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.
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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