Drone Records
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Format: LP
Label & Cat.Number: Helen Scarsdale Agency HMS 025
Release Year: 2013
Note: first solo-LP by the CLIMAX GOLDEN TWIN member and 'ethno' field recorder & film-maker (DVDs on Sublime Frequencies), creating a very special form of psychedelic ambience, combining electronic & found sounds.. "A fever dream of blurred harmonics and ethnomusicological spelunking"; lim. 400 copies
Price (incl. 19% VAT): €16.00

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"Our man Millis is a Climax Golden Twin and a noted curator of globe trotting / time traveling esoterica, amongst other accolades. In the former category, Millis and Jeffery Taylor steadily release some of the most headscratching amalgamations of avant-rock, decontextualized temple music, heightened-state minimalism, and collaged field recordings this side of the Sun City Girls (including the soundtrack to the cult film Session Nine); and in the latter, Millis has published a number of acclaimed anthologies for Sublime Frequencies (Scattered Melodies, This World is Unreal Like a Snake in a Rope, Phi Ta Khon, The Crying Princess, etc.) and Dust-To-Digital (our personal favorite, aptly titled Victrola Favorites). With his fingers in so many jars of jam, it can seem like an uncommon occurrence for Millis to release solo work although he is one to smear his sticky hands all over himself in performance, installation, and collaboration. Thus, The Helen Scarsdale Agency is delighted in presenting his latest opus, Relief.
A fever dream of blurred harmonics and ethnomusicological spelunking, Relief repeatedly returns to variations on a peculiar yet beautifully serpentine drone, whose twinkling acoustic properties meld the hallucinatory mouth-music of the Bangladeshi Murung people and the curved air hypnosis of Terry Riley. Millis bookends and interrupts his mysterious miasma with comedic interludes snatched from his lauded collection of antique 78s, maudlin piano tone-clusters, and teleported crescendos of spectral ballroom waltzes. More Nurse With Wound than The Caretaker, this polyglot raga-drone of daytime somnambulism and psychedelic slipperiness speaks to the uneasy borders at psychological, cultural, and geophysical states of being. Oh, to be a human on this planet." [label info]


"Polyglot might be just the right word to describe what Robert Millis and his Climax Golden Twins have been up to for the past two decades or so. An album might be a ramshackle collage of blisterfuck noise-rock, another might be a graceful set of murder ballads, and yet another might hypnotize the listener through an alpha-state minimalism. And then, there's Millis' acclaimed collections of olde-timey '78s and raw field recordings of indigenous folk songs, much of which has been released through those tasty labels Sublime Frequencies and Dust-To-Digital. The solo work from Millis tends more toward the dronemuzik and hallucinatory collage axis of CGT's multi-headed agenda, although he has been known to strum out a sadsack blues number that might straddle the worlds of Alan Bishop and Roscoe Holcomb; but here on the impeccable new album Relief, Millis tunes in and drops out with a blearily psychedelic album of forgotten sounds, ghostly fragments, and Pacific Ocean drones. The album begins with a comedic outburst from one of Millis' 78s with a helpful direction to "hear the secret sentence played out on the talking typewriter" followed by a jaunty clatter of a manual typewriter all wrapped in scratchy-vinyl, crackling goodness. Immediately, the album delves into a swarming tone-float of harmonic overtones pecked with trilling glissandos. The source for this sound has got to be a plung - a Bangladeshi mouth-organ used specifically by the Murung peoples living deep in the rainforest, as this sound is uniquely atonal and wrigglingly eerie in its wavering notes. Millis furthers this wooziness by rarifying these sounds into the holy minimalism conjured by LaMonte Young, Angus Maclise, and company. After swimming here in these golden pools for a good five or six minutes, Millis drops the needle on a dramatic orchestral swell that would be the envy of the Caretaker's sunken ballroom recordings. A couple of hip-swaying recombinations of temple music rhythms and Les Baxter exotica glide in and out of Millis' glassy-eyed shimmeriness and post-Eno piano constellations. The album's finale is an impressionistic driftscape of languid, temple bell & gong tones stretched into a gorgeous, expansive cloud of lush harmonics giving way to a metronomic wooden rhythm that leads to a set of solitary piano notes suspended over Mariana trench diving-bell ambience. Limited to 400 copies, and comes with the requisite download code. So fucking good." [Aquarius Rec.]