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Dream/Aktion Unit album out this summer
May 26, 2006
Press release by David Keenan
"Blood Shadow Rampage
Volcanic Tongue VT-03
Released August 2006
Volcanic Tongue is proud to present the first ever release by the Dream/Aktion Unit, a free-thinking avant garage Ur-kestra based around the central kernel of guitarist Thurston Moore (Sonic Youth), saxophonist Paul Flaherty and drummer Chris Corsano (Six Organs Of Admittance, Sunburned Hand Of The Man et al) and featuring Heather Leigh Murray (Taurpis Tula/Jandek/Scorces) on pedal steel and vocals and Matt Heyner (No-Neck Blues Band/Angelblood) on upright bass.
The Dream/Aktion Unit were originally birthed as a side-project to allow Thurston Moore and Jim O’Rourke to fully explore the kind of ecstatic power blues that their work in Sonic Youth repeatedly implied. The addition of legendary New England saxophonist Paul Flaherty and powerhouse drummer Chris Corsano provided them with an umbilical connection straight to the source of modern musical freedom, while working to liberate them from previously articulated modes of known rock-speak. As a quartet, the group tore through a bunch of the USA’s most winning festival spaces – their ground-levelling F/X pedal assault at the De Stijl/Freedom From bash in Minneapolis in 2004 being a particular landmark - with both guitarists drawing creative sustenance from the kind of ego-obliterating drums/horn interaction previously articulated by players like The Reverend Frank Wright, Glenn Spearman, Denis Charles and Albert Ayler.
Come 2005 – with sub-underground modes enjoying a particularly unlikely shot in the sun – The Dream/Aktion unit began to take on role of some kind spontaneous think-tank, with a revolving door policy towards membership and a commitment to the demands of the moment resulting in almost Orchestral incarnations featuring members of Burning Star Core, Hair Police and Vampire Belt all pushing the hell out of the envelope.
In May 2005 Moore, Flaherty and Corsano brought the Dream/Aktion Unit to Stirling, Scotland, for the final Le Weekend festival to be curated by David Keenan/Volcanic Tongue. With O’Rourke permanently out of the picture due to various film and musical commitments, Matt Heyner aka Count Heynowski of NNCK and Heather Leigh of Taurpis Tula stepped up. The results were mind-blowing, with the quintet tearing through a non-stop gush of energy/ideas without resorting to base musical concerns like dialogue or listening with your ears. This was pure simultaneity at some kind of peak of flux. Moore’s role was key. He would move from these kind of suggestive, shepherding chords that would work lubes of motion into the back line, where Corsano and Heyner hooked up to such a degree that it was hard to separate their individual tonal and percussive points. They sounded like a friggin combine harvester. Murray and Flaherty were floating on their own particular plane, one that worked to reconcile the insane pulse of blood from the base of their spine with the juice of pure vision. Flaherty’s sound touches on a whole bunch of jazz modes while re-situating the tradition somewhere way upwind of contemporary sound-as-thought while Heather Leigh’s exquisitely violent pedal steel stylings and free vocal improvisations seemed to touch on aspects of both Patty Waters, Lydia Lunch and Keiji Haino’s flesh-extensions while resolutely refusing anything approaching previously-articulated tongue. The whole thing was recorded and mixed straight to 24 track and the results are what you have in your hands. The first ever document of the collective thought of what’s easily the cream of the subterranean cup. Packaged in deluxe hard card gatefold sleeves with specially-commissioned eye-gouging video nasty-style artwork from Miss Karen Constance of Brighton aka Karen Lollypop of Blood Stereo/Smack Music 7/Chocolate Monk this is the first ever ‘real’ CD release from Volcanic Tongue after a run of limited and highly collectable art-edition CD-Rs".
Sonic Youth, initially comprising of guitarist / vocalists Thurston Moore and Lee Ranaldo, guitarist / bassist / vocalist Kim Gordon and drummer Richard Edson, were formed in New York City in 1981. A product of the No-Wave music scene of the late 1970s, the group had their roots in abrasive, experimental music, with Moore and Ranaldo having previously worked with the experimental composer Glenn Branca. The band were joined in 1985 by drummer Steve Shelley, and have now recorded 14 albums together, as well as many side and solo projects. Their work has been consistently challenging and innovative, and they are widely regarded as one of the most intriguing and influential bands of their time.
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