OUT OF PRINT
BloodLust! is pleased to release the new full-length recording from the Chicago ecstatic drone duo, The Golden Sores. The group began as an exploratory collaboration between software engineer, visual artist, and composer Steve Fors [unseen|unknown, United Steelworkers Union, blstr] and schoolteacher, label proprietor, and experimental musician Chris Miller [Number None, Th’ Exceptional Child, REBIS] in 2007. Bound by a shared love of red wine, the Kranky aesthetic, and the eclectic recordings of off-beat Christian Rock visionaries Daniel Amos [aka D. A., Dä], the two began their musical partnership in the "pop-drone" group Flux Bouquet. After several well-received live shows, an EP, and a scrapped full-length, Fors and Miller began to indulge their more experimental impulses, giving birth to The Golden Sores. Utilizing a combination of electric and lap steel guitar, salvaged thrift store keyboards, pedals [both broken and boutique], obscure analogue synthesizers, and other obsolete noise-making esoterica, Fors and Miller have forged deep into the realms of drone -- continuing to pursue the perfect marriage of harsh and beautiful sounds, simple melodies, and song structures through spontaneous and ecstatic improvisation. While I [Mark Solotroff, of BLOODYMINDED, etc.] have played a number of shows in Chicago with some of Fors and Millers' other groups, it was while listening to the excellent debut full-length by The Golden Sores - "Ashdod to Ekron" - that the idea first popped into my mind to discuss a release with them. Seeing them play live a while after receiving that CD definitely helped to seal the deal for me. And when a mysterious copy of "A Peaceable Kingdom" landed on my doorstep, I knew that it was certainly time. The new CD, which was mastered for total sonic purity by Carl Saff, sits comfortably amidst both "lighter" and "heavier" BloodLust! releases by Chicagoans Haptic, Locrian, Neil Jendon, and The Fortieth Day, as well between other artists on the label like Envenomist and Culver. Professionally duplicated CD, single panel, double-sided insert; color artwork; in jewel box with shrinkwrap.
1. "Double Gyres" (9:06)
2. "The Awful Rowing Toward God" (8:06)
3. "Klonopin" (6:10)
4. "We'll Wield Fire" (9:23)
5. "Ondine" (5:28)
6. "A Vision" (8:15)
Along with the likes of label mates (and fellow Chicagoans) Locrian, The Golden Sores have taken a modernized approach to drone, away from the traditional academia of La Monte Young and the like, but also diverging from the metal leanings of Sunn O))) into its own realm of ambience and electronic sensibilities. Like Locrian, The Golden Sores lean heavily on synthesizers and electronics, though the two projects are quite unique in their own way. For the most part, even with the occasionally harsher moments of this disc, it never leads into metal riffing, and when it does begin to encroach on harsher sounds, there is usually a softer ambient underpinning that keeps the dissonance reigned in. Opener "Double Gyres" begins with organ-like opening tones that slowly drift on, an opaque wall of sound that stays static as shrill guitar feedback cuts around. The guitar tone and texture is extremely raw, but not overly harsh or aggressive, but instead provides a great counterpoint to the otherwise peaceful electronic ambience. "The Awful Rowing Toward God" is similar in its presentation with the jagged guitar shrikes, though here with lower end buzzing amp noise and a simple, but buoyant bassline that keeps the song drifting along, occasionally resembling the more electronic dub oriented Main tracks, though here the guitar slides into raw noise territory about midway though before retreating back to a more purely ambient coda. Living up to its title, "Klonopin" is a more subdued affair. There is the cutting guitar buzz here, but it is more mellow and a bit lower in the mix. It never fully disappears or becomes ignored, but it definitely allows for more of the ambient textures to shine through, and is at its core a more subdued work than the previous two, but never falling into overly boring or mundane territory. "Ondine" also keeps the fuzzed out guitar noise reigned in, focusing instead on slower gentle notes and slow-motion sheets of sound. The closer, "A Vision," distills much of the album down for an appropriate conclusion, combining the brittle guitar shriek with drifting synthetic ambience, though here it remains a relatively sparse mix that, while not harsh, instead has a cold, dark sense of isolation about it. The guitar swells to a buzz-saw level of noise before retreating, closing the album on a somber, restrained note. This duo has created one of those kind of works that manages to maintain that tenuous balance between reflective ambient soundscapes and grinding, coarse guitar noise in a way that never feels like an unnecessary contrast, but instead mutually inclusive extremes that captivate for both the whisper and the roar that appear. (Creaig Dunton)
From: The Chicago Reader
In a note he sent me with my copy of A Peaceable Kingdom, Steve Fors of the Golden Sores describes his duo with Chris Miller as an “ecstatic drone band.” How much sense that makes probably depends equally on which definition of ecstatic you’re using and your serotonin levels. If you’re imagining a noise version of the Polyphonic Spree, try again—this is more like watching the thin scrim of reality torn to shreds in front of your eyes, soundtracked by a pile of electronics and amps. “The Awful Rowing Toward God,” named after a collection of Anne Sexton’s poetry, combines sheets of harsh, granular electronic noise and swooping howls of guitar feedback to evoke a divinely inspired vision with an inconceivably unhappy ending. But on the next track, aptly titled “Klonopin,” the Golden Sores sound much more mellow: clean, sustained tones and washes of delay ebb and flow tidally, creating a subtly dynamic drone. (Miles Raymer)
From: Anti-Gravity Bunny
Alright guys. This is it. The one you've been waiting for. The drone record to come from some new band you've never heard of and completely kick every other drone record's ass. And where did they come from? Chicago. Duh. By now, everyone has become supersaturated with drone. It seems like every kid these days is mashing the keys on their thrift store synth and burning it onto a CD-R in about as much time as it takes me to eat my morning bowl of Kashi's Honey Sunshine. But The Golden Sores know the virtue of patience and quality. This is their second record (the first, Ashdod To Ekron, I reviewed on diskant and is available as a free download) and sweet Jesus they've already made their masterpiece. I mean, Ashdod was amazing and all, but where the hell are they gonna go after A Peaceable Kingdom? I can't really imagine them making anything better. The drone on Kingdom is made of the kind of heavenly tones that are essentially instrumentless. It could be coming from a guitar or a synthesizer (and, in fact, comes from both) but you'd never know and it doesn't even fucking matter. It's the kind of unwavering/wavering blissful static that keeps you turning up the volume every 2 or 3 minutes as your ears adjust, gently demolishing your eardrums. I can't heap enough praise upon The Golden Sores and what they're doing for the drone community. Not only are they showing all the impostors how it's fucking done but they're giving us euphoria seeking music obsessors some of the highest quality shit out there. This record is so good the Sores could break up right now and it would hardly even matter.
From: Aquarius Records
Record number two from these Midwestern dronelords, with some loose connection to black ambient soundscapers Locrian, even if it doesn't go much beyond playing together and living in the same city. That said, if you dug the Locrian record from a few lists back, odds are you'll dig this to.
There's no black metal woven into the Golden Sores' sound, instead they offer up more of a spaced out krautdrone, ethereral, ephemeral, but somehow still dense and thick and HEAVY. Not sure what the instrumentation is, we'd like to think there are some guitars in there, but it hardly matters, it's what comes out of the speakers that matters, not what goes onto the tape. And what is coming out of our speakers right now is some gloriously heavy, throbbing, pulsating buzzing psychedelic dronemusick. The first track is just some totally divine spaced out new age kosmiche drone, the second is a wall of crumbling blown out distorted buzz, like taking the primordial ooze of Earth or Sunn, and hurling it into the heart of a dying star. The tracks shift after that from deep cavernous rumbles, to billowing clouds of blackened shimmer, to muted snarling buzzscapes, to glimmering outer space druggy drifts, and finally, to a gorgeously sprawling expanse of low end throb, crank the bass on your stereo and you'll have things vibrating right off your shelves, a sound so phsyical, after it's over, merely hearing music without actually feeling it, barely seems like enough.
Definitive deep drone listening for sure, recommended for those of you who gravitate toward the heavier, spacier side of the low end spectrum, as previously explored by the likes of Expo 70, Locrian, Vulture Club, Fear Falls Burning, RST, To Blacken The Pages, Karl Bosmann, Pussygutt and the like.
From: A Future In Noise
Every once and awhile, music arrives in my inbox (and in the case of the Golden Sores, in my mailbox, too!) that is exactly the kind of music I'm questing after. After becoming immersed in Natural Snow Buildings, I was recently investigating the music of La Monte Young and the Theatre of Eternal Music, and here come the Golden Sores, a duo comprised of Steve Fors and Chris Miller, who "utilizing a combination of electric and lap steel guitar, salvaged thrift store keyboards, pedals (both broken and boutique), obscure analogue synthesizers, and other obsolete noise-making esoterica...have forged deep into the realms of drone". Indeed- this is the very science of what drone is at work, the 'quintessence'. The six tracks of A Peaceable Kingdom (streamable in part on Last.fm and and Virb) may all be upwards of 5 minutes, though time just slips on by without notice throughout, from glittering surrealism ("Double Gyres"), what it might sound like if Wooden Shjips and Sun O))) collaborated on an instrumental track ("The Awful Rowing Toward God"), to channeling some nearly-spiritual energy ("We'll Wield Fire" and "Ondine")- very, very much recommended (see also BloodLust! album/ordering information for the Golden Sores)! Their previous release Ashdod to Ekron is available for free download in full on Last.fm (have a listen to "Arphaxad").
Towers of considered noise, shards of upward pointing glass bisecting the clouds. Think the fractured cathedrals of Lionel Fieninger. Repetition is TGS’s modus operandi, a device they employ to wondrous effect, with a pulsing living throb counterbalancing the higher pitches. I put the album on in the rain, thunder and lightning beating up the sky, a perfect moment for the pages of the music to enfold me. The tones shimmer and glide with fragile harmonics cutting across the darker, warmer tones. As with Ashdod, the Old Testament references hang over this work; a knife over the sacrificial lamb’s throat, each piece scratching and clawing it’s way into ones senses, and achieving a rare success from a wholly instrumental work – dialogue; a dialogue of texture, architecture and culture.
Sometimes the problem with many drone records is that there can be a lack of, well, much at all really. Take Birchville Cat Motel’s Seventh ruined Hex. That CD almost stood still there was so little going on. When drone is done right it is a pretty awesome thing to behold. So here I introduce you to the Golden Sores, a duo of Chicago drone scenesters and mates of the better known Locrian. What The Golden Sores have done on A Peaceable Kingdom is to make drone not only transcendent but also remarkably interesting. There is a fair bit crammed into the repetitive drone landscapes that the duo create. My particular favourite is the awesome We’ll Wield Fire which is founded on a bedrock of droning noise much akin to a cello being played by a robot but made somehow beautiful. But is is also the top layer of the music which sets Golden Sores apart from many thinking they do this stuff well. There is texture in the sound created by several layers of drone effects and compositional tweaks. I mean this is just awesome and if you have been a sucker for Kevin Drumm’s unbelievably majestic Imperial Distortion (I’ll post on that soon) then I suggest that you would be wise to track this down. We all need beauty in our lives and although the Golden Sores may be the most inappropriately named band I’ve heard of in some time, they certainly create beuatiful music. I’m not sure if it is readily available yet but A Peaceable Kingdom can be ordered from Bloodlust!.
From: I Heart Noise
GS is a Chicago-based “ecstatic drone” duo of Steve Fors and Chris Miller. “Peaceable Kingdom” is their second release (a follow-up to 2008 “Ashdod To Ekron”, which came out on Drone Cowboy label) and their first for BloodLust!. “Kingdom” is all about an exploration of the sonic state which exists between the aforementioned ecstatic drone, trippy ambience and even noise (although latter makes appearance only on the second track, “The Awful Rowing Toward God”). In general it reminds me much of Zoviet-France / Nocturnal Emission work circa 80s – plenty of smooth, flowing sonic textures, surreal loops and sounds that were most likely generated electronically but resemble a whole multitiude of things from bells to electric sparks dancing around the edges of listeners speakers. The album closer (”A Vision”) is akin some of the untitled tracks on Richard D. James/Aphex Twin 1994 opus “Selected Ambient Works Vol. 2″ – it starts out with a minimal synth line and unfolds slowly throughout its 6 minutes of duration. With all of the tracks on “Kingdom” being more than 5 minutes long, this CD could’ve easily overstayed its welcome, but its saved by a huge diversity between tracks and countless shapes, textures and variations that Golden Sores were able to come up with on this record.
Artist website (with music): http://virb.com/goldensores