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BTS-008: Johnny Woods - Pavilions
RELEASE DATE: Aug 28th, 2020
File Under: Synth, Modular, Analog, Minimal, Ambient
Recommend if you like: Caterina Barbieri, Allesandro Cortini, Laurie Spiegel, Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith, Cluster
"I'm loving it!" - Michael Stein (Survive, Stranger Things Composer)
“Pavilions helps us imagine a better world by providing music rich with organic technologies, synthstrumental pulses and atmospheres that’s perfect to paint with” – Alex Grey (Visionary Artist)
"A beautifully engaging album, seemingly always in motion, Woods offers us a collection of tunes that conjure up an elegant sense of the past, situated in our present, to be listened to in the future.” - Scanner (Composer, writer & media critic)
"A delightful constellation of effervescent Buchla textures and soundscapes." - Todd Barton (Composer and Buchla synthesist)
"In Pavilions, Johnny Woods thoughtfully creates and guides the listener through a retro futuristic utopia. Propulsive and optimistic, Johnny expertly showcases everything the paradise has to offer. You'll want to hop onto the monorail and revisit often." - Source Of Uncertainty Podcast (Buchla oriented podcast) “This record fills me with nostalgia for a past that never really existed - a promenade at a worlds fair - on which was displayed all manner of splendid wonders both technological and spiritual, full of reverence and also a sense of dominion. It’s what only the best iterative electronic music can give you, an engineering marvel - technically detailed - yet magically more than the sum of its parts. An aural experience from the first note to the last chord that sets the mind dreaming.” - Chrome Canyon (Stones Throw artist and film composer) ABOUT THIS RELEASE:
Behind The Sky is proud to present Pavilions by Johnny Woods, an album of delicate and evolving improvised synthesizer meditations blooming from simple seeds into fractal shimmering compositions. Minimal and yet deceptively complex, these 7 Buchla 200e compositions invite repeated listening to explore their architectural modernism. Continuing the label’s mission to showcase analog and modular synthesists with respect for the past yet striving towards the future, Pavilions is a perfect beginning to the next chapter of artist releases.
ABOUT JOHNNY WOODS:
Johnny Woods produces improvised synthesizer music from an off-grid Earthship high in the mountains of New Mexico. His 100% solar-powered studio features a variety of esoteric modular synthesizers, like those from Buchla and Wiard, which he has spent the last couple of decades attempting to master.
Johnny has been obsessed with analog synthesizers since his first encounter with one in 1994. Over the next 25 years, this obsession only grew. Entering the workforce just as the music industry was crumbling in 2001, Johnny instead focused his career on film and video. Often taking on projects in line with his musical passions, he has created videos and live experiences for Big Boi, Neon Indian, Classixx, Bear In Heaven, Chrome Canyon, and many more.
In 2010, Johnny became involved with LZX Industries, a boutique manufacturer specializing in analog video synthesizers. He is a well-known expert in the field of modular video synthesis, and has performed for crowds around the world, from Coachella and the Sydney Opera House to MoMA, LACMA, and the Hirshhorn Museum.
In 2016, Johnny moved to the mountains, reigniting his passion for audio modular synthesizers. His focus has largely been on the potential of these machines for new methods of improvisational composition. Seeking a true collaboration between man and machine, Johnny constructs dynamically organic systems within which the synthesizer is free to choose its own notes and rhythms. Like sand mandalas, these compositions are the result of a single session sitting at the synthesizer. After hours of programming and sculpting sounds, the piece is recorded. And once the machine is turned off, it can never be recreated again.
Inspired by an eco-futurist worldview, Johnny views the synthesizer as an ideal vehicle for transferring the rhythms and structures of nature into a pure recording of sound. His solar-powered melodies feel perfectly at home nestled amongst the pine trees in the mountains. There is always a hope and optimism in the music, driven by a constant belief that a new tomorrow can be better than today.
ABOUT BEHIND THE SKY:
Behind The Sky is a record label created by established electronic musician Bluetech focused on releasing music made with analog and modular synthesizers, rooted in a love of 70s synth music and sci-fi yet always striving to feature new sounds and ideas.
Johnny Woods - http://johnnywoods-music.com/
Behind The Sky Music - https://www.behindtheskymusic.com/
By kieselguhr kid
really looking forward to this one, that preview track is utterly brilliant
Oren Ambarchi - guitars & whatnot
Cyro Baptista - percussion & voice
Recorded by Randall Dunn, Joerg Hiller, Iuri Oriente and Oren Ambarchi.
Edited by Joerg Hiller and Oren Ambarchi at Choose Studios, Berlin.
Mixed by Joe Talia and Oren Ambarchi at Good Mixture, Tokyo.
Cut by Rashad Becker at D&M, Berlin.
Executive Producers: Konrad Sprenger & Dick Wolf.
Photography by Traianos Pakioufakis.
Design by Lasse Marhaug.
After a trilogy of spectacular explorations of relentlessly driving rhythms – Sagittarian Domain (2012), Quixotism (2014) and Hubris (2016) – Simian Angel finds Oren Ambarchi renewing his focus on his singular approach to the electric guitar, returning in part to the spacious canvases of classic releases like Grapes from the Estate while also following his muse down previously unexplored byways.
Reflecting Ambarchi’s profound love of Brazilian music – an aspect of his omnivorous musical appetite not immediately apparent in his own work until now – Simian Angel features the remarkable percussive talents of the legendary Cyro Baptista, a key part of the Downtown scene who has collaborated with everyone from John Zorn and Derek Bailey to Robert Palmer and Herbie Hancock. Like the music of Nana Vasconcelos and Airto Moreira, Simian Angel places Baptista’s dexterous and rhythmically nuanced handling of traditional Brazilian percussion instruments into an unexpected musical context. On the first side, ‘Palm Sugar Candy’, Baptista’s spare and halting rhythms wind their way through a landscape of gliding electronic tones, gently rising up and momentarily subsiding until the piece’s final minutes leave Ambarchi’s guitar unaccompanied. While the rich, swirling harmonics of Ambarchi’s guitar performance are familiar to listeners from his previous recordings, the subtly wavering, synthetic guitar tone we hear is quite new, coming across at times like an abstracted, splayed-out take on the 80s guitar-synth work of Pat Metheny or Bill Frisell. Equally new is the harmonic complexity of Ambarchi’s playing, which leaves behind the minimalist simplicity of much of his previous work for a constantly-shifting play between lush consonance and uneasy dissonance.
Beginning with a beautiful passage of unaccompanied percussion dominated by the berimbau, the side-long title piece carries on the first side’s exploration of subtle, non-linear dynamic arcs, taking the form of a gently episodic suite, in which distinctive moments, like a lyrical passage of guitar-triggered piano, unexpectedly arise from intervals of drifting tones like dream images suddenly cohering. In the piece’s second half, the piano tones becomes increasingly more clipped and synthetic, scattering themselves into aleatoric melodies that call to mind an imaginary collaboration between Albert Marcoeur and David Behrman, grounded all the while by the pulse of Baptista’s percussion. Subtle yet complex, fleeting yet emotionally affecting, Simian Angel is an essential chapter in Ambarchi’s restlessly exploratory oeuvre.
Editions Mego - EMEGO238
08 September 2017
01. Behind You Back 4:39
02. Dish 2 Dish 4:43
03. Lil Wannabe Gangsta 4:25
04. Raining Horses 3:01
05. South Padre Low Life 3:55
06. Notified 3:21
07. Man Bunny 1:59
08. Blick Von Der Berg 2:39
09. Girl Close Your Eyes 4:35
10. The Crocodile 4:25
Recorded in Austin, Texas
Photography Coco Clouse
Design Stephen O'Malley
By Trip the Light
Going to get more active here and am excited to do so! :D
Here are a few recent tracks:
A majority of my music is recorded off of a modular system. Here's my modulargrid link if you're curious where they came from: https://www.modulargrid.net/e/racks/view/282027