Black Swan, Black Swan, Black Swan. His first two LPs, In 8 Movements and The Quiet Divide, were released in fairly rapid succession, and seemingly overnight this anonymous herald of drone whipped up a respectable cult following. Expectations for his third LP have been understandably high, yet with Aeterna Black Swan has achieved the rare hat trick of experimental music.
After the release of his stunning debut, I was so intrigued that I tracked Black Swan down for a lengthy interview, which you can read here. Having followed his career closely since, and having enjoyed his recent collaborations with the likes of the Costa Rican EUS and our old friend 36, who curated our first mix, I’m extremely pleased to present our 7th mix in the LCNL series. (Joseph Sannicandro)
Tell us about the mix. What were you going for thematically?
Nothing in particular, really. Just some favorites to be mixed together. I wanted to stay away from drone, as I feel like I’ve been drowning (or droning?) in it for months. Running at 90 minutes, these are some of my favorite pieces, and hearing them has been such a relief, as I’ve been so fucking submerged with recording and finalizing the new album for the past 6 months. The hardest part of compiling this, to be honest, was choosing which tracks by Kreng I was going to include, as I feel that he’s possibly one of the greatest recording artists around. I hope you and your visitors enjoy hearing the tracks I’ve selected to be a part of this mix as much as I do.
How did you prepare the mix?
Basically by digging through my most listened and by laying them out onto a timeline. Some tracks were cut down shorter from their original version. That’s pretty much the extent of any sort of performed edits.
You’ve got a new album, Aeterna, coming out shortly. What can you tell us about it? Who’s releasing it, and how? Can we expect any more reel-to-reel releases?
Aeterna was released last month, though I had planned on releasing it in early April. Everything was put together and I was really eager to get it out. I could say that, compared to my previous releases, this one is by far my favorite. I will be releasing my own material, only because I like putting together and handling my own work, from start to finish, though I’m of course thankful for Jeremy [Bible] at Experimedia for handling the past two albums. It’s also great being in contact with the listeners directly, which is what I really enjoy the most. As far as other formats, I have some plans that I’m trying to sort out and settle on.
Also, you’re creating a new version of in 8 movements from re approaching the master tapes, right? How different can we expect the result?
Yes, 8 Movements had become almost foreign to me, as I have not listened to the record since late 2010, before recording The Quiet Divide. Wanting to have a look back, and being happy with my mix for Aeterna, I figured I’d tweak around and try to improve the mix using some new mastering equipment and resources. Things are much different now for me (when listening to 8 Movements) and that’s for the better, as many embedded sounds and undertones are now brought to the album’s surface.
(Have you tried listening to the finished product backwards yet?) [Note: I have done this and it is worth it.]
Backwards? Haha, no, not yet at least. But I have heard of people doing so. You’ve made me even more curious to do it myself.
You’ve done some interesting collaborations recently, such as EUS from Costa Rica and with Dennis (36). Any other collaboration in the works?
Working with EUS and 36 was such a great experience. Not only on a musical level, but on a personal one. They happen to be some of my own favorite artists. I’ve been in touch with some acts for future collaborations, so there will definitely be more coming down the road.
Any other projects in the works? Film or anything like that?
I’m actually recording material for something new, an EP or a full length. Film- funny you should mention that…
What a cliffhanger! Once again, thanks to Black Swan. Enjoy the mix.