TTW#46 - Chris Connelly - The Collapse of Ether
Cassette only – limited edition of 200 copies
SOLD OUT AT SOURCE
A: The Collapse of Ether
Illustration and calligraphy – Stefan Fähler.
Voice and piano: Chris Connelly. Piano recorded at Chicago Trax Studio, May 1990, engineered by Keith Auerbach. Vocals recorded May 2012 at Engine Studios, Chicago, engineered by Sanford Parker. Produced by Chris Connelly and Sanford Parker. Dedicated to the innocent victims of the regimes in Chechnya and Ingushetia.
Chris Connelly formed the Fini Tribe with childhood friends in 1980 and left in 1987 after an invitation to record and tour with the Revolting Cocks & their evil twin Ministry in Chicago. Then ensued a long and continuing career of collaborations and solo albums working with the likes of Lydia Lunch, Killing Joke, Jah Wobble, Robert Fripp, Cabaret Voltaire, David Tibet, Steve Shelley, Shirley Manson, Jim O’Rourke, Gordon Sharpe, Joan of Arc, and more recently Michael Esposito & Meshell Ndegeocello. Chris has also written three published books & continues to write and collaborate as he becomes more demented in his middle years.
Reckless Records (US):
Limited edition cassette release from the forever enigmatic artist Chris Connelly. “Collapse of Ether” is a 30+ minute experimental piece that has taken almost 22 years to complete. The piano notes were recorded at a high tape speed in 1990 & in 2012, Connelly & engineer Sanford Parker added vocals over the backwards piano part then slowed everything down so that Connelly's vocals sound like the devil chanting from deep below the Earth. Side two features the same music played backwards so the piano sounds correct (though still slowed down) & the vocals are backwards. A very cool, dark experimental work from this Chicago based legend.
Aquarius Records (US):
Another new tape from UK tape label The Tapeworm, this one the latest from Chris Connelly, who most folks likely remember as a member of Ministry, Revolting Cocks and others, but whose post industrial trajectory as found him recast as more of a brooding singer songwriter and sonic experimentalist. Our first glimpse of Connelly’s more songsmitherly alter ego came in the form of a tape on the PlusTapes label back in 2009, a gorgeous songsuite of skeletal song sketches, recorded in the woods, just guitar and vocals, over a bed of insects and abstract ambient night sounds, his voice a warm, weary and weathered croon.
This latest effort finds Connelly in experimental mode, finally releasing a piece he's been working on for 22 years (!!). Just piano and vocals, but don’t be expecting some maudlin man-at-a-piano action, no this is something altogether more warped and wonderful. The piano parts were recorded with the tapes running super fast, and then flipped backwards. Connelly, then sang over the backwards piano, at which point the tapes were slowed back down, resulting in a dark and demonic, woozy and warped landscape of churning murky chordal thrum, and vocals that are low and bellowed, and seriously creepy. The music is lush and layered and dense and dark, sans the vocals, it would be a gorgeous bit of churning ambience, but the vocals transform it into something more ritualistic and malevolent.
On the flipside, it’s the same music played backwards, so the piano sounds ‘correct’, albeit still slowed down, but this time the vocals are backwards, and somehow, it sounds ever MORE insane, the piano a pounding ominous landscape of oozing blackened chords, the vocals a chorus of gurgling monstrous speaking in tongues.