United Bible Studies return to Deep Water with what may be one
of the crowning achievements of their ongoing musical journey. Since 2001 the
Ireland/UK-based experimental folk ensemble has explored sounds ranging from
traditional balladry to avant-garde noise; and while So As To Preserve The Mystery features plenty of the haunting vocal
melodies and collective improvisation for which the group is known, it also
rises beyond any genre and stylistic limits via an extended compositional logic
that feels both centuries old and brand new. Alchemically marrying lo-fi
psychedelic drones with sweeping orchestral arrangements, poetic folk song and
classical structures; all in support of heartfelt paeans to nameless gods,
apocalyptic requiems for the new/old world, and an overwhelming sense of wonder
at the natural beauty of Éire and the Western Isles; this
is United Bibles Studies at their transcendent finest. Seven tracks, 40
E GONE is Daniel Westerlund of Swedish psychedelic folk rock group The Goner, and All the Suns of the Earth is his new solo album, which involves a slight change in name and a major progression on the eclectic styles of the earliest Goner recordings. In the same way a properly mixed drug will cure while a mis-formulation could prove fatal, disparate musical elements that in less skilled hands might be disorienting – everything from sitars to banjos, old-school beats to ethnic percussion, stark folk picking to squalling electronics, heart-tugging balladry to strutting acid-rock – instead gets compounded in exact proportion through Westerlund’s ever-growing talents in songwriting, performance, and production, making Suns… a perfectly-apportioned auditory tonic with potentially marvelous restorative powers. Nine tracks, 39 minutes.
Raymond Morin and David Leicht are Pairdown, a Pittsburgh-based acoustic guitar duo much respected by their peers but criminally underrepresented in recorded form. Aesthetic Guitar began life as a self-released CDR EP in 2012, but this new version finds the disc expanded to double its original length, a diverse set of studio and live recordings that showcase the full range of the pair’s considerable skills in both song and instrumental formats. Stylistically, Pairdown sidesteps the post-Fahey/American Primitive raga-isms common in fingerstyle guitar these days, instead drawing on sources both within the six-string tradition (Kottke, Grossman, Renbourn, Dave Evans) and well beyond it (Ellington, Satie), folding those influences into a rich set of baroque miniatures and distinctive compositions that stand shoulder-to-shoulder with anyone working in the field today. 16 tracks, 44 minutes.
Adventures is a sister release to Where I've Been Is Places and What I've Seen
Is Things (out simultaneously on LP from Sunrise Ocean Bender records), and
features longer tracks from the same sessions that didn't quite fit on that
album. Opening with a strum-along hymn to the north 40, concluding via an
extended plunge into the great beyond (as begun on Where I've Been...), and in between traversing a pair of drifting
electronic landscapes that offer glimpses of ambient jazz and gloomy kosmische
vistas. As a companion piece to the LP, Incredible
Adventures (titled after a book by Algernon Blackwood) delves deeper into
the album's terrain, while also expanding into some uncharted spaces out
beyond. Four tracks, 38 minutes.
Evening Fires’ (lucky) 13th release is their first recorded live in concert, featuring three extended pieces from various times & lineups channeled into a single ideal/typical show. Which might, for instance, start out on a spiritual vibration in electric mountain drone, then take off to some sort of electro-spectral space excursion, and close with a healthy slug of the good old psychedelic barn rock, all arranged for both trance induction possibility and opening-set conciseness. Evening Fires live appearances being about as elusive as sasquatch sightings, this is likely the only way you’d have an opportunity to experience one, were you to be interested in such a thing. Three tracks, 36 minutes, one set.
Raising Holy Sparks is the new musical project of Dave Colohan (United Bible Studies mainstay, ex-Agitated Radio Pilot), and it finds our peripatetic Irish monk journeying even further into long-form instrumental devotions of undeniably sublime effect, epic slow-motion electro-acoustic soundscapes deeply permeated by a sense of awe and wonder at the natural glories of the American continent. In the artist’s words: “Inspired by 7000 miles of travel across 30 states, A Mendicant Hymnal draws on the vast & ever-changing American landscape, from the mountains & deserts of the West through the empty plains & onto the endless forests of the East. The first in a continuing series, trying to get, in the words of Edward Abbey, 'close to the West of my deepest imaginings, the place where the tangible & the mythical became the same.'" Thirteen tracks, two discs, 135 minutes.
US Customers Unless otherwise stated, newer single-disc releases are $11 postage-paid, back-catalog items are now reduced to $8. You can order right here, if you use paypal. Payment may also be met via check (made out to Kevin Moist), well-concealed cash, or barter (we love the barter system, but please get in touch before mailing us a chicken or something), sent to the usual Deep Water Acres address.
International Customers Due to recent US Postal Service rate increases, international shipping rates have changed considerably. As a result, there is now a $5 per-unit surcharge for international orders.
Unless otherwise noted, all releases are CDRs in a heavy clear vinyl jacket and full-color front/back cardstock cover (double CDRs are housed in clear vinyl clam-shell packaging). DW013, DW021, and all releases after DW024 are professionally-pressed CDRs with full-color printed discs.