♫♪  Mike Weis - “Loop Current, part 2”

I’m sure you all remember April 20, 2010 (…hehehe 420!… no I’m serious) when the BP oil rig Deepwater Horizon exploded due to greedy negligence in the Gulf of Mexico. The explosion was caused by a blown wellhead that spewed oil into the ocean for three months, totaling about 210 million gallons of oil polluting the gulf. It was the worst offshore platform spill in history, by a long shot. Thousands of animals were killed, and dozens of species now face critical endangerment. But beyond the horrific reality of this disaster, there were serious concerns about the impact this might have on humans. One of the most unnerving possibilities was the potential stalling effect that the oil would have on the Loop Current, which pulls warm water from the Gulf of Mexico between Florida and Cuba and into the Atlantic Ocean. It is believed that if this current is halted, there would be serious changes in temperature and weather for Atlantic countries — kinda like The Day After Tomorrow. Although the ghost of the spill is still haunting the gulf, it never got to the point of total human annihilation.

But when Mike Weis, drummer/percussionist for Chicago-based abstract project Zelienople, was mastering his first fully-solo recording back in the summer of last year, the oil was still gushing into the sea, terrifying the US and the world alike. According to Barge Recordings, the label set to release this recording, Weis claims that he was particularly interested in the Loop Current issue. His interest in the matter really seems to penetrate deep into his new album, Loop Current / Raft, which contains two three-part tracks entitled (of course) “Loop Current” and “Raft.” The entire album retains a deep, dark, and cold feel. Soft, suspenseful drone tones flow consistently throughout the recording, while Weis adds drifting, distant drumming. Weis’ worldly experience with rhythm allows him to add an unmistakable tribal overtone, bringing a blatant human element into the picture. Just like the petroleum industry, Loop Current / Raft brings up frightening possibilities and devastating consequences, while remembering clearly the disquieting implications of man.

The vinyl LP is available starting today. As Barge mentioned in the press release: “The irony of this being a petroleum based product is not lost on us.”

• Barge: http://www.bargerecordings.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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