Palace of Lights
Well, knock me over with a feather!
Palace Of Lights is a reborn incarnation of the exceptional small experimental-music label of the same name from the 1980s, headed up now (as then) by K. Leimer, whose early LP Closed System Potentials I treasure (not to mention a few of his very early cassette releases). This is some of the best modern music out there, and I was stunned to learn that my playing is featured on one of the label’s newest releases: Tourbillon Solo by Gregory Taylor and Darwin Grosse, two dear friends who do amazing music of the mind-expanding vein.
The label’s writeup is as follows:
“Not a solo effort, Tourbillon Solo — Gregory Taylor and Darwin Grosse’s new Palace of Lights release –– folds in on itself in intriguing new ways while connecting to the larger world and body of Gregory’s earlier releases includingDua_Belas and Amalgam: Aluminum / Hydrogen. Admirers of clockwork everywhere will also note the reference to the tourbillon, a 17th century innovation that defeats the effects of gravity and extraneous motion by creating a rotating cage to enfold the escapement and balance wheel. Here, Tourbillon also refers to an alternate name for the city of Surakarta, one of the great court centers of Java.
The big news isn’t the sweet pelog barang tuning that suffuses the outing — rather, it’s Darwin Grosse’s move from the mastering engineer to producer of Gregory’s earlier work to collaborator on this recording, reflected in a wider range of materials, from the elegant analog synthesis that underpins Gregory’s usual restrained clockwork, to the inclusion of new sources: Andrew Pask’s reed work on “The Velocity of Rumour” and Mike Metlay’s Mellotron and secretly-sourced sampling on “Weaving All Night”. The titles of these tracks conjure the ghost of a narrative that harks back to an era when recordings were understood as a sequence of pieces whose implied storyline functions as a kind of travelogue for imaginary fieldwork — A headlong gallop to nocturnal communities who live at the base of the holy mountain and tune their radios to mysterious transmissions, resulting in valuable research which must be returned to the security of the hotel safe at all costs.”
A lovely writeup for a brand-new release that I can’t wait to hear… but in the meantime, I’m just going to quietly do the Happy Finn Dance (sorry, Otso) where no one can see me. I’m on PoL! I’m on PoL!!