Stadiums & Shrines
Currently viewing the tag: "Megafortress"

 

Trees rustling adraft and agusto as the skies improvise, intertwined in the reeds and soft quavering limbs. Shadows mimic ripples, here against the wall of a home in first light. An apt backdrop captured by the artist and paired for a swaying series of exhales. A single take from the saxophone by this longtime friend of ours, New York’s Bill Gillim aka Megafortress. He plays the instrument with curiosity, his notes curving at free will, serving the air in which these leaves, at ease, sprightly agrooving.

The piece is a solo performance, free of overdubs and light on effects, as per the simple parameters of Instrumental I, the latest Driftless Recordings compilation. The digital release, out November 3rd, also features works on piano, cello, Wurlitzer, and flights of the guitar variety by Zachary Cale, Hayden Pedigo, and more.

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Megafortress - Murderer

 

Much like the first (and quite unlike anything else in the sonic ether), the second piece to fall from Megafortress’ debut LP Believer does so boldly. It again finds Bill Gillim right up front, addressing the grace of a nameless figure in relation to his metaphorical whereabouts—high, low, in, out… “Murderer”, however, is more urgent. The lone midi-bells of the former are now guided by percussion and flourishes of soprano saxophone. The floor drops out momentarily; a glitch-filled basement awakens. Then we’re back with Bill, displaced somewhere new in the spiral. Fascinating, as always.

Believer in its entirety lands November 20th by way of Driftless Recordings.

Silver

 

Ejecta’s “Silver” is beyond recognition in this amorphous hymn, yet flecks of it still rise and shimmer and whisper around. Droning out a perfectly good pop song is an underrated art. Patrick McDermott, who creates as North Americans and co-runs Driftless Recordings, has an uncanny handle on it—he’s taken CFCF to similar heights.

While drifting in the greyscale here, the label will soon release an ambient compilation, as well as the fascinating debut LP from Megafortress.

Somber and hopeful, “Live in Grace” finds Bill Gillim airing out vivid lines of forgiveness in his barest, most straightforward vocal performance to date. Not to be taken lightly, Believer is out November 4th.

Dreams of India

 

Two skies meet at the indigo hour. The rails of the infinite staircase edged—one sky pale blue, the other crimson—swirling upwards to the margin. Walls vanish, and bathers flock to the yawning mouth of Ganges River.

Knowing the eclipse is near, Scorpio dashes across the marble terrace. Unnoticed, as mosaic pillars flash, he swipes the sacred reliquary.

Each ascending step brings him further from the city, closer to the gods—he hopes. Glancing back, down, one last time; a hundred spires line the horizon. Scorpio laughs in a fit of victory, twisting ahead again to face his new universe, and, to his surprise, its wrath. With a single brush of the sun, his vapor paints the air in a howl.

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Megafortress is Bill Gillim and Michael Barron. Noah Wall joins them here in a collaboration we will be hearing more from. Both projects also have releases of their own in the works.

 

Diamond Mouth Surprise, the “monthly night of writing music film pictures talking chanting dancing loving communing,” was held last Saturday in its usual high ceiling-ed apartment space in Williamsburg. One of four performances (which included Noah Wall sound-sculpting crystal glass frequencies, photos below), was the debut projection of Bill Gillim’s new Megafortress release (out 1/31 on Software) with a Grant Nitsch-made video for each song. The internet saw “Green Child” last week (via Pitchfork) and now “My Favorite Girl” today (via Dummy). The rest should arrive soon, and when it does, we recommend a full, start to finish viewing—it’s a gorgeous and cohesive series, and also quite expansive given the ingredients Grant limited himself to. My curiosity into his process grew throughout that show, and while the Kansas City native wasn’t present to ask, he was just an email away:

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