It's been a while since I got a chance to check in with Atelier Ciseaux Records and see what they've been up to....and right before record store day they put out this Mount Eerie release, it's been a while since hearing anything Phil Elverum....in fact the last thing I can think of was this "Stop Smoking" single, which I have to revisit by the way and Atelier is a perfect place to put out the latest chapter of Mount Eerie.
A-side's "To the Ground" is made up of crazy electronics, which is the logical end game to his progression, Phil's got all of that hands-on clunky lo-fi theory and strategies of working behind him and now that the methods of production have sort of caught up to him you get this real madman sound full of disjointed specks of ideas. These kind of perfect mini-ideas, encapsulated in a single mote or melody, all of this coming together with his melancholy vocal. There's a million different room tones all over this track, from the warm depth of his vocal track, the massive space harmony of a vocal choir, the cheap organ sample from a casio and a roomfull of hands clapping in an isolation booth. The single is a place for ideas, any musician can take notes and extrapolate a million different directions. Truly inspiring recording. Equally as interesting as the intellectual parts of electronic music and influenced by the best parts of homemade, underground rock.
The B-Side, "The Mouth of Sky" shows off a layered synth track which varies between the top shelf strings and the cheap cut off stuff. I swear I'm even hearing the key presses here, his fingers actually pressing down plastic midi keys, that would figure they would have mic'd that process. I wouldn't put it past him to get that meta. The vocal that comes in is robotic and autotuned, a vocal that most likely didn't need any of this 'correction'.... and that's the point maybe, how easily you can 'ruin something that should pretty much be left alone. These midi strings can be good by themselves if you don't try to hide them? There's a lot going on here, all sadness and epic as the Microphones ever were.
For my money Phil hasn't done enough lately, but that makes jewels like this even that much more special when you come across them.
Pick this limited single up from the overseas label Atelier Ciseaux Records.
MOUNT EERIE "TO THE GROUND" 7" (feat. Nicholas Krgovich)/ OUT NOW
I grew up at the foot of a chain of mountains. As a teenager, I dreamed only about the city, about leaving. These mountains were symbols of boredom. It took me time to learn to know them, to appreciate them. The fascination Phil Elverum has for his mountain, Mt. Erie, has probably guided me to them. These days, I always miss those “summits” when I’m away for too long.
Whether it is with The Microphones or MOUNT EERIE, Phil E. has always been part of those who never cease to explore, again and again. His music has eyes. It observes, travels for us. And it is now time to leave, to accompany them through 9 minutes and 16 seconds of this 7" which goes out today on Atelier Ciseaux.
To the ground » is limited to only 300 copies. The artwork was done by Phil E. The digital version is also available on our website.