Northern Spy Records
Released August 12, 2014
“Time to slow down,drink the beauty and feel no shame if a tear appears.” – Edward Ka-spel, Legendary Pink Dots
Upon hearing the 2011 collaboration between Asva and French avant artist, Phillipe Petit, Phelps reached out to Dahlquist and proposed the addition of his vocals to an instrumental track he had found particularly moving. Despite having been friends and colleagues for nearly 25 years, discussions about working on a serious project together for the very first time began when a listen through the resulting piece (entitled “Thine”) nearly brought Dahlquist and his wife to tears. With Phelps living in British Columbia and Dahlquist residing in Seattle, all recording and composition for Claw was conducted in their respective home studios and transmitted via email over an 18-month period. The results are a profound representation of their individual yet somehow synchronous growth and maturity as artists. The mutual respect and trust both musicians have for and share with one another is evident in how far they pushed themselves to realize their combined work’s full potential and create what may be the strongest material either of them have ever put forth.
DAMA/LIBRA is currently preparing for an August release of Claw, and have arranged a full live ensemble to bring along when they kick-off their concurrent Western US tour.
Hell Awaits is a column by Kim Kelly and Andy O’Connor that shines a light on extreme and underground metal. This time, Andy sizes up new metal from Hollow Sunshine, Brownout, Diocletian and more.
DAMA/LIBRA: “Only Medicine”
DAMA/LIBRA is a collaboration between G. Stuart Dahlquist, currently of Asva and formerly of Sunn O))) and Goatsnake, and Joel RL Phelps, best known for his work in Silkworm.They’ll release their debut album Claw on August 12 through Northern Spy. The record may throw some more familiar with Dahlquist for a loop, as it focuses on lush organs and ambient structures rather than doom metal. “Only Medicine” is the second-to-last track on the record, alternating between Stars of the Lid-like drift and gorgeous piano. Phelps’ vocals are quite lovely and pained, which helps bring the songs together. While DAMA/LIBRA is not metal, “Medicine” does feature some crunch at the end that’ll satisfy those waiting for a new Goatsnake record. The surge, if brief, does offer a rush that effectively distinguishes itself from the rest of the record. DAMA/LIBRA is an apt union of both Dahlquist’s and Phelps’ visions, and more adventurous listeners will benefit.
Copyright 2014 Northern Spy Records