Holy Palms — Baba
(Tenzenmen no#, 2014, DL)
Holy Palms — Tribute to Snake Charmers Music
(Tenzenmen no#, 2016, DL)
by Jon Davis, Published 2016-12-02
Many of the Western artists who have been inspired by the music of India and the Middle East have gone the acoustic (or near-acoustic) route, others have infused those sounds into space rock, others have gone electronic. Almost all have exploited what is perhaps the most notable difference between that music and European music: the use of a drone, or single pitch, as backing for melodic and rhythmic fancies, as opposed to changing pitches arranged in a progression. Another stream of cross-cultural music has been less prominent — applying non-Western sounds in the context of heavily distorted noise. Holy Palms is based in Moscow, the solo project of Pavel Eremeev, who was one half of the similarly inclined Usssy. The later sound of that band is Holy Palms’ stock in trade. Eremeev’s primary instrument is a microtonal baritone guitar, and he augments it with a variety of effects devices to produce a wide variety of tone colors and octaves. Backing it all are loops consisting primarily of percussion, often themselves subjected to heavy modification. A variety of noisy drones and electronic sounds also make appearances. The earlier release, Baba, consists of the two-part title track plus a live rendition of same. The distortion is most in evidence here, so unless you’re inclined towards noise rock, I’d check out the later work first.
According to the notes, Tribute to Snake Charmers Music presents Eremeev’s interpretation of traditional snake charming music from India and Nepal, and these eight tracks are less overdriven, with droning tambura and some melodies played by acoustic instruments. My favorite is the opening track, “Fractal Blossoms,” which contains the elements on Holy Palms’ sound in the best balance, and really sounds like a full group of musicians rather than a one-man recording. It also has more structure than many of the other pieces, varying the mix of instruments over the course of its seven minutes. Other tracks range from atmospheric found recordings to more aggressive, distorted pieces, but it’s all worth checking out. Eremeev has a unique vision, and provides a singular take on multicultural fusions that should appeal to listeners looking for something new under the sun.
Related artist(s): Pavel Eremeev (Holy Palms)
Glenn Branca RIP – Experimental guitarist and composer Glenn Branca has died at the age of 69. He was known for compositions featuring large ensembles of guitars, and for the use of feedback. He founded his band Theoretical Girls in the mid-70s as an art-punk answer to what he saw as the increasing commercialization of punk music. His compositions were highly influential, with such figures as David Bowie, Thurston Moore, and John Lurie among his fans. » Read more
OBEY Convention XI Set for May 24-28 in Halifax – As the 2018 festival season rapidly approaches, we’d like you to be aware of a real treasure of diverse and creative music that’s going to take place in Halifax, Nova Scotia, next month. The OBEY Convention is on its 11th outing, and features a wide range of artists from around the world. From avant-industrial noise to experimental takes on Classical Chinese music, from chamber jazz to doom metal, from ambient soundscapes to Canadian First Nations drumming, you’d be hard pressed to find a festival with more variety in sound anywhere in the world. » Read more
Close to the Rain Festival in Bergen Announces Lineup – Now in its second year, the Close to the Rain Festival of progressive music is scheduled to take place in Bergen, Norway, on June 7 - 9. They've got an amazing slate of bands lined up, including such powerhouses as Anekdoten, Major Parkinson, Arabs in Aspic, Tusmørke, and many more. » Read more
Seaprog 2018 Artist Announcements Raise Festival's Profile – Seattle's Seaprog festival has been going since 2013, and the 2018 edition features a slate of artists that's sure to bring more attention to the event. Cheer-Accident, Bubblemath, and Free Salamander Exhibit are in the first round announcement of performers. In keeping with their tradition of focusing on regional artists, they will also present a number of artists from Washington and Oregon. [Edit: Just added: Inner Ear Brigade] » Read more
Adelbert von Deyen RIP – Word reaches us that German electronic musician Adelbert von Deyen has died. His recorded legacy reaches back to 1978, when Sky Records released Sternzeit. Von Deyen, who was born October 25, 1953 in Süderbrarup, was also known as a painter and graphic artist. » Read more