"just as Daedalus could barely escape the Labyrinth that he himself built, i have barely made it out this alive. this album- an entire year of deeply personal, daily obsession and restlessness- has left me physically changed and emotionally broken. the music, born of a great many hands- the same hands that have inspired and molded my own person(music)al growth- has become as much a part of me as mine eyes. the same eyes that witnessed the gentle horror of a posthumous encounter with Stephen Crane, whose severely underappreciated yet magnificent poetry i have been intimate with for nearly a decade. the texts herein are born of that encounter, in which Crane himself ran fluid in my walls chanting verses from the Black Riders and War Is Kind. special thanks to Colin Marston, without whom the complete potential of this album could not have been reached.
Texas, March, 2010"
Hallucinations in red rooms with white spaces on the wall. The specter of Stephen Crane haunts the spaces. And the room. And the mind of Pyramids creator R. Loren, who has given flight to yet another stereophonic masterpiece, this time under the moniker Sailors With Wax Wings. The tale of its genesis has at least a few details in common with the following:
A musical path is born anew under sheets of soft lightning and distant thunder, beneath the heat strobes of the thick Texas night. What hisses slowly behind creaking doors reveals itself after a season of deliberate recombination. The atmosphere boils and dilates; instruments and voices soar skyward toward transcendence. The clouds lapse and disintegrate like the frayed fabric of R. Loren’s nettled psyche.
Finally, the offspring is birthed whole. It breathes the air, then overtakes it. The lift force has both a vertical and forward component. Always onwards, always upwards. In fact, a certain tall, handsome genius at Decibel magazine called Sailors With Wax Wings’ self-titled debut “a towering atmospheric triumph, a kaleidoscope of shimmering guitars and ethereal vocal incantations that cascades from dark and cavernous to sparkling and exultant—and back again.”
As usual, he was right. Sailors With Wax Wings flutters and oscillates seamlessly as one dazzlingly cohesive 53-minute suite. Inspired by the aforementioned hallucinations induced by the work of the late, great Mr. Crane, the timeless myth of Daedalus and Icarus, and a fleeting phrase on a Vast Aire album, SWWW combines R. Loren’s penchant for palpable sonic textures and mood-altering musicality with his desire to explore more melancholy compositions and a male/female vocal dynamic.
An all-star cast of musicians joins Loren in the full realization of his objectives. Their names read like the dream team of a musical mastermind with one foot in the indie-rock firmament and the other in doom-dirge purgatory. Read ’em and, like, weep: Ted Parsons (Swans/Godflesh/Prong), Colin Marston (Krallice/Behold…The Arctopus), Aidan Baker (Nadja), Simon Scott (Slowdive), Dominick Fernow (Prurient/Cold Cave), Vern Rumsey (Unwound), Hildur Gudnadottir (Múm/Throbbing Gristle/The Knife), Aaron Stainthorpe (My Dying Bride), Jonas Renkse (Katatonia), Marissa Nadler, J. Leah, James Blackshaw, [and artwork by] David Tibet (Current 93) and Faith Coloccia (Mamiffer/Pyramids).
But the proof that any of this ever happened—or that the results are any good—will not be found on a piece of paper or in a document posted on the Interweb. Least of all this one. Better now to stop reading and start listening.
released 05 October 2010
R. Loren- vocals / textures
J. Leah- vocals
Ted Parsons- drums
Simon Scott- electronics
Aidan Baker- guitar
Colin Marston- guitar
Vern Rumsey- bass
Prurient- noise / electronics
James Blackshaw- piano
Hildur Gudnadottir- cello
Aaron Stainthorpe- vocals on 2
Jonas Renkse- vocals on 3
Marissa Nadler- vocals on 8
Produced by R. Loren and Colin Marston
Mixed by Colin Marston at Menegroth
Engineers: Ashley Scott Jones (New York), Steve Fisk (Seattle), John Devoy (Phoenix), Austin Johnson (Dallas)
Mastered by James Plotkin
All songs Copyright 2010 sailorswithwaxwingsmusic (ASCAP)
Cover Art by David Tibet
Design, Collage, Painting, Layout by Faith Coloccia
Prurient appears through the courtesy of Hospital Productions.
Jonas Renkse appears courtesy of Peaceville Records.
Aaron Stainthorpe appears courtesy of Peaceville Records.