As a way of celebrating the fact that Japanese post-rock band, Mono, have recently signed to Pelagic Records, the record label owned by The Ocean brainchild Robin Staps, the two groups released a split EP. The EP, entitled Transcendental, was released on October 23rd, and it features one extended track from each band.
Every semester on the WRVU DJ application we are asked, “What’s your favorite album that no one knows about?” For the last four semesters I have declared that The Samuel Jackson Five’s Easily Misunderstood is, in fact, that album. I realize that there are probably some of you who have heard it, but I hope after reading this that some of you will scroll down to the embedded Spotify link and experience the post-rock mastery.
Bon Iver may be done for a little while, but between popping up on hip-hop albums big (Yeezus, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, Watch The Throne) and small (P.O.S.’s We Don’t Even Live Here), playing with his band The Shouting Matches, and collaborating with The Blind Boys of Alabama, Justin Vernon hasn’t exactly been quiet. Nevertheless, the announcement of another album from Volcano Choir, a collaboration with post-rock band Collections of Colonies of Bees, was a bit of a surprise. Their 2009 album Unmap was a solid collection of abstractions with the occasional killer song (“Island, IS”, if you haven’t heard it, is still awesome), but it was a bit unstructured (and quite strange for my tastes). However, it seems to have been an important project for Vernon. Just look at the world of difference between For Emma and Bon Iver, Bon Iver: all the layered, more complex instrumentation. The odder, instrumentally complex, direction of Volcano Choir definitely had a hand in influencing that album’s left-turn from the dude-in-a-cabin scrappiness that defined his debut. On Repave, however, it’s Bon Iver that is influencing Volcano Choir.