|Dan’l Boone (September 23rd, 2014)|
Dan’l Boone — Dan’l Boone (September 23rd, 2014)•♦♦• Electronic–tinged experimental outfit featuring members of Wolf Eyes, Formant, Drainolith, and the Howling Hex.
•♦♦• Drag City super group brings Neil Hagerty (Royal Trux, Howling Hex, Pussy Galore), Nate Young (Wolf Eyes), Alex Moskos (Aids Wolf, Drainolith) and Charles Ballas (Formant) together for what could be the record of the year. A logical next step from the last Drainolith LP, Dan'l Boone merges shredding guitar work buried under glitched out electronics, frantic drum machine pounding and a collaged in wayward clarinet verse. A mastery of organized chaos, the sound equivalent of the CP24 screen deconstructed. Languid vocals trail across a sparse landscape as mangled guitar work tangles itself in the depths. This is the new rock.
Location: Montreal, QC, Canada Denver, Colorado's Uneven Studios
Album release: September 23rd, 2014
Record Label: Drag City
1 Pasadena Rings 5:32
2 Thee Testimonye of an Maiden 6:12
3 Tampa 5:40
4 Paper Tree Alley 5:35
5 Minface 3:42
6 Hostage Rock 8:07
••• Charles Ballas Group Member
••• Dan'l Boone Primary Artist
••• Neil Michael Hagerty Group Member
••• Alexander Moskos Group Member
••• Nate Young Group MemberAbout this product
••• Electrics and electronics, played via competing diagrams through a motley crew of humans including Nate Young (Wolf Eyes), Alex Moskos (Drainolith), Charles Ballas (Formant) and Neil Hagerty. Twin Infinitives as a style of music, Dan'l Boone as an acolyte.
Note: CD edition features unique hand–screened artwork by the artist.Review
By Marc Masters; September 19, 2014 • Score: 7.6
••• Under the name Drainolith, former AIDS Wolf guitarist Alexander Moskos makes woozy, eerie deconstructions–rock songs slowed and stretched until they become séances. His 2012 LP Fighting! was an unpredictable gem, and his next effort promised more surpise, as he travelled to Colorado to record with Neil Michael Hagerty and Wolf Eyes’ Nate Young. But even he probably didn’t expect those sessions to produce a second record by a spontaneous new band called Dan’l Boone, consisting of himself, Hagerty, Young, and Charles Ballas, a member of Hagerty’s Howling Hex band.
••• Bringing such large–sized musical personalities together could be a recipe for chaos, and judging by Moskos’ hilariously confusing press notes, the process wasn’t exactly orderly; he claims, “we never knew if we working on the Drainolith record or the Boone record”. But while Dan’l Boone happily courts disarray, these four outward–bound heads manage to keep everything legible. Even at its densest, this is well–lit music, with all the brushstrokes visible and travels mappable. At times it sounds like the musicians are passing through the room separately rather than sitting in it together, but that’s often a plus: the way sounds ping–pong around each track creates a loose tension, tempting you to stick around for what might happen next.
••• Dan’l Boone opens with a sample from Wolf Eyes’ last album, No Answer: Lower Floors, which could be seen as a statement — but no single voice ever really takes precedence here. Hagerty’s peculiar way around a repetitive phrase gets some sway, and the vocals hit an intense moan common to both Young and Moskos. The sparse, sinister rumble of “Mindface” could pass for Drainolith (or Young’s minimalist solo project Regression), and the mashed–up howls of “Hostage Rock” briefly catch Wolf Eyes–like fire. But most of the time, Dan’l Boone intertwines sounds without blurring them — the work of a collective rather than hierarchical group. Such creative democracy rewards repeat listens, as focusing on each element reveals new patterns. © Neil Michael Hagerty
••• Dan’l Boone also provides the simple thrill of the bracingly weird, an effect enhanced by the participants’ track records in demented abstraction. It’s especially tempting — and not too tough — to hear echoes of Hagerty’s ground–tearing work in Royal Trux circa Twin Infintitves, especially in the fuzzy casio–loops of “Thee Testimonye of An Maiden”. But every member injects some insanity to the proceedings, slipping it under the surface like tectonic plates shifting beneath seemingly–solid ground. Part of the craziness is, paradoxically, methodical: Moskos claims that, at one point, he sang a 12–bar blues which Ballas and Young chopped into 300 pieces and randomly rearragned. Nothing here sounds as wacky as that suggests, but undercurrents of randomness course throughout.
••• Still, after listening to Dan’l Boone, it's understandable to be left with an odd sense of calm. The band’s brand of chaos leans toward the hypnotic rather than the assaultive; all the rambling activity can free the mind from pattern–seeking, letting it ride the noisy currents like a paddle–less raft. It seems like something similar happened to this quartet when they were making the album; perhaps the new surroundings and lack of expectations gave their instincts priority. Of course, Moskos’ recounting could just be myth–making, and perhaps everything here was carefully planned and executed, but what matters is Dan’l Boone sounds spontaneous, and all the more alive because of it. •• http://pitchfork.com/
Drag City: http://www.dragcity.com/artists/danl–boone © Neil Michael Hagerty
By MATTHEW PHILLIPS; Score: •••½
••• Chaos is relative. Some listening to the self–titled debut by noise supergroup Dan’l Boone will only hear disorder, but it’s certainly not unintelligible. So much is happening at any given moment on Dan’l Boone that it simply doesn’t parse in any conventional way. Each layer has a discrete logic, its own timespace, which on occasion intersect, but mostly just overlap. The territory they trod, then, is the disorder of noise itself, blazing shambles of passable trails through the brush, sometimes meeting one another as they go.
••• Dan’l Boone consists of four of noise’s favored sons: Alexander Moskos, formerly of AIDS Wolf and currently crooning damaged blues as Drainolith; Nate Young, of trip–metal pioneers Wolf Eyes and solo venture Regression; Neil Hagerty, famed Royal Trux guitar destroyer and founder of The Howling Hex; and Charles Ballas, who joins Hagerty in The Howling Hex. It’s quite a pedigree. But no obvious link unites the styles of the members’ projects, except perhaps for their common purpose of irreverent, acidic deconstruction. And here, the coherence isn’t immediately obvious, because at first listen, every sound fades into a morass of thrashing layers, taking on the illusory appearance of an opaque sonic wall. It’s only after exploring its recesses that the design of Dan’l Boone becomes apparent as a stratum of voices, straining against each other to be heard.
••• That’s not to say that Dan’l Boone isn’t a mess. It’s just that the messiness is conscious, inherent in the construction. If that sounds like a cop out, pick a sound and listen for it; you’ll find that typically each track is formed of basic units. But unlike an intricate puzzle that begs a solution, Dan’l Boone doesn’t feel like unorganized fragments begging for rearrangement. The ingredients are meant to be heterogenous, like a kind of noise lasagna. Sometimes you get a bite that’s all pasta, sometimes you get the whole cross section. It’s all in your approach to consumption and how willing you are to even eat it.
••• Metaphors are one of the few methods available for trying to make sense here. ••• Who knows what the fuck the lyrics are about, except for, apparently, Pasadena and New Year’s Eve gunshots. In the production process, Dan’l Boone have shredded some of these sounds beyond repair, lending an air of futility to any sort of effort to effectively read this. The best we get is a consistent bass groove across the whole breadth of “Mindface,” but its repetition merely guides us through the rest of the madness, just as the knowledge of the previous projects of each member only gives us a dark glass through which to see one part of the whole. But there’s no real point to struggling: pick a trail and follow it, and the rest becomes a forest of scenery, punctuating your auditory periphery with strange, chaotic imagery.
••• It takes time, but Dan’l Boone rewards working on it, not with meaning or conspicuous structure, but with buried treasure. There are many hidden spaces on the record that appear suddenly after the first few listens, seemingly out of nowhere. The songs themselves even seem to transform, their hidden spaces morphing in prominence in your listening space. That certainly doesn’t make it any easier to listen to Dan’l Boone, because even despite the lack of heavy abrasiveness, its sounds aren’t exactly pleasant, and the dissolution of any rhythmic basis to the tracks fucks with any instincts you might have to follow the beat. Still, Dan’l Boone have created something so admirably batshit that it’ll have you questioning if it’s actually totally sane. But then again, if the chaos starts making sense, maybe you should get your head checked anyway, just to be safe. ••• http://www.tinymixtapes.com/
AllMusic Review by Heather Phares; Score: •••½
••• Dan'l Boone was born when Wolf Eyes' Nate Young, the Howling Hex's Neil Hagerty, and Formant's Charles Ballas worked on an album with Drainolith's Alex Moskos and found the creative chemistry so potent that they had to form another band to capture all of their ideas. The band's self–titled debut often feels like a well–balanced sampler of its individual members' different approaches to noise and experimental music, with aspects rising and receding in a surprisingly civilized fashion for an album involving musicians so well–versed in chaos. Along with a general nod to the seminal noise collages Hagerty pioneered during Royal Trux's Twin Infinitives days, the mellow mischief of opening track "Pasadena Rings" and the melted funk of "Mindface" call to mind his work over the years. Meanwhile, the gurgling electronics and static on "Thee Testimonye of an Maiden" and the cleverly layered "Paper Tree Alley" bear Young's stamp, even if neither track quite reaches the drastic peaks and valleys of Wolf Eyes at their most dramatic. Indeed, most of Dan'l Boone is more lulling than abrasive; those expecting an onslaught might be disappointed, but fans of any of these artists in the mood for some low–key experimentation should enjoy it for what it is.
••• Drainolith is Alexander Moskos, best known as first–chair guitar in the formalist rock group AIDS Wolf but also a member of Montreal's forward thinking electronic music scene. Moskos has spent the last decade touring and recording with a number of different outfits often playing modified consumer electronics and analog synthesizers. With Drainolith, Moskos is finally in the realm of song–form, albeit with a polyrhythmic undertow and woozy vocal style. All of Drainolith's material is performed live, with no backing tapes, samplers sequences or arpeggiators.
••• “I’d come downstairs into Charles’ basement and Nate and Neil would be making competing diagrams that represented the record. I was so lost,” says Moskos. And to supplement the visual philosophizing, Hagerty stated the following, “cryptically,” in a voicemail to Ballas: “To create music by reverting to zit–popping thrash, you must believe that the prognosis is so dismal that it takes time to hear them retain enough for your face before summary dismissal.” Context might’ve been helpful here, or you might just want to skip right to the psychoactive aids. So confused right now. © Neil Michael Hagerty, Photo credit: Garilee Ogden photo
••• First gained notice alongside Jon Spencer in the pioneering lo–fi noise rock band Pussy Galore. Neil Michael Hagerty is an American guitarist, songwriter and producer. ••• He is best known for his work in Royal Trux. Hagerty released several solo albums since Royal Trux's demise in 2001, followed by recordings under the moniker The Howling Hex. He also performed as a guitarist and songwriter in Pussy Galore and Weird War.
••• Hagerty is the author of two books, Victory Chimp (1997), a science fiction novel, and Public Works (2005), a collection of short essays.
••• Neil Michael Hagerty CD, LP (2001)
••• Plays That Good Old Rock and Roll CD, LP (2002)
••• Neil Michael Hagerty & the Howling Hex CD, LP (2003)
Interview ⋅ JUNE 23, 2011 ⋅: http://music-illuminati.com/interview-neil-hagerty/
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|Dan’l Boone (September 23rd, 2014)|