Drone Records
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Format: LP
Label & Cat.Number: Miasmah mialp 031
Release Year: 2015
Note: JAMES WELBURNS debut-album presents six long & massive, hypnotic drone tracks with TONY BUCK (THE NECKS) on drums, a must if you like "wall of sound" guitar drones with monotone & repetitve bass & percussion grounds... powerful & heavy, but also suspended & elevating, 'somewhere between shoegaze & black metal' as the label info says.. lim. 500 with download code
Price (incl. 19% VAT): €16.50

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"Like watching a massive twisting fire slowly fading into the open skies, accompanied by a drum section so repetitive yet mind bending that you're unsure if it's ever going to stop. This is how Hold starts off, leaving you catching for your breath before the album has even reached the second track.

James Welburn steps into the ashes covered in drones and noise together with drumming partner Tony Buck (The Necks), producing a debut album crushingly epic. Hailing from the UK, but located in both Berlin (DE) and Lillehammer (NO), James has been on a path to catch the perfect drone through the last years, playing an abundance of underground drone and noise sets in Berlin and Norway. This can be heard on Hold, though set in an impressively produced setting closer to a recent Swans record rather than the raw noise of those early live shows.

It's hard to label the album too much in one style, as it shifts and turns into parts inspired by everything from Shoegaze to Black Metal, all set in a state of endless repetition." [label info]


"Quite an impressive solo debut from British noiserocker James Welburn! His bio quips that he's been playing in various art/drone/noise rock outfits since the '90s, though a quick glance through the entire internet didn't provide much in the way of information on what those projects might be. However, we know that back in 2008, he had a release under the name Project Transmit, which also featured the fantastic drummer Tony Buck from trance-inducing Australian 'jazz' group The Necks. Now, Buck has joined forces with Welburn once again for Hold - a well-controlled album of darkly ascendant drone guitars guiding a well-heeled rhythm section that's crushingly muscular when it needs to be and skeletally restrained when called for at other times. Second track here "Peak" falls into the latter camp with Buck and Welburn conjuring the slow-core nocturnes from Low's first couple of albums, with a Joy Division-y spaciousness on the bass and Buck tapping metonymically on the ride. Welburn fills in the blanks with cinematic melancholy dripping from his guitar strings into pools of drone. Buck stomps hard on the accelerator for the next track "Shift" with a punk-as-fuck jackbooted riff on the black metal blast beat, albeit done on a jazz kit, with Welburn slipping the buzzsaw guitars into icy layers. The detuned bass that anchors "Duration" with a bloody-knuckled masonry on par with Todd Trainor of Shellac, with the guitars again crashing forward with drone-metal blurs and slabs of frigid noise. Swans and Godflesh are reasonably close neighbors of what Welburn is up to here, although these tracks are entirely instrumental with the songs hitting their dynamics through slow-burn and flame-out approaches to their compositional arcs. Just imagine if Welburn and Buck were to get a hold of two or three dozen guitarists with their slipstream noise perfectly in step with Welburn's compositional prowess. Look out, Branca. Look out, Chatham." [Aquarius Rec]