We don’t have a whole lot of interest in posting an update every time a band releases some new cover art or a track list. Unless the artwork can stand alone on its own merit, it isn’t really “breaking news” to me. As for a track list… who gives a shit? If you haven’t even heard the songs yet, it really doesn’t provide all that much information. On Thursday we received a press release for Dead Oceans recording artist, Akron/Family that contained little more than just that: cover art and a track list. In fact, beyond mentioning that the trio was announcing a “new album“, the majority of the information that was provided in the email centered around the fact that the label had very little information to provide at all [does that make sense?] Somehow, the limited availability of details has actually made the whole project that much more intriguing. Yes, we know that such ideas of “secrecy” and “suspense” aren’t exactly the most innovative or groundbreaking marketing tactics, but, in this case, they are still proving remarkably effective. In other words, they have tricked me into caring. And when I say “they” I mean Akron/Family and not our friends over at Dead Oceans, because, if what they are telling us is true, the label doesn’t really seem to know entirely what the fuck is going on with the project either.
So what is that magical formula proving effective enough to force us to break down and get swept up in the hype of a sparsely outlined description for a supposed “album” that isn’t even set for release until February of next year? Well, apparently it involves references to dynamite, an active Japanese volcano, and an abandoned train station filtered through paranoia, Crayola scrawlings, and old type-written apparitions that could only crystallize themselves through the likes of a combination of a mescaline bender, sleep deprivation, and deemster smoke?
Most likely, the best way to continue with this post is through the original message that we received from the label, which is basically an explanation of the messages that they’ve received from Akron/Family, which, in turn, are messages that they have themselves received from the outer limits of the cosmos, interpreted through a message that the group received anonymously (?) in an old abandoned space of theirs. Fuck! Like I said, the best way to continue is by letting you read exactly what we received in the first place. For now, at least, it seems to be the most coherent explanation available.
HERE IT IS:
Transmissions from the Great Beyond:
Akron/Family Announces New Album
“Finally, after over a month of unanswered emails and text messages, blown deadlines, and pleas to finish and turn in their new album, last week, a large brown cardboard box showed up at the Dead Oceans doorstep. It had “SHINJU TNT” scrawled across the bottom of the box in black magic marker, and the return address read only “AK, Detroit.”
Opening it revealed a sincere but poorly made diorama of futurist swirling spaces filled with toy astronauts and dinosaurs, four blown out song fragments on a TDK CDR in a ziplock bag, three pictures, a track list written in crayon, and a typewritten note from Akron/Family. A post-it on the bag declared that the band refused to send the full album to anyone but the vinyl pressing plant, for fear of leaking and possible lost revenues.
From the note and a short video that arrived days later, we’ve pieced together that the album was written in a cabin built into the side of Mount Meakan, an active volcano in Akan National Park, on the island of Hokkaido, Japan. It was recorded in an abandoned train station in Detroit with the blackest white dude we all know, Chris Koltay (Liars, Women, Deerhunter, Holy Fuck, No Age). Chris, on tour after finishing the record, commented: “This album will transcend the Internet.”
Akron/Family spent the end of 2009 and half of 2010 exploring the future of sound through Bent Acid Punk Diamond fuzz and Underground Japanese noise cassettes, lower case micro tone poems and emotional Cagean field recordings, rebuilding electronic drums from the ’70s and playing them with sticks they carved themselves. Upon miraculous resuscitation of the original AKAK hard drive, the album layers thousands of minute imperceptible samples of their first recordings with fuzzed-out representations of their present beings to induce pleasant emotional feeling states and many momentary transcendent inspirations.
This album is titled S/T II: The Cosmic Birth and Journey of Shinju TNT. We have no idea what that means. Below is a photo of the note found in the brown box delivery with the song list, video, and an mp3 of the song fragments retrieved from the TDK CDR, relics of a new tomorrow and a brighter Akron/Family filled future. These are the beginnings, hell or high water you’ll find S/T II: The Cosmic Birth and Journey of Shinju TNT in stores in the U.S. on February 8, and March 14 in the U.K.“
Here’s the video referenced above:http://vimeo.com/16699048
And here’s a copy of the note that was sent…
I guess we’ll all just have to stay tuned…
Oh, wait! We can’t forget this: