Gold is the first major soundtrack work from Dylan Carlson, composed for a foreign language western of the same name; a story of German pioneers traversing the Canadian West. Carlson’s score, which revolves around key guitar motifs and their dialog with drone, repetition and loose improvisation, echoes the vast landscapes and almost existential “otherness” captured in the films juxtaposition of traditional western tropes to places and peoples not normally associated with the genre. This slight remove from genre has been a trademark of Carlson’s approach to guitar and songwriting throughout his career. Whether that is applying the writings of La Monte Young to Black Sabbath sized riffing in Earth’s earliest incarnations or his re-appropriations of country, jazz and folk during its second act.
Across the arc of the album’s twenty-four tracks — designed to be listened to as one suite — Carlson’s lyrical playing dissolves structures into abstraction, stretching out each repetition until you’re left with only the sound of buzzing or scraped strings. It is an inversion of the work of Earth; stripping away where they would layer. It’s an immersive experience. For the first time Carlson’s guitar is presented, bare, alone, with only minimal percussion, fore-fronting his evocative, lyrical control of the instrument in a language that transcends tired “cinematic” adjectives and places you directly into the landscape.
The lead track from this tranquil album is embedded below, The song “begins much like latter-day Earth, Carlson pristinely picking the lead against tinkling cymbals. But nothing else arrives. Instead, he wrestles with the theme alone, bending the notes but occasionally letting them bend back on him, shaping webs of distortion that hover like presiding anxiety.”
Gold will see independent digital and LP release on June 16th, 2014 — the deluxe vinyl limited to 1000 copies — while Daymare Records out of Japan will handle the CD pressing worldwide.
Preorders are available https://www.districtlines.com/earth