New Audio: Renowned Filmmaker Jim Jarmusch Leads a Sludgy Power Chord-Based Stoner Rock Jam Band

Renowned, iconoclastic and deeply influential filmmaker Jim Jarmusch is best known for his independent films 1984’s Stranger Than Paradise, 1986’s Down by Law, 1989’s Mystery Train, 1995’s Dead Man, 1999’s Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai, 2003’s Coffee and Cigarettes, which featured cameos from Bill Murray, The RZA and The GZA and others, 2005’s Broken Flowers, 2013’s Only Lovers Left Alive and 2016’s critically applauded Patterson. And as a musician and composer, Jarmusch has composed music for several films and released two albums with Jozef van Wissem, a Dutch-born, Brooklyn-based minimalist composer and late player. But along with that Jarmusch is the leader of a locally-based stoner rock trio SQÜRL, which features his colleagues/collaborators and friends Carter Logan and sound engineer Shane Stoneback. Interestingly, the members of the trio can trace its origins back to 2009 when Jarmusch, Logan and Stoneback teamed up to write and record the original score for the film The Limits of Control. Echoing the varied Spanish landscapes captured within the film, the three wound up writing and recording a slow-burning set of psych rock, initially released under the band name Bad Rabbit. Following those session and a name change to SQÜRL, the trio wrote and recorded 3 EPS of originals that explored the boundaries of country, noise and psych rock.

In 2013, the members of SQÜRL collaborated with Dutch-born, Brooklyn-based minimalist composer and lutenist Jozef Van Wissem to compose, write and record the critically applauded score for Jarmusch’s Only Lovers Left Alive; in fact, the score earned that year’s Cannes Soundtrack Award from a consortium of film and music critics, and as a result the quartet performed the material off the film at a number of festivals including that year’s inaugural All Tomorrow’s Parties Iceland, Primavera Sound, Big Ears Festival, as well as a set at Jack White‘s Third Man Records, which was recorded and released as a live album.

 

Jarmusch and Logan followed their work on Only Lovers with performing improvised live scores of four silent films by American Dada and Surrealist artist and filmmaker Man Ray that employed the use of looping machines, synthesizers and pedal effected guitars — and the material drifted heavily towards experimental, ambient and drone-like soundscapes. The trio officially recovered to compose and record the ambient electronic music-based score for Patterson; however, with their forthcoming EP #260 slated for release through July 14th release, the trio reveal a return to form. And as you’ll hear on the EP’s first single “The Dark Rift,” the song features a droning and buzzing power chord-based riff paired with a simple yet propulsive rhythm section, which slowly twists, turns and morphs throughout the tracks four and a half minutes — and interestingly enough, the track manages to sound as though the band had been listening to the Melvins.

 

 

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