Dog Gone Presents: Amen Dunes Guest Mix

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Next Monday, we’ll be hosting Amen Dunes for his first headlining performance in Toronto. The man behind the project, Damon McMahon, was kind enough to put together this mix of songs, each of which he tells us is an influence on his general being.

Catch Amen Dunes live in Toronto on Monday night at The Silver Dollar along with Alex Calder, Wicked Witches and Milk Lines. RSVP here. Also be sure to pick up the excellent new Amen Dunes record, Love, out now on Sacred Bones.

MP3: Amen Dunes Guest Mix

01. Alex Chilton – Walking Dead
02. Eyeless in Gaza – Scale Amiss
03. Sixx – Sister Devil
04. Flipper – Love Canal
05. Chrome – SS Cygni
06. Happy Mondays – Country Song
07. Lifetones – Good Side
08. Willie Colon – Pa Colombia
09. DJ Paul & Juicy J – I Thought You Knew
10. Aphex Twin – Acrid Avid Jam Shred
11. Aster Bekele – Wub Hager
12. Burial – Forgive
13. Death in June – Peaceful Snow

Amen Dunes △ Love

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The 13th Floor Elevators’ Svengali Tommy Hall once remarked that his band formed what he termed a “third sound”; all the band’s instruments, playing in the right environment, with the right pharmaceuticals, would bleed together to create overtones that would be interpreted as being from another instrument altogether. Damon McMahon and his Amen Dunes project seem to have unconsciously run with this throughout their latest release Love, producing a dynamic work which benefits as much from studio trickery as songcraft. As a result, the final product creates a murky and hallucinatory listening experience saturated in lush production, drawn from disparate elements, and steeped in the droning repetition of collaborators Godspeed! You Black Emperor.

 

The group’s video for “Lilac in Hand” illustrates these elements best, visually showing the uncertain and flowing nature of the music – the viewer’s focus pans in and out from above to below, and forced perspective changes appear visually much like the overdriven sonic elements of the song itself. You can hear that McMahon has drawn from many sources, and is meticulous in what he chooses to include, but the offhand nature of the album’s performances show a performer who believes strongly in using off-the-cuff inspiration to inform a final product which is very much in the moment.

 

Opener “White Child” brings this disorientation into perspective – a piano playing slightly out of time gives way to a backing which builds in intensity throughout the song. Damon’s emphatic lyrical delivery, which calls to mind Fleet Foxes’ Robin Pecknold, seems to dictate the ebb and flow of the backing, giving a live and improvisational feel to the recording. Track “Splits Are Parted” continues this trend, with a heavily treated backing track benefiting from simple repetition and cavernous reverb, alongside a spirited vocal and musical arrangement that recalls Bonnie “Prince” Billy’s “I See A Darkness”.  “I Know Myself”, based off of an acoustic guitar, opens up over the course of the song to include ghostly harmonies and percussive accompaniment, which all results in a slight R&B feel. On the other end of the spectrum, the closing title track “Love”, with its repeating musical phrase and variations thereof dropping in and out of the mix, can sonically draw comparisons like Brian Eno’s Discreet Music, or ideas previously used in Terry Riley and Steve Reich’s symphonic works.

 

Although the murkiness of the production at times obscures the directness of McMahon’s lyrics, these very same eerie textures produce a shadowy and meditative atmosphere, where, yes, Tommy Hall’s “third sound” is sometimes evoked. The emotion of the performances and dynamic of the production ensure that the final message comes through with a concise and accessible, yet obtuse work.

△ Words by Dave Sampson

Purchase Love via Sacred Bones.

 

Dog Gone Presents Amen Dunes along with Alex Calder, Wicked Witches and Milk Lines at The Silver Dollar in Toronto, Ontario on Monday, June 23rd. RSVP and ticket info can be found HERE.

 

Dog Gone Presents: Amen Dunes △ Alex Calder △ Wicked Witches △ Milk Lines

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We’re honored to welcome Brooklyn’s Amen Dunes to Toronto on June 23. He’ll be passing through in support of his excellent new long-player, Love, out now on Sacred Bones. The evening will also feature performances by Montreal-based Captured Tracks artist Alex Calder along with Wicked Witches and Milk Lines from Toronto.

Tickets available HERE.

“Clearly, Amen Dunes’
New album can result in
Levitation, dude”
Revolt of the Apes

The Holydrug Couple – “Je t’aime Non Plus”

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Tomorrow we embark on the great journey to Austin Psych Fest where we will be surrounded by many of our favorite bands, including upcoming Chilean psych rockers The Holydrug Couple. The band played our show at Mercury Lounge with Follakzoid last month and all reports, and some guy named Harold, heralded them as one of the best new acts on the scene. They’ve just put out a cover of the French pop classic “Je t’aime Non Plus,” which means “I Love You No More.” The cover comes off the Sacred Bones compilation Todo Muere Volume 3. See ya’ll in Texas.

Psychic Ills – “Might Take A While”

Psychic-Ills-One-Track-Mind
Since 2003, New York’s Psychic Ills have gone from an electronic-centered home recording project to one of today’s premiere stoner psych acts. Last month, the group released their most defined collection of hazy, sunburnt jammers, titled One Track Mind, on Sacred Bones. The album features collaborations with and some production by Neil Michael Hagerty of Royal Trux/The Howling Hex and artwork by former 13th Floor Elevators songwriter and artist Powell St. John. Tonight, they return to Toronto at the Shop at Parts and Labour alongside U.S. Girls and Tess Parks & The Good People. Listen to new song “Might Take A While” below.

Video: Psychic Ills ~ “Take Me With You”


Brooklyn space voyagers Psychic Ills team up with San Francisco’s similarly mind-expanding Moon Duo on a new 7-inch split, out now on Sacred Bone. The split is available as a Limited Edition pressing, and features two tracks, Moon Duo’s “Zoned” and Psychic Ills’ “Take Me With You.”

“Take Me With You” finds Psychic Ills locked into a deep repetitive choogle with a more straight ahead approach. Check out the video or audio stream below.

NEW MUSIC: Amen Dunes

Here’s one of the artists I’ve been meaning to write about for some time, but never got the chance to. CMJ, for the most part, was a major disappointment this year. But one of the high points for me, personally, was getting to finally see Damon McMahon’s Amen Dunes project. After hearing his debut 2009 release DIA, recorded in a remote cabin in the Catskill Mountains, and then this year’s Through Donkey Jaw, McMahon quickly established himself as one of my favorite stoner psych minimalists. Below, check out one of the year’s best unofficial videos for “Diane” off Amen Dunes’ Murder Dull Mind 12″ EP out on Sacred Bones. Also viddy the official video for “Bedroom Drum” off Through Donkey Jaw.