Tilth – Country Music


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Tilth Country Music
Round Bale Recordings

Since our last LP, Angular Music, was released in 2012 much has happened. Cody and I both moved “back into town” and we invited our long time friend and collaborator Joe Houpert to join the Tilth fold. Although it would appear all has been quiet in those 3 years that could not be further from the truth, as we worked steadily on producing this record.

This record is a lot of things, as much as it is a continuation of our work on “meditations on going to the center” that started with Angular Music, this record is also a look at what is a place? Who are the people that are inspiring us to be in those places and what do those places say about the music we make and the lives we choose to lead. All three of us in the group lead very different lives, live in very different places and the question of how can find the threads is always present for me. Perhaps it is the music of Josh Mason or Bill Dixon, the writings of Charles Wright or John Haines…the cool prairie breeze in central Minnesota or it’s mosquito swarms chasing us from some desolate stretch of railroad near the Iowa border.

Round Bale Recordings is a private press label founded by David Perron that has grown out of the Free Form Freakout podcast. Our very first performance happened in Mankato, MN, home of that podcast and organized by David, and our ideas about music and how it could be presented have always felt in harmony. The sleeves, much like our first LP feature photography from Cody Yantis and layout/printing work by Minneapolis based artist Casey Deming. Both LP and digital masters by Sean McCann.

The first 50 orders also received a special EP, Backwoods Runoff, that contains some recordings from rehearsals, exclusive new material and even something special for the patient listener. This EP is a CDR, comes in a printed sleeve and was mastered by friend and fellow Hudson Valley resident Seth Chrisman.

“It’s country music not in style, but music conceived during a time and place marked by rural living and relative isolation. McLaughlin’s reel-to-reel textures and Yantis’ resonant guitar work are still present, but the sonic palette has been noticeably widened with Houpert’s skittering percussion and dissonant violin scrapes adding new rhythm and color as the album unfolds. There’s much more to it, of course: nuance, space, breath, and grit. Ah, yes, it’s Country Music.”
David Perron
Round Bale Recordings

“…A good portion of this record sounds like the least offensive exponents of the mid 00’s NNF roster (so, basically the Ex Cocaine half of the Yellow Swans split—side plot, would this be considered the Faith/Void of the NNF catalog?!) if they took some time off to study composition and put together a focused and cohesive statement (not a knock on Ex Cocaine BTW, I’ve always quite liked them). There are nods to Minimalism, Psychedelia and Free Music, but even at its most sprawling Country Music always feels very deliberate, patient and never self-indulgent. If a good portion of this music is improvised, as I believe it to be, then I’m guessing it is performed by people who spent a great deal of time playing together and have formed a pretty locked in rapport. The sound is generally subdued, quiet, at times I’m expecting Mark Hollis to pop in and moan some phonetic nonsense, but then we can’t have everything in life can we? It looks like Sapat finally have a contender when urge strikes for a vaguely ‘communal’ contemporary free Psych record.”
Thomas DeAngelo
Crisis of Taste