Sunn O))) return to Berlin for the first time since their glorious show at CTM 2013 Festival.
For sixteen years, Sunn O))) have been challenging the way we think about music. In that relatively brief time, core members Stephen O'Malley and Greg Anderson have forged connections between the worlds of Metal, Drone, Contemporary Composition, Jazz and Minimalism with startling results while remaining true to the eternal principles of volume, density and weight.
Advancing from a self-created world and operating on their own terms, Sunn O))) have proven themselves the model of what King Crimson’s Robert Fripp would call a “small, mobile, intelligent unit”. They are capable of expanding or contracting their line-up according to the needs of each project and of moving fluidly between the concert hall and the academy.
Unparalleled in sheer dynamic on record as they are onstage, they have played a large hand in defining the course of modern experimental and extreme music since their inception in 1998. Over time Sunn O))) collaborated with a cast of outstanding artists, including Banks Violet, Malefic of Xasthur, Ulver, Boris, Merzbow and others. In 2014, they released their collaboration album with Ulver entitled Terrestrials, and then continued exciting partnerships with the release of Soused (4AD) with legendary singer/composer Scott Walker, which met with great acclaim and wound up on countless end of year lists.
For their show at Heimathafen Neukölln, Sunn O))) will appear with a 4 piece line-up featuring frequent collaborators Attila Csihar (of Mayhem) and Tos Nieuwenhuizen alongside Anderson and O'Malley. Creating massive wave-pools that are loud though rarely harsh, the sounds of Sunn O))) start low and intensify incrementally until they've transformed the entire listening area into a vibrating chamber teeming with elegant sustain. Adding to the timeless sensory overload of the Sunn O))) experience, the quartet obscures themselves in clouds of thick fog, dressing in hooded robes, periodically thrusting guitars toward the sky as they lead us into the lowest frequencies imaginable.
Greg Anderson and Stephen O'Malley formed the band in 1998, continuing a long-term collaboration after the 1997 demise of their previous group, Burning Witch. Besides Sunn O))) Anderson is the guitarist of doom-stoner metal band Goatsnake, while also collaborating with Stephen O'Malley on a number of projects including independent metal label Southern Lord Records. O'Malley, who has been a well-regarded graphic designer since the mid-1990s, has lent distinct visual creations to the label (and other labels') album covers, flyers, advertisements, and clothing, while also collaborating on other musical projects such as the ongoing KTL with Editions Mego label head Peter Rehberg. In 2011 he began curating and art directing the Editions Mego sub label, Ideologic Organ.
Recently, Sunn O))) have established a Bandcamp page which serves as an exhaustive archive of their entire back catalogue, including rarities and essential live material.
Supporting Sunn O))), nocturnal collaborators Nicolas Lefort and Brandon Rosenbluth aka Shaddah Tuum create gasping, charry techno hybrids with a clear blood lineage to the electronic-industrial dance resurgence led by labels like Blackest Ever Black, Downwards, Hospital, PAN, Subtext, and Opal Tapes. Their debut 12" Merkabah (accompanied by remixes from Downwards affiliate Samuel Kerridge and Italian duo Dadub and described by Little White Earbuds as "feral night music of a rather high grade") saw a limited release in 2014 via Portals Editions, a Berlin-based sound art collective curated by Lefort and Rosenbluth alongside Marijn Degenaar and Yair Glotman (aka Ketev).
On stage, the duo aim to integrate physicality and abstract sound, leaving space for channeling of volatile creative impulses.
Text elements for Sunn O))) taken from Joseph Stannard and Lauren Barly. Photo: Andrew Beardsworth.