When Gary Bahen took over the reins of Portland record store Green Noise earlier this year, he decided that if he was going to dive back into the music world, he was going to go deep. Which is why he is bringing his old label Accident Prone Records back to life along with it.
“Having a store and a label is a natural pairing, as each can help the other grow,” Bahen says. “I had some great opportunities come my way in terms of potential releases, so I dove right in and started setting things up, as well as initiating some projects I'd been thinking about for awhile.”
One of those projects is finally about to see the light of day: a four-way split LP featuring a group of experimental artists that are friends and occasional collaborators. Featured on this new release are tracks from Daniel Menche, House of Low Culture (a duo featuring Aaron Turner of ISIS and Sumac, and Faith Coloccia of Mamiffer and Pyramids), EMS, and Caustic Touch (Andrea K of Vice Device).
The tracks nicely represent the untethered mindset of each artist. Menche’s track is a strange polyrhythmic affair that sounds like a gang of hammered dulcimer players straining to be heard in the middle of an industrial warehouse. The long EMS track goes through a variety of moods that are almost Cluster-like if it weren’t for the occasional lightning strike of squelches that jump in the mix. The first new House of Low Culture track in four years follows a similar journey, starting off with loud intentions before smoothing out the spikes for a more sandpapery grit of drones and squiggles. And as you’ll hear from this Caustic Touch track “Coarse Harrowing” that we’re premiering today, the entries by this solo artist on the comp are unforgiving explorations of piercing tones and angry robotic sentiments.
This compilation apparently was conceived when the artists on it shared a bill at The High Water Mark last year. Since then, they’ve been trading sounds, playing other shows together, and generally getting as thick as thieves. But according to Bahen, they kept their work on this LP completely separate from one another.
“What's really amazing and beautiful about this release is knowing that each artist recorded individually, but the end result is a cohesive album that feels like it was written as one piece,” he says. “When we put the first track order together, everything fit together well, but by comparison to the end result, it felt more like a comp. After adjusting things slightly, everything seemed to just fall into place, and the result is an album that feels, to me, like it was written collaboratively. I think this really speaks to the strength of this specific grouping of artists, and the respect, and friendship, that they share for, and with, each other.”
You can see that in person when the four artists celebrate the release of this new LP with a show on Friday, December 15 at Modular 8, the fantastic electronic music store on SE Morrison. As for Accident Prone, this is just the beginning of what sounds like the beginning of a great new run of releases, with plans on the way for a cassette version of the new Nasalrod album, a full-length from Cave Bastard, and Songs From Under The Floorboard Vol. 1, a long-in-the-works comp of darkwave and post-punk put together by XRAY.fm DJ Dave Cantrell, which will help raise some funds for Planned Parenthood.