new to stock as of
july 2nd, 2013
|hospital productions (uk) #hos 134 lp|
kevin drumm “imperial distortion (remastered edition)” triple long playing record set
- guillain-barre (17:23)
- more blood and guts (19:57)
- snow (16:03)
- snow (18:44)
- romantic sores (18:32)
- we all get it in the end (13:25)
|august 2013 release ; ... “remastered edition” of the 2011 vinyl edition of the 2008 double-disc release of inarguably one of kevin drumm’s late-career highlights ... about which ::|
... suddenly, with little warning, dom “prurient” fernow here drops kevin drumm’s long-awaited first solo full-length since 2002’s “sheer hellish miasma” on his hospital productions imprint ...
several years in the making (i remember seeing mentions of this in hospital ads over 2 years ago !!!), “imperial distortion” is, without a doubt, kevin’s masterwork ; six extended takes on statis-heavy drone-sound, high dread-quotient w/the impeccably organized sound-fields positively distended w/ woofer-rattling low-end ... claustrophobic music w/no means of escape ; even if there are (brief) snatches of friendlier tonalities littering the sheer morass (listen to the sound-sample) ...
i make my love for kevin & his increasingly sporadic work known all throughout this site ; he’s one of my all-time favorite musicians & the mere existence of this well thought-out & finally tangible work is cause célèbre for just about everyone who shops here. i give this my highest recommendation !!!
|hospital productions press release...|
kevin drumm: imperial distortion (remastered edition) 3lp
hospital productions / hos 134lp
release date: 8/6/2013
one of the most iconic ambient albums of the last decade, imperial distortion (2008) had an extremely limited vinyl pressing a couple of years ago which some argued never quite captured the full depth and frequency range of the original material due to the way in which it was mastered. this brand-new edition has long been planned by the label and has now been painstakingly remastered by matt colton, unveiling a filigree spectrum of microtonal flux and layers of atmosphere that were simply neglected with the previous edition. it's like surveying the same post-apocalyptic landscape without your gas mask on. mego's genre-defining sheer hellish miasma (emego 053lp) might have set kevin drumm up as america's premier exponent of grinding noise, but imperial distortion is an entirely different beast and confirmed drumm as one of the most important figures in the american avant-garde. unfolding over two hours of music, imperial distortion was the post-millennial answer to aphex twin's seminal selected ambient works vol. ii. but where richard d. james created a floating world tapped into his lucid dreams, drumm takes us into the darkest recesses somewhere deep beneath the sea with bombs and guns tearing flesh and concrete overhead. the album offers an escape; the subtle oscillations and tones thick with guilt and pregnant with disdain for a palsied society, and on headphones leave you totally paralyzed. make no mistake: drumm is no newcomer to the scene and isn't jumping on or off any bandwagon. if you've never heard this incredible album before, you're in for quite a treat.
|what does a person do when faced with a work like imperial distortion? there are rare moments in an artist's work where they reveal a greater truth. kevin drumm has already made such a statement with his last major solo work, 2002's sheer hellish miasma. where that record took noise music to a new level of near-impenetrable exactitude, imperial distortion is an altogether different beast.|
beauty as an aesthetic can be as terrifying as horror, desire unfulfilled, romance that lingers and never goes away, no matter how disappointing. a preoccupation with death can be the only result. on this extended long-form release, kevin drumm comes face to face with minimal drone music and confronts the genre by providing one of its absolute pinnacles at the forefront; movement. drone music at its most concentrated and ably performed has build and depth in its tones. although there might be the illusion of stasis, the opposite is true.
from the opening 20-minute track 'guillain-barre,' the mood of the album is laid clear. the arrangements are shadowy layers of soundtrack-like tones not entirely unlike the work that popul vuh provided for herzog's films. by track two, 'more blood and guts,' with its ominous bell tones, it becomes apparent that there is a true nothing that's associated with these sounds, other than the mood-inducing hypnosis and the feeling of drowning, yet having no ability to fight the slow pull.
the middle portion of the record is 'snow,' which was released as a limited cassette last year on hospital productions. this material was a teaser for the full album imperial distortion. the tracks have an almost ballad-esque sense of elegance, using tone and frequency as melodic portals to nowhere. the sustain in the piece suggests a weight while remaining alarmingly pleasant to the ears. the tension suggests an anxiety that never truly dies. the alarm comes from the juxtaposition of tones and mood.
while the tones may sound gorgeous in their purity, the mood implies a profound sense of unease and perhaps an acceptance of the inevitability of existential dilemma. this point is most thoroughly evidenced by the albums closer, 'we all get it in the end.' while the piece starts out with lullaby ease, a few minutes in, an equally severe dark drone eclipses the light and the night takes over. here in the enveloped sounds, the clouds pass over the moonlight creating a spectral dark that is unforgettable in its intensity.
to answer the initial question of imperial distortion, this is a work that commands intellectual and emotional commitment on the levels of the greatest works to come from this genre. kevin drumm has accomplished that rare balance to create a masterwork that no one has yet to come close to in this era. your best bet is to surrender.