Tuesday, 12 May 2015
Insect Ark - Portal Well (CD Review)
Dana Schechter (All Instruments)
Debut album from composer/multi-instrumentalist Dana Schechter.
Schechter has a deep and unshakeable relationship with music that has seen her criss-crossing over the United States, and for a prolonged stint living in Europe as she explored creative avenues with her previous projects and passions. From being offered bass lessons by Cliff Burton at aged 15, to self teaching herself piano, guitar and drums, Schechter's talent and abilities have led her down a diverse array of artistic paths.
Having co-founded instrumental band Gifthorse with drummer Jef Whitehead and guitarist Douglas Hilsinger in her early twenties, Schechter has also lent her bass skills to Michael Gira (Swans), American Music Club, Keren Ann, and many others; in her band Bee and Flower, she's worked with artists such as J.G. Thirlwell, Thomas Wydler, Bertrand Burgalat, Martin Wenk (Calexico), and Toby Dammit.
Although the fruits of her collaborations brought artistic satisfaction, the ease of creating alone appealed to Schecter, and over the year in which Portal/Well was borne, Schechter wrote and recorded alone, at all hours of the day and night. The album was built with careful attention to immaculate detail, but also takes chances, pushing beyond personal barriers. The album is the product of a journey into composition and sonic exploration using a small but dynamic palette of instruments and a singular compositional voice.
Upon completion of Portal/Well, Schechter felt the addition of a live drummer would further push INSECT ARK to expand sonically, both in the studio and live. In January of 2015, San Francisco Bay Area drummer Ashley Spungin (Taurus) joined as a band member. The duo performs together when possible; when apart, Schechter plays solo.
An intresting collection of Instrumental doom with some hints of electronica and some almost ambient interludes and one track 'Low Moon' so ambient you can barley hear it at all until towards the end.
Each piece creates mood, as if part of a soundtrack to some strange underground gothic horror film.
Take 'Octavia' as a prime example, starts with some synth pulses, in comes a slow drum beat, more synth adding different layers of sound and texture, to this add some guitar, simple chords full of phasing, what sounds like some whispered vocal, as the piece progresses add some weird sounds, distortion and occilation and then a few more power chords and then it ends.
For Fans Of: Mekigah, Boris, Sunn 0))), Wolvserpent, Selim Lemouchi, Aphonic Threnody