A remora is a fish belonging
to the family of the suckerfish that you'll probably know of its modified
dorsal fin with which it can clamp on to its host, most often sharks. Putting
this little biology lesson aside for a moment (you ought to do something
with your university degree, no?), Remora is also the alter ego of the
American Brian John Mitchell under which he releases music at his label
Silber Records. In a recent mailing we were notified that a number of albums
have been released freely as MP3s and can be downloaded from their or other
websites. "Ensoulment" has been released on the label "ping things" and
can be downloaded from there. Ping thing's blog gives some more details
on what went into producing this album.
Around 1995 Remora started
making drone/ambient music, using the guitar as a sound source. Later albums
explored different styles but this one is a return to the guitar as source
of sound instead of music (or as mentioned so beautifully on ping things
"six tuned wires mounted on wood"). "Ensoulment" is one, nearly 72-minute
soundscape that waxes and wanes. Who thinks of a sound close to that of
doomdroners like Sunn O))), Nadja or OM; no, more drones, less music. The
included press sheet draws parallels to Justin K. Broadrick (Godflesh,
Jesu), Mike VanPortfleet (Lycia) or the Polish composer György Ligeti.
Remora manages to avoid
monotony within this gritty wall by building up to periods of clearer and
more recognisable sound. I'm not too convinced by the track overall (there's
only so much one man can do with a guitar), but it definitely is a enjoyable
wall of sound for late-night listening. Whether that's a recommendation?
Since my taste in music has been slipping into ever more abstract and inaccessible
territories over the last few years I find it increasingly difficult to
say. Ask yourself the question whether one track of 72 minutes is your
cup of tea (please tick "yes" when you like Moljebka Pvlse). Patient people
approving of abstract music, or metalheads into funeral doom or the droning
of above-mentioned artists might well appreciate this as a piece of music
to relax to.