Rain Drinkers – “Helix I” (Excerpt) [Brave Mysteries 2012]


Excerpt from the A-Side of the forthcoming Yesodic Helices LP.

Rain Drinkers consists of two long-time Madison folks, but yet none of us have any real contact with either of them and they have never played live. Xavier Kraal (aka Troy Schafer in one of his numerous musical disguises) has moved out to the country, withdrawing into family life and a myriad of solo projects and many collaborations )including Kinit Her, Compass Hour, Wreathes, Spiral Joy Band, Pelt, Burial Hex, Wormsblood, and many more). Joe Taylor musically focuses exclusively on Rain Drinkers and, though he has lived in the Madison area for many years now, none but Kraal have actually met him. Rain Drinkers also consistently credits the Creative Spirit as a third member of their line-up for all of their releases. Regardless of what sounds the Creative Spirit is actually contributing, both Kraal and Taylor are such talented multi-instrumentalists, it is impossible to distinguish which of them is playing what parts and, often the arrangements are so organically entangled, it becomes difficult to determine what the instrumentation might be in any given movement.

Much like their amazing 2011 release Urthen Web, Yesodic Helices flows in an out of a wide variety of tone poems. Musically they bring to mind artists who tend to create their own visionary worlds with a classic sense of depth and dynamics, such as Ennio Morricone, Sun Ra, Iasos, Moondog, Popol Vuh or modern characters like Cyclobe, James Ferraro or Ulver. The essence of Rain Drinkers also clearly bears the mark of their own Xavier Kraal, who graces all his projects with an inimitable musical signature.

We don’t know where these sessions were recorded or how, but the band always features themselves on the cover of their releases, in various stark settings around rural Wisconsin, exposing themselves only to the excellent black and white portraiture of photographer Dani Dahlke. Though always portrayed staring directly into the camera, their oblique gaze and anachronistic looks further plunge the imagination into mania. Luckily the music itself is not so intangible. The Rain Drinkers music is made with a heady passion that keeps them moving forward, continuously expanding their pallet of sounds and stylistic touchstones. Yet, no matter how adventurous or exciting the musical terrain may be, the listener remains safely strapped in and always guided along by a familiar and benevolent presence. This angel journeyman, alive within the music of Rain Drinkers, are surely the results of a special transmutation that occurs between these two intense and sincere old souls, and it is surely what they are acknowledging when crediting The Creative Spirit as a third unique member of their private ensemble.

Transmitting on March 6th.


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