Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Akron/Family & The Angels of Light - Akron/Family & The Angels of Light Split

2005; 12 tracks

This is a split between The Angels of Light and Akron/Family - two very talented groups. I personally like Michael Gira performing the Angels of Lighttracks the most, but the entire album has a very southern feel, if that makes any sense.... There are moments where it feels straight out of Their Eyes Were Watching God or something. In this magical split are moments of soft, pensive, and acoustic gentleness - others of communal song and richness. There is something very special about this EP, and I feel like it might be one of the better releases from The Angels of Light. I didn't know much about Akron/Family previous to hearing this split, but their performance of the tracks here (written by Gira) is very strong and full of life. If you didn't know, The Angels of Light is a project started by Michael Gira after he disbanded Swans. Some say that this project shows a more feminine side of Gira that you couldn't very well see in Swans... in any case, I love The Angels of Light and this is an awesome release by them (and Akron/Family too >.<).

Here is what Michael Gira himself had to say:

"A week after an extended US Tour and a few shows in Europe Akron/Family and I went into the studio and recorded this album straightaway. Everything was recorded live, with a few overdubs - mixed and finished in nine 8-hour days. Akron/Family is my favorite "Rock Band" in the universe (or "rock-related band" - something like that!). They generate such pure JOY, coupled with a wild sense of constant invention, that it's impossible not to get sucked into their weird world of sonic chaos, then gorgeous vocal harmonies, then march-of-the-crazed-clowns with ever-escalating psychedelic mantra crescendos, then country stomps, then genuinely touching plaintive, atmospheric songs, then extended improvisations, then into some kind of Beatles meets Beefheart backwoods midnight incantation ("Raising The Sparks" - a song that never fails to get the audience whooping like suddenly zapped and enlightened idiots) - and on and on.

Also contained on this album are 5 songs performed by me, with Akron/Family serving as (my) Angels of Light. They have an uncanny ability to step into the world of the songs I wrote (also covered here is Bob Dylan's "I Pity The Poor Immigrant²) - without imposing their own aesthetic - and lift them up to something beyond what I could have initially imagined. I've never had a better backing band, ever. I hope you enjoy this record!"



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