January 2020 West Coast Shows

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To start off the year I will be playing a number of West Coast solo shows. A few of them will be alongside my friends and new label-mates Sprain. The first show is tomorrow in Portland and Willamette Week has published a full-page Drowse article/interview in advance of the show at Black Water tomorrow. It reads as a detailed summation of what I’ve been up to artistically this past year, with some discussion of the future. Thanks to Daniel Bromfield for writing this thoughtful piece:

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Roadburn 2020

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It feels like a dream to announce that I will be performing at Roadburn 2020 in the Netherlands. It’s an honor to be asked to be part of this festival, and I’m so excited to play it alongside my friends in Elizabeth Colour Wheel and fellow Flenser artists Midwife, Mamaleek, and Giles Corey. I’m still in a grateful daze wrapping my head around how my home recordings are taking me to a place like this.

From Roadburn:

“Drowse is an outlet for Kyle Bates to explore his place in the world; his music echoes what he experiences on the varied paths of this internal-reflection. Sometimes those paths lead to extraordinary places – this year’s Light Mirror LP was inspired by an isolated trip to northern Iceland where he took up an artistic residency in 2018. The melancholic results are the sonic equivalent of a sliver of sunlight permeating an otherwise bleak and drizzly morning. The weight of Bates’ reflections is mighty, but it never quite succeeds in suffocating the shards of harmonious hope that glint in the winter sun.

Drowse both straddles and eschews multiple genres – the fuzziest parts of noise pop, the more melodic elements of black metal, the more clearly defined corners of ambient electronic music are all present – ultimately creating something unique. Artists that push their own boundaries and those of multiple genres are always on the Roadburn radar, and we’re very proud to welcome Drowse to the festival as part of The Flenser showcase. If Drowse is not yet on your radar, Light Mirror is an excellent starting point – but you may also find yourself enticed by a recent collaboration with Otay:onii (AKA Elizabeth Colour Wheel’s Lane Shi), titled Second Self.

Drowse will perform as part of The Flenser showcase at Roadburn 2020.

Becky Laverty / November 2019″

 

Split With AMULETS

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Whited Sepulchre Records have released a split cassette between Drowse and Portland-based audiovisual tape loop artist AMULETS. This release is largely composed from guts and scraps of the album Light Mirror. “Wind Through the Door” and “Hidden Close” were the two initial pieces recorded for that album, while “A Song I Made In 2001 With My Friend Who is Now Dead (Director’s Cut)” is the original version of the Light Mirror song of the same name. “Your Breath is Wind” is a newer experiment that extends the “air” theme present in all of these songs. Heavy use of a field recorder is another thread–listen intently to unravel more.

 

From WSR:

“The two Portland experimental artists paired together on a split feels like a natural extension of a sonic space the two have been circling for years.

Most known for his experimentation in crafting lovingly warped tape loops and ambient guitar work that rings out with an emotional clarity even when it is processed beyond recognition, Randall Taylor brings some of his most abstract work to the table with a track like “ASTRAL” and hits squarely in the chest with the heartbreaking “DISMANTLED”.

AMULETS is joined by drowse – Kyle Bates long running experimental project. drowse’s songs are known for stitching together deconstructed ambient passages that glow with a pale gray light with heavy subject matter that delve into unflinching personal accounts of mental health and loss.

We are honored to bring these two artists together to share a split cassette together.

Art & Layout by Dustin Bowen”

“Second Self” Mini-LP

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Following the release of two Flenser labelmates’ albums earlier this year, Kyle Bates from Drowse has teamed up with Lane Shi from Elizabeth Colour Wheel on a new mini-LP titled Second Self.  Side A of this 4-song release is a collaborative effort between Bates & Shi; the songs were composed by Bates in the first half of 2019. The tracks were then sent to Shi, who based her lyrics and vocal melodies around a dream that the music drew her back to.  About this dream, Shi says:
“The frustration of communication is a beast, sometimes you slay the beast, other times the beast slays you, in between the communication and frustration it is the footsteps of the clicking clock, otherwise silence. If there’s a space land I can go to, it would be the trace to find the coffin of this beast, lay down right next to it, and wait for no one to come find me.” The end result is the full Side A of Second Self.
Second Self Side B features two tracks written and recorded by Bates during his artist residency in Itoshima, Japan, in December 2018 and at home in Portland, OR in early 2019.  The title track, “Second Self,” was originally composed as the audio component to the artist’s installation of the same name. “Weak, Sleeping,” closes out the mini-LP with Bates’ weighty and worrisome lyrics.
Second Self will be available digitally everywhere on September 20th.  The vinyl version will be released exclusively as part of the The Flenser Membership Series at a later date. This Membership Series is a curated selection of new Flenser releases; members receive seven LPs and two 7 inches and all are special editions unique to members only, either special vinyl colors or supplemental artwork that isn’t available to anyone else. Second Self will not be sold on vinyl outside of the the Series One Membership.  More information on The Flenser’s membership series can be found here.
Drowse released its pivotal third full-length Light Mirror last June on The Flenser, and supported the release with a West Coast / Pacific Northwest tour with Elizabeth Colour Wheel.  The latter released their debut full-length Nocebo last March, also on The Flenser.
More news from Drowse + Elizabeth Colour Wheel in the coming months.
Drowse, Second Self Track Listing:
2. Open, Alone (Drowse & Lane Shi Otayonii)
3. Second Self
4. Weak, Sleeping

Light Mirror Released

Light Mirror is released today! Isolation and vulnerability.
This album marks the first time I’ve been able to translate my intention directly into sound, not fighting against my microphones and computer, but working with them to create something I am deeply proud of. The year of obsession is over. “What is it that resonates in us in response to noise brought to harmony?”

Drowse Light Mirror Cover Art by Norah Fuchs