Saskatoon’s The Basement Paintings have returned with their first album since their incredible 2016 release Mystic. The new album is titled Antipodes and explores themes of “diametrically opposed ideologies, access points to the collective consciousness, and glimpses of divine interconnections. ANTIPODES refines and expands on the sound of the bands previous releases with rich guitar tones, visceral drum patterns and trance-like journeys through metal, psychedelic, and progressive landscapes.”
The band collaborated with Harris Newman for this release and his influence definitely come through on this album. The album is an epic collection of emotive and colourful soundscapes. It mixes different sub-genres found under the experimental umbrella of music into one cohesive listening experience.
We caught up with the band and asked them to pick the three albums that have influenced them and their music. Below are their picks.
Album is available here: https://thebasementpaintings.bandcamp.com/album/antipodes
ISIS – In The Absence of Truth
This album really influenced the slow burning dynamics, and darker sludge sections of our music. There isn’t really another album that brings a listener into the mode that ISIS’s 2006 album, In The Absence of Truth does. Even ISIS’s previous releases, which are all masterpieces in their own regard, don’t quite get you to that gloomy, melancholic state – speaking in private to anyone consumed by its wall of sound. The organic and raw production elements were so influential to us, that we tried to replicate it with our 2015 Time Lapse City EP, by collaborating with Aaron Harris – ex ISIS Drummer turned recording engineer to produce the EP. We often define our music primarily as being post-metal, so it only makes sense that we would pay homage to the guys who birthed it in the late 90’s, and this is them at their finest. Neurosis’ 2004 album The Eye of Every Storm, and Palms’ 2013 debut LP, are some other notable albums that have influenced the post-metal elements in our music. As with most “post” genres, it is indicated that the band is moving past something – in this case, moving past metal influenced music, and we’ve always felt that our music is best suited for people who tend to enjoy heavy music but are beginning to enjoy listening to it more quietly, and to have mid- album reprieve from it.
Godspeed You! Black Emporer – Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend!
It’s difficult to pin down exactly what Godspeed album has been most influential to us, but their 2012 album Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend! Is definitely one of them. F#A# is the classic GY!BE record, and the beginning of the lyric section in ‘Providence’ is like breathing your first sigh into a meditative state – but for the sake of being different, we will go with A!DB!A ! Each of us discovered GY!BE on our own terms, and the band’s reformation in 2010 and release of this album had a profound effect on our desire to be patient, and let atmospheric sections fizzle until they are borderline going on for too long. The influence of this album has furthered our ability to create meaningful ambient and drone song sections, which were a bit darker on our 2016 release, Mystic than our latest album Antipodes, which are more airy and distant – precisely the evolution of drone vibes that Godspeed is accustomed to. Once again, with Antipodes, we tried to mimic the production quality of Godspeed records, and anything that comes out of the Hotel2Tango studio in Montreal (Big Brave, A Silver Mt. Zion), by collaborating with Harris Newman who has mastered all of GYBE’s albums from Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend! onward.
Tim Hecker – Ravedeath 1972
We have always tried to incorporate electronic elements into our music, through modular synthesis, guitar tones and loops that mimic electronic instrumentation. There are so many electronic/drone/ambient artists that have influenced us all at various points (Brian Eno, Loscil, Darkside, Rafael Anton Irisarri), but the sound of the synthesis on Tim Hecker’s 2011 album, Ravedeath 1972, is probably the most influential, and similar to what we have been writing recently. Being at a Tim Hecker concert is like being buried in a room of sludge that is rumbling your body to the point where you can barely distinguish it from your seat. The thick, claustrophobic building of layers on Ravedeath is similar to how we begin live sets, signal a sludge section, or transition from airy ambience into a heavier song. The modular syntheses at the start of ‘Soma’, or the mid-section ambience in ‘Antipodes’, are good examples of how we use thick drones to bridge songs. Our live sets are typically distinguished from one another by stringing songs together with ambient and drone sections differently than the previous show. This keeps our live sets fresh with around 10 minutes of new material every time we play live.