Wrekmeister Harmonies: melancholia on high

A quick lead-in. Tattooed fingers grasp at frets engaging them into solemn and mystical chords. A shadow, an echo, a chant, can all be discerned within this entrancing set. Captivated by the melodic nature the sensation conjures.

Out from the subtle sound come whispers from a well, humble and distant vocals invoke aching and longing into the gallows. These words bleed life, they come together as a lullaby of longing atop a sonic backdrop. Computer generated noise behind emotion so raw you can taste it. It’s ripe and I found myself dazed and dreaming. A waking progression was looming and it occurred as heavy and substantial guitar. It was fury, it was avant-garde, it was psychedelia all combined to form a lone, eternal, hymnal. A voice deep and wanton and an expression of sentiment so stoic and deep.

An audience held hostage by an experience they couldn’t turn from. Charmed and reeling, it was escape. Escape from the norm, escape from the void, only to turn on the light that’d been burnt out for days.

This was an opening performance by J.R. Robinson, a genius incarnate that has been preforming this sequence of song, You’ve Always Meant So Much To Me,  in its entirety for some time. At inception, it was meant to coincide with a film shot in locations of desecration and decay (Detroit, the desert of Joshua Tree, and forests of Tasmania). It later came to be recorded by Steve Albini alongside collaborating artists from the black metal and experimental scene to include Jef Whitehead of Leviathan, Sanford Parker and Andrew Markuszewski of Nachmystium, Jamie Fennelly aka Mind Over Mirrors, Mark Solotroff of Anatomy of Habit, Bruce Lamont of Yakuza.

Thus, the current state of Wrekmeister Harmonies. An incarnation of Robinson, who has been writing and collaborating to create his brand of off-kilter fare since 2006. The piece, this evening, was preformed solo as he sat in chair alongside his computer, which ebbed and flowed tune. His passions provide an experience of the third kind set forth with abandon, leaving an audience to ponder their degree of sanity. Throughout, foreign influence and instrumentation is used to enhance this far-out, terrestrial, affair.

-Holly Jones, editor, On Tour Magazine

Photo Credit: Jaimin Townsley