(Copyright © 2006 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )
No Solace In Sleep (2000), 6/10
Or You Could Just Go Through Your Whole Life (2002), 6.5/10
Pure Tone Audiometry (2003), 6.5/10
Bleeding Light (2005), 6/10
Matchless Years (2007), 5/10
In Sea (2009) , 5.5/10
Vlor: Sacred Places in the City (2006), 4/10
Vlor: A Fire is Meant for Burning (2006), 5/10
Vlor: Six-Winged (2009) , 4.5/10

Aarktica, the project of deaf New York-based guitarist Jon DeRosa, a pupil of LaMonte Young, collected his early ambient droning pieces on the bedroom recordings No Solace In Sleep (2000), opened by his 13-minute artistic manifesto Glacia, and the EP Morning One (Ochre, 2001), containing the ten-minute Morning One.

He turned to slocore and dream-pop on Or You Could Just Go Through Your Whole Life And Be Happy Anyway (Darla, 2002), Pure Tone Audiometry (Silber, 2003), with Big Year and Williamsburg Counterpoint, Bleeding Light (Darla, 2005), containing A Shadow Knife and Bleeding Light, and Matchless Years (Darla, 2007), virtually a pop album with DeRosa fronting a band (although a band of shifting elements).

In Sea (Silber, 2009) returned to his instrumental droning roots, sculpting ambience with only electric guitar and a vintage pump organ. The slowly-revolving mournful drone of I Am (The Ice) sounds like an existential statement. The stately LYMZ is an explicit tribute to LaMonte Young. A Plague of Frost (In The Guise Of Diamonds) is soothing no-frills ambient music for sustained guitar tones. In Sea is a more turbulent composition, with the tones slightly distorted and undulating. Corpse Reviver No. 2 is a delicate concerto for geometrically cascading tones. Young Light is one of the more melodic and lively instrumental vignettes. When We're Ghosts is the one piece in which the guitar attains a shoegazing degree of noise. The others tend to play with minimal and subdued sounds. There are only two songs, the better one being Hollow Earth Theory, but mostly this mixed album proves how much more poignant DeRosa's instrumental music can be than his vocal one. A Danzig cover closes the album in a surreal manner.

DeRosa was also active as Dead Leaves Rising and Pale Horse And Rider.

Vlor, an acoustic guitar duo (Russell Halasz and Brian John Mitchell) that had already released the EPs Lavished (1997) and Luxate (1998), and whose Sacred Places in the City (recorded in 1999) was released only in 2006, became a supergroup of sorts with the eclectic A Fire is Meant for Burning (2006), featuring Brian John Mitchell (bass, guitar, vocals), Jon DeRosa of Aarktica (guitar) and Jessica Bailiff (guitar, percussion, keyboard). Their second album Six-Winged (Silber, 2009) added Annelies Monsere (guitar, cello, vocals, melodica, piano), Martin Newman (guitar), Mae Starr of Rollerball (vocals), Jim DeJong (strings), Michael Walton (guitar), Brian McKenzie (guitar, bass, percussion), Michael Wood (vocals), Magen McAvenney (vocals), and Paolo Messere (guitar, bass, percussion, keyboard). The music though remains a random collection of ideas that rarely coalesce into something truly memorable. The ethereal madrigal I Have Left Home doesn't go anywhere. The suspenseful atmosphere of Without Blame simply loops on itself. The guitar pattern of Never To Be Rebuilt could be the riff for a great pop song, but instead simply repeats for two minutes. She Goes Out With Boys sounds like it's about to explode but never does Tolerate The Wicked is a mediocre ambient piece a` la Aarktica. Maybe You Should Chew On My Fist is a more interesting variation on this format because the drone is warped, distorted and reverbed. Damage The Land & The Sea is one of the most dramatic vignettes, a surreal guitar duet, but, again, it doesn't result into any viable structure. The garage rave-up Watch Me Bleed comes as a relief.

Jon DeRosa debuted solo with A Wolf in Preacher's Clothes (2012).

Aarktica returned after a long hiatus with Mareacion (2019).

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