Guest Post: Ga'an

Lindsay Powell from Ga'an says:
We couldn't help but pick one of our favorite from the Zeuhl realm! "Vilna" is the second track on Weidorje's 1978 self-titled release, a band featuring Bernard Paganotti (an Aquarius, and the bassist on Magma's Üdu Wüdü).

One of our interests as musicans is the place where the spirit meets the mind-- the physicalization of the soul, and the means by which we get there. To me, "Vilna" realizes this place in the most eloquent way. The spiritual and supernatural presence of Magma is still there, but the clinical reality of Paganotti's rehearsed and mathematical attention to detail stands at the forefront. We are presented with Steve Reich-ian polyrhythms played on beautifully-toned Rhodes pianos, tight-knit compositional complexities. Yet despite the technical outfit of Weidorje, this is still perhaps one of the most accessible songs in the entire Zeuhl catalogue. In the Magma track "Hhai" we experience an intentional spirituality, a progressive incantation of epic proportions. In "Vilna," however, we experience the spirit in our own right. We are given an extremely coherent piece of music (mathematical: the mind), and through our own way of listening, we find the visceral swell within our own interpretation of the movement (the voice: the spirit). We haven't been able to get this track off our minds since first listen, and it's an honor and a privilege to share it with those who haven't heard it.

MP3: Weidorje: "Vilna"

Ga'an is out now via Captcha Records. Head over to Vibes for a video of Ga'an performing "Servant Eye" at Brooklyn's Shea Stadium this past weekend

Tags: ga'an, weidorje, audio, guest posts, guest artists

Posted by alteredzones on 05/23/2011 at 12:27 p.m..

Zoned In: Ga'an: Ga'an

By Daniel Gottlieb

MP3: Ga'an: "Servant Eye"

MP3: Ga'an: "I of Infinite Forms Pt. II"

The weird thing about Zoning In on this Ga'an record right now is that all the music on it was actually released in the Summer of 2009. For nearly two years, the six tracks on this self-titled LP were floating around on limited-run cassette. There is a certain anonymity that comes with a tape release in the days of the LP/CD/MP3 triad. Music released two years ago to little attention seems a lot less cherished than that "diamond in the rough" you uncovered from 15-20 years ago. Happily, this Chicago four-piece got their message-in-a-bottle moment when Captcha Records reissued the work as a 12" vinyl pressing. Upon listening, it's hard to imagine that this inconspicuous cassette could have been quietly swept under the carpet.

Ga'an strikes us immediately with its immense, visceral energy, its totalizing vision and sound. For a "prog" record, however, it reveals a strong minimalist ethic, and very little in the way of virtuousity or unnecessary fanfare. Like the operatic prog-rockers Magma, Ga'an know how to be ambitious without falling back on the self-indulgence of the elongated instrumental solo. Instead of distracting digressions or dead-ends, they channel their energy into dynamics, levels, and texture. In standout passages "I of Infinite Forms Pt. II" and "Vultures of the Horn," it takes only the most nuanced of key changes-- like the sly introduction of a keyboard line over some stumbling drums-- to shift the sound from a haunting death march to a wash of spaced-out textures. In this, Ga'an are similar to Isis, using subtle shifts in dynamics to pummelling and entrancing effect.

Lindsay Powell's (Fielded) repeated incantations and muted operatics adds something eerie and mesmerising to this music. In standout track "Servant Eye", they curl into glassy synths and echoing chants like a double-helix-- until that is, we are caught off-guard by a blast of drums, and shuttled into a heavy mid-section. In "I of Infinite Forms Pt. I," the bass mutates from tight, pulsating lines to the slack and the sludgy. Technique-heads will appreciate drummer Seth Sher's controled chaos-- always threatening to collapse into a new time signature or pattern, but always only threatening.

Ultimately, Ga'an is the sound of four people merging into a single unified sound, as imaginatively stimulating as it is audibly engrossing. Ditch reality for a wondrous universe of bell sounds; of synths, medieval and rich like a Gregorian chant; of marching rhythms and keyboards.

Ga'an is out now via Captcha Records

Tags: zoned in, ga'an, audio

Posted by alteredzones on 03/04/2011 at noon.

Ga'an: "I Of Infinite Forms Pt. I"

Since 20 Jazz Funk Greats posted "Servant Eye", we've been hopelessly hooked on the psych-proggers Ga'an. Hailing from Chicago, their latest self-titled LP on Captcha Records was a reissue of a cassette they first released themselves in Summer of '09 when they were a four-piece. So while we're waiting on their follow up as a trio, take a listen to another track off of Ga'an:

MP3: Ga'an: "I Of Infinite Forms Pt. I"

Get the Ga'an LP from Captcha Records while we wait for their next album as a trio

--Previously

MP3: Ga'an: "Servant Eye"

Tags: ga'an, audio

Posted by alteredzones on 02/22/2011 at 10 a.m..

Ga'an: "Servant Eye"

GA’AN are a band from Chicago featuring ex-members of Coughs. They offer a 4-man, Magma re-evaluation service of the most unspeakably epic proportions. In "Servant Eye", crimson mellotron oozes under Elysian doorways to form an image of Christian Vander beating out a 16/9 rhythm on the transient skulls of long-defunct gods. Silently we watch, bathing in celestial voices eons old, waiting for the peerless crescendo that will convey us to new realms of ominous, reptilian beauty. (via 20 Jazz Funk Greats)

MP3: GA'An: "Servant Eye"

The thoroughly amazing GA’AN is out January 25th on Captcha records

Tags: ga'an, audio

Posted by 20jazzfunkgreats on 01/25/2011 at 2 p.m..

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