While the percussive drums and vibes formula of 1939 Ensemble's debut record was powerful, sometimes it felt like the instrumental duo of José Medeles (ex-Breeders and owner of Revival Drum Shop) and David Coniglio (also of Humours and the assistant music director at the Portland School of Rock) could use a voice. So in the three years since Howl & Bite, '39 have added a little breath to their second effort, Black Diamond Pearl, in the form of multi-instrumentalist Josh Thomas' trumpet playing. (He also guested on the first record.)
They also enlisted producers John McEntire (Stereolab, Trans Am, Yo La Tengo, Tortoise) and Tucker Martine (The Decemberists, My Morning Jacket, Brian Blade), and the musical talents of Mark Orton (Tin Hat Trio), Holland Andrews (Like A Villain), M. Ward and Michael Flinn.
For your first—albeit hornless taste—of the new record, listen to "Circles" below, of which Medeles says: "It was the first song we wrote that involved our Moog Sub Phatty [an analog synthesizer]. It's a nice introduction to a new voice in our music. I love what Paul Laxer did to the drums, very brutal."
But to get your brass fix (and just wait till you hear the record's opening track), you're simply going to have to show up at The Secret Society on Saturday, April 25 for the Ensemble's record release show with Clawfoot Slumber and DJ Survival Skills supporting. And while you're there, be sure to pick up a copy of the limited-edition run of only 500 LPs out on Jealous Butcher Records before the album's April 28 street date.