stream / preorder "Amanita"
stream/download "Shadow Puppet"
Video created by Michael Speed
art by Bardo Pond and Michael Gibbons
Directed by Michael Gibbons
(photo by Taylor Crothers)
Formed in 1991, Philadelphia’s Bardo Pond have spent some thirty years mapping guitar music’s outer limits – dialing into extremes of noise, chaos, and harmony in free-form compositions that now unfurl across 12 full-length records and a near-limitless body of EPs, cassettes, and CD-Rs.
On October 8th, Matador Records will celebrate the 25th anniversary of the quintet’s long out-of-print second album and label debut, 'Amanita', with a newly remastered 2xLP reissue.
Recorded by the lineup of John Gibbons (guitar), Michael Gibbons (guitar), Isobel Sollenberger (voice, flute), Clint Takeda (bass), and Joe Culver (drums), Amanita is the place where the band’s collective spontaneous creativity blazed into maturity.
“Amanita was a manifesto of everything we were trying to do,” says Michael Gibbons. It was really a template for everything we did later. We were a real unit – just so creative, just making up riffs. There were songs, but they were still rooted in our free-improv base. We had a beauty, but we also had a really strong impulse to be dissonant.”
Even within the heady subcultural micro-verse of ’90s underground zoner-music, the Fishtown-basement-dwelling quintet’s vision of “psychedelia” was singular in its heaviness. “We weren’t interested in the cliched idea of what that term meant,” says Gibbons. "We were very interested in the psychedelic experience as it being a bridge to rebirth.”
“What’s the chemical your brain releases when you’re overwhelmed? Endorphins. That’s what we were trying to get to when we played these parts."
Amanita's music is emblematic of that sensibility – 82-minutes of confusion and transcendence.
The remainder of the band’s Matador catalog – 'Lapsed' (1997), 'Set and Setting' (1999), and 'Dilate' (2001) – will see reissue later this year alongside a 2xLP rarities compilation.
Bardo Pond – now John and Michael Gibbons, Isobell Sollenberger, and Jason Kourkounis – remains active, maintaining a prolific output and performing regularly.
03 Tantric Porno
05 The High Frequency
06 Sometimes Words
07 Clean Sweep *
08 Yellow Turban
10 Be A Fish
11 Tapir Song
12 Brambles *
* Previously vinyl only, these tracks will be available on streaming/digital download on the album release date.
Bardo Pond Online :
Bardo Pond website
"Gang of Four, in a way, were the great missing link that led us all down a road of austerity of sound, and discipline of method.
You could be fooled into thinking they are minimalist, but these are keenly arranged tracks that trade on the currency of suspense, and the power of reduction. The lyrical layer is poetic, passionate and painfully human." - Brendan Canty, Fugazi
“When I was 14, no album gave me more excitement than Entertainment! It was the first album that I wore out the vinyl grooves on. I learned the words and could "sing" along with it. Songs Of The Free and Solid Gold followed suit. Gill and King, along with Boon, McCulloch and Stipe, were rock gods for me. "
Bob Nastanovich, Pavement
On April 23, Matador Records will reissue two of Gang of Four’s critical early works, 'Entertainment! '(1979) and 'Solid Gold' (1981). Both have been remastered from the original analog tapes and will be made available on LP and CD.
Gang of Four’s debut record, 'Entertainment!', remains one of the most beloved and influential works of its era (or any era, really) – an unparalleled collection of songs that has left an indelible mark on generations of bands, producers, and artists.
The group’s second album, 'Solid Gold', celebrates its 40th anniversary today.
It boasts a much deeper, bass heavy sound and contains the singles "Outside the Trains Don't Run On Time" and "He'd Send In The Army."
'Entertainment!'and 'Solid Gold' are also collected in 'GANG OF FOUR: 77-81', due out March 12 on LP and April 23 on CD.
This stunning limited-edition box set gathers Gang of Four’s influential early work – the two aforementioned full-lengths, an exclusive singles LP, and an exclusive double LP of the never officially released 'Live at American Indian Center 1980'. Additionally, the package includes two new badges, a C90 cassette tape compiling 26 never-before-issued outtakes, rarities and studio demos from 'Entertainment!' and 'Solid Gold', and an epic 100-page, full-color hardbound book.
The book details the history and legacy of the original Gang of Four with never-before-seen photos, contributions from surviving original band members, rare posters, ephemera, flyers, essays, artwork, liner notes and more. It also marks the first official publication of their lyrics.
The CD version of the box will not include the badges or the C90. The demo recordings will instead be made available through a download code.
stream / purchase : 'Entertainment!'
stream / purchase : 'Solid Gold'
stream / purchase 'Gang of Four '77-'81'
A new tribute album, 'The Problem of Leisure: A Celebration of Andy Gill and Gang of Four', will be released in May via Gill Music and features contributions from Flea and John Frusciante, Warpaint, La Roux, and more.
This month, 'Solid Gold' and 'Entertainment!' will be featured on #timstwitterlisteningparty, where Dave Allen, Hugo Burnham, and Jon King will comment on the songs throughout playback. Tune in for those at 6pm GMT on 3/1 and 3/12 respectively.
Gang of Four '77-81 online :
Gang Of Four / Matador Records
Gang of Four official Facebook
Gang of Four official Twitter
Gang of Four official Instagram