Former Silkworm, Sunn O))) members make sacred noise on Dama/Libra’s “The Chant”

Former Silkworm, Sunn O))) members make sacred noise on Dama/Libra’s “The Chant”

Photo: David Ewald
Photo: David Ewald

The halves of Dama/Libra—Joel R. L. Phelps and G. Stuart Dahlquist—come from dissimilar places. As a former member of Silkworm and The Downer Trio, Phelps is known for edgy, rickety, poetic yet raw indie-rock; as a former member of Burning Witch and Sunn O))) (and currently of Avsa), Dahlquist is a proponent of earth-moving drone. Dama/Libra, however, does more than merely split the difference between the two. Claw, the duo’s debut, certainly doesn’t skimp on the drones, as heard on the standout track “The Chant,” which is being debuted here. But along with spectral fogs of organ and cloudbursts of distorted cacophony, the song opens up vast space in which Phelps—sometimes harmonizing in ritual union with Dahlquist—wrings out syllables and lays bare his nervous system. The crescendo’s peak is both inexorable and startling. It’s a sound neither artist has explored before, but their newfound alchemy is as eerie as it is exquisite.

Claw will be released August 12 via Northern Spy Records on CD/digital and vinyl.

Dama/Libra tour 2014

August 17—Quarters—Milwaukee, Wisconsin

​August ​18—The Hideout—Chicago, Illinois

​August 20—Middle East—Boston, Massachusetts

August 21—St. Vitus—Brooklyn, New York

August 22—The Brillobox—Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania​

August 23—Kung Fu Necktie—Philadelphia, Pennsylvania​

August 25—Double Happiness—Columbus, Ohio

August 26—Lemp Neighborhood Arts Center—St. Louis, Missouri

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