Wrekmeister Harmonies

#FreeMusicWednesdays

Wrekmeister Harmonies

Thalia Zedek, Polluter

Wed, May 17, 2017

Doors: 9:00 pm / Show: 9:30 pm

BAR

New Haven, CT

This event is 21 and over

Wrekmeister Harmonies
Wrekmeister Harmonies
The shape-shifting drone, modern classical, outrock and extreme metal collective, led by the enigmatic and visionary musician JR Robinson, came into chaotic life in 2006 with the modus operandi of performing and recording long pieces in museums, mausoleums and other impressive public spaces. Over three inimitable albums, released at a feverish pace (You’ve Always Meant So Much to Me, 2013; Then It All Came Down, 2014; Night of Your Ascension, 2015) JR proved himself to be a master collaborator - curating and orchestrating the talents of such varied underground luminaries as Jef Whitehead of Leviathan; Alexander Hacke of Einstürzende Neubauten; David Yow of The Jesus Lizard; Chip King and Lee Buford of The Body; Marissa Nadler; Sanford Parker of Minsk; the free-improv cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm; Chris Brokaw of Codeine; and jazz composer Ken Vandermark.

Following the critical success of last year’s Night Of Your Ascension, which featured no less than 30 musicians, JR felt it was time to seek out new methods, processes and creative strategies. Focusing his energies on a smaller collective.

Wrekmeister Harmonies core is JR (vocals, guitar) and Esther Shaw (keyboards, piano, violin, vocals). They are joined by Godspeed You! Black Emperor musicians Thierry Amar on bass and contrabass; Sophie Trudeau on piano, violin and vocals; and Timothy Herzog on drums.

The title of the album originates from the text of If This Is A Man, Primo Levi’s meditation on the year the author spent as an inmate at Auschwitz. The Italian Jewish chemist and anti-fascist resistance fighter suggested in this seminal work that inhumanity comes about when things change slowly and people begin accepting things that they would normally find reprehensible. JR adds: “I wanted to sonically convey the idea of slow, creeping change. When I came up with the title I was thinking of how when daylight turns to night time it’s a very gradual process. You are lulled into watching this slow, peaceful sunset but then all of a sudden you look up and it’s dark.”

The album opens up with "Light Falls I: The Mantra" with JR intoning the phrases, “Stay in, go out, get sick, get well, light falls” over a swelling riff that features the albums only two guest musicians, singer songwriter Ryley Walker and Cooper Crain of Cave and Bitchin Bajas, solidifying the idea of slow change, easing the passage toward something cataclysmic - both sonically and spiritually.

The album builds inexorably towards the Muddy Waters referencing centrepiece, "Where Have You Been My Lovely Son?" which has “an incredibly personal” meaning for JR: “It is about the disintegration of a relationship that I had with my son’s mother. My son and I had a really intense, close relationship and as a result of this break up I’ve lost that connection. There has been a lot of difficulty and a lot of uncomfortable moments, so it was a personal message to my son.” And then finally, Wrekmeister Harmonies’ most focused album to date resolves in the tempestuous, apocalyptic "Some Were Saved Some Drowned."

From the striking eschatological sleeve art created by outsider artist and Rudimentary Peni founder Nick Blinko to the new and invigorating band format Wrekmeister Harmonies are ready to progress to the next stage of their journey.
Thalia Zedek
Thalia Zedek has one of the most enduring and distinctive voices in modern rock music — a voice like no other — that can be heard in her work with some of the most groundbreaking underground bands, from Uzi and Live Skull to Come. Since 2001, Zedek has been making music under her own name, releasing a string of critically acclaimed albums. Her latest, Eve, is her most accomplished album to date, building upon the foundations of her previous releases. Again the album features her bluesy, gritty guitar work and her distinctive vocals that, when juxtaposed with graceful viola and piano, give the songs on Eve a compelling tension. Her lyrics remain deeply personal and her emotional fire is palpable, but she has developed a control in her delivery that brings new dynamics to the music and gives room for the emotions to breathe. 
Loss, isolation and alienation are some of the themes Zedek frequently returns to, with songs such as the soaring “360” and By the Hand” touching on deeply personal emotions and making for an intimate listen. Zedek’s band is very restrained on Eve, a clear indication of her vocal confidence. Great examples of this restraint can be found on “You Will Wake” and “All I Need,” which are both spare and raw, with heart-felt emotion carried almost entirely by Zedek — it is impossible to deny the songs’ beauty and power.
Eve was recorded and mixed by Andy Hong at Kimchee Studio. For this record, Zedek’s band is made up of talented and trusted musicians David Michael Curry (viola) and Mel Lederman (piano), who have worked with Zedek since 2001’s Been Here and Gone. Winston Braman (bass) played on 2008’s Liars and Prayers, and newest member Jonathan Ulman is back on drums for his second recording with the band.
Thirty years in, Zedek is as active as she has ever been. She started the new rock band E with Jason Sidney Sanford (Neptune) and Gavin McCarthy (Karate). She continues to tour with the Thalia Zedek Band and has done more then a few Come reunion shows. On Eve, we find the results of a creative thinker whose life experiences are laid bare and whose mesmeric voice and startlingly honest songwriting deliver a singular emotional punch.  Eve should cement Zedek’s place among alternative rock’s greatest practitioners. 
The Thalia Zedek Band will be touring the US after the album’s release, and heading to Europe in the fall. 
Polluter
In defiance of formulaic modern rock, the humans in Polluter have created a bulgingly organic musical think tank armed with sonic artillery aimed straight at the pituitary gland. Compositions run the gamut from lovely to atonal, delicate to pummeling. Polluter incubated for years in its cocoon, fertilized by legends such as Black Sabbath, Frank Zappa, and John Coltrane to channel a modernist style of rock rooted in free expression and intensity. This fully formed entity is now poised to delight and ignite the increasingly devastated mindscapes of audiences the world over. With power, with beauty, with integrity, Polluter explores the outer limits while staying grounded in the traditions of riff and groove; to expand upon the musical consciousness of Earth’s population. Demented blues meets Avant Prog-Punk Doom Pop....and the fun begins.
Venue Information:
BAR
254 Crown Street
New Haven, CT, 06511
http://www.barnightclub.com/