LCNL 017: Tacoma Tarpits (High Aura’d)

lcnl 017 tacoma tar pits high aurad

LCNL 017: Tacoma Tarpits by High Aura’d

Tacoma Tarpits comes to us from John Kolodij of High Aura’d, a concise yet sprawling mix of dark cinematic music that clearly bears the mark of late winter.  Such a contradictory description seems appropriate coming from an artist that managed make a drone album so open to interpretation and subjective experienceLast year’s Sanguine Futures made quite an impression around these parts, receiving strong praise from Richard Allen and landing on our Top 20 albums of 2012 list, as well as out Top 10 drone albums.  We’re certainly looking forward to the next High Aura’d release, but for now will settle for this peak into Kolodij’s current listening habits. (Joseph Sannicandro)


Tell us about Tacoma Tarpits.  How did you organize this mix?

This mix is purely what I’ve been listening to at the end of Winter.

It rather neanderthal in execution, but a good listen, I believe.

The sound is what I am, right then. That season.  What I’ve been reading, watching, walking in & around. I always strive for the sound to be immersive.

And what about High Aura’d?  How long have you been doing this project?  Did you have any earlier projects or bands in similar (or different) styles?

High aura’d has been like this from 2009-2010.

I’ve always been in bands-bad metal/hardcore bands in high school, in college a shoegaze band, after a slowcore/hardcore band, and now solo. My early college band was mainly American indie influenced, too. My Bloody Valentine, The Lilys, Slowdive, Seefeel, Velocity Girl and The Swirlies,The Boo Radleys and Swervedriver- I think we could have been bigger if we weren’t just in a bumfuck town-pre-internet-we tried, pretty hard.

The Pines of Rome was sort of a melding of four things I love- Slint, Codeine, Dischord Records and country music-we got more “post rock” and probably deserved it, but it was fun-our cellist even got poached to go play in Cursive.

I would absolutely love to score film. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do.

I’ve always loved horror films, sci-fi, and westerns-I would love to attempt these genres.

I love John Carpenter, The Coen Brothers, Sam Peckinpaugh, PT Anderson, Tobe Hooper, Andrei Tarkovsky or … Jacques Tounier, Charles Laughton, Fulci-Ridley Scott, John Ford, Monte Hellman.

I love Winter movies. Movies with snow. I was just chatting with William Fowler Collins about our admiration of “Affliction”, such a great movie. Carpenter’s ‘The Thing’, Kubrick’s ‘The Shining’ or Raimi’s ‘A Simple Plan’.

Something about snow.

Sanguine Futures was an effort to distill what I was trying to do live and make it clear and detailed.

The only concept was full immersion into the sound. I’ve always used field recordings, live and recorded, but we treated them, and used them to create themes and motifs.

I also really embraced the idea of not focusing purely on getting everything done in one take, and worked much more with detailed layers.

I asked John Twells to help me record this, as I’ve been a huge fan of his work as Xela, and now as Jack Dice, and his label, Type. It was great working with John-I think we pushed each other in good ways, and we had to trust each other that it would work out well. Again, we share so many cultural touchstones, we have a pretty easy way to communicate.

We have been friends for a while now-his support is something I hope to repay in some actual positive way.

He has an immense love for the craft, and we share so much that we love in sound, film food etc.  We’ll work on the next record together as well, as that progresses.

It was wonderful working with John, we’ve played a bunch of shows together as High aura’d (along with the great Greg Kelley) and they’ve been my favorites.

We have also booked/promoted shows in the Boston area with our friend Ian Lawrence, who runs the great Barge Recordings as Spectral Rehab.

Growing up in NY we always used to drive to Boston area for hardcore shows and what not and it seems a certain aspect if that DIY ethos is kept alive in the drone/electronic/noise scene.  Any reflections on the local scene?

The Boston scene is always struggling to find a place to express itself well-spots get shut down on the reg- but there’s fabulous talent here: Patrick Emm, Jack Dice, Reuben Son, Egan Budd, Benjamin Nelson, the Non-Event crew, KFW, TAPS, Animal Hospital, Owlfood, and on and on…..

plus our vibrant Hardcore tradition!

Angel Olsen and I did share a bill in November-it was great to finally hear her voice in person. I love her work and find her voice to be a true classic, like Kitty Wells, Iris Dement, early Chan Marshall, Jason Molina, Emmylou Harris—just one of those voices that hits you and pierces deep.

We’ve actually collaborated on a song that will be out on a compilation on Corleone Records in May/June. (Corleone released records by my old, old band Pines Of Rome-)-it’ll have tracks by The Body and Work/Death & Black Pus, too).

I sent Angel the chords and a scratch recording and the idea of where the song was going …

And she sent me vocal tracks and some harmonies. I also recorded it with John Twells, and Greg Kelley came in a dropped some amazing trumpet on it. It’ll be out in late April/May. Angel’s voice is so superb and sublime!
I record with John at Seventh Door, his home studio, and I record with my old friend Ken Linehan, In Providence, Rhode Island.

We recorded my side of a split 7”, coming out soon on Anti-Matter Records with Blood Bright Star. (Reuben Sawyer/Rainbath Visual)

My track also features some amazing vocals from Glenna Van Nostrand, who records as OMNIVORE. Her work is also truly wonderful.


John Carpenter                                   Matthew Ghost Story                    The Fog
Paysage d’Hiver                                  Ewig leuchten die Sterne               Das Tor
Jodis                                                       Silent Temple                                  Black Curtain
Chealsea Wolfe                                      Flatlands                                         Unknown Rooms
My Bloody Valentine                               Who Sees You                                MBV
Brian Hodgson & Delia Derbyshire         Proposition/The House Speaks      The Legend of Hell House
Sutekh Hexen                                         Five Faces of Decay                       Become
Ash Borer                                                Untitled                                           2010 Rehearsal Demo
The Haxan Cloak                                    Consumed                                      Excavation
Emptyset                                                 Trawsfynydd Nuclear Power Station – Snowdonia, Wales 17.12.12  Material
SUNN O)))/BORIS                                  Blood

About Joseph Sannicandro

writer | traveler | sound organizer | contrarian | concerned citizen

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