♫♪  ÄÄNIPÄÄ - “Watch over Stillness - Matters Principle” (excerpt)

Reaching the stratum of contemporary experimental music occupied by the likes of Stephen O’Malley (Sunn O))), etc.) and Mika Vainio (Pan Sonic, etc.) — call it, say, the Tier of Champions — requires years of deep focus: guiding principles and philosophies long since hammered out; gear known backwards and forwards; a catalog of classic albums under the belt, each a labor of tonal and structural dedication; a network of trusted musicians, engineers, producers, label humans, and booking agents making parallel efforts. Having climbed that mountain and constructed their bone-encrusted thrones at the peak, O’Malley and Vainio live as legends of extreme music because they can’t help but sound like themselves on every record. We know their sonic signatures by heart — the towering walls of guitar-derived drone, the noise-spattered drum machine rhythms — and have followed them for years with our fists in the air, galvanized by every tone that bruises our eardrums and reshapes our perceptions. We don’t want them to change, as if that’s even an option at this point. But to collaborate? Yeah, we want that.

O’Malley and Vainio finish off a solid 2013 (see Exhibits A, B, C, D, E) with Through A Pre-Memory, a 2xLP of duo recordings as ÄÄNIPÄÄ, which might be the Finnish word for the playback head on a tape machine. Preview one of the album’s four mammoth side-length sessions, “Watch over Stillness - Matters Principle,” below, and revel in the tones you’ve come to expect from these masters. O’Malley’s ‘verb-drenched guitar wails between iterations of a pure sludge chord progression. Vainio’s muffled analog thuds and electronic noise creep and swell through the mix. When I first heard this, I wondered “Which one of them is vocalizing? Who’s pulling off that Alan Dubin rasp?” Turns out… it’s Dubin himself (!!), he who demands silence while he strips bone, lending additional dissociative terror to the occasion.

Through A Pre-Memory is available to order now from Editions Mego. The album’s extended pieces evolve through a number of movements and atmospheres, so a sample snippet can only tease at the depth of the full sessions — but you can scope out more preview material at Experimedia.

• Stephen O’Malley: http://www.ideologic.org/home
• Mika Vainio: http://www.media-loca.com/mikavainio
• Editions Mego: http://editionsmego.com

Chocolate Grinder

CHOCOLATE GRINDER is our audio/visual section, with an emphasis on the lesser heard and lesser known. We aim to dig deep, but we’ll post any song or video we find interesting, big or small.

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