Prior to 2006, Wooden Shjips was an experiment in primitive and minimalist rock. After it imploded, Ripley Johnson, guitar and vocals, assembled the current lineup of Dusty Jermier on bass, Nash Whalen on organ, and Omar Ahsanuddin on drums.
Support comes from New Zealand’s unmissable Orchestra of Spheres which makes this one truly excellent double bill.
The over riding theme for the album is the American West, and all of the mythology, romanticism, and idealism that it embodies. The band members grew up on the East Coast, so for a long time the history and literature of the West was an abstraction and a fascination for them.
Wooden Shjips | Lazy Bones
Part of the allure of the West, which is part of the myth, is the concept of Manifest Destiny, the vastness, and the possibilities for reinvention, which is not to say that is what each song is specifically about, but it was very much an undercurrent during the songwriting of the album. The artwork also touches on the same theme by using an iconic structure that is both a gateway in a literal and metaphorical sense.
It is easy to see why these would appeal to Wooden Shjips, as their music lends itself to exploration. It is both transformative and transporting, the sum being far greater than it’s parts. The steady driving rhythms are the elliptical motion machine driven by the often thick and distorted guitar lines, melodic and boundless. Where they may lead cannot be anticipated but following them is exhilarating.
Wooden Shjips | We Ask You To Ride
The Orchestra of Spheres takes you to higher dimensions through mathematical ratios of rhythm and the chaos patterns of sound.
Born out of the Frederick Street Sound and Light Exploration Society in 2009, the Spheres have developed a cult-like following in their brief existence.
Like celestial sponges, they draw on influences from far and wide: the hypnotic beats of Kuduro, repetitive minimalist Bornean sape music, free jazz and improvised music and the celestial chimes of gamelan.
Orchestra Of Spheres | Hypercube
The Spheres use homemade instruments such as the biscuit tin guitar, electric bass carillon and sexomouse marimba to create their cosmic dancing sound and the spaced out sound worlds.
Wooden Shjips & Orchestra Of Spheres LIVE
Tuesday, 3 December 2013 | 20:00 CET
Berghain | Am Wriezener Bahnhof | 10243 Berlin/Friedrichshain