#16 Steve Bates

The Accursed Sound

12" Vinyl LP, Digital
Release Date: March 29, 2023

Available via Bandcamp here.

Side A: Seduction / Descent / The gloomy pits / Copper crown

Side B: Heaped treasures / The eye could not reach far across the vapours of that midnight air / Voice of the damned / Coward mouth / The hole is just the beginning

Steve Bates played cymbals, copper snare drum, acoustic guitar (copper wound strings only), tapes, speakers, drivers, effects, geophone, contact mics, electromagnetic sensor, computer.

Timothy Herzog bowed cymbals on Copper crown.

Marc A. Reinhardt: hi-hat, cymbals on Seduction, piano on The eye could not reach.

Original text by Douglas Moffat

Mastered by Giuseppe Ielasi

Designed by Joe Gilmore

Steve Bates returns after a 2022 solo, full-length on Montréal’s Constellation Records (All The Things That Happen), with a new release that imagines the every day sound of Hell.

“This recording is a speculative rendering of the sound of Hell as transmitted through copper. Not the Hell of burning rivers of blood and screaming skulls but of a contemporary landscape.”

The Accursed Sound is a thematic body of music by Steve Bates under the influence of imagined sounds of Hell as transmitted through copper. Pairing the topographic form of an open pit copper mine, a cymbal, and vinyl record with their concentric and spiral forms with Dante’s Inferno, Bates crafted this music not so much after harsh noise as much as layers of texture, hints of melody and dissonance more of an every-day ambience than total apocalypse. While it does have noisy elements, it also dissipates into ambient hums as well.

“The project to build a true, anthropogenic hell didn’t begin in the Norwegian mountains until the end of the eighteenth century.” So begins Douglas Moffat’s evocative text written for this release hinting at relations between hell and everyday life past and present.

The Accursed Sound also contains contributions from godspeed you! black emperor’s Timothy Herzog and artist Marc A Reinhardt.

Release Date: March 29, 2023
The Dim Coast / #16