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Listening to art. Playing with audio. Sounding out technology. Composing in code. Rewinding the soundscape.

Rarefied Gothic Drone Pop (MP3)

It isn’t a drone. The drone is there, sure, a background thing, like the surface noise of an old jazz record, or the dust in an underutilized chapel. But it’s just part, maybe parcel, but certainly not the whole thing. There seems to be a voice buried in the drone: a melody, snail slow and no less determined, plugs along, plowing through the thick haze. Shoegazer drone rock. Snailgazer. It’s a choral music where the score is a map of the torque of some massive structure in free space, shifting at a pace determined by a processing system overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of the effort. Sparks fly, circuits short out. The sound is massive and unholy, gothic in its impact but downright rarefied in its implementation. This is “Atonement” by Guild. It’s one of two tracks on Ascension, the other of which takes its name from the album’s title, or vice-versa.

[audio:http://www.archive.org/download/rb095/02-Atonement.mp3|titles=”Atonement”|artists=Guild] [audio:http://www.archive.org/download/rb095/01-Ascension.mp3|titles=”Ascension”|artists=Guild]

According to the brief liner notes, both tracks are the result of a bass guitar put through its paces: “drones effected, looped and processed.” Guild is a name adopted by Mark Midgley, who on his markmidgleyofficial.blogspot.com notes the association between his slomo death pop and the work of My Bloody Valentine and, more recently, Jesu. Midgley is a member of various bands, including Falconetti, Alt, and the Black Lanterns. Album released by the netlabel restingbell.net.

By Marc Weidenbaum

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  • about

  • Marc Weidenbaum founded the website Disquiet.com in 1996 at the intersection of sound, art, and technology, and since 2012 has moderated the Disquiet Junto, an active online community of weekly music/sonic projects. He has written for Nature, Boing Boing, The Wire, Pitchfork, and NewMusicBox, among other periodicals. He is the author of the 33 1⁄3 book on Aphex Twin’s classic album Selected Ambient Works Volume II. Read more about his sonic consultancy, teaching, sound art, and work in film, comics, and other media

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