I think it’s fair to say that the music of Daniel Higgs- whether with the seminal Baltimore based LUNGFISH, his more free-form solo offerings or his partnership with Swedish experimental outfit SKULL DEFEKTS- is critic proof. You’re either going to buy it or you aren’t. No review could dissuade a Higgs fan from purchasing his latest offering in whatever form it comes in regardless of the vitriol of the reviewer. Speaking for myself- I buy them all, figuring that the best of his worst is still more interesting to me than most of the new releases that will drop along side of it.
April 8th 2014 will see a new Higgs/Defekts collaboration- Dances In Dreams Of The Known Unknown– on Thrill Jockey Records. With any luck they’ll be touring to support the album and we’ll have a chance to hear the new material live. The band has released a single and a video for Awaking Dream; check it out and let me know what you think.
Daniel Higgs has been busy of late; in the last several weeks I’ve put up announcements for two new releases (the impressive Beyond and Between from La Castanya which I’ve listened to several times and 2013-3012 with Skull Defekts and Zomes from Thrill Jockey which I’m still trying to sort out after a shipping mistake on my part) and there’s already a new project hitting the ether.
Currently available is ‘The Measure of Mystery’ from Gnomelife Records. Recorded on cassette on October 29th/30th this release features three songs: The Elemental Conflux at Big Sur (10:20), Return (12:06), Say God (extended version) (19:13)
Purchase comes with mp3 downloads for those of us who don’t have cassette players.
About the Echomancy Series: Echomancy means divination through music. The tapes are black, and the boxes are blindingly beautiful… copper foil embossed into 100% recycled card-board (30% post-consumer), no glue. Comes with bookband, photocard, insert, and mp3 download.
This volume of Echomancy is represented by the symbol for the planet Mercury.
I think it was back in April that my buddy Klint and I went to see SKULL DEFEKTS feat. Daniel Higgs and Zomes at the DangerDanger Gallery in Philadelphia. Higgs mentioned something about Pawtucket, RI on stage but for the life of me I can’t remember if they had already played there or were headed in that direction.
Either way, the Defekts, Higgs and Zomes ended up getting some studio time in Pawtucket; the results of which is the 2013-3012 LP, currently available on ThrillJockey Records. (for those of us who don’t a record player fear not- it comes with a download code for the songs.)
I really enjoyed PEER AMID, and was lucky enough to film Zomes playing with them (click the Skull Defekts tag here on OV) so this is pretty awesome all around. And it comes with a painted Daniel Higgs cover.
Daniel said that this song, Children of Skull Defekts, had just recently been written/recorded in Rhode Island. This performance features Asa Osborne (Zomes) on keyboard. The PEER AMID album was really catchy and a great return for Higgs to a more traditional ‘band’ format that a lot of us have been missing post Lungfish. If they’re writing more songs, does that mean we can expect another collaboration?
Specs: Skull Defekts feat. Daniel Higgs & Asa Osborne | Children of Skull Defekts | Danger Danger Gallery, Philadelphia
For more information about Skull Defekts- go here.
Daniel Higgs with Skull Defekts, Danger Danger Gallery 7th April 2011
My buddy Klint and I braved West Philly and staying up past our bedtimes to catch Skull Defekts featuring Daniel Higgs (along with Asa Osborne’s ZOMES) tonight at the ‘Danger Danger Gallery’ on Baltimore Avenue. It was our first time at the venue, which is little more than a house with two entrances and a bunch of stairs. As we made our way upstairs (only to immediately head back downstairs) I noticed a hamper of laundry and a bunch of unread mail on the floor. A little more informal than I’m used to, but everyone was pretty chill and made our evening go by without too many snags.
Except for everything running late.
The venue is laid out on two floors- the four bands that played straddled the floors in time- Band 1 playing in the basement, Band 2 (Zomes) playing on the main floor, 3 in the basement and Defekts & Higgs on main. One after the other, with folks heading up and down the stairs as each set ended. Bit odd, but hey- if you have the space you might as well use it. I only ventured into the basement once; it smelled like drying latex paint, moldy basement and onions. With apologies to the other two bands, I didn’t return back downstairs, choosing instead to shoot the breeze with Klint, who I hadn’t seen since Higgs’s solo show at Brickbat last year. We hung in the back for the Zomes performance (which was good, but as Klint pointed out, much better recorded) but eventually made our way to the front for the Defekts, so I could utilize my little handheld video-doohickey and record (in my day we called it bootlegging- like Rerun at the Doobie Brothers show) the show.
I figured the lighting would be terrible and that I’d eventually end up with unwatchable video and passable audio; but thankfully they drowned the stage with two industrial construction style lights, making not only sauna like conditions, but great lighting for my little kodak. I just sort of held it close to my chest and hoped that I’d get good material- considering that they played a new track that’s not on the PEER AMID album titled ‘Children of Skull Defekts’ I really wanted to make sure to not wobble around too much.
All in all it was a great show; really good seeing Daniel in front of a band again (his LUNGFISH shows were always a good time) and I was really impressed with the Skull Defekts. I’m editing the videos I shot now, with an update expected by early Friday morning.