I'm extremely excited about this dense, weird and beautiful project and that I finally get to share it with you all. GOLDEN BRAID is an ambient tone loop experiment orchestrated by yours truly (me, Mike Adams) in 2015 and is finally being released in 2017 by my friends at Bluesanct and Red Frost Industries.
Cool, dude, but what the heck IS IT??
In 2014 I contacted a handful of my friends whom I thought may be interested in participating in this experiment with me:
MKL Anderson (DREKKA, Dais Records)
Jared Cheek (Flannelgraph Records, Prayer Breakfast)
Tyler Damon (Solo work, Family Vinyeyard Records, Darin Gray)
John Dawson (Thee Open Sex, Magnetic South Recordings)
Greg Dixon (Quixod, inventor of the Space Regenerator)
Phil Elverum (Mount Eerie/The Microphones)
Rachel Yoder (Madera Wind Quintet, Editor - Clarinet Journal)
I mailed each of them a five-minute blank cassette tape and asked them to fill the tape with anything they wanted to - whatever was their whim, anything goes - then asked them to mail it back to me. Once I got all of the tapes back, I tore apart 6 other blank cassettes and cut the tape into loops (varying in length between around 6-9 seconds). Then, I ripped the erase head out of my cassette deck at home and recorded all 5 minutes of each source tape onto the loops I'd made. Once the tape loops were complete, I played each tape through it's own walkman-style cassette player into a mixing board. With the tapes all playing, I then did a live stereo mix, DJ-style, through the mixer, adding a touch of delay or tremolo to help blend the sources together seamlessly where needed. The result is a spooky, sometimes relaxing, sometimes frantic but always coherent collage of dark ambient soundscape.
I did a few live performances of this piece, all about 20-or-so minutes in length, but each one unique due to the nature of the tape loop start times and random selection. Eventually, I decided to record a few performances in my studio at home for posterity. I sent the result to the contributors, and MKL liked it enough that he wanted to release it on the Bluesanct label. Very exciting!
Once MKL and I started to discuss ideas about how the record should look, he came up with two more ideas that really hammered this thing home for me. One is that while the A-side of the LP plays the piece as I recorded it, the B-side is another experiment in and of itself. The B-side plays inside-out and backwards! Drop the needle of your record player in the center of the vinyl (next to the label) and the complete piece will play - IN REVERSE - from the center to the outside edge of the LP. Second, each contributor to the album also provided us with a photograph that was - to them - related in some way to the music they provided. Then, MKL comped them together into the beautiful, layered double-exposed collages on the front and back covers. I also created a collage of each contributor that is included here as an LP insert. I'm telling you, this thing is packed with abstract information!
So, here it is in all of it's complex, unknowable, experimental glory. It's limited to 300 copies on black vinyl and we don't expect them to last long.