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Nicholas Maloney – Lignum Muzek CS

From Jackson, Mississippi, Nicholas Maloney carves a vision of lo-fi atmosphericana. Though there is some use of traditional instruments, like guitar, organ and banjo, Lignum Muzek functions more like a weather vane. Field recordings of natural spaces around Mississippi result in bouts of almost-silences, which are less sound, more detectable pressure change. But then there’s the occasional insect, a sheet metal’s melody. A barely recognizable trombone, the sigh of trees.

Minimalist in arrangement but planetary in room size, the longform tracks move between spatial experiment and texture-as-mood. Wood has a heavy presence on the album—Maloney saws it, throws it off a roof onto a shed. But musique concrète is just one of the tape’s dimensions. There are affective swells, romantic and buoyant, but still they retain a climatological sensibility. The artist’s interest in pushing the listener’s focus leads to deep listening gone weird: Lignum Muzek evokes that feeling when the sounds of Earth suddenly become understood as cosmological events, alien, gorgeous, and terrifying.

Composed using field recordings of wooden structures, trees, large outdoor spaces, wood degradation, and various natural sonic environments around Mississippi – along with prepared acoustic guitar and banjo, woodwinds, trombone, sheet metal, thrown objects, cassette tapes, voice, synthesizers, and organ.

releases Nov 20, 2020

professionally dubbed type I cassettes limited to 75 copies with hand-printed covers using water-based ink on recycled paper

organ, wood-cutting and throwing, metal-shaking assistance  – Stephen Curley

composition and synthesizer assistance – Cole Beaune

artwork – Astrid Bowlby

all proceeds to Big House Books (Jackson, MS, USA) – //

This is a pre order item and ships on or around November 20th.

Record Label


Catalog # ENMX-11
Stock Level Out of stock
SKU 210000028869