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Mode For Titan
9 October 2020
|Josh Werner releases ‘Mode For Titan’ LP, co-produced by Bill Laswell, Preview ‘Traversal’|
FOR FANS OF: Brian Eno, Michael Brook, Japan, William Basinski, Jaco Pastorious, Alice Coltrane, Terry Riley, Steve Reich, Laraaji, King Tubby, Lee Perry
Photos by Bianca Casady
“This first offering is simply fantastic – pulsating and infectious, setting the listener up to take flight in his imagination. If you turn it loud enough, you can feel the positive vibrations of this music run through your body, seemingly in perfect alignment with the universe” – Big Takeover Magazine
American bassist and experimental dreamweaver Josh Werner released his new album ‘Mode For Titan’ in October. Co-produced by legendary American bassist / producer Bill Laswell, it came out via Laswell’s newest label M.O.D. Reloaded. Ahead of it, he previewed the grounding and pulsating track ‘Traversal.’
‘Mode for Titan’ demonstrates that on its own, the bass is also a powerful melodic and ambient force, and without drums and the usual suspects, it becomes decidedly meditational. Written specifically on and for the instrument, this record dances between the worlds of songwriting, improvisation, movement and sonic texture.
The ultimate tool for a rhythm section, the bass discreetly leads the charge as the heartbeat and metronome. It is the spiritual glue which binds the harmonic and rhythmic worlds, the humble captain quietly steering the ship.
For this album, Laswell encouraged Werner to perform on different versions of the instrument, (sitar bass, upright bass, 7 string bass), as well as unleashing his sonic arsenal to create this low-end journey. While a wide array of influences is heard on Werner’s compositions, it’s the introspective creative focus that guides. Simplicity, beauty and space are constant in this journey and the rich colors of Laswell’s sonic translations are the compass.
Werner is an active abstract painter, session musician, songwriter and producer, Josh Werner has made quite a name for himself working in a variety of styles, most notably in dub, experimental rock, hip hop and jazz.
“Mode for Titan is a hybrid of improvised performances and meditative compositions, all rendered through Laswell’s darkly prismatic sonic eye. Bill and I wanted to make an “all bass” statement, free from the usual suspects of the rhythm section, which could show range and depth of the instrument as a compositional and sonic tool,” says Josh Werner.
“Bill is a legend, so having him at the helm was an important part of the work, I have complete trust in his navigating skills, and though we are very different as players, he has deeply informed my taste and choices.”
Raised in Milwaukee, Josh Werner was a private student of Richard Davis. In 1996, he moved to New York and attended the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music program. His years of recording and performing with top-tier and cutting-edge artists has made an imprint on his identity and place in music history.
He is a founding member of the “Sci Fi Dub Noir” outfit Helio Parallax, experimental rock project Higgins Waterproof Black Magic Band (with TV On The Radio’s Tunde Adebimpe) and has toured extensively with avant-garde folk duo CocoRosie. Along with Roots Tonic, he was an original member and co writer for Matisyahu, including for the CIAA-certified gold records ‘Live at Stubbs’ and Grammy-nominated ‘Youth.’
In addition to being a frequent collaborator of Bill Laswell via such projects as Method Of Defiance and Bass invaders, Werner has worked with many other notable artists, including Lee “Scratch” Perry, Cibo Matto, James Brandon Lewis, Wu Tang Clan, Marc Ribot, Ghostface Killah, Vybz Kartel, Sly and Robbie, Nels Cline and Popcaan.
The ‘Mode For Titan’ LP is available on CD and digitally everywhere, including Apple Music, Amazon and Spotify. It can also be obtained directly from the label via Bandcamp.
All songs written by Josh Werner
Engineered by James Dellatacoma
Recorded and mixed at Orange Studios
Mastered by Michael Fossenkemper at TurtleTone Studio NYC
Design by Yoko Yamabe @randesign
MOD Reloaded: David Brunelle, Yoko Yamabe
Photography by Bianca Casady
Cover art by Josh Werner
Produced by Bill Laswell
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