Over the winter, I collaborated with American Scott Lawlor, who is well-known for his variety of fine netlabel ambient releases and for his radio show, The Blind Flight, on an album that combines our strengths.
Scott provided some synth drones and textures, which I played guitar and organ and mellotron over to create something of a Floydian/Tangerine Dreamian epic of an album.
Ancient Ocean is a collaboration between versatile ambient musician Scott Lawlor and neo-Krautrock/kosmische act The Gateless Gate (or one half of it, Allister Thompson). Scott’s drones for this piece strongly suggested the ebb and flow of the ocean. However, making yet another oceanic ambient album wasn’t satisfying, so Allister came up with the concept of a primordial ocean, millions of years before the dawn of man. This opened up the door to all sorts of progressive rock influences creeping in, like Pink Floyd and Tangerine Dream.
The first two tracks dive deep into the darkness of this ocean, with choral sounds and organs, as well as guitar mimicking the cries of undersea monsters, playing over Scott’s layered drones and subtle chord and tonal changes, before building up into a space-rock guitar freakout (or two). Allister dedicates his playing on these two tracks to the legendary Dave Brock of Hawkwind, the king of space-rock guitar.
“Lemurian Shores” envisions the mysterious coastal environments of a lost ancient civilization, while “The Deep Ones Call” is a tribute to the maritime mythos of horror writer H.P. Lovecraft, being based particularly on imagery from the novella The Shadow Over Innsmouth.
You can get this album over at the wonderful We Are All Ghosts netlabel, curated and run by Thomas Mathie.
1. Ancient Ocean Part 1: Proto-Tethys
2. Ancient Ocean Part 2: Paleo-Tethys
3. Lemurian Shores a) Pleasure Garden b) Temple
4. The Deep Ones Call
Ancient Metals combines field recordings from various international locales with drone organ and synth and distant melodies played on a 100-year-old “banjolin”, a banjo-like instrument that uses mandolin tuning.
Each piece is meant to conjure up a different ancient environment, or fictional in the case of Melniboné, which is the name of the dreaming island of evil in Michael Moorcock’s Elric mythos.
The primary musical inspirations for this recording were the early dark kosmische experimental music of Klaus Schulze (“Cyborg”, “Irrlicht”) and the avant-garde organ music of Eliane Radigue (“Adnos”, “Trilogie de la Mort”).