Friday, March 25, 2011

Daniel Higgs Sightings

It's nice to know that as some people continue their decent down into the interminable depths, others just keep reaching higher and higher. One such ascender would be the great tattoo artist, musician, poet and mystic, Daniel Higgs. He's definitely one of the most fascinating poets making a racket these days, whether with his long running band Lungfish, or via his incredibly diverse solo works. The recent 2CD Say God (Thrill Jockey) was a head-scratcher of the highest order that a mad mystery embracer such as yours truly found much to dig into and mull over across its gleaming silvery grooves.

Equally inspiring is the more recent Ultraterrestrial Hymns cassette for the Moonglyph label, which comes in a gorgeous package with the ominous but somehow comforting Sun-Ra quote adorning it's inner sleeve, "The apocalypse has already happened. Don't you know that yet?" signaling a patch-work collage of Higgs in supremo acid-kissed home recording mode, as he goes through many musical detours from piped-in-from-alt-dimensions instrumentals, music box tidbits, collage oddities to spoken word call signs, bluegrass hymnals and minimalist howls spread out across 2 half hour suites simply entitled "He" and "She". It's a sheer joy to behold and highly recommended for every Holy Spirit touched one of you. Even if you're not into the the Godhead and just dig weird lo-fi tape fuckery and playful home recorded experimentation, dig it my friends. I know I do.

Also worth noting is Higgs' duo recordings with Twig Harper (Nautical Almanac, Scheme), which pronounces a much more jarring and prismatic electronic bedding beneath Higgs' processed spoken word to unleash some truly otherworldly sound trips that further reinforce Higgs' fascinations with the Unknown Other through sound and word in such a way that defies textual explanation but invokes images and thoughts that might be glimpsed through a DMT trip while sparing the listener the harrowing roller-coaster that ingesting such a chemical might require. If you ever wanted to hear what Higgs might sound like mashed up with some prime Wolf Eyes cuts, proceed directly Clairaudience Fellowship (Thrill Jockey) and hang on tight. Harrowing and trance-inducing in the way the that only Higgs (along with strong contributions from Harper) can be.

And if all that wasn't enough, Higgs recently joined Sweden's Skull Defekts for an album of primal trance inducing experimental rock that should sate those hungry for more Lungfish like guitar crunch with cycling mantras that invoke the raw prog fury of the last Lungfish album, Feral Hymns, along with the Swedish drone noise maestros' penchant for tribal post kraut blast-offs. As heard on 2LP Peer Amid (Thrill Jockey), it's undeniably a match made in freak Heaven. I feel a bit like a fool myself, as the Defekts already have a pretty dense catalog (including a split with Wolf Eyes!) and I've been sleeping on the job, but this 2LP splatter makes for a sublime entry into their world. The title track makes every hair on my body stand up at once and "Fragrant Nimbus" is even better. Hope they tour behind it far and wide. Stone cold mind blown. Job well done, gents!

The Skull Defekts w/ Higgs are on tour now in the US. Also joining the bill is recent Thrill Jockey signee Zomes (Asa Osborne of Lungfish).

Wed Mar 30 St. Louis, MO - Lemp Neighborhood Arts Center w/ Zomes
Thu Mar 31 Chicago, IL - The Hideout w/ Zomes, Mountains
Fri Apr 1 Pittsburgh, PA - Howler's Coyote Cafe w/ Zomes
Sat Apr 2 Buffalo, NY - Soundlab w/ Zomes, Mountains
Sun Apr 3 Brooklyn, NY - Littlefield w/ Zomes
Mon Apr 4 Boston, MA - Great Scott w/ Zomes
Tue Apr 5 Providence, RI - Machine with Magnets w/ Zomes
Wed Apr 6 Scranton, PA - Embassy Vinyl w/ Zomes
Thu Apr 7 Philadelphia, PA - Danger Danger Gallery w/ Zomes
Fri Apr 8 Baltimore, MD - Floristree w/ Zomes
Sat Apr 9 Chapel Hill, NC - Nightlight w/ Zomes
Sun Apr 10 Knoxville, TN - The Pilot Light w/ Zomes
Mon Apr 11 Atlanta, GA - The Earl w/ Zomes
Tue Apr 12 Asheville, NC - Harvest Records w/ Zomes

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