Drone Records
Your cart (0 item)


Format: LP
Label & Cat.Number: Helen Scarsdale Agency HMS020
Release Year: 2011
Note: spectral surrealism-drones, dusty ambience, almost amorphous sounds with hidden melodies & hardly recognizable structures & a somehow melancholic / nostalgic / hallucinogenic flair, always pouring out of your consciousness... already the sixth album by this fruitful collaboration-unit... limited vinyl edition incl. download code
Price (incl. 19% VAT): €14.00

More Info

"After producing their frozen trilogy of intoxicated dronemuzik for the Agency, these Scandinavian gentlemen have ventured into more absurdist territories through fictionalized soundtracks for imagined Mondo films and science fiction serials. It is in this context that BJ Nilsen & Stilluppsteypa present the apparitional Big Shadow Montana, an album of slow-motion delirium manifested in occluded smears, nocturnal gasps, and arcane tones from a variety of analogue synthesizers. Amidst the near constant wash of bleary-eyed etherealism, Big Shadow Montana cycles through several sonic themes and leitmotifs, displayed in varying states of clarity. In these transitions between half-remembered phrases and bleary-eyed thrumming, the album emerges as if it were the aftermath from a protracted bout of metaphysical channel surfing. Flickered impressions flash in conjunction with Breton's manifesto of Surrealism in the form of the memories from happily drunk escapades in the heart of winter, the sidereal spells cast by the innerspace travelers Klaus Schulze and Coil, and the nagging questions of existential portent: 'Was that bassline from Goblin, or was it German Oak? Maybe something from Faust IV?' The trio of Nilsen, Sigmarsson, and Thorsson elegantly twist and bend these fleeting images into a spiraling symphony of bubbling electronics and spectral drones that mutate on both sides of the record into lugubrious yet carnivalesque waltzes. When this first appears, it is the echoing undercarriage of a simple melody, bobbing amidst rattling chains and cascading cymbal crashes only to dissolve into sequences of cold-war era tone beacons and empathic swaths of maudlin sound design. At the second occurrence, the melody washes ashore on the Iceland beach, where nude Viking men and women try in vain to get a tan when the sun is just barely going to rise above the horizon in the winter months. It is a pyrrhic jubilation of calliope harmonies set down by organs and synths turning a pale-blue hue in the wake of all that white skin shivering underneath the arctic sky." [label info]


"Recently this trio was undercover present as Evil Madness (see Vital Weekly 773), an exercise in disco, and perhaps some of that experience rubs off in this new collaborative work - I believe the fourth or fifth time they work together. Up until now their work together was deep atmospheric excursions into the space we call drone music, but something has changed. Maybe its the re-arrival cosmic music that put them back at their analogue synthesizers and organs? The press text supplied hints certainly towards that. Certainly an album with more open spaces than what they produced so far. A far cry from monolithic blocks of highly computerized drones, this buzzes in an analogue way, carrying small melodies around, rattling percussion in the background, or the air sucked into a harmonium. Somewhere on the b-side (no track titles, so 'Big Shadow Montana' should be seen as one piece) it leaps into one of those pre-set rhythms found on organs with meandering, somewhat cliched melody, which
actually sounds very sweet. It adds, once more, that lovely cosmic ring to the music. This album sees them leaping out of the old fashioned drones in return to something that is perhaps even more old fashioned, but which sounds like a fresh start again. It holds a great promise for the future." [FdW/Vital Weekly]

"Collaborations in the experimental scene come and go, so it's so great to see one that has some longevity. This is album number seven from BJ Nilsen and Stilluppsteypa, and the fourth released by the discerning Helen Scarsdale Agency label. Since this trio (Benny plus Sigtryggur and Helgi of Stilluppsteypa) unleashed their drunken drone trilogy through the aforementioned Agency, they've been venturing into all sorts of delirious bouts of murky psychedelic collages and imagined soundtracks. There were the weird ruminations upon a found cassette, turned into a mondo filmscore on Man From Deep River; and then the sci-fi opus of synth meanderings found on Space Finale. Now what may be the best to emerge since that earlier alcohol-inspired trilogy is this, the mercurial and hauntological album Big Shadow Montana. Two long-form pieces make up the album, with the A side standing as a hallucinatory foreshadowing of what is to come on the flip. Here, ghostly drones broadcast directly out of the haunted ballroom from The Shining, flickering with half-received transmissions, bumps in the night, and any number of other worldly sounds. Bits of structure emerge in this slow-motion churning of drone, shadow, and filigree coming across somewhere between the fucked up collages that seem to bring all of the Teenage Filmstars records to a close and the subterranean drone-rock sensibility of German Oak. When the record flips, a cosmic stream of vintage synths slump toward oblivion paralleling what has been done by Emeralds and Oneohtrix Point Never (both of whom have released work alongside this trio on Editions Mego), but before this can venture any further down the rabbit hole of Schnitzler and Schulze references, Nilsen & Stilluppsteypa slip into a faux-exotica guise with cheap Casiotone melodies swaying to and fro through old Les Baxter and Martin Denny records. It's a signature move for Stilluppsteypa, if anyone remembers how they mustered a similar strategy on The Best Possible Yet back in 1997. But the maudlin organ harmonies and percolating tone-bloop oscillations are much more confident here, emerging perfectly out of the drone fog like those organ-led numbers on that Deathprod boxset, only to slip into a twin engine thrum of inner-space expansion. In listening back to the second side of the album, it's clear that the first is a lengthy dub of the second, recast and recontextualized as a percussive ghost. Totally captivating through and through, and with a damn trippy cover sporting a vibrantly hypnotic, candy-colored mandala. Yup, it does have a download card. Yup, it is limited. Yup, it is highly recommended." [Aquarius Records]