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Thuja
Pine Cone Temples
SAAH3233 2xCD
Released: August 2, 2005
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Steven R. Smith
Rob Reger
Glenn Donaldson
Loren Chasse

Much has been said about The Jewelled Antler Collective, the fertile womb from which Thuja emits its primordial ooze, and of Thuja itself. A loose-knit assembly of like minded sound ecologists who study the connections between their immediate environment and the music created by its players, Jewelled Antler claims a multitude of music makers in its orbit - Blithe Sons, Skygreen Leopards, Franciscan Hobbies being just a mere cross-section. Thuja, however, remains one of the earliest and best-known incarnations. Steven R. Smith (solo, Mirza, Hala Strana), Glenn Donaldson (Skygreen Leopards, Mirza, Franciscan Hobbies etc), Loren Chase (Id Battery, etc), and Rob Reger (Franciscan Hobbies, etc) coalesce interests in field recordings, found sound, experimentalism, folk and psychedelic rock (among others) to weave seriously detailed and immense journeys into pure sound. Thuja's albums on Emperor Jones, tUMULT, and a host of CDRs showcase their idiosyncratic improvisations in varying degrees, but none go deeper to the core of perception as does Pine Cone Temples, Thuja's darkest and most sensitive exploration of inner and outer space to date.

By incorporating real-time recordings of natural sounds from their particular surroundings, the four members of Thuja play off each other and the space they inhabit with impeccable instinct, succeeding in creating eerie yet strikingly melodic compositions. The end result is a total immersion of the senses, for both the player and the listener. Across the grand expanse of Pine Cone Temple's two discs, implements such as piano, guitars, percussion, and well-placed contact mics are blended like pigments to conjure the subtlest of sonics, pulling every lost drop of their immediate universe into floating and buzzing cinematics. Minimalist hues are brush-stroked into being and slowly unfurl into the atmosphere. Improvised clouds of sound softly erupt to form compositions of such immense and precise detail, it would seem the music was written out rather than spontaneously developed. Such is the magic of Thuja and their uncanny ability to sculpt microscopic psychedelia from their immediate environment and collective consciousness.

Assembled from recordings that span 1999-2004 and housed in lovely double gatefold cardboard packaging, Pine Cone Temples documents the most organic and beautiful ambience Thuja has conjured to date.

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Hear for yourself! Download a free MP3 from Pine Cone Temples - Untitled #3 (Disc 1)
For complete information regarding Thuja, as well as all other grand creatures of the Jewelled Antler habitat, head to the official Jewelled Antler website

Stephen R. Smith website
is chock full of info regarding Thuja and his solo excursions
Thuja page on Emperor Jones
Press: Uncommon Folk, Fakejazz, Dusted, Pitchfork, Stylus
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