-inspiring solo Sunn Mustang guitar-fest manages to invoke that same exhilarating Zoroastrian burning as early Ash Ra Tempel, without even once sounding less than entirely itself. Creeping around the walls, seeping deep into your cupboards and drawers, the music of To Blacken The Pages dissolves linear time and swallows all misery whole. Grab thyself a copy from www.toblackenthepages.com or search them out at www.myspace.com/ toblackenthepages.
Sweet. Be sure to check out Head Heritage, for an in dispensible guide to all things sonic...
And from www.creative-eclipse.com:
Hinter To Blacken The Pages verbirgt sich Paul McAree aus Dublin in Irland. Wieder einmal hat sich hier jemand vorgenommen, Musik zu machen, diese schön und hochwertig zu verpacken und auf dem eigenen Kleinstlabel herauszubringen. Erstes Ergebnis ist nun "The Urgency", ein auf 100 Exemplare limitiertes und numeriertes Kleinod in einer bräunlichen Kartonhülle, die dunkel bedruckt ist. Wirklich gelungen und erinnert etwas an die Aufmachungen des Archive Labels. "The Urgency" enthält einen einzigen, langen und massiven Track mit über 47 Minuten Spielzeit. Das Stück beginnt mit ausufernden, üppigen Gitarren und erinnert von der Stimmung immer wieder an Neil Youngs "Deadman" Soundtrack. Weite Landschaften, Einsamkeitsgefühle etc. Nach einigen Minuten gehen die Gitarren in laute Feedbacks über, die wie Gewittergrollen sich hin und her bewegen und im Raum verteilen und über den Hörer stürmisch und machtvoll hinwegbrausen. Bassige Dronen vermengen sich mit dicken, schweren Rückkopplungen und wälzen sich so auf und ab. Dabei bilden sich Schichten um Schichten von dicken Klangwellen, die dann nach und nach wegziehen, abebben und zerbröckeln und sich in den Weiten des Raumes verlieren. "The Urgency" von To Blacken The Pages hat auf jeden Fall mein Interesse am Schaffen von Paul McAree geweckt, mehr Infos auf toblackenthepages.com Rating: 8/10
Check out: www.creative-eclipse.com
TBTP / Paul McAree music in installation in London now over... version of the audio to appear on new TBTP release Autumn/Winter 2008 (yes, recording now... its gonna be a heavy winter...)
CASEY & MCAREE:
HEAVIER THAN A COFFIN ON YOUR SHOULDER
19 JAN - 23 FEB 2008.
THE AGENCY, LONDON
The Agency is pleased to present a new collaborative installation and series of works by Irish artist duo Casey & McAree.
Casey&McAree’s work rises from post-punk inspirations as well as references to the Irish troubled historical and cultural legacy. The work is highly theatrical, the installation functions akin to a mise-en-scene both as a complete vision as well as paying credence to the making-of. For Mona Casey and Paul McAree the collaborative/ performative process of making work is as important as the final piece itself.
Hence the exhibition begins with a video diptych documenting a performance, continues with a light-piece spelling Screaming Skulls Putrid Hatred and culminates in a large sculptural installation. The sculpture rises from a path of latex skulls and reveals an apocalyptic rider on a stag, and is complete with a multi-speaker, rumbling drone-work created by McAree. Made from cardboard remnants the life-size stag is both regal and dilapidated. The faceless rider wears a dunce or Capirote, a conical hat, which during the Spanish Inquisition was given to heretics to wear in order to ridicule them but later took on another dark meaning with its association with the Ku Klux Klan. The Stag also has iconographic meanings, both within Celtic mythology and later as part of Christian iconography. St Eustace saw a stag with a cross appearing between his antlers. This inspired his conversion to Christianity and subsequent persecution and death. The artists play with poignant iconography, religious and historic connotations, albeit transposed into a diasporic world where materials are not precious, yet thoughts and cultural ciphers inherently remain powerful.
Casey & McAree are evoking a world of dubious morals, danger and death in a gothic manner, which becomes a stage set for the world’s malaise recounted with images. The dark iconographic connotations also echo more recent transgressions against humanity in Iraq. Casey & McAree’s Irish sensibility translates this in a poignant manner of remembering continuous resistance to the eradication of indigenous cultural values. The work comments on global identities being forged through localized wars and rapid re-alignment of cultures through external influences and conflict. Playing on multiple meanings their works become universal. In parallel their sub-cultural references to graffiti and music as well as the poverty of materials used speak of the transformation of iconography into a contemporary unstable environment.
Whilst both artists pursue their independent practice, Paul McAree as a painter and Mona Casey as a multimedia artist, they come together regularly to create a folk-like rendition of their common cultural references. Casey & McAree’s common practice comes across like a powerful exorcism. Together they find the strength to dispel popular myths, disseminate inciting truths and find a new language of visual expression, which conveys these concerns with a rigorous and yet poetic conceptual language.
Paul McAree and Mona Casey have made collaborative works since 2001. In 2005 they founded Colony, an artist run space in Birmingham, where they have shown alongside a host of invited artists.
The Agency.Contemporary, 15A Cremer Street, London E2 8HD
E: firstname.lastname@example.org T: +44 20 7729 W: http://www.theagencygallery.co.uk