Chicago-based sound artist J.R. Robinson has been creating live, ambient tonefields in museums around the US and Europe over the past two years-including the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, the Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Getty Museum in Los Angeles, the Pompidou Center in Paris, and The Art Center Berlin. His new record You’ve Always Meant So Much To Me (Thrill Jockey ) Came out June 11th.
Robinson has injected these recordings into collaborations with some like-minded heavy hitters from the noise, post-rock and jazz worlds such as David Yow (Jesus Lizard/Scratch Acid), Mark Shippy & Pat Samson (US Maple), Azita Youssefi, John Herndon & Jeff Parker (Tortoise), Keefe Jackson, Fred Lonberg-Holm and Ken Vandermark. The result (dubbed Wrekmeister Harmonies), is a distinctive hybrid of sound art and avant-garde musics, evoking the essences & influences of masterworks like Joe McPhee’s Nation Time, Lou Reed’s Metal Machine Music and the sound collages of Stockhausen.
“It’s an incredibly emotional and intelligent piece of work and one that fully deserves to be listened to in its entirety.” – Louder Than War
“Even though You’ve Always Meant So Much to Me begins quietly, it doesn’t stay that way. It builds until, a little over halfway through, it erupts into crashing, monumental doom, and you finally understand why Robinson brought in all those monsters of metal.” – Decibel Magazine
“A harrowing tableau of lonesome drones, hiss, degraded noise and moans that build to a towering schizm of thunder, earth, sky and guitar that feel just as destructively chaotic as the crest of any storm. The lines of classical nuance and metal combustion erode between the overlapping waves of guitar that build to the epic finale. Robinson proves that Wrekmeister are just as at home with the Sunn o))) crowd as they are with Johann Johannsson and the museum set. I can only imagine what a spectacle the piece is live but on record, it’s still a floor to ceiling house shaker and a good way to accompany any storm raging outside your windows.” – Raven Sings The Blues