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Pillars And Tongues

End-dances is the new album by PILLARS AND TONGUES on Empty Cellar Records. Although from Chicago, BETH REMIS, BEN BABBITT, and MARK TRECKA have spent much of the last few years traveling, performing music in a wide variety of contexts, exploring the severe and sublime landscapes of America, and returning to or refusing to return to variations on the theme of home. Recorded by THEO KARON, End-dances leaps forward in the direction implied by the last full-length, The Pass and Crossings, and the recent cassette, If Travel is Asked of Me. Long-form compositions are coerced into considered and patiently constructed songs, resulting in their most pop-oriented work to date. But in that, the work allies with the darker, stranger side of the pop realm, evoking the drama and atmosphere of Dead Can Dance, and the art-prog experimentation of Peter Gabriel’s 4. The characteristic harmonium and violin blend with enveloping synths, undulating loops and gated rhythms of hazy origin. Karon's adventurous engineering is apparent throughout the record; the band’s attention to the expressive potential of the sounds themselves is supported by mesmeric tape loops, saturated vocal echoes, and vibrant tones coaxed from radically transformed sources. Points of intersection between the acoustic and the electronic are embraced, calling the assumed organic nature of a drum and the artifice of a synthesizer into question. Loping, hypnotic rhythms give way to cinematic ambient passages, receding to reveal, again and again, the voices, with Trecka’s bold baritone in the lead. Remis’ voice—central and refined—conjures, floats,...

LP $16.00

10/08/2013 655035040813 

EMP 018 

MP3 $7.92

09/17/2013 655035040813 


***Empty Cellar is proud to announce the release of the new full-length from Chicago's PILLARS AND TONGUES, The Pass and Crossings. After two full-lengths—and too many DIY releases to count—Pillars and Tongues have returned from near-endless touring to deliver their most focused outing yet. Having spent years developing a uniquely textured sound, Pillars and Tongues have now given teeth their creation, and the doom is manifest. This is immediately apparent in the lyrical depths of the album opener, a mesmerizing song seemingly conjured by seduction from some very dark places. Lush violin lines swell and sing over pulsing drums, moving at a pace and with a weight that would not be out of place on an Earth record. Rolling desert drones permeate this album, interlaced with swampy melodies, adorned with moments of shimmering dream pop, and punctuated by heavy—almost tribal—percussion. The album plunges deep into spiritually imbued moments of minimalist trance, and emerges like some haunted vision of Peter Gabriel during cathartic groove-heavy climaxes on tracks "Thank You, Oaky" and "The Making Graceful." As with their previous album, Lay of Pilgrim Park (Empty Cellar), Pillars and Tongues continue to accumulate comparisons to the goth-drama and global grooves of early 4AD legends, Dead Can Dance. MARK TRECKA’s bold baritone pleads with absent forms and howls haunted poetry while BETH REMIS and EVAN HYDZIK’s signature rhythmic singing weaves otherworldy harmonies throughout, vocals that Pitchfork referred to as "acrobatic". When Trecka, Remis, and Hydzik hit it just right, their voices and instruments blend...

LP $17.50

08/02/2011 655035062211 

EMP 012 

CD $9.25

01/10/2012 655035062228 

EMP 012 CD 

MP3 $5.94

08/02/2011 655035062211 


***After spending more than a third of 2009 touring the United States and Europe, including a month-long tour supporting Bonnie "Prince" Billy, PILLARS AND TONGUES returned to Chicago and executed, in two days, Lay of Pilgrim Park. Recorded primarily live, Lay of Pilgrim Park reads like a map, like a document of a certain space. Rich string textures molded by violinist BETH REMIS and bassist EVAN HYDZIK and fluid vocal improvisations by all three members of the trio flow alongside deep, primal, danceable grooves; percussionist/singer MARK TRECKA’s bold lyrical enterprises, styled like a cross between Pandit Pran Nath and Tim Buckley, explore concepts of constant mystery, the impossibility of absolute knowledge, and the purging of those unwanted or crippling things acquired along the way. The music on this record is not easily situated within genre constraints, but has drawn comparisons to music as varied as Dirty Three, Dead Can Dance, the Bulgarian State Radio & Television Female Vocal Choir and Moondog. Pillars and Tongues has shared the stage with a great variety of artists, from Tuvan throat-singing icons Chirgilchin to feral instrumental-rock pioneers the Dirty Three. This Empty Cellar release of Lay of Pilgrim Park marks the band's first time on vinyl. This LP comes with a free CD-quality digital download of the entire album. Limited to 500 copies. (STREET DATE - 2/09/10)

LP $13.00

02/09/2010 655035000619 

EMP 006 

MP3 $9.90

02/09/2010 655035000619