Brooklyn based avant-garde trio Sontag Shogun presents It Billows Up Remixed, a comprehensive re-imagining of their 2019 multimedia project by thirteen artists across two volumes.
Their third full length album, It Billows Up, disregarded traditional songwriting and instead aimed to capture the collaborative techniques and modular compositions the band had developed while on the road into a linear narrative. The group extended the margins of their work by incorporating multimedia interpretations of the record in the form of a limited edition artbook and a short film. Designed by artist Thad Hilga, the artbook featured poetry and prose from the band’s network of creatives, while director Joel Schlemowitz assisted in crafting a hazy, romantic, and haunting video accompaniment to the album’s title track. It Billows Up was both an invitation into Sontag Shogun’s process and opportunity for the structure of their performance to be analyzed through separate mediums.
One year later, Sontag Shogun again opens the door to their world, inviting a global cast of friends and creative partners to re-work the already unconventional It Billows Up through new ears and boundless imagination.
The first collection expands on the darker, climatic moments of their record. WNNR (NYC), Automatisme (Canada) and Black Pomade (Portugal) mold the album’s title track and “Cages” from two expansively atmospheric meditations into pulsing circular loops. Chicago’s Excepter (Woodsist) highlights and bolsters Ian Temple’s painterly piano against the haunted soundscapes and surreal foley of Jesse Perlstein and Jeremy Young. New Youngbloods signee Zoe Polanski (Tel Aviv), Christian Molenaar (San Diego), and Emilie Levienaise-Farrouch (Fat Cat/London) balance the tonal structure of the first volume by drawing scenes of swirling serenity from chaotic ambience.
Standing as a cathartic compliment to the first volume, the second collection is a deep outward breathe, allowing the subtly of Sontag Shogun’s original songs to unfurl and blossom. New York cellist Julia Kent (The Leaf Label), Strangerfamiliar (Denmark), Slim Vic (Lamour/Sweden), and Portugal’s Síria delicately paint over and around Perlstein’s soaring vocals across twenty-four minutes of patient, supernal reveries. Montreal based composer Nick Schofield (Youngbloods) draws on Sontag Shogun’s use of field recorded vocal samples in his abridged, tranquil version of “Kienast Dans Un Parc”. The collection is concluded in dramatic summary by Orphax (Amsterdam), framing new luminescence around the album’s original structure in his all encompassing twenty minute remix covering the entirety of It Billows Up.
In its initial form, Sontag Shogun’s It Billows Up sought to piece together the sounds of our waking life with thick barricades of interwoven sonic collages. In its latest iteration, those collages are carefully deconstructed and rebuilt to showcase the world’s inhabited by their visionary friends and cultural colleagues.
released May 15, 2020
Ian Temple plays piano and organ
Jeremy Young plays tapes, sine &
square waves, and kitchen utensils
Jesse Perlstein plays field recordings like instruments, laptop, and voice
All original music written on the road somewhere between 2016 - 2018
Recorded and mixed in 2018 by Seth Manchester at Machines with Magnets
Mastered by Steve Kitch at Audiomaster in London, UK
Cover artwork by China Marsot - Wood
Design and layout by Nicholas Concklin
Executive Produced by John Moses and Nicholas Concklin
Published by Mushpost LLC (ASCAP)
P & C 2020 Youngbloods — all rights reserved.