Upstate New York’s Black Dirt Studio, established in 2005 by No-Neck Blues Band dude Jason Meagher, has seen a lot of activity in the fairly short time it’s been around, with all sorts of great bands and labels (many likely influenced by NNCK) recording their best work within its walls. Peaking Lights, Hototogisu, Psychic Ills, the late Jack Rose, Blues Control, Expo 70, and Charalambides have all recorded there, as have artists on labels like Siltbreeze, Woodsist, Kranky, Locust, Northern-Spy, Soft Abuse, and The Social Registry. With that much concentrated heaviness permeating the place, Black Dirt had to create some sort of pressure release valve, so they’ve started up NATCH, a series of new, unheard collaborative recording sessions offered up for streaming/downloading free of charge.
Unlike the frantic energy of a recording session meant for future commercial release, NATCH sessions are intended to be approached by the artists as “open format,” meaning they can feel free to travel down any of the roads they might be less open to explore on their own albums, “from improvisation to cover songs to instant composition to sound environments to sound environments to original prewritten material to a simple exploration of the process.” A prequel session was released from 2007 with two long pieces recorded by Dave Nuss (NNCK), Rahdunes, Stellar OM Source, and Aswara, but other than that each session should be fresh music from 2012. NATCH 1 features The Black Twig Pickers and Steve Gunn, recorded this January, and NATCH 2 was recorded in February by Pigeons, Dave Shuford, and Margot Bianca. Two additional sessions are also finished and on-deck, NATCH 3 being a collab between Volcano the Bear’s Aaron Moore and Carter Thornton: