|the devils house||*.mp3|
|sons of horus||*.mp3|
mastered by manuel g. richter @ leafaudio - www.leaf-audio.com
photography & layout by crime league
6panel digipak packaging
michael morton a.k.a. displacer has made a name for himself over the last
ten years as a quality electronic composer and visual artist. his last album
'foundation' on hymen records featured a number of guest artists, of which
keef baker was one. both musicians expanded upon the success of this to
create a full collaboration between both displacer and keef's project nimon which is based on the use of digitally manipulated electric guitars and has
received enthusiastic reactions for his debut release 'drowning in good intentions'. the fusion of both projects and the respective dna of these two
highly skilled performers is what you are about to listen to on 'house of the dying sun'.
on this album a range of ingredients melt together to form a fascinating sonic pallette: solid, interlaced patches of percussion and elaborate basslines build the foundation for epic layers of deep ambience, swimming with deep walls of elegiac electrified strings warped from guitars and perfected with the addition of live double bass, electric organ and even disturbing bits of noise. the sound spectrum ranges from ruminant kraut rock influences to spherical downtempo patterns and contemporary intelligent dance music forming an aural landscape of different emotions.
with this release displacer and nimon are crossing boundaries while observing their very own standard, presenting a warm, relaxing opus with embedded waves of mild turbulence. highly recommended.
wounds of the earth
ant zen seems to be focused on releasing collaborative records recently. i feel that collaborations should happen more often, so i am excited by this trend. this one comes from veteran artists displacer and nimon aka keef baker. to be honest with you, i totally skipped the debut nimon album because it was just a dude strumming a guitar and letting it ring, and that is not my thing at all. i was hoping the addition of displacer would spice things up & deliver more filled out songs, and it seems to have indeed. the album opens with "ghost dance" which is how i feel like the nimon album should have sounded: pleasant, sweeping melodic droning soundscapes with layers of evolving & modulating synth sweeps and flutters. it's complex while retaining a deep, tranquil vibe. the type of thing that rapidly hypnotizes and sucks you into it's realm. excellent track and one of my favorites on the album. the second track "stone eye" mixes in the typical displacer groove-laden quasi-idm vibe with the aforementioned style. most of the album is similar to this track and feels like a very solid & cohesive mixture of the displacer and keef baker styles. exquisitely sad, dreamy, hazy and often ripe for head-nodding. while the beats are driving and tactfully implemented, the real focus is on the highly emotive moods and atmospheres conjured by the synth work. there aren't any big melodies, but instead various layers of subtle fragmentary synth bits and drones that shift and mutate over each track's evolution. these tracks carry a very strong organic vibe, not unlike keef baker's own work. it's not until "intihuatana" that we are presented with some of the guitar-strumming shoegaze/post rock flavor of nimon. but even this, in my opinion, is much enhanced from his debut. instead of just the guitar there are now a plethora of other atmospheric elements which fill out the song and create a massive atmosphere, like laying in the middle of a damp field under an overcast sky and light rain. the album ends, fittingly, with the dreamy retro-future beat-less piece "eastern sky". as fantastic and expert of a work as one would expect from these two. this album exemplifies the act of collaboration: both artists' sounds are suitably represented and i feel that things which were lacking in their individual releases have been notably enhanced and fleshed out here. i also enjoyed how the album was split up by beat-less tracks. it seems there has been a trend of artists/listeners moving from idm into more post-rock/shoegaze/whatever territory and as such, this release will absolutely appeal to said listeners; and likely a much wider audience than simply idm (though it will certainly appeal to those people too). if you are a fan of either of their work or simply emotional electronic music than you must hear this, you will not be disappointed!
nachdem wohl die zusammenarbeit von michael morton und keef baker auf dem vorigen album von displacer so gut funktioniert zu haben scheint, haben sich beide künstler mit ihren projekten daran gemacht, komplett gemeinsam ein album zu erschaffen, das nun in form von house of the dying sun vorliegt und das man gerne als grenzen überwindend beschreiben würde, wenn es das nur wäre. stattdessen scheint man grenzen von genres verschwinden zu lassen. irgendwie mag man das album dem ambient zuordnen, doch das wird dem album letztendlich genau so wenig gerecht, wie alle facetten, die in ihm stecken, aufzuzählen. denn das würde entweder zu einer endlos langen aufzählung führen oder man nennt aspekte, wodurch es ungerecht erscheint andere nicht zu nennen. wo fängt man also an: bei den gitarrendrones, die warm herüberkommen und häufig auftreten, gelegentlichen percussion-momenten, dass man an shoegaze denken will und man damit doch irgendwo trotz hauptsächlicher klangerzeugung durch field recordings und elektronischer klangerzeugung an rockmusik anlehnt? die meditative grundstimmung, die dennoch genug groove hat und den hörer immer wieder dann überrascht, wenn er wegzudriften droht. irgendwie alles gehört dazu und dennoch hat man in dem dichten klangteppich noch nicht alle formen, muster, verknüpfungen und wirkungen auf den rezipienten beschreiben können. letztendlich kann das nur dazu führen, dass man eine klare empfehlung aussprechen kann für dieses album, das mehr ist, als die summe seiner teile. ein in sich dichtes und schlüssiges werk. (tristan osterfeld)
a team-up between toronto’s displacer and the uk-based nimon makes a lot of sense on paper, especially when considering the strengths of each artist. the former project (also known as crime league label boss michael morton) is noted for sweeping, thoughtful idm with a strong melodic bent; the latter, an outlet of industrial sub-genre polyglot keith baker, works entirely in prepared and manipulated guitar sounds, so as you might expect the strength of house of the dying sun comes from a complementary approach to sonics. that commonality established, enjoyment of the album comes very much from being able to lose one’s self in the washes of sound and subtle shifts in texture and atmosphere. it’s tempting to divide the ten songs on the lp into their component elements and assign them to one of the collaborators, laying the rhythmics and crackly textures at morton’s feet and assigning the shoegaze and post-rock influences to baker. truth be told i find it much harder to parse things in the moment, with each cut flowing naturally out of ideas that i would be a natural fit in each author’s discography. the dubby bassline and ghostly echoes of “slim customer” and the bright, chirping leads and crash cymbals on the uplifting “creature comforts” could easily be the work of either producer; it’s more instructive to simply listen to and enjoy each passing element than to mentally divide and categorize them. for a record with a certain density to its aural palette, the primary descriptors that leap to mind are ‘airy’ and ‘spacious’. especially in its lush back half, where rhythm becomes beholden to gauzy shoegaze style reverbs, house of the dying sun is all about building to huge open peaks of feeling. even when mostly decoupled from recognizable structures on “intihuatana”, the deliberate push upward is apparent in how surely the summit is reached, layer upon layer, sustained note on top of sustained note. a random sampling of any given moment from “resting place” or “sons of horus” can suggest where these songs are going, spreading futrther and opening wider with each passing moment. the collaboration between nimon and displacer feels almost preternaturally right, listeners unfamiliar with either project might be forgiven for thinking that this lp was the result of a long-standing partnership. the edges one might expect to see thrown into relief when two strong minded artists come together blend and blur perfectly, sonically the album is so flowing and natural as to be meditative. some might find that easiness on the ears a touch sedate, but i’m disinclined to critique house of the dying sun for it; as much as our ears are trained to respond to discord, morton and baker are have a more long term strategy to hold our attention. as the final moments of the twinkling closer “eastern sky” attest, this is a record founded on attention to detail and broad emotional appeal, rendered deftly so as to cover up any seams or corners. it is most pleasurable when the listener grants it the time and space it needs to unfold. (alex)
auf dem fantastischen letzten werk des kanadischen idm-klangmeisters michael morton alias displacer gab es einen kleinen musikalischen beitrag von keef baker zum track „leviathan“. offenbar verstand man sich hervorragend, denn nur etwas mehr als ein jahr nach „foundation“ erscheint nun ein album, das displacer in koproduktion mit bakers projekt nimon kreierte. wem der einzige bislang erschienene output von nimon noch im kopf nachklingt, der wird sich in etwa ausmalen können, welcher gestalt die fusion dieser mächte im experimentell-elektronischen bereich ist. „house of the dying sun“ jagt einen wohligen schauer nach dem anderen über den rücken. die zehn kristallklar produzierten, ambienten instrumentaltracks werden von ausladenden flächen getragen, die sich über zarte rhythmen im downtempo legen und mit effektvollen streichern und gitarren vereinen, die als solche nur noch bedingt zu erkennen sind. die melodien sind filigran, aber diffus, warm und düster genug, um behutsam unter die haut zu fahren und dann am nervensystem anzudocken. einige passagen sind etwas direkter, beinahe tanzbar. insgesamt haben wir es aber mit einem relaxten album für ganz persönliches kopfkino zu tun. (jörn karstedt)
over the last ten years, michael morton has made waves for himself within electronic circles with his impressive displacer project. running parallel we have keef baker, who after many successful releases, put to bed that area of his work and concentrated on his guitar based ambient project, nimon. here on ‘house of the dying sun’ we have the collective input of both artists working together; to produce an album that gels like they were custom made for each other. there is an overt southern americana feel to this release that stamps images of road trips across dusky and dusty highways, past ramshackle retail outlets, whilst tumbleweeds bounce along the backdrop of buildings that hark back to a wilder era, as weathered signs point to a western destination. baker provides the organic guitar/bass whilst morton electronically fuses everything together with waves of pads and programming; and opener, ‘ghost dance’ is a monumental introduction that glides into existence as a portent of the other nine tracks that will follow. the beauty within this release, is that as a collective, the result is one that sounds neither like one or the other individually; but that of a different beast entirely. careful attention has been placed on the varying degrees and ranges of ambient sub-textures so they slide amongst the gentle fretwork and harmonies and nothing is overstated as the bass-lines intertwine with the subtle percussive elements; with ‘the devils house’ and ‘creature comforts’ being prime examples of layered perfection, that rise and fall as one large intake of air, followed by a slow exhale. ‘house of the dying dun’ isn’t one of those flash in the pan releases. it’s systematically precise in what its trying to achieve, as an adult album that is one for the truer music fan, who shuns the fads and genre restrictions that are over-emphasised by those who feel the need to pigeonhole themselves in a restrictive bubble. a genuine pleasure to listen to from start to finish, this collaboration of two respected artists is a pivotal moment in alternative music history, amongst a stagnating scene sorely in need of a shot in the arm.
displacer discography 02.2k14:
house of the dying sun (w/ nimon). cd. hymen records ¥821. 2014
masterless. digital ep. crime league crime007. 2013
curse of the black lotus. cdr-ep. crime leage crime003. 2013
foundation. cd. hymen records ¥805. 2012
night gallery. cd. tympanik audio ta053. 2011
lost mission ep. digital ep. tympanik audio td005. 2009
x was never like this... . cd. tympanik audio ta032. 2009
the witching hour. cd. tympanik audio ta008. 2008
b(uddha)-sides. digital album. crime league cl-002. 2006
remixes for free?. digital album. crime league cl-001. 2006
cage fighter's lullaby. cd. m-tronic ca20. 2006
arroyo. cd. m-tronic mg12. 2004
moon_phase. cd. m-tronic b5. 2003
nimon discography 02.2k14:
house of the dying sun (w/ displacer). cd. hymen records ¥821. 2014
drowning in good intentions. cd. ant-zen act281. 2013
displacer official webpages: