Renown american noise musician and former Wolf Eyes member Aaron Dilloway will perform at Riga, Latvia’s Skaņu Mežs festival for adventurous music on October 12. Skaņu Mežs will happen on October 11-12 at concert hall Hanzas Perons (16a Hanzas street) with a free-entry opening event on October 5 at the Art Museum Riga Bourse (Doma Square 6). First 100 two-day passes to the festival can be purchased for 22 EUR at www.bilesuserviss.lv. So far, Michal Gira and Norman Westberg have also been confirmed for the event. The full program will be gradually revealed over the following months.
Aaron Dilloway is one of the most creative, prolific, and revered figures in the Midwest American experimental/noise scene. His performances and recordings incorporate rhythmic loops from eight-track tapes, vocal improvisations, found sounds, and field recordings. He uses contact microphones in order to generate harsh, feedback-laced noises, sometimes placing microphones inside his mouth in order to create bizarre, ogre-like distorted voices. While he channels some dark, violent energies into his sonic constructions, there’s also a crucial element of playful, absurdist humor to his work, making his performances confusing yet highly enjoyable spectacles of Dadaist performance art.
While Dilloway is perhaps best known for his involvement with Michigan noise group Wolf Eyes, he’s had an extensive solo career, issuing hundreds of recordings (usually limited cassettes) under his own name as well as Spine Scavenger. In addition, he’s also collaborated and issued split releases with other well-known noise and experimental artists such as Kevin Drumm, Prurient, John Wiese, and many others. Dilloway is also the owner of Hanson Records, a long-running experimental music label as well as a brick-and-mortar record store and mail-order service based in Oberlin, Ohio.
Born in 1976 and originally residing in Brighton, Michigan, Dilloway began going to basement shows in Ann Arbor during the mid-’90s. Inspired by local noise rock band Couch and experimental art rock bands Caroliner and Sun City Girls, he formed a discordant, lo-fi rock band called Galen. In 1997, as Dilloway moved to Ann Arbor, the label released an experimental collage tape by Nate Young performing under the name Wolf Eyes. Wolf Eyes became restlessly prolific, documenting their performances and rehearsals with dozens (eventually hundreds) of limited cassettes and CD-R releases, primarily issued by either Hanson or Olson’s American Tapes. A tour with Black Dice led to a split LP by the two groups (issued by Fusetron in 2003), and eventually Wolf Eyes shocked everyone by signing with Sub Pop for 2004’s Burned Mind, which turned out to be one of their most brutal, ugly recordings yet. Dilloway soon left Wolf Eyes, however, as he became stressed out from the constant touring. His final session with Wolf Eyes was for a Peel Session that unfortunately ended up being recorded a week after John Peel died in October of 2004.
Dilloway temporarily relocated to Nepal, where his wife Erika Hoffmann (vocalist for Godzuki, Saturday Looks Good to Me, His Name Is Alive, and other Michigan indie pop bands) was studying, and Hair Police’s Mike Connelly replaced Dilloway in Wolf Eyes. Dilloway constantly recorded audio while in Nepal, and after he returned to the States, he issued a set of field recordings and Nepalese pop songs called Sounds of Nepal, as well as Radio Nepal, a series of recordings taped off Nepalese radio. He incorporated further Nepalese recordings into his subsequent solo work. Around 2007, he moved to Oberlin, Ohio and began collaborating with numerous Ohio-based artists, including Emeralds and Robert Turman. In early 2012, he released a long-in-the-making double LP titled Modern Jester, which featured some of his most rhythmic compositions to date. The release received excellent reviews, and was often referred to as his best work. Dilloway’s 2017 solo release The Gag File – just like the aforementioned Modern Jester back in 2012 – was named as one of the best recodings of the year by The Wire Magazine. Dilloway has recenly collaborated with Genesis P. Orridge, Kim Gordon and his old collegues from Wolf Eyes.
Stay tuned for further announcements of Skaņu Mežs 2019. Tickets to the festival can be purchased here: ticketservice.lv. Advance sales ticket for a single concert night currently costs 15 EUR and will increase in price. Meanwhile, the first 100 two-day passes are available for 22 EUR.
Skaņu Mežs festival is supported by the Ministry of Culture of Latvia, State Culture Capital Foundation, the Municipality of Riga, Trust for Mutual Understanding, Danish Cultural Institute as well as iRobot, Valmiermuiža and Red Bull Music Academy. Skaņu Mežs is also a member of the SHAPE platform for innovative music and audiovisual art, supported by the „Creative Europe” program of the European Union, and I.C.A.S., an international network of festivals, devoted to adventurous sound.
Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/368833850645345/