From list No. ?
Expo '70 just keep getting heavier and heavier. Beginning as a spaced out drone-heavy krautrock-worshipping band, with swirling synths and drifting FX laden guitars, the band has gradually been altering their sound, guitars getting heavier and more distorted, the spaciness swallowed up by huge slow moving black walls of rumble and buzz, the low end slowly but surely taking over, their music drifting ever closer to some sort of SUNNO)))-baked crawl. This new record, a split with SF based Rahdunes, finds the band moving still further into their own dark sonic galaxy of black heaviness.
Cursory listens will reveal just that, a grinding roiling whirl of distorted guitars and throbbing bass rumble, but this is Expo '70, so even when they're channeling their inner doomsludge demons, they can't seem to help infusing their lugubrious crawl with streaks of outer space shimmer, buried melodies, subtly shifting textures, sure this is intense and heavy and loooooooow, but it's also blissed out, and fuzzy and dreamy and in its own weird way still sort of space-y and krautrocky.
Rahdunes take the high road, literally. It's almost like the two bands decided to split the frequency range right down the middle, with Expo '70 taking the low, and Rahdunes taking the high. Their tracks counter Expo's Earth-y throb, with some glistening druggy folky space drift. A swirling expanse of druggy ambience, guitars wreathed in effects drift by. vocals moan and wail, through thick curtains of fuzz and buzz and delay and reverb, percussion shuffles way off in the background. Imagine the Manson Family, and the Beach Boys, high as fuck, sitting in the grass, by the ocean, their faces lit by flickering firelight, as they chant and jam and conjure up some primal space drone energy, and you'd basically be tapped into whatever lifeforce feeds Rahdunes. The rest of the disc gets a little more rhythmic, reminding us of No Neck and Sunburned Hand, but never losing that bleary eyed druggy wonder, looped guitar, stumbling rhythms, more ethereal chanting, finishing off with a fuzzed out murky dreamscape of muted melodies, soft focus tones, buzzing synths, sputtering percussion, mumbled vocalizing and shimmery feedback, somehow perfectly complimenting Expo '70's doomic crawl on the flipside.
Gorgeous silver and black matte covers. And first time on vinyl for anything Expo '70!!!
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With this vinyl-only split recording, Expo '70 gives us his heaviest number to date. And I mean doomsday heavy here folks! SunnO))) could probably learn a thing or two from it. The title alone is a hint at how animalistic it all sounds. Wright's droning guitar has never sounded this crushing to date and it will snap at your jugular until it has drained you. The storm eventually subsides after the feeding and an ominous calm reigns over the rest of the track. I wasn't expecting much from Rahdunes after such a mind-blowing experience, but I must say I was pleasantly surprised. The group's sound is filled with a bizarre mix of electronic noises, abused effect pedals, unidentified drones and creepy vocals. At times I felt as if I was hearing found recordings by some obscure religious death cult, at others I thought Rahdunes might actually be a side project by members of Excepter and at others, I completely lost contact with reality (that's a good thing)!
JIM McCARDLE of Southern Distribution lists Expo ’70/Rahdunes top 10 2008
JIM McCARDLE (The Keeping Of The Books for Southern Chicago)
Expo 70 are one Justin Wright from the greater Kansas City, MO area, and his material as Expo 70 (released mostly on hand-made but pro-looking CDRs) is the best of the new neo-drone electric guitar artistry. This - his first vinyl release - is a split with San Fran heads Rahdunes. Expo 70 contribute an LP side-long track of not-so blissed-out drone, while Rahdunes add synth and drums and actually manage to up the creep factor with their three songs. A wonderfully discomfiting listen. It's also my favorite sleeve art and construction of any full-length this year - just plain (and plainly) gorgeous.
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Still Single: Vol. 5, No. 2
“Sunglasses” b/w “Trancending Energy From Light” 7”
My first exposures to Expo 70 here – can’t cop all the CD-Rs and tapes and such, nor would I have the time to listen to ‘em all – but I understand the praise now, and think it goes beyond people trying to put records in your hand. The duo lays down a full, expansive bed of drone, allowing it to recede when necessary (nice ebbs in “Life Sucking Panther Blood,” from the split LP), and giving it enough time to grow and wither before adding simple, effective melodies on guitar, bass, synth, etc. All three of these sides are keepers, with the 7” tracks being a little more insistent given the brief runtime of a 45 single, and the LP offering finding a comfortable pace of development over an entire side. Rahdunes are a trio, featuring Indra Dunis of Numbers, but the herkajerk analog pain of that group is all but gone here, replaced by a languorous, deep groove, punctuated by hand percussion/drum machine and made all the more tripsidelic by extensive use of reverb, fading vocals, and coils of guitar sliding skyward. I find this maybe a bit less deep than the Expo 70 side, but far more listenable and engaging. Fast, loose rhythmic shuffles shimmy through loops of effects and earworm note patterns, in a style fairly similar to Blues Control’s. Definitely want to hear more. Nice silkscreeen job on the LP, too. Very strong object value overall.
Expo ’70’s side is a slow building drone track. Not bad background stuff, but really…how many drone albums do ya need? Nothing really sets it apart from the pack. It could use a gong or something. Oh well.
The Rahdunes side kicks things off much better with something that sounds like The Cannibal Holocaust theme revised by Tod Dockstader, Martin Rev, or, hell…even Wolf Eyes. Pretty cool. Dying sea mammal calls sloshing about in a funky bass groove. Vocals are dusted into oblivion. Second track is some seriously damaged pluck n’strum looped and jazzed about. Panic inducing until a thick industrial thump buries the scrambling strings. Sloppy tape repeats. I like this. It annoys me in a good way. Healthy dollop of early Kraut seems to be topping this side nicely. What the hell is the vocalist babbling about? Last track wraps things up with a skyward shot into of the E.A.R. variety. David Cronenberg should talk these dudes into rescoring Scanners at this point. A smattering of Coil or early Severed Heads starts to wash over the ending. This side would look good wrapped in a Woodsist or Sacred Bones sleeve. Not to shabby. A solid flip fer sure. Enough to make me wanna’ keep it. (RSF)
PRINGLES FOR BREAKFAST Blog
Man, class affair here. Nice silver/black cover, sharp otherworldly sounds. I missed the gig in Ypsi at the Cock Pit that the street said RULED, and missed that reggae-colored homemade raw first lp. Reports from the gig is they played forever with elaborate homemade electronics and killer flow. Was there another lp called "Expo 70"? Or am i mixed up with the conference in Texas where my parents met/ hooked up drunken style? Regardless, amazing zone loner outerspace electronic journey par excellence'. S.H.A.R.P = Sound Heads Always Regressive Progress-es / If this was a shop it'd be GOOD STYLE. Intense non-world universal non-focus from the a#1 CHIEFTAINS x 2 slo 45 DJ. The only lp in the Frying Pan that has M.A.G.I.C.K spelled out since I sold my Crowley Tarot Cards and PTV techno lps to Dour. Great long player, like a weather report from the cosmos, storms brewin SOMEWHERE, SECRETLY. If jammed with double vision on a stormy emotionally heavy night, kinda sounds like Earl Peatree's "Here I Am, This Me" lp synth private from Mich. ages ago.
Ooh, a silvery silkscreened thingy. It's a split between Expo '70 and Rahdunes on Kill Shaman and it kicks off with a big fat noisey drone on the former's 'Like Sucking Panther Blood', which is probably the heaviest thing I've heard from them so far. That ominous squall dominates the majority of their side, eventually ebbing away until a slow, considered bassline is all that remains. Rahdunes have roped in the drummer from Numbers who Business Lady has declared she'd probably marry given half the chance.. Civil partnerships fo' real man. They're a strange bunch, conjuring up dubby, smoke-filled rites performed on giant effects racks. I've asked around and although everyone seems pretty into it none of us can think of a halfway accurate comparison or a decent way to describe what they're doing. Tends to be a good sign in my experience so give it a look if you fancy something that little bit different.
A Norman Records recommendation (8th January 2010) 4 stars
split LP from two heavyweights of the noise/drone scene released by Kill Shaman back in 2008 (in an edition of 300 copies. very OOP.) Expo 70 is the sometimes solo jams from Justin Wright and sometimes as a duo with Matt Hill (whom you may know as Umberto). Rahdunes was the duo of Aaron Coyes (now of Peaking Lights) and Nate Archer (and sometimes a trio with Indra Dunis also of Peaking Lights).
Expo 70 hails from Kansas City. Wright generally goes it solo as Expo 70 these days. he also runs the fabulous Sonic Meditations label. on his side of this LP he leans a bit more toward the doom-y side of things. although toward the end of his track "like sucking panther blood" things clear up a little bit with some beautiful droning guitars and a solid bass line (courtesy of Matt Hill). totally stellar track. Expo 70's more recent work "Blackout," "Where Does Your Mind Go" and more have been blowing my mind lately. and going back to this split LP is interesting to hear the progression he's made in the last two years.
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Rahdunes were based in San Francisco. however upon Aaron's marriage (to Indra) they moved to Madison, WI and Rahdunes are unfortunately no more. they only put out a handful of releases while together (excellent LP's on Emperor Jones and Qbico and a handful of cassettes). on their side of this LP they give 3 shorter tracks. you can begin to hear a lot of the qualities that will eventually make their way into the Peaking Lights sound. hazy and dubby drugged out sounds with steady drum machine and echoing guitars in the background. really amazing stuff.
the Aquarius Records review of this LP said: "RAHDUNES taking the high road and EXPO 70 taking the low road" & "EXPO 70 with an earthy throb" & "RAHDUNES sounding like the charles manson and the beach boys jamming high on acid at a bonfire on a so-cal beach." completely appropriate. listen to it here. good luck finding a copy, it's long OOP.
go to Sonic Meditations to keep up on the new Expo 70 LP's and tapes. they have really been killing it lately. all of their stuff is highly recommended. and I think Justin Wright's artwork is quite amazing and completely appropriate for their sound.