“What’s left on earth for me to put on the phonograph? he murmured sarcastically. You’d really think that fate allowed my instrument to appear only at the moment when nothing that man says is worth preserving anymore…”
-Villiers de l’Isle-Adam, L’Eve Future
Bass Phase, EMS Synthi AKS, Drumfire – Joshua Stevenson
Electric Guitar, Arp Omni Ii, Serge Modular – Daniel Presnell
Buchla Electric Music Box – Richard Smith
Flute, Clarinet, Maestro Sound System For Woodwinds – Jenni Pace Presnell
Recorded at Miss Carousel, June 2008
By J. Stevenson & D. Presnell
Mixed & Treatments by Joshua Stevenson
Artwork By Incomparable Industries
Released on vinyl by Amen Absen, 2009
F.O.L. Ministries, September 2009
Head Heritage, UK
“Von Bingen is an epic pre-settlement statement in the Zodiac Mountain mould, displaying at all times a riotous & Luddite attitude to sonic imbalance, every cranky outburst putting me further in the mind of the Soviets’ attitude to technology – all monobrow melodies over monolithic rhythms played through scratchy tannoys in the rain. … oh, and replete with the singular sounds of the legendary Buchla synthesizer. Your commune, your allotments, your manifesto and your Buchla synthesizer. What more could the revolution need?”
Julian Cope, Address Druidion
Volcanic Tongue Mailorder UK
New LP from a group that was born from the ashes of the great Hildegard, featuring Daniel Presnell (Feed & Seed Records et al) and Jenni Pace in collaboration with Richard Smith and Joshua Stevenson (Magneticring/Jackie-O Motherfucker). Besides electric guitar and flute the sound is dominated by deep space smears of vintage electronics, EMS Synthi AKS, Buchla Electric Music Box, Arp Omni 2, Serge Modular… taking their high gothic soundtracks into the same cold, abstract zone as early Kluster, Eruption et al. Most of the instrumentals are propelled by slow motorik rhythms, over the top of which shadows of electro-drones and minimally wailing electric guitar envelope the constructs with all of the inexorable gravity of the more stoned Ash Ra tracks.
Aquarius Records, San Francisco, CA
Early ’70s krautrock stylings by way of Canada circa 2009, all the while channelling the visionary plainsongs from the 12th Century abbess Hildegarde Von Bingen! This Von Bingen began when two members of an East Coast psychedeliclatter project called Hildegard moved to Canada, met up with one of satellite members of Jackie O Motherfucker, and rebranded themselves. While the nature of the earlier band has escaped us, this Von Bingen has emerged fully formed, crawling out from the same primordial soup that spawned the likes of Amon Duul II, Hawkwind, Psychic Ills, Bardo Pond, and The Wooden Shjips. Yeah, they’re pretty damn good! ￼A subdued yet motorik rhythm sets the stage for the opening track circled with interlocking guitars, electronics, and bass right out of the songbook of Faust IV, all of which are brought into relief with a sporadically used melodic jump out of the dronerock mentality. A paranoiac piece of incidental music links these grooves with droning lament for flute, giving way to a subterranean plod that almost sounds like a Throbbing Gristle piece remade a decade earlier as a transgressive piece of psychedelia laced with weird horns and Arabesque guitar leads. The flipside begins with an extended piece of cosmic ritualism through sustained mod synth drone and church organ tones twisting along side more of that wistful flute and gradually coalescing into a proto-Suicide pulsation of psychedelic electronics and downer melodies. The finale of the album centers upon a dazed guitar riff coming in and out of focus amidst the druggy atmosphere of synth drones, simple bouts of percussion, freeform flutes, and squeals of electricity. To say this is a trip is quite the understatement. Do not let this one pass you by!
Mimaroglu Music Sales
certainly far away from the current batch of post-emeralds synth-droners, these guys are blazing a different kind of saddle, taking in influences as diffuse as early suicide, “iv” era faust, hell, even a kind of gary glitter-esque schaffel that’s uniquely their own … highly recommended !!!
In the not-too-distant future, Joshua Stevenson will be listed in the canon of modern Canadian synthesia. Earlier this year we saw the release of Josh’s debut into meanderonic minimalism via his solo project magneticring. Meanwhile, an ensemble of Vancouver-area heavyweights (including Josh), titling themselves Von Bingen, reared a massive, ugly head in the latter half of the annum with a difficult-to-find LP of perturbed disquality. Channeling the early fuse of Irrlicht-era Klaus Schulze with droning, distorted guitar fanfare amongst cathedrals of unorganic chambers, Von Bingen subjects you to a sexcellent multi-textual unification of analog-electro genius. Pulsing mechanics, forced dualities, and atonal guitar workouts part the static stasis within the dark shadows of your listening cosmos and reveal the inner beat of our earthic tunings. Part psychedelic, part synthetic, part experimental, but as a whole, rewarding on multiple listens; an entity better heard than read. Packaged with a loving, two-colour essay.