WHITE HILLS – ” Splintered Metal Sky “

Posted: October 23, 2020 in ALBUMS, MUSIC
Tags: , , , , , ,

October 2020 brings the release of “Splintered Metal Sky”, is the long-awaited new installment in the ever vast musical cannon of White Hills. The album takes the listener on a post-punk, psychedelic ride fuelled by industrial-strength fuzz and propelled by powerful beats where songs weave in and out of each other to imitate the rhythm of the city the band calls home. Splintered Metal Sky is about oscillation and evolution. It’s metamodern music looking at human existence in relation to technology and the hyper-driven architectural reshaping of a city. The music was largely inspired by the drone and roar of machinery pulsing through New York City, which is in a never-ending state of demolition and reconstruction. Dave W. (guitar & vocals) and Ego Sensation (bass & vocals) took to the streets, gathering field recordings of sounds from the subway, drills, jackhammers, people in parks, traffic, mayhem and the occasional silence.

These recordings were then manipulated and constructed into rhythmic lines that were used as the basis for songs. The music, mixing noise with disciplined beat, embodies the paradoxical nature of the city: the grimy littered dead end alley just steps away from the sleek luxury skyscraper; the half eaten chicken bone being devoured by a rat on the subway tracks just beneath the glittering facade of the Chrysler building; the endless milling about of the 8 million people who call this slab of land home on their way to and from everywhere and nowhere.

Informed by industrial innovators Einstürzende Neubauten and SPK, the avant garde post-punk of Tuxedomoon and the dub-electro of Cabaret Voltaire, the album vibrates with the energy of a sensually feral, raw beast.

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The band recorded and mixed “Splintered Metal Sky” at Studio G in Brooklyn with producer/engineer Jeff Berner (Psychic TV). White Hills previously worked with Jeff for the Valley King Records release of the single Putting On The Pressure. The album features numerous guest appearances. The idea to recruit collaborators came after a meeting between Ego and fellow Only Lovers Left Alive alumni, Lebanese singer, Yasmine Hamdan, while she was in NYC recording with former Sonic Youth drummer Steve Shelley.

The band asked her to add vocals to a song and she jumped at the opportunity, which led to a stunning vocal performance on the track Rats. Energized by the collaboration, Dave & Ego decided to approach other cohorts to join in. This led to guest appearances by filmmaker and musician Jim Jarmusch (ambient guitar on c:Construct & Illusion), Simone Marie Butler of Primal Scream (vocals on Honesty) and former Cop Shoot Cop and current member of Human Impact Jim Coleman (synth on Numbers & c:Construct).

Each person added their own flavour and perspective, pushing the songs to places not before imagined by the duo. Running with the idea of collaboration, Dave decided to work with someone on the cover concept. In came longtime friend of Dave’s Johnny Brewton, who has quite a resume of his own in the art world, having worked with and for Mark Motherbaugh at Mutato Muzika, Tom Waits, Hunter S. Thompson and Charles Bukowski to name a few. He is the man behind XRay Book Co, who produce art publications like XRay Magazine, and Bagazine. Upon the two discussing the concept of Splintered Metal Sky, Johnny went to work cutting up images and constructing the concept visually through the medium of collage. 

Releases October 23rd, 2020

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