This is a bit like when you daydream about creating a perfect supergroup or festival, except you’re most likely an idiot and Rangda feature Richard Bishop, Ben Chasny and Chris Corsano. That’s Sir Richard Bishop of Sun City Girls and the knockout Sublime Frequencies record label, Ben Chasny of frigging Comets On Fire and Six Organs Of Admittance plus Chris Corsano of freakout avant drumming with anyone good fame by the way. Please take our word for it, THIS IS HIGHLY EXCITING NEWS, and subsequent listens to ‘False Flag’ bears this out: Rangda’s debut LP is a wigged-out triumph, six widescreen blasts of fret-bothering craziness, fiery drum mentalness and lush cinematic daydreams. Morricone crossed with sun-addled psych rock and damn impressive. You have two chances to see them: firstly, the always brilliant people at QU Junktions have turned the Croft into a natty bombsite, with Japanese holy shitters Acid Mothers Temple being the main draw in a packed line up. A few days later, the equally great Swn champs hook up nifty local guitar loopers Right Hand Left Hand for fun times at the gorgeous Nowergian Church in Cardiff. Phew. US heavy underground heroes are here, praise be.
Rangda / Acid Mother’s Temple
with F**k Off Batman + Stearica + Disgusting Monstrosity
Rangda is Chris Corsano with Sir Richard Bishop and Ben Chasney (Six Organs of Admittance). New band (releasing on Drag City) whose make up should run into very exciting streams of sound. Divine but distraught, freaky but altogether with it, Middle Eastern yet decidedly American.
Acid Mothers Temple have a touring and release back catalogue plus an almighty sound that cuts through history. Japanese nomads on the psych highway.
Fuck Off Batman involves Hugh Metcalfe (Klinker) plus drummer and bass drawn from the inner circle. Cathartic, masturbatory and legendary no-nu-sense.
Stearica are a heavy linked up three piece from Italy. Their sound is brushed up, hair-raising and epic. Appeal to Ipecac and Anticon and Battles fans.
Disgusting Monstrosity is a confluence of all sorts – Ian Green (guitar) plus Fat Paul (electrics) and Roger Skerman (drums and brushes). Three men dissatisfied with music’s limitations.
DJ’s in attendance.
SWN presents RANGDA
plus RIGHT HAND LEFT HAND
Norwegian Church, Cardiff Bay
Weds 2 June
Tickets £6 adv from St David’s Hall 029 2087 8444 / £8 doors (subject to availability)
Excerpt from a review of the premier show (Sept. 12, 2009)
After a lengthy break, the crowd was treated to the main event: the unveiling of a new supergroup consisting of friends Sir Richard Bishop (Sun City Girls), Ben Chasny (Six Organs of Admittance, Comets on Fire), and Chris Corsano. The online marquee promised a night of free-form jazz but the trio of Bishop/Chasny/Corsano weren’t about to remotely hit a jazz note, launching into a skronk-filled seizure of psychedelia and classic rock. Bishop’s Middle Eastern influences were absent, Chasny’s folk tendencies replaced by angry spasms of punchy guitar, and Corsano’s arms became the envy of Stretch Armstrong. Over the course of 40 minutes and 5 songs, the newly minted group switched between early 80s no-wave the likes of Teenage Jesus and Sonic Youth and more melodic psychedelia that has been neglected in the style’s decade long resurgence. The one truth of the evening was that each and every note, chord, and drum smack was pure rock and roll ooze. Bishop and Chasny played with an old abandon once familiar to 70s arena rock, though the glossy production and slick stage show was replaced by the blood and guts of genre that has been quartermained in every direction the past 30 years. The crowd was immediately sucked in, with bearded and bespectacled masses bobbing heads and thrashing arms in unison—some wallflowers of course stuck to hands in pocket and eyes on shoes but that’s to be expected in a world where dancing and movement have been relegated to signs of pop dominance, not physical displays of appreciation. Perhaps when the trio’s album arrives in the near future (they are currently in a Seattle studio working on an album with Scott Colburn), everyone will let their guard down and cut loose like Bishop, Chasny, and Corsano did that fateful Saturday evening.
DEBUT RECORD ON DRAG CITY – May 18, 2010
When individuals with the originality and talent of the trio gathered for Rangda get together, something truly remarkable is bound to happen. All well respected musicians and leaders in their field, Sir Richard Bishop (Sun City Girls), Ben Chasny (Six Organs of Admittance, Comets on Fire) and drummer extraordinaire Chris Corsano create a glorious cacophony as an instrumental super-group exploring the edges of sound through improvisation and collaboration. With an explosion of psychedelia and classic rock, the album ricochets between gorgeous, blissed-out guitar melodies and thrashed-out noise.
As friends and label mates with a mutual admiration for each other’s work, Bishop and Chasny had begun to discuss some sort of collaboration based around two electric guitars plus a drummer. Ben had worked previously with Chris Corsano in Six Organs of Admittance and thought he would be an excellent addition to the project and Bishop agreed. However actually getting everyone together proved nearly impossible as each lived in a different city, sprawled across the vastness of the United States. The plot thickened between Bishop and Chasny without Chris’s knowledge. When Ben finally mentioned it to Chris, he was busy touring so wasn’t available but he was keen to get involved as soon as time became available.
In 2009 they decided something had to be done and without wasting any more time they agreed to make a record and hoped that Drag City would release it. They booked some studio time with sound guru Scott Colburn in Seattle and Chris flew out West to see what would happen. They booked a live show a day or two before the recording session and the three of them got together for an hour and half the day before the show and came up with some ideas that they could do live as well as record in the studio. Prior to this particular week in Seattle they had never played together before. By the end of the show they had a couple of composed pieces that they knew they could flesh out further in the studio. The rest of the songs were improvisations. When they finished the studio session, they each knew they had made a good record but at the same time, they realized that they were a LIVE band more than anything else.
The album veers in many directions with the aurally challenging opener ‘Waldorf Hysteria’ followed by the laconic and almost doom-laden, spagetti-western-esque ‘Bull Lore’. ‘Fist Family’ is a call to battle, with a siren-like opening and then punching drums rolling like a flurry of fists. ‘Sarcophagi’ is swathed in sorrow but allows room to breath with a mournful beauty. ‘Serrated Edges’ sounds like it’s name; sharp, uncomfortable and jarring. The fifteen and a half minute closer ‘Plain of Jars’ is played with visceral abandon. If the album is anything to go by, their live shows must be pretty spectacular.
Sir Richard Bishop
Richard Bishop was a founding member (along with brother Alan) of Ethnic-Improv pioneers and DIY tricksters Sun City Girls, who during their 26-year reign had over 50 full length albums, plus over 20 one-hour cassettes and a dozen 7” records. That being said, Richard has spent more than a quarter century perplexing, amazing, and alienating audiences exactly as planned. In early 2005, Richard went solo as Sir Richard Bishop and began extensively touring as a solo artist ever since. His most recent album, The Freak of Araby, was released in 2009 by Drag City.
Ben Chasny is the brains behind Six Organs of Admittance bringing along a revolving number of collaborators to help him out. After recording several influential underground albums on a variety of labels, he found a home at Drag City with his breakthrough album School of the Flower (on which Chris Corsano also appears). His music made people think of roots and folk music and psychedelia and noise all at once, and so people were thrilled in a confused sort of way. His most recent full-length masterpiece, Luminous Night, was released in 2009 by Drag City.
Free improvising drummer Chris Corsano has played with an array of musicians such as Thurston Moore, Paul Flaherty, Ben Chasny, Wally Shoup, Jim O’Rourke, Keiji Haino and Bjork. He is also a solo artist capable of sets of the most beguiling inventiveness, featuring drums, gamelan-like metallic objects, tiny strings, saxophone mouthpieces and whatever else he has at hand. His most recent release with the Flower-Corsano Duo, The Four Aims, was released in 2009.