Omon Ra, photo by Jacobo Garcia
The past two years have easily been the best years of my life. I've made lots of very close friends, traveled lots of ground, and made large leaps artistically. The biggest part of my life for the past two years has easily been my musical project Omon Ra, formed with who would become my closest and best friend, Daniel Miller. I think that our friendship transcends into the recordings and the music and art we created is something that I will cherish for the rest of my life. We moved through many styles from quiet psych-folk, to psych-punk blowouts, to free improvisations and drone worship; we both grew tremendously as people and as musicians.
But alas, for some reason I have moved to a different city. I needed to grow, I was feeling claustrophobic and frustrated within Halifax, the sleepy little coastal town, and I needed to leave. I miss it a lot, I think about going back, but I can't not now, maybe never, who knows. Me and Dan had hopes of keeping the band going, traveling to France in the new year. But due to financial circumstances, aka the difficulty of finding proper employment in Montreal, and the fact that our growing ideas needed to leave the abstract, we began playing and recording with different groups, all with mutual friends however. Dan teamed up with the members of the Ether and Friendly Dimension, to form his new group "OmmaCobba and The East Side Marijuana Band." And I teamed up with fellow east coast ex-pats Matthew Wilson and Chris D'eon, as well as my good friend Emily Robb, to form what I have called (in tribute to Krautrock band Amon Düül II), Omon Ra II. These new formations have yielded new musical directions and the old Omon Ra is no longer. For the mean time we will focus on our respective groups until sometime in the future, when perhaps, hopefully, me and Dan will collaborate again, and who knows how that project will take shape.
We would like to thank all the people that supported that group and hope you will continue to support our new endeavors, as they are both sonic continuations of the creative-embryo that was Omon Ra.
In celebration I have uploaded one of the two, last Omon Ra records we hoped to release, The Spirit of Jerry Garcia Playing the Rolling Stones. This record was recorded over fall to spring last year, it was our longest time spent recording an album. We acquired some new technology when recording and is easily our best sounding most ambitious record. Most of the songs are Daniel's and I would try to do my best to add some tasty licks, keyboard tricks, and harmonies to the wonderful pieces. My only contributions other than the collaborative tracks, were "Children of the Alien Avatar" and "Eurydice". There are many good moments to this record and we arranged it to really fit the flow the music; to help the listener get in the world of the record. This album gives a good idea of where Dan is taking his music with his new group. The art was kindly done by our friend Andrew McCgregor. One of our last shows was a freely improvised collaborative set with Gown, Andrew's project.
Album artwork by Andrew McCgregor aka Gown
Daniel jamming his new project. Photo by Jennica Lounsbury.
Speaking of his new group, Dan kindly sent me a song from their upcoming album, Faster Acid Sun, Burn Burn. There are a lot of bands doing the whole Spacemen 3, krautrock, homage thing right now, but this is easily one of the best I have heard. I have posted the epic title track, clocking in over 12 minutes, which features bass, drums, guitars, chants, clarinets, and saxes. The piece moves through Warlock-esq rock n' roll with Contortions approved horn squeaks and skonks over top, to spacey Cluster-like ambiance, to Boredoms friendly drum jams. This is some very promising music. I understand the record will be available soon with artwork from Ether front-man Luke Corrigan. They are also playing a couple of shows in Halifax back to back in early December, the first on 11th at the Khyber Club with Rich Aucoin, and the 13th at Reflections with the Friendly Dimension. Check out the track!
In the next couple days I will post some more Omon Ra material, please check back!
Here's the album.