six organs of admittance
Perhaps inspired by the east-meets-west solo guitar musings of John Fahey or Robbie Basho, former Plague Lounge guitarist Ben Chasny formed Six Organs of Admittance in 1998 in northern California. Six Organs' self-titled, self-released debut was released that year, followed by various compilation tracks and obscurities. In 2000, Six Organs released the Manifestation EP on Ba Da Bing! records, a one-sided clear vinyl-only release consisting of one extended piece, and featuring female vocals and varied percussion accompanying the centerpiece of Chasny's guitar. Also in 2000, Dust and Chimes was released, first as a limited edition by Pavilion, and then in an expanded run by Holy Mountain. The second full-length from Six Organs, it featured raga-like guitar work surrounded by bells, chimes (as the name implies), drones, and Chasny's multi-tracked, chant-style vocals.
Chasny's latest release, School of the Flower, out now on Drag City is perhaps his most realised recording to date. The addition of drummer Chris Corsano (Vampire Belt, Sunburned Hand of the Man, Dream/Aktion Unit, Dredd Foole, Cold Bleak Heat, Paul Flaherty) is immediately obvious with the drony free-jazzy opening piece and the 13+ minute album-titled workout. Maybe its because I've been listening to the genre a lot but I swear there is a hint of minimalist composers such as Riley or Reich in there. Whats definitely there is what Chasny does best, and that is the finger-picked folk guitar of yesteryear. His back catalog is almost entirely out of print and for good reason. Be on the lookout for his recordings on labels such as Strange Attractors and Holy Mountain. Buy some here.
Six Organs of Admittance - Words for Two
Six Organs of Admittance - Procession Of Cherry Blossom Spirits