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SUNN O)))

Sunn 0))) And Boris

Altar - 2023 Reissue

    The vinyl version of this album has been out of print for over 15 years. This version will be from a new vinyl lacquer cut by Matt Colton.

    Altar is a collaboration album between experimental music groups Boris and Sunn O))), originally released on October 31, 2006 through Southern Lord Records (SUNN62). in addition to major players Sunn O))) and Boris.

    Altar also boasts an extensive roster of guest musicians/collaborators such as Kim Thayil (Soundgarden), Joe Preston (Earth, Thrones, Melvins, High on Fire), Phil Wandscher and Jesse Sykes (both of Jesse Sykes and the Sweet Hereafter) as well as long time Sunn O))) collaborators TOS Niewenhuizen and Rex Ritter.

    TRACK LISTING

    Side A : Etna
    Side B : N.L.T. , The Sinking Belle (Blue Sheep)
    Side C : Akuma No Kuma, Fried Eagle Mind
    Side D : Blood Swamp

    Sunn O)))

    Metta, Benevolence. BBC 6Music : Live On The Invitation Of Mary Anne Hobbs

      To enter the legendary John Peel studios was to enter a temple of music and experimentation, liberty in ideas and sound. The band was nearing the end of a long touring year around the Life Metal and Pyroclast albums.

      SUNN O))) had developed the compositions extensively, embracing the formative concepts of the Life Metal album conceptually and emotionally, but actualised and evolved into vast, open and bright hypersaturated arrangements. Particularly the pieces the band chose to perform on this recording: Troubled Air and Pyroclasts. The former enriched into a total aspect of the band's ethos and form in many ways, and Pyroclasts had evolved to become all-inclusive radiation of O))).

      The radiation embraces collaboration and freedom of interpretation by each player, within a structural format of the massive monuments of sound and distortion which define SUNN O))). Anna Von Hausswolf and her band had accompanied SUNN O))) on the UK leg, and Anna joined SUNN O))) in the studio on synths and with her tremendous voice on the Pyroclasts pieces.

      Stephen O’Malley (Electric Guitar, Minimoog Model D synthesizer)
      Greg Anderson (Electric Guitar, Sequential Circuits Prophet-5 synthesizer)
      Tos Nieuwenhuizen (Moog Rogue synthesizer)
      Stephen Moore (Trombone, Roland Junior-106 (mod) & Nord Stage (gaffed black) synthesizers)
      Tim Midyett (Electric Bass Guitar, Roland Juno-106 synthesizer)
      Anna von Hausswolff (Voice & Nord C2D synthesizer on Pyroclasts F & C#)


      TRACK LISTING

      CD Tracklist:
      1. Pyroclasts F 15.08
      2. Pyroclasts C# 14.11
      3. Troubled Air 31.44

      Vinyl Tracklist:
      A: Pyroclasts F 15:08
      B: Pyroclasts C# 14:11
      C: Troubled Air 00:00-19:00
      D: Troubled Air (continued) 19:00-31:44

      Sunn O)))

      Flight Of The Behemoth

        "Flight of the Behemoth" is the third album by sunn O))).

        The band collaborated with legendary Japanese noise artist Merzbow, who mixed tracks 3 and 4. The first ever use of a drum machine on a sunn O))) track is heard on "F.W.T.B.T.", a deconstructive interpretation of Metallica's "For Whom the Bell Tolls”.

        This punisher also features the first ever vocals heard as evoked from the band themselves.

        Contains full color 24”x36” folded poster and all this grimness is housed in a glorious case-wrapped gatefold jacket. Also contains the vinyl only bonus track: "Grimm & Bear It”.

        Vinyl/metal cut by Matt Colton (Alchemy Mastering) who also cut the vinyl for the bands 2019 releases: “Life Metal” & “Pyroclasts.


        TRACK LISTING

        1. Mocking Solemnity
        2. Death Becomes You
        3. O))) Bow 1
        4. O))) Bow 2
        5. F.w.t.b.t.
        6. Grimm & Bear It

        Sunn O)))

        Life Metal

          Continuing one of the main currents of the Sunn O))) concept, depth of exploration within collaboration, brought forth Hildur Guðnadóttir to the Sunn O))) constellation. Hildur is a sometime live collaborator of Sunn O))) and a renowned film music composer, former member of the bands Múm, Pan Sonic and Angel. She was a long time collaborator with the composer Jóhann Jóhannsson (RIP). Hildur lent her incredible attitude, as well as her voice, breath and electric cello, and the enigmatic haldorophone to the proceedings, culminating in the epic composition/concerto "Novæ". The cosmos clearly expands.

          At the very beginning of 2018 Sunn O))) co-founders Stephen O'Malley & Greg Anderson set out on a path toward a new album production. They were both determined to create new music and a new method of working in the studio, without forgetting the long and proud history of production and studio accomplishments forged during their first two decades of existence (and the members' own musical experiences out of the band's). One long term goal was completely clear: to record Sunn O))) with Steve Albini in his Electrical Audio studio. Steve took the call, said "Sure, this will be fun. I have no idea what is going to happen."

          Greg and Stephen gathered twice that spring for writing, conceptualising and riff woodshedding in the very building where the band was formed: Downtown Rehearsal in Los Angeles. Sonic cosmoses, flashes of abstract colour (synthetic and objective) and themes emerged from the mastered depths of saturation and circuits between the two players and their mountains of gear. Themes developed in terms of brightness and energy, while visionary cues pointed toward subconscious areas of practice and the pair realised they were exploring other zones of consciousness via sound/time and sound/energy manipulation. In early summer a pre-production session with full backline, as a trio with T.O.S. on Moog, was recorded at Dave Grohl’s 606 studios, Northridge, California.

          In July 2018 Sunn O))) spent just over two weeks in Chicago at Electrical Audio (Studio A) with Steve Albini at the helm. The results are astounding: there is breadth and luminosity of colour, it sounds vast. The sessions were impeccably recorded, authentically represented and completely accurate. The spectrum cracked the firmament open in clarity. An all analogue technique was used, they recorded and mixed on tape, providing a creative gateway for Sunn O))) to evolve their production methods into stronger, confident, performance based and a more logical executive process. The album was mastered and lacquers cut from tape in October by Sunn O))) ally Matt Colton at Alchemy in London. The LP version is a AAA album, recorded and mixed on tape via a completely analogue production, from the input of the band's amplifiers and the air coming off the speakers in front of the microphones to the needle touching the pressed vinyl on your turntable.

          Tim Midyett, a close friend of Greg and Stephen since the Seattle days of the early 90s (and member of Silkworm, Bottomless Pit and Mint Mile), joined in a foundational role tying earth to sound with wicked performances on aluminium neck bass and baritone guitars: instruments he helped pioneer playing back in the 90s (alongside Steve and Shellac of course). Dark matter is reality.

          Prolific new music composer Anthony Pateras arranged and recorded an incredible contribution of pipe organ for a piece titled "Troubled Air" (titled after an essay by author Aliza Shvarts, who also penned the liner notes for Sunn O)))’s Kannon) at Schlosskappelle, Schloss Solitude, Stuttgart. String theory of space.

          The resulting album is titled Life Metal. It is fully realised and completely real. The record was produced by the core of Stephen & Greg & arranged by the greater constellation Sunn O))). Paintings by visual artist Samantha Keely Smith graciously adorn the sleeve and provide a perfect suitable mask to the proceedings. They collide ideas of 19th century romanticism & late 20th abstract expressionism (mysticism) with Sunn O)))’s approach to metal (via reference points of Arbo, Turner, Delville, Richter, Turrel, Wou-Ki). Photographer Ronald Dick shot them in baths of light colour representing depth of sound pressure in the work.

          There is a second more meditative LP titled Pyroclasts, also recorded by Steve Albini in parallel, and which will be revealed in the autumn 2019 (more later) with all music performed by Stephen, Greg, T.O.S., Tim Midyett, and Hildur Guðnadóttir. 


          STAFF COMMENTS

          Barry says: It's another amazing LP from Sunn here, enlisting the help of Múm's Hildur Gudnadottir on vocal duties to superb effect. Her music has always been beautiful in it's own regard (Múm being one of my absolute favourites) and it's lighter touch and orchestral delicacy adds beautifully to the famously all-encompassing drone of O'Malley and Anderson. Absolutely stunning.

          TRACK LISTING

          LP1
          A) Between Sleipnirs Breaths (12.36)
          B) Torubled Air (11.45)

          LP2
          A) Aurora (19.06)
          B) Novæ (26.24)

          Sunn O)))

          Kannon

            Over the last two years SUNN O))) has released critically acclaimed collaboration albums with SCOTT WALKER and ULVER.

            Kannon is an album which was composed in the aftershadow of SUNN O)))’s most recent successes in immersive collaboration (the group worked with Scott Walker on Soused, Ulver on Terrestrials in 2013 and 2014) and also from the broad and influential wake of their epitimous Monolith’s & Dimensions .

            Kannon emerged both independently as a conceptual entity and with roots in the legacies of those projects, yet was fully realised years later, in 2015. The album is 36 minutes in length and consists of three pieces of a triadic whole : Kannon 1, 2 and 3.

            The album celebrates many SUNN O))) traditions ; Kannon was recorded and mixed with SUNN O)))’s close colleague and coproducer Randall Dunn in Seattle, in Studio Litho, Aleph and Avast! ; and the LP includes performances by long term allies and collaborators Attila Csihar, Oren Ambarchi, Rex Ritter, Steve Moore and others. And at the core the composition centers around the dynamic and intense guitar and bass interplay of SUNN O)))’s founders : Stephen O’Malley & Greg Anderson.

            It’s possibly the most figurative album SUNN O))) has created, which is unusual as they usually dwell in layers of abstraction and subjectivity. On the other hand the album is the most outright “metal” in years, drawing personal associations and memories of cherished albums like Panzerfaust and Twilight of the Gods again to the forefront of consciousness. At the third time it is very close to the cyclical character of mantra which the band has evolved into as a living creature, the enormity of intense sensate detail and manifestation of the live in concert face of SUNN O))), the organism that has flourished, metamorphosed and transcended tremendously over the past ten years.

            The literal representation of Kannon is as an aspect of Buddha : specifically “goddess of mercy” or “Perceiving the Sounds (or Cries) of the World”. She is also sometimes commonly known as the Guanyin Bodhisattva (Chinese: ????) amongst a plurality of other forms. There is a rich lineage behind this idea tracing back through many asian belief systems, with as many names and cultural personifications of the idea .

            SUNN O))) commissioned critical theorist Aliza Shvartz to write a text / liner notes around these ideas and topics. She also explores the relations and perceptions to their approach to these ideas via the metonym of music and SUNN O)))’s place/approach within the framework of music and metal overall.

            SUNN O))) also commissioned Swiss designer/artist Angela LaFont Bollinger to create the cover artwork, an abstracted sculpture of vision of Kannon, and the French photographer Estelle Hanania to capture portraits of the core trio (Csihar, Anderson, O’Malley) in the impressive and obscurant Emanuel Vingeland mausoleum in Oslo.


            Scott Walker & Sunn O)))

            Soused

              When Sunn O))) first approached Scott Walker about appearing on their 2009 album Monoliths & Dimensions, little did they know what it would actually lead to. Four years on, Scott was back with something even more enticing, collaborating on Soused, a body of work he was writing with them in mind.

              With a career spanning more than five decades, Scott Walker’s cult status remains as significant as ever before. Experiencing mega-stardom as part of The Walker Brothers before carving out a career as a solo crooner who released a quartet of peerless self-titled LPs that painted rich vignettes of life in the late 60s, Scott went through what felt like a massive U-turn by recording a collection of masterfully challenging albums: Climate Of Hunter (1984), Tilt (1996), The Drift (2006) and Bish Bosch (2013). While there’s some truth to this artistic arc, the actual picture is a lot more complex, with his knack for introducing the disturbingly counter-intuitive and the uncanny into his songwriting dating back to the likes of 'The Plague' (1967) and ‘It’s Raining Today’ (1969).

              Centred around the core duo of Stephen O’Malley and Greg Anderson, Sunn O))) have been at the heart of underground and experimental metal since they began in Los Angeles back in 1998, broadening in range to increasingly encompass avant-garde and jazz dynamics to their dark music. Anderson runs Southern Lord (Sunn O)))’s usual label home), whilst O’Malley is involved in a remarkable web of projects as a musician, designer, and label head of Ideologic Organ. They appear alongside extended Sunn O))) member Tos Nieuwenhuizen on this recording.

              Recorded in London in early 2014 and produced by Scott Walker and long-time ally Peter Walsh with the assistance of musical director Mark Warman, Soused is a 5-track, 50-minute collaborative record that cements the status of both act’s wide-reaching and otherworldly renown.

              Sunn O))) & Ulver

              Terrestrials

                Oslo, Norway, August 10th, 2008. Following their 200th gig, playing before 2000 people at the Øya festival, SUNN O))) teamed up with Norwegian legends ULVER at their Oslo studio, Crystal Canyon. They recorded three “live in improvisation” pieces, starting that evening and ending at dawn, as Northern sunlight seeped in through the windows.

                “We were sitting in the console room, early in the morning, listening to the takes. Someone said, ‘ah, sunrise over Crystal Canyon,’ as if the night had been a dark one. We all laughed and Greg proposed it as a title. In that setting it sounded perfect. The boys had mentioned wanting the music to orient towards the light, like some lost pilgrim stretching before the sun. We kept that mental picture for the processing.” – Kristoffer Rygg

                That take became the album’s opening piece, “Let there be light,” which builds up from silence and darkness and proceeds – ceremoniously, coruscating – O’Malley and O’Sullivan creating the backdrop for Rygg’s Basso Profondo chants. The music unfolds over eight minutes before reaching a crescendo of bass and brass, introducing both Anderson and ULVER as we know them. The Sunn has risen.

                “Western horn” accelerates on a single and austere note of sustained bass and low end, evolving gradually into a haunted soundscape. Crying violins, clusters of Fender Rhodes, guitar pickups, and metal plate drones are gradually layered beneath Anderson’s augmented bass feedback.

                “Eternal return” introduces Rygg singing a lyric evoking ancient Greece, Egypt and the Biblical lands. The song is palindromic, echoing the lyric, beginning and ending with the same bass line and musical pattern, though the guitars are ultimately reversed as the song implodes upon itself.

                “Terrestrials” is three movements which are fluid like the flow of magma beneath the Earth’s crust, sonically uninhibited, unpredictably cosmic, haunting and stirring yet simultaneously ceremonious and beautiful.

                Sunn O)))

                Monoliths & Dimensions

                  Sunn O))) present their 7th studio album after 10 years of existence. Work that spanned a year and a half resulted in their most intense, mature work to date. Recorded at various points throughout 2007 & 2008 by Randall Dunn and Mell Dettmer, it features an array of other players including longtime collaborators Attila Csihar and Oren Ambarchi, and other luminaries such as Julian Priester (notable for work with Sun Ra and Herbie Hancock), and slow music God-father Dylan Carlson of Earth. In addition, arrangements were handled by noted composer Eyvind Kang who has worked with John Zorn, Bill Frisell and Mike Patton amongst others. Fleshing out the usual Sunn lineup is an upright bass trio, french & English horns, a harp and flute duo, piano, brass, reed & string ensembles. Despite this, this is not 'Sunn with strings' or 'metal meets orchestra' material, this is something altogether more exciting.

                  Sunn O)))

                  Black One

                    ULTRA-DELUXE 180 GRAM DOUBLE VINYL REISSUE OF THE NOW CLASSIC SUNN 0))) ALBUM: “BLACK ONE”

                    Thick Stoughton style gatefold jacket

                    This is the sixth and darkest sunn 0))) album yet featuring very special guests Oren Ambarchi, Wrest (Leviathan/Lurker of Chalice/ Twilight) Malefic (Xasthur, Twilight) and John Weise (Bastard Noise).
                    Tonal magma explosions created under the influence of utter blackest atmospheres, sunn 0))) endlessly seeks to push boundaries and demolish pre-conceived ideas of their eminence. Sinister vocal performances courtesy of Wrest (known for his solo work under the names Leviathan and Lurker of Chalice) and Malefic (known for his solo work under the name Xasthur) literally call from beyond the grave.
                    Unorthodox and experimental recording methods were used to obtain the petrifying eerie tone of the voices on this album. For the epic side 4 piece, “Bathory Erzebet”, sunn 0))) procured a casket then loaded it into a Cadillac Hearse, and locked Malefic inside with only a microphone and a severe sense of claustrophobia.
                    The result is truly suffocating and disturbing! Mammoth giants crushing valleys of the drowned. This album is as bleak, crushing, and devoid of light as only they possibly could.


                    Sunn O)))

                    White1

                      Fourth album from Sunn 0))), featuring a new expanded line-up with Julian Cope, Joe Preston (Thrones, ex-Earth, ex-Melvins) and Runhild Gammels (Thorr's Hammer vocalist). Sunn 0))) converged in August 2002 in Magnetic Park studios (curated by Rex Ritter of Fontanelle / ex-Jessamine) Portland, Oregon. The results of this diverse yet visionary collaboration are certainly Sunn 0)))'s most eclectic, pro/regressive birthing. Julian Cope guests on the incredible "My Wall". For fans of Earth, Jessamine, 70s Miles Davis, Warp Records and drugs!


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