In his formative years, San Francisco-based guitarist/bassist Joe Goldring had
played in the Toiling Midgets and was part of
the last Swans line-up.
After stints in several bands, Goldring joined
vocalist and keyboardist Hannah Marcus on her project
Faith Burns (Normal, 1998), with
drummer Tim Mooney (former Toiling Midgets and American Music Club)
and legendary reedman Ralph Carney,
playing avant-folk in the vein of
Out Of Worship (Subrosa, 1998) is a collaboration of
Goldring with drummer Doug
Scharin of Codeine and Him.
The Indian undercurrent of Moment Must Of Said and
the galactic funk of Incubate A Sausage are similar sets of
improvisations for choked guitar timbres and savage turntable scratching.
While less overtly exotic, Out Of Worship manages to feel more
trascendent in virtue of hypnotic guitar chattering and thunderous drumming,
pauses and dissonances.
A similar approach yields the intense, metaphysical atmosphere of the
17-minute monster Meta Stigmata, whose melodic and stirring
jazz-funk-rock interplay between guitar and drums recalls Peter Green's
masterpiece End Of The Game. (The track is divided in three parts,
the second being a maelstrom of menacing noise, the third being a suspenseful
dub-drenched melodic theme).
The Out Of Worship project continued with Sterilized (Perishable, 1999),
which is less indulgent and more focused.
The 20-minute title-track, enhanced by Ill Media's turntables,
Tony Maimone's bass, Julie Liu's violin and Adheesh Sathaye's tablas,
offers a sophisticated and colorful fusion of jazz, raga, psychedelia and dub.
Goldring steals the show, alternating between guitar, bass and a sitar-sounding
Jam Jar Superstar is a more lively jam with
Goldring impersonating again a funky Peter Green.
Shift, the first Out Of Worship track with vocals, is a slow, sedate,
gloomy slice of trip-hop balladry.
The 15-minute Navajos is another "first" for Out Of Worship, a
shoegazing drone, that slowly morphs into a loud and hard funk riff, as if
Sonny Sharrock fronted the Blue Cheer.
Rather than an album, this is an exhibition of five different kinds of music.
Goldring's solo album, Captain Onboard (Perishable, 2000) contains four
lengthy improvisations (plus studio manipulations) of treated guitar.
Picnic is a catalog of hallucinogenic guitar noises, variously
combined and looped to achieve maximum impact.
The cacophony of Probe is redeemed by the melodic wavering and
fluttering of Arms, a transcendent prayer screamed to the skies.
In between Out Of Worship releases, Goldring was a member of
Porn (previously The Men Of Porn), a quartet that stabilized with
founder Tim Moss on guitar & vocals, Brian Hill on bass, Sean Tyler
on percussions and Goldring on sound effects.
They released American Style (Man's Ruin, 1999) and
60-minute EP Experiments in Feedback (Small Stone, 2001).
The first album spanned the years after the demise of Ritual
Device, the band Tim Moss led in Omaha (Nebraska). Moss indulged in
guitar distortions and depraved lyrics
(Ballad of the Bulldyke).
The second album is an avantgarde affair that packs ambient drones instead
of punk energy and delivers Melvins-like sludge/grunge rock.
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