Copyright © 2017 · All Rights Reserved · Red Orchard Records
Jason Walton (a.k.a. JWW) is best known for being the bassist for dark metal stalwarts Agalloch. He has previously played in, Especially Likely Sloth, ex-Subterranean Masquerade, Sculptured, Nothing, ex-Susurrus Inanis.
About the Red Orchard Mara 7″
Agalloch bassist Jason W. Walton has been creating surreal and otherworldly soundscapes for over twenty years. In the ’90s he began working under the name Nothing and released four full-length albums and various EPs and singles. He performed live as Nothing in the Midwest and the West Coast before retiring the name in 2003. Since then Walton remained busy with other musical endeavors knowing that a return to ambient noise was imminent.
In the summer of 2013 Walton began the songwriting process again by collecting field recordings from places he would visit. He captured the din of humanity on the downtown Portland streets, the rush of ocean waves in Southern California, and the mysteriously comforting monologues emanating from an AM radio. During mid 2014 Walton manipulated and processed these sounds into disturbingly haunting pieces.
Walton decided to thematically compose these songs around his struggle with sleep paralysis—a phenomenon in which a person, either falling asleep or awakening, temporarily experiences an inability to move, speak, and react. While creating these tracks he deprived himself of sleep and recounted his episodes of sleep paralysis within the two tracks contained in “Mara.” During episodes of sleep paralysis Walton sometimes feels like he has some kind of spiritual connection or “visit” from lost loved ones.
Shortly after track one “Alp” was finished, Walton suddenly lost his stepfather. A few months later, shortly after track two “Yakshi” was complete, Walton’s dear friend Katherine Ludwig passed. Although these two songs are not about these people, they are wholeheartedly dedicated to them making this an intensely personal work.
Mara will be released as a 7” black vinyl, housed in a deluxe black arigato sleeve featuring silver debossed artwork. Initial press of 300 copies.
For eighteen years the Pacific Northwest group Agalloch has defined what it means to combine influences from a variety of musical genres into one brooding, colossal, and cinematic sound that provides the soundtrack to existential themes concerning man, nature, loss, and death.
After two demo releases in the late 90s the band released three full-length albums: “Pale Folklore” (1999), “The Mantle” (2002), and “Ashes Against the Grain” (2006). “The Mantle” has since been heralded as a classic for having been one of the first albums to combine elements from black metal, neo-folk, progressive rock, post-rock, and ambient music. The influence of this record can be heard in many so-called “post-black metal” bands today.
In 2008 Agalloch began re-releasing their demos, B-sides, and EPs under their own Dammerung Arthouse label. In 2010 their fourth album “Marrow of the Spirit” made number one on numerous critic’s top ten lists. In between each of these full-lengths the band pushed on the flexible boundaries they had developed around themselves through a series of EPs that found the band experimenting with post-rock/instrumental rock (“The Grey,” 2004), neo-folk/psychedelic folk (“The White,” 2008) and a mammoth twenty-minute epic work entitled “Faustian Echoes” (2012) released through Dammerung Arts. Their fifth and newest full-length album “The Serpent & The Sphere” (2014) continues to earn praise for solidifying the now identifiable sound of the band.
Agalloch has earned a reputation for explosive and emotional live performances. They have sold out tours across Europe and the US and have played a variety of major international festivals including: Roadburn, Inferno, Ragnarok, Tomahawk, Noctis, Asymmetry Fest, Maryland Deathfest, Scion Fest and others. The band takes special care constructing the environment of each and every show with wood, incense, and imagery taken directly from their home in the Northwest. Such care makes an Agalloch show more than just a typical heavy metal concert.