My Brightest Diamond
Limited Edition Double CD (edition of 1500) signed and numbered by Shara Worden of My Brightest Diamond
The music of My Brightest Diamond lends itself well to remixes. Shara Worden’s exquisite voice provides the perfect lead (or backing track) for any sort of deconstructing or restructuring of her original music. My Brightest Diamond’s debut Bring Me the Workhorse (2006) was given the remix treatment in the form of a remix compilation entitled Tear It Down (2007). This collection is evidence to the strength of her compositions and voice, as remixed by such artists as Murcof, Alias, Lusine, Golden Chains among others. While Asthmatic Kitty and My Brightest Diamond had no regrets about the Tear It Down project, when the time came to talk remixes for A Thousand Shark’s Teeth, they both realized a need for a more cohesive and conceptual project. They brought on four remixers (Alfred Brown, DM Stith, Son Lux and Roberto Carlos Lange (Epstein, Savath and Savalas, ROM) and commissioned them to each create a separate EP of remixed material.
Raised in the small town Hoosick Falls, NY surrounded by farms, Alfred Brown started playing saxophone in 5th grade and played in the school band up until 11th grade. From playing the national anthem with the community band in the town’s park gazebo, to channeling his early teen angst via the guitar mostly punk music and Lisa Loeb, Alfred Brown finally decided to pursue music and composition. Drawing inspiration from My Brightest Diamond’s many references to the heavens, Alfred Brown developed a narrative to guide the composition process of his remixes. The stunning result is a cinematic and textural avant-classical deconstruction of the My Brightest Diamond’s A Thousand Shark’s Teeth. Instead of a straight ahead approach to remixing a single song, Alfred combined parts from different songs, juxtaposing new elements to give the preexisting material new meaning. The guiding narrative is about an astronaut stranded outside of his ship while working in Low Earth Orbit. As he descends toward earth he is completely cut off from all communication with Earth and finds himself totally alone. During this time of complete isolation he thinks about his loved ones back on Earth, about his life, about God, and about dying. The remixes narrate, through words and music, these contemplations being sent out across the universe; and the echoes that come back.
Son Lux is Ryan Lott. He lived for six years in Cleveland, Ohio and earned a reputation as a versatile and zealous collaborator. In the cracks of time and energy between all his collaborations, “Son Lux” was born out of an urge to finally set about making an album. It began as an experiment and a personal creative challenge. What Lott, as Son Lux, wove together over 4 years in his attic studio is the album many critics are calling one of the best records of 2008. At War With Walls and Mazes is an impressive debut which earned Son Lux the title of Best New Artist by NPR’s All Songs Considered as well as rave reviews from ARTFORUM, Pitchfork, Paste and XLR8R. After Asthmatic Kitty asked Lott to remix Thousand Shark’s Teeth, the second full-length from My Brightest Diamond, takes the pieces of bone and tissue from the session files and mends them together to create a new thing, stitching in his own pieces and parts, unbiased by an “end result” or preconceived form. The outcome is indeed a collection of new lifeforms, whose souls have withstood Son Lux’s process, reincarnated into new living things. Fortunately for Son Lux, his specimens had good karma. This graceful Dr. Frankenstein approach to the My Brightest Diamond material has created four very distinct remixes, ranging from the old-school electro mashed with New Orleans horn funk treatment of “Apples,” elegiac ambient strings overtop minimalist post-rock drumming on “The Diamond,” break driven cutup rocker of the anthem “Inside A Boy,” to the lowrider chamber piano chopped “To Pluto’s Moon.”
The son of Ecuadorean immigrants, Roberto Carlos Lange was born in South Florida in 1980. His childhood was suffused with tropical heat, humidity, and hurricanes, all of which refracted the rich colors and sounds of the various Latin cultures then making a home of panhandle Florida. Pounding bass beats from passing cars, hefted boom boxes, and late-night parties at home (peñas) bestowed Lange with a heightened interest in sound and an unquenced curiosity to explore the myriad ways objects can produce music. Currently, Lange co-produced the newest Prefuse 73 album with Guillermo Scott Herren and has joined Savath and Savalas as an active member and contributor. It is through these experiences and unique approach that Roberto has filtered the voice and music of My Brightest Diamond to create what sounds like a transmission from warm weather dreams.The dreams are peaceful and floating but rooted in the symbolism of Latin percussion, and unrooted by cosmic automation and outerspace sensibility.
David Stith has always been pushing his creative limits. Having been raised in a musical family in Buffalo, New York, he grew up with sounds all around him, often slouched in the kitchen interpreting his family’s melodies into line drawings and poetry. David has collaborated with My Brightest Diamond (contributing both visually and musically) Sufjan Stevens, Son Lux, and Castanets. His first album, Heavy Ghost, a collection of songs rich with strings, polyrhythmic percussion, lofty choirs, epic electronic gestures and Stith’s clear-as-a-bell voice, was released in early 2009 to universal critical acclaim. Stith takes the original tracks from Shark’s Teeth and creates a haunting and dizzying reworking. With new orchestral and choral arrangements the material is opened into a maritime wooziness, while continuing a personal and creative dialogue that has existed between David and Shara since their first meeting. Stith contributed both musically and visually to A Thousand Shark’s Teeth, which he further explores on this EP through his arrangements and typographic naming of the remixes. These songs become like a collection of postcards between dear friends recovered from years of being submerged in the ocean depths. The siren like qualities of Shara’s voice is repeated and beckons listeners into dangerous waters. The result is equal parts ghostly sea shanties and petitioning mantras.