With tapes and vocals as his only
Ian Najdzionek (recording under the mystical
Gitche-Anahmi-Bezheu guise) converts this 40 minute stretch
of magnetic tape into a wholly ominous underworld of murky, echoed
In sounds as if it has been recorded from the far end of a
massive warehouse, an enchanting
effect which results in an impeccable
sleepscape of a tape, meshing tranquility with a
somehow unsettling underbelly.
Side A begins with a trail of
bass-heavy, cassette-manipulation drone overlaid with what sound
like alternately slowed-down
and sped-up electronic twinkles. The track slowly
comes out of its shell, introducing a spacey eighties vibe
reminiscent of Giorgio Moroder and Tangerine Dream, yet wrapped up
in drone. The piece conjures up swirling neon signs, dark city
nights, 3 A.M. epiphanies, and slo-mo eighties music videos played
in reverse. In short, quite the doozy.
Side B is distinctively similar to its
flipside, but it also reveals certain indubitable differences.
Over twenty minutes, it ebbs and flows in
a somewhat menacing timbre, employing vocals
strangely akin to monastery chanting. This side is
somehow less eventful than the last, employing a more continuously
brooding, even doleful demeanor throughout most of the track.
Latent within it, however, is a curiously biological, vital quality that
emerges from the free-flowing structure of the piece. Slowly
drifting up from its vaguely sinister beginnings, the side is
rescued by Najdzionek in truly Alighierian fashion, swelling up to
end on an uplifting note -- Empyrean heaven, possibly, though I'm
certainly reading to far into the matter. Nevertheless, an angelic
influx of resplendent synths swoops in before the track winds down
into a strangely quiet, frothing loop. This is
what tapes were made for.
how did you first become interested
in the drone / psychedelic / etc scene?
i became interested after first hearing early minimalist and
avant-garde composers, but i wasn't interested in the intellectual
aspects of it all. i finally stumbled upon this whole new world of
limitless imagination and passion.
drone acts often have arcane names,
but what is your attraction to the mythological underwater panthers
(thanks wikipedia) that share your namesake?
i think some things are best kept secret. there's a definite feline
when did you start recording, and
when/what was your first release?
i've been recording for years, can't remember my first release. it's
all very hazy... and irrelevant anyway. i've found what i've been
describe your performance set-up. in
other words, what is responsible for the sounds we hear on your
tapes and vocals.
how did you get connected with david
toro of rotifer cassettes?
i contacted him after seeing some covers of releases he was
responsible for--they're all spectacular and i really enjoy some of
the artists he has worked with.
what sorts of images or feelings
does 'mahpiya ska in' evoke in you?
mahpiya ska is a completely deaf, almost completely blind albino
buffalo. the significance is that the journey is completely aimless
and the destination does not matter (if there is even in fact a
tell me a little bit about this new
project you're just starting up. how is it different from your g-a-b
the new project is called "water lily jaguar." the two are most
definitely connected, but wlj is based around keyboard. sometimes i
just feel like focusing more, even if it's just on nothing.