Release Date: Oct 20, 2009
Record label: Kranky
Genre(s): Rock, Experimental
As clichéd as it can be to say that an album is "aptly named," White Rainbow's New Clouds truly has a fitting title. Adam Forkner's second Kranky release blends and builds its layers of sound into tracks that are as softly dense and massive as towering cumulus clouds. If this album sounds even more quintessentially of its label than Prism of Eternal Now did, it shouldn't be surprising: Forkner toured with fellow Kranky denizens Atlas Sound and Valet in support of that album, and those groups' hypnotic haze inspired him to make his own music more expansive and atmospheric.
Shitgaze is dead. The keys to the zeitgeist have been handed over, shamefacedly. The scrotty punks have had their time and at the helm, but they abused it. Drunk on power and high on god knows what, they shattered our eardrums with their swarm of insects lo fi before leaving their burnt out vehicle at the side of the road to be pillaged for evidence and inspiration by all and sundry.
Adam Forkner, the Portland-based jack-of-all-trades who's played in more bands than I could reasonably list here, has seen an increased profile recently through his collaborations with labelmates and fellow psych-rockers Valet and Atlas Sound but, as a solo artist, has remained staunchly committed to free-form improvisation. If you've seen him perform live as White Rainbow, then you know this to be true: A typical set features Forkner alone, kneeling on stage amidst of a mess of instrumentation-- guitars, pedals, synths-- that he uses to build ambient washes and vocal-looped drones on the spot. Listening to previous records like 2007's Prism of Eternal Now and taking into consideration his background in jazz, one assumes he works much the same way in the studio-- letting the music develop organically.
For some time now, Adam Forkner has been quietly working with some of the best musicians in the northwestern US—he has recorded with Phil Elvrum, Thanksgiving, Calvin Johnson, Jackie-O Motherfucker, and members of Modest Mouse, among others. Solo, he records under the moniker White Rainbow, which he started as a series of CD-Rs in the early 2000s. New Clouds is his third LP, and second for Kranky.