Drawing from the beauty of the Pacific Northwest and one of the area's most majestic creatures, Rafael Anton Irisarri of The Sight Below and Thomas Meluch of Benoît Pioulard have breathed life into a new project, Orcas. On their debut self-titled disc, the two have created nine tracks of ambiance-heavy songs featuring a number of opposing elements, including light and dark, acoustic and electronic, textured subtlety and straight-forward hook. In that spirit of balance, this bilateral feature places side-by-side interview responses and sample tracks from both artists, to dissect the strengths, weaknesses, and sonic tendencies both musicians contribute to making Orcas the rich collaboration that it is.

Benoît Pioulard

"Sault" from Lasted Where Irisarri's soundscapes lay a gentle foundation for the work of Orcas, Meluch's work as Benoît Pioulard provides more accessible and structural elements, complete with singer-songwriter pop melodies. "Sault," from Benoît Pioulard's album Lasted, has guitar and vocal tendencies that connect to the piano and guitar lines of "Arrow Drawn," which is streaming below.

Rafael Anton Irisarri

"A Great Northern Sigh" from The North Bend As The Sight Below, Rafael Anton Irisarri's compositions rebuild familiar emotions and spaces by way of minimal electronic soundscapes. According to Irisarri, "A Great Northern Sigh" has conceptual and thematic ties to the work of Orcas, as it also relates to the Pacific Northwest. "Almost like an audio postcard," he adds. "What can I say -- I'm deeply inspired by this region and wouldn't imagine composing our Orcas album anywhere else."

 

Mount Eerie - To The Ground 7"

Our European friends Atelier Ciseaux are releasing a limited edition copy of To The Ground, a 7" featuring the tracks "To The Ground" and "The Mouth Of Sky" (MIDI Strings). As with all Atelier Ciseaux mixes, this one does not disappoint, and they're proving it to you by offering the whole thing for stream, below. The artwork is designed by Phil Elverum himself, and the release is limited to 300 copies.

 

Order To The Ground 7" On Atelier Ciseaux July 12th, 2012 Update After the records were distirbuted, Atelier Ciseaux asked fans to take photographs of where their copy of To The Ground ended up. Scroll over the image above to see some examples, or see the rest on Armour & Discipline.

 

This week, visual artist Margot Bird and Nils Petersen of Seattle's psychedelic rock band Rose Windows are working together to co-curate NOISE: The State Of Being Combined Into One Body, an interdisciplinary show featuring fourteen artists and five bands. The two-day experience will include visuals, sound installations, and performances, with two sessions each day at 5:00pm and 9:00pm. Included among the artists and performers are REDEFINE favorites like Midday Veil (interview + exclusive MP3 download) and creator of Le Petit Prince Troy Gua (interview). In the spirit of NOISE, this post, too, will combine music and visual art in the same space, with a focus on artists who are creating site-specific experiences. Listen to samples from participating musicians or see previous works from visual artists to get an idea of what you're in store for. Keep in mind, though, that there are some custom pieces being crafted exclusively for this event; visiting the space will provide an immersive experience that we can't even begin to captured in still photography. How all this will fit into Black Lodge will also be a sight to see! Full list of participants and schedule of events are listed at the very bottom of this post.

By way of Seattle and San Diego, artist Ian Ferguson seems to finally have hit his artistic stride amidst the urban rawness of Chicago. This documentary takes a quick glance at the new direction of his works -- with a special focus on large-scale works, paper cuts, and mixed media...

In Midday Veil's new video for "Moon Temple," vocalist Emily Pothast has edited source material she and guitarist Timm Mason generated last year during a residency at Experimental Television Center in Upstate New York. At its gentlest, the video is a silky smooth ripple; at its most severe, a rigid...

A post critiquing two female-fronted, genre-hopping experimental bands -- and exaggerations. YAMANTAKA // SONIC TITAN Pitchfork describes YAMANTAKA // SONIC TITAN as "psych-opera." Press point yarn. This is not psych-opera, dudes; at least, not in musical style. When in consideration of YT//ST, one is inundated with hype terminology -- including the band's...

Hi-definition and hi-contrast color mix with black and white graininess in this new video for High Places' "The Pull." Examining naturalistic settings with the help of unnatural manmade light, the video, like the song, is at once romantic and unsettling. One is unsure of whether the florals are symbolic of...

Finding an artist like Seth Haley, the man behind the electronic project Com Truise, is quite refreshing. Rather than trying to downplay the ‘80s artists and aesthetics that have inspired him -- for fear of being constantly compared to those references -- Haley venerably turns his influences into transfixing and educational works. "I love to expose my sources; my favorite thing is the source," Haley says. "It's really what drives me or anyone to do any certain thing, whatever that source may be."

 

Our third-annual album cover art feature uses interviews with artists and musicians to highlight the philosophical, thematic, and conceptual significance of great album cover artwork. THE BREAKDOWN    12 Collage + 14 Digital Illustration, Drawing, Design + 19 Illustration, Painting, Drawing + 8 Black And White Photography + 22 Color Photography + 6 Deluxe Packaging + 10 Fashion, Sculpture, Installation _____________________________    91 Album Covers For 2011 Best Of 2011 Album Cover Art

Apteka - Gargoyle Days
Despite never having met one another, Portland designer Dylan McConnell and Chicago's Apteka have grown a well-fitting artistic relationship through the years. McConnell's album cover for Gargoyle Days may be their most gripping collaboration yet.

QUOTES FROM: DYLAN MCCONNELL, DESIGNER ADAM LUCAS, APTEKA'S GUITARIST AND VOCALIST THEMES & CONCEPTS "We had worked with a sorta paranoid, dark op-art theme in the past for posters and albums (with a brief interlude of lopping off girls' heads). High contrast and fluid -- that's what I was going for." - Dylan McConnell COLLABORATION "We've been working with Dylan pretty much since the band formed. He's done all our cover art, and most all of our show posters so far. Things clicked from the beginning. He just has a knack of taking what we're doing musically and expressing it in a visual way. The funniest part is that we've never really met. He lives in Portland, and we're in Chicago. A mutual friend turned us on to him, but we've never had the chance to meet in person. It's all been through email. Which is kind of a weird way to communicate artistic intentions, but somehow it works, and he’s become this mysterious fifth member of the group." - Adam Lucas Record Label Carpark Records The Artists Design - Dylan McConnell Mediums & Materials Collage, Digital, Typography (hand-drawn)

Our third-annual album cover art feature uses interviews with artists and musicians to highlight the philosophical, thematic, and conceptual significance of great album cover artwork. THE BREAKDOWN    12 Collage + 14 Digital Illustration, Drawing, Design + 19 Illustration, Painting, Drawing + 8 Black And White Photography + 22 Color Photography + 6 Deluxe Packaging + 10 Fashion,...