Collin Gorman Weiland/R O N I A: Self Titled CS Review
You wonder when some people sleep. Colin Gorman Wieland (Daughters of the Sun, Leisure Birds, Food Pyramid, Roy ORB D.M.T, CGW solo work, etc) and Mark McGee (Makr, Marijuana Deathsquads, Father You See Queen, To Kill a Petty Bourgeoisie, Votel), are two Minneapolis musicians who to have more musical projects than I do pairs of pants. Both make their bread twisting knobs and creating scorched earth electronic soundscapes, although they often venture down slightly different paths within the genre. The two recently set aside their “hardest working man in Minneapolis” contest to release a split cassette tape that documents their work in its current incarnation.
The front half of the tape features the blurred synth chugging of CGW, who invests just a shade less than 20 minutes over two tracks. The first track, “White Rose Feat,” will mesh more closely with Wieland’s previous solo work, taking a dark and twisted journey down a kraut-ambient alleyway. The second track, the nearly 12 minute “Vast times/VVVV Chant,” softens the edges ever so slightly, adding in primeval vocals from Sophie Weil to a track that builds and sways, guiding the listener on a leather clad voyage that would make Suicide proud.
The back half of the tape finds McGee, who generally creates lush textures of sound and finds extremely talented female vocalists to do their things over said tapestries, going back to the well again. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right? McGee got Nona Marie, best known for her work with the busker-folk group Dark Dark Dark, to step into his laboratory, and the results are as good as you would expect. “S L O W D A Z E” is the kind of ornamented pop bliss that has made Grizzy Bear famous, stretched out over seven and a half minutes. “Bells” and “Sewer Singing No. 1” seem like contest between the two artists to see which can create a more beautiful-yet-bleak, brittle piece of music. McGee’s music seems to tip toe on the verge of falling apart, while Marie’s vocals seem to have been floated in with the breeze, coasting over darkened waves that wash up on a moonlit beach. The result is as soothing and tranquil as the front half is noisy and damaged.
The two sides complement each other well, as a good split release should, and show both the gritty and gentle side to electronic music. While it is already out of date (a new CGW project with Food Pyramid is out next week), the split tape is another notch on the belts of these two artists (and Nona Marie as well). Who knows what is coming next, but don’t let these artists magnitude of work have you miss out on this release.