2xLP / CS
Limited to 500 first pressing 2xLP
Limited to 500 second pressing 2xLP
Limited to 200 first pressing CS
“Where Does Your Mind Go?” is the brand new studio album from Expo 70, which was recorded during one evening in 2009 while on an East Coast tour. Hill accompanies on a 74-minute journey released on double LP and comprising four long-form tracks that each occupies a side.
The 70’s comparisons are accurate, as a number of memes from the project could easily be transmitted from or to LP’s of that era, which is the obvious intention. Wright designs and packages most Expo ’70 releases himself, building the aesthetic around the project as a long lost relic from the 1970¢s underground music scene.
It’s very expansive, and all ideas are explored fully; no stone is left unturned. The record is a considerable length as mentioned, with no track coming in at less than sixteen minutes. The Kosmiche/synth elements drop in and out, and there are a number of electronic noises that sound as though they could have been manipulated textures.
The press release that accompanies the album does mention occasional morbid tones and references horror soundtracks (and that brooding element is certainly present in places) but for the most part, it’s a meditative but weighty exercise in tonal experimentation. The production is top notch, the tones are all captured very clearly, and the electronic element in particular has a meaty oomph that gives the exercise a weight it may have lacked without.
‘Night Dusting The Atmosphere’ in particular benefits from this approach, with pulsing bottom end tones and piercing high-end feedback to carry the track to a close. ‘Transgressing Outward Which Is Inward’ is an epic piece centered on frenetic piano & mystical drone backing.
The recording session that produced this album also produced additional material to be released under the title Journey Through Astral Projection. The first pressing of the album is limited to 500 copies, pressed on vinyl at RTI and housed in a suitably cosmic old-style tip-on gatefold jacket printed by Stoughton. Included is a coupon for DRM-free MP3 download, and the Lacquers were cut by D&M in Berlin. Expo 70 will tour the US for two months in support of the album, with a staggering amount of dates through September, October and November. It is released on November 2nd by Immune Recordings, and is distributed by Thrill Jockey.
- Review by Alex Gibson for Fluid Rado
RAVEN SINGS THE BLUES Blogspot
Justin Wright, with some help here from frequent collaborator Matt Hill, laid down another massive swath of kosmiche landscapes in the form of Where Does Your Mind Go?. The fact that the four, side-long epics traverse some of the most sonically fluid vibes Wright has yet to catch on tape would be impressive enough, but that he recorded these four epics plus enough material for a companion piece (Journey Through Astral Projection to also be released on Immune) in one night is downright astounding. This marks one of the first times Wright has strayed out of his own studio to record; and with the famous Black Dirt Studios as the location and with Jason Meagher from No Neck Blues Band at the helm, this seems like as right a time and place as ever. Expo '70 has truly captured the ethereal wonder of modern kosmiche, taking the reigns with deft precision from Schulze and co. and working calm pools of sound into tapestries of astral vibration. But unlike the 70's set Wright's sense of the cosmos is never all serene, it's rife with the unknown and a sense of otherworldly unease; and this is what moves him far beyond his influences and into the pantheon of cosmic masters.
Latest broadcast from the duo of Justin Wright (guitar/moog/crumar) and Matt Hill (bass/analog drum machine/crumar/korg). Recorded at Black Dirt Studios, Where Does Your Mind Go? moves from static pools of reverb and electro-percussion that sound like early Popol Vuh through monolithically-thick drone work that references the Oliveros/Wada/Young vision of eternal music while re-thinking its basic tenets in slow-motion punk primitive style. Fully immersive psychedelic soundfields, one monster track per side. Comes in a heavy duty gatefold sleeve. Edition of 500 copies with download.
1st pressing limited to 500 copies, pressed at RTI. Includes mp3 download coupon redeemable directly from the label** An utterly absorbing and time-dilating double LP of masterful synth music from one of the scene's most prolific and respected sons, Expo 70 aka Justin Wright, together with Matt Hill - who recently dropped that brilliant Umberto album on Not Not Fun. Aiming a few notches above the reams of DIY tape spools, 'Where Does Your Mind Go?' was recorded professionally at the studio of Jason Meagher (No Neck Blues Band) in upstate New York over the course of one evening and features production values worthy of the D&M vinyl cut and full-colour, tip-on gatefold sleeve. The four tracks total 74 minutes of the most delicious drone and intangibly hazy harmonics, occasionally punctuated with burbling machine rhythms and steered with a deeply assured set of cosmic instincts. The scale of 'Where does your mind go?' is just epic, each track as majestic and cinematic as the last. The opener 'Close Your Eyes And Effortlessly Drift Away' sails out on gently bobbing drum machine and cirrus strands of Göttsching-esque guitar, like the soundtrack to Martian Balearic beach holiday where the atmosphere is as dusty red-brown as the hues of his arcing synths. 'Night Dusting The Atmosphere' is more sci-fi cinematic, full of sustained string-filled trepidation and encroaching arpeggiations arranged with the overarching vision of a Klaus Schulze classic. 'Transgressing Outward Which Is Inward' is probably the most stirring, passionate piece largely due to the darkly romantic keys which fall somewhere between the wanderings of Roedelius and Terry Riley and in harmony with towering forcefields of vintage analogue synthesizer tones. 'Ancient Hawk Soul Takes Flight' is the transgressive and psychedelic closer, lost deep in a black hole of tonal blurs and still-but-moving drones. We couldn't really recommend this any higher to fans of Imaginary Softwoods, Arp, Oneohtrix Point Never's most untethered moments, or taking lots of drugs by yourself and lying down between two massive speakers.
Latest (vinyl-only) chunk of kosmische spacekraut exploration from long time aQ faves Expo 70, for this recording expanded to a duo, consisting of Expo 70 main man Justin Wright, along with his occasional collaborator Matt Hill, aka recent Record Of The Week honoree Umberto. Together they conjure four sprawling smoldering tracks of galaxian space drone mesmer spread out over four vinyl sides. While it seemed like on other recent Expo 70 records, that Wright and Co. were slowly moving toward a heavier sound, dipping into occasional SUNNO))) territory, the sounds here are seem more tranquil and blissed out, although the addition of Hill gives some of these songs a distinctly haunting soundtrack vibe...
The opening track offers up some subtle minimal drum machines, more textural than rhythmic, drifting on a warm whirling sea of shimmering sonic swells and hazy soft focus drones, everything gauzy and washed out, the soundtrack to a sky full of solar flares, blurred and indistinct, bleary eyed and blissful The guitars do gain some momentum, wrapped in reverb and sent spinning into the ether, but everything stays grounded, a dreamlike abstract soft sonic drift.
The second track definitely seems to reflect the presence of Umberto mainman Hill, immediately unfurling a thick swatch of buzzing drone, a haunting ominous tense bit of ambience, streaks of minor key melody, all underpinned by squelchy low end synths and warm washes of synthesized strings, the whole thing sounding like Umberto or Zombi filtered through Expo 70. There are some brief stretches where the low end becomes a bit more corrosive, but it dissipates quickly, leaving synth shadows and melodic traces, to gradually fade into the cosmos.
The second record begins again with some thick droning synths, layered into softly pulsing streaks, wheezing and whirring elegantly, and ominously, building a mysterious background, over which the duo lay swoonsome strings and maudlin piano, it's all very cinematic and soundtracky and classical, like the score to some lost Italian giallo, again like some hybrid of Umberto and Expo 70 (which it essentially is), one can almost picture the strange psychedelic colors, and constantly flitting shadows, some crumbling old villa set atop a hill, beneath a burnt black sky, tense and moody and gloriously creepy.
The final track/side begins with a cloud of processed guitars, wreathed in delay and reverb, a warm swirl of buzz and pulse, that gradually grows more lush and full, hazy and druggy, the drum machine from the first track returns, again adding texture (but this time a little propulsion as well), the swirl of guitars smooth out into something much more hypnotic, before everything seems to meltdown in a soft psychedelic squall, streaks of spaced out effects, fragmented melodies, shuffling rhythms buried beneath clouds of hiss and whir and static buzz, a warm whirling stretch of soft chaos, that soon morphs into a muted murky bit of outer space shimmer, that gradually disappears into the vast endless blackness, like a dying star. Epic and fantastic.
LIMITED TO 500 COPIES, pressed on super thick virgin vinyl, and housed in a fancy old style tip-on gatefold jackets. Includes a download code as well...
On the new double LP, “Where Does Your Mind Go?”, Expo ‘70 mastermind Justin Wright has his best document yet of his immersive sound. Comparisons have been made to Tangerine Dream, Hawkwind, and other touchstones, but this LP makes it clearer than ever that this is a comprehensive vision at work that both acknowledges these past elements and creates music with a number of unique, deep edges.
The four sidelong pieces here are all very immersive, roiling and mysterious, but very defined—not too many sounds or instruments are in play at any time, creating a space that allows the pieces to breathe in a unique way. The droning of the synth sound bed contrasts with fragmentary lead textures, with synths and guitar textures looming gradually, then receding as if one is floating past them—a heady sense of movement. The album never gets super loud or blasting, but feels very heavy nonetheless.
There is a sense of confidence that has always been present, but which now is undeniable and allows for the use of familiar elements that are clearly in the right hands here. Wright and his collaborator, Matt Hill (Umberto), employ classic Moog space-filter sweeps and stereotypically druggy, uber-heroic imagery to great effect—see the closer, “Ancient Hawk Soul Takes Flight”—but the result is never cheesy or out of place. In fact, these features serve to deepen the experience, enriching the sonic environment in a big way. Elsewhere, “Transgressing Outward Which Is Inward” features among the synths some dark and dissonant piano that grows from single notes to a frenzied flurry, which suggests exciting new directions, as broad and expansive as the crepuscular cover art.
Chicago’s excellent young label Immune Recordings has put out less than a dozen releases, but this one will hopefully serve as a calling card for both label and artist. Expo ‘70 listeners know at this point what they’re getting, but the sound is refined and focused here, and its quality is apparent more than ever. If you want to turn on and tune in, this will drop you way out, more than almost anything else out there. And be sure to catch Expo ‘70 on the long accompanying tour. By Travis Bird 9/10
INCLUDE ME OUT Blogspot
My mind keeps going blank when I try to talk about this album. I’ve had several small crises (is that possible?) over the last few days, relating to the very nature of describing music; nature, meaning and validity, I might add. That’s personal validity of course as opposed to general because writing about music in review-form will always be valid....won’t it? Maybe not, now that we’re often able to hear previews for ourselves.
There’s a quote about writing and music which uses dancing to architecture as an analogy, if I remember rightly. At time like these it seems apt and true.
Here are some lines previously written about this album:
‘Justin Wright sets the controls for the heart of his musical universe and you’re in for a 74min journey of super-stereo sounds that shimmer, drone, pulsate and float through four stages on this homage to the golden age of synthesised dreams.’
‘Ordinarily I wouldn’t trust anyone who calls a track ‘Ancient Hawk Soul Takes Flight’. Would you?’
‘Japan’s Expo 70 slogan was ‘Progress and Harmony for Mankind’, which is a noble but meaningless ideal.’
‘One may use this album to enhance a journey through the doors of perception, and engage in transcendental meditation with the aid of chemicals, but I don’t, being the down-to-earth type who prefers a cup of tea.’
‘If, as appears to be the case when I flick through the musical mediascape, 80s synth music exerts a strong influence today, the previous decade’s Moog voyagers also make themselves heard, channelled through the likes of Oneohtrix Point Never Return, Arp and here, especially, in Expo 70.’
‘Ancient Hawk Soul Takes Flight’ (I do forgive him that title) arrives at a very interesting place about 6mins in, where it becomes less about California dreamin’ than cosmic disorientation which increases until it becomes something like a sonic representation of the cosmonaut’s trip in ‘2001’.’
‘...on ‘Transgressing Outward Which Is Inward’, piano-playing which evokes Alice Coltrane’s ethereal sound rewritten for the future as it was, in 1970, of course.’
SIGNAL TO NOISE magazine
In concert Justin Wright, Expo 70’s main (but not always only) man, sits cross-legged before his amp. He faces in the same direction as his audience so that they become one, like a communal organism with many eyes looking at the same squat box and pulsing light show, all sharing a night flight into the ether. On record he issues invitations into that same state of beyond via titles like “Close Your Eyes And Effortlessly Drift Away.” The music is made from simple elements; a patiently sputtering drum machine, echo-dipped guitars, and fat-toned, old-fashioned synths (Moog, Korg, and Crumar, if you’re checking the brands) that span the audio spectrum from comet-trail whistles to dinosaur-belly rumbles. But it connects in with surprising force.
Where Does Your Mind Go? was recorded live at Black Dirt Studio in New York State during a single night in the middle of Expo 70’s 2009 tour. Rendered on deluxe vinyl, its sounds linger and drift with the clarity of a perfect Pacific sunset far different from Vanishing World’s foggy blur. Stoked from the road, Wright and fellow multi-instrumentalist Matt Hill achieve a quasi-chemical combustion, a gradual but progressive reaction that lights the drones from within and gives the reverberating synth voices and Alice Coltrane-light piano trills an eyeball-scrubbing halo. Their road-tested empathy gives the performances a gravitas that puts the efforts of other kosmische revivalists in the shadow. The music’s heft is matched by the weight of the vinyl and the muted lavishness of the album’s gatefold sleeve. With this package and the equally splendid job that Immune did recently on Stephen R. Smith’s Cities, Immune has earned a place next to Eremite and Three-Lobed as an imprint that is defending authentic experience from the virus of post-millennial ephemerality.
PLAYGROUND MAG dot net
Justin Wright and Matt Hill have created a tour de force of colossal dimensions, as vast as the galaxy—dark and turbulent—in the pieces of “Where Does Your Mind Go?” And check out the details: double vinyl, four songs (one cut per side) and a total of 70 minutes of analogue improvisation with an absolute pre-eminence of synthesisers and effect pedals that transform the sound of basses and guitars into something like noise anti-material. Essentially, Expo 70 sounds like proto-Emeralds: they start with the simple structure of the drone and little by little adorn it with all sorts of acoustic contamination and bursts of space that also owe a great deal to the turbulent improvisation of bands like Black Dice. The harder side of the neo-kosmische sound, the Dark Side of the Force.
By Javier Blánquez
VISITATION RITES dot com
In my previous column, I discussed the challenges of discussing “the year in music” when I spent a good part of that time listening to a narrow strain of drone and experimental music. This time I’ll discuss two groups so prolific and talented that it wouldn’t be hard to spend an entire year focused on them alone.
Two groups in particular defined my experience this year, through their primary outlets and various side and solo projects. The first of these is Kansas City’s Expo 70. Expo 70 is the nom d’artiste of one Justin Wright, who also designs the vast majority of the artwork for Expo 70’s releases. Since the 2005 emergence of the Surfaces CD-R on Kill Shaman, Wright has issued more than thirty different releases under the Expo 70 name, ranging from limited-run tapes and mini-CD-Rs to thick slabs of vinyl with drone epics etched onto their surfaces. Early work was confined to Wright, but lately he has been joined by Matt Hill on bass and electronics.
The dominant sound of Expo 70 is a spacey, atmospheric drone, a formula revisited with each release. Sometimes flirting with pure noise, but never committing and impossibly patient, Wright’s music earnestly embodies the spirit of imagined ’70s drone and space rock. Wright riffs on the slow, meditative aesthetic that runs from Tony Conrad, La Monte Young and John Cale’s early minimalist experiments to the slow-burn lurch of doom godfathers Sleep. What separates Wright from other contemporary practitioners is the immediate impression that Wright has absorbed this material and not merely name-checked it. Expo 70’s sound is the product of someone who has taken the time to fully absorb the impenetrable churn of Table of the Elements‘ landmark New York In the 1960s box set, rather than the uninspired din of yet another disheveled basement-dweller disinterestedly plucking at a detuned guitar while tapping on a delay pedal.
Such value judgments are unavoidable in a music scene full to bursting with every manner of limited vinyl, hand-made tape and labored-over CD-R — all designed to tickle the pleasure centers of scummy record collectors, discogs lurkers, and eBay flippers the world over. “Quality control” isn’t a phrase you hear often in the musical circles around which Expo 70 orbit, so it’s heartening to discover an artist whose output is not only copious, but uniformly excellent. Expo 70’s big statement this year was their Where Does Your Mind Go? 2xLP on Chicago’s Immune Records. Over four long sides, with total album length pushing the seventy-minute mark, Where Does Your Mind Go? is an immersive, rewarding Komische music experience. The presence of Hill’s analog drum machine lends the music a strong internal momentum, differentiating it from Wright’s previous solo releases under the Expo 70 name. Wright’s occasional excursions into unadorned blurt on his solo releases have been erased, replaced by an intoxicating blend of processed guitar and synthesizer. The shocker comes when you open the exquisite gatefold sleeve and see printed in the liner notes, the words “All music improvised with no overdubs.” The apparent compositional sophistication of the music contained within betrays the improvised approache. Hill and Wright are in perfect, psychic lockstep, and this connection makes Where Does Your Mind Go? one of the highlights of the year in any genre.
Hill’s galvanizing effect on Wright’s approach is strong enough to warrant a closer look at the bassist, who has a few limited releases under his given name, but is more popularly known by the pseudonym Umberto. From The Grave on Chicago’s Permanent Records was the first missive from this project, released late in 2009. I stumbled upon that record with no idea of the Expo 70 connection and was instantly taken. Umberto constructs propulsive new wave tunes that are explicitly informed by the ’70s Italian horror/Giallo aesthetic and the band Goblin, who provided the seminal film music for Dario Argento’s incomparable Suspiria and Profondo Rosso. In 2010, Hill released Prophecy of the Black Widow on Los Angeles’ closely watched Not Not Fun, a further refinement of the Umberto aesthetic into irresistible instrumental synth-pop snippets. Once Expo 70 have succeeded in transporting you to deep space with their current duo recordings — or perhaps after Wright has erased your subjective outlook with one of his guitar dronescapes — Umberto will bring you right back to Earth, maybe even right back to the dance floor. That is to say, Expo 70 have enough talent between them to keep your ears occupied indefinitely if you’re so inclined, and take it from me: you ought to get inclined.
COREOGRAFO del CERRO blogspot
"Blow your mind and your brain will follow", podría ser una reconversión del título del album de Funkadelic (tremendisimo disco) para categorizar a las bandas que en esta últimas temporadas nos han retraído a los campos de electrónica progresiva de Kluas Schulze o Manuel Gottsching, entre otros (yo cito a dos de mis favoritos ,obviamente) para retumbarse en el ambient y en la psicodelia y darnos experiencias que nos alejan completamente de la realidad (difícil para muchos a nivel global) y nos aísla con nuestro escritorio,muebles de catálogo y diversos complementos a una vida sin muchas elecciones más que las de mutilación personal (poco aconsejables, que hace frio y los entierros son un pico). La pregunta de Justin Wright,alias Expo'70, de dónde irá nuestra mente es de difícil respuesta,pero que su disco nos indica un sendero claro.La evasión. Expo'70, entra a grabar con Jason Meagher, de la NNCK, para entregarnos un disco de épica minimalista y dorne psicodélico en el que dejar fluir nuestra mente en literatura futurista (vista hace treinta años), pensar en paradigmas Orwellianos y encerrarnos en dimensiones desconcidas.Otros,igual prefieren pedirse una pizza.Pero no podemos negarnos ante la evidencia de estar ante una realidad parecida a un parking. Inmersión y excursión en este disco, que te hace respirar durante más d euna hora y te hace volver otro distinto,pero la vida fuera no ha cambiado.Lo sabes,pero disfrutas de la insuperable insignificancia de nuestros días.Como cantaba Ariel Pink, Immune to Emotion. Gran disco.
*Para final de año, nos promete una "Resurrection" en Electric Temple records,lo que vienen siendo nuevas galaxias de misticismo y viajes mortecinos.