It's a pleasure seeing the metamorphosis some musicians have undergone in recent years from harsh noise into new calmer terrain. Luminaries that readily spring to mind are group's such as Animal Collective or Black Dice, each arriving at their own respective sound. Matthew Sullivan aka Earn has taken the same journey arriving at something totally different than said mentioned artists and what may be the extreme opposite of his previous work as Privy Seals. What results is one of the highlights of modern day ambient music.
Ambient may be a poor word/genre choice though because as the press release for his new record A Following Shadow makes clear there is a definite emotional bent underscoring the compositions, and yes the work feels like a composition not an obvious electronic improv. Possibly looking towards works William Basinki's Disintegration Loops or Eno's classic ambient albums. Which isn't a comparison to be ashamed of.
Earn is undertaking a national tour for the release, via PPM records. The tour is not only for the release of A Following Shadow. It is also for the release of two other albums the first by tour-mate Mirror To Mirror's Here You Leave Today, via Jugular Forest, & a collaborative album between the two. The collaborative effort enlists some possible postmodernist black-humor in the group title as 1958-2009, an homage of sorts to the late Michael Jackson.
The outing includes a Last Nights organized show at Shea Stadium this Sunday November 20th along with Pete Swanson (ex-Yellow Swans) + Brian Sullivan (Mouthus, United Waters) & Civilian Device. As I've mentioned before I'm looking forward to witnessing Swanson & Sullivan's meeting as it isn't to be missed along with the special talents of each musician.
Earn's A Following Shadow is available Nov. 15th., while Mirror To Mirror's Here You Leave Today is available now.