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Artists: Middle Pillar Presents: Loretta's Doll


Loretta's Doll

Since 1992 LORETTA'S DOLL have released a string of eclectic releases, all revealing the darkness within the light. Weaving their own unique blend of "Electro-Acoustick Musickal Mayhem" allows them access through the Gothic, Industrial, Experimental, and Electronic realms in order to expose their twisted, abstract and often mercurial sound. Throughout their nine years of existence, LORETTA'S DOLL have created an impressive body of work that reflects themes of the alchemical, the absurd and melancholia. Beginning as a quintet, the players were Bryin Dall (Vocals, Samples, Guitars), Kevin Dunn (Drums & Electronic Percussion), Scott Reiter (Synths and Engineering), and Kevin Wahlen (Chapman Stick, 8-string Bass and Synths) and Sean Burns (4 & 5-String Bass).

The band's affinity for shaping voluminous aural textures in their live performances was exposed on their first CD release, the 1993 live mini-album The Chemical Theatre. The following year they harnessed this creative energy in a studio setting that spewed the dynamic XXI Degrees album in 1994 – an allusion to the highest degree attainable within a magickal order. From the spiritually haunting "Hekas" and the tongue in cheek "Farmer's Daughter", to the pounding tribal rhythms of "Voodoo High" and the dichotomous dirge of "Shut Up & Dance", XXI Degrees takes the audio senses on a strange ride of spirituality, mayhem, melody and noise.

In 1995 the band was briefly joined by multi-instrumentalist Brien Brannigan to record World Of Tiers. This popular four song CD-EP shows a wide range of experimental / industrial sounds, this time around with an eye towards the melody and the beat. A dichotomy of styles, World Of Tiers is harder yet more serene, magickal and mature, dancey and Shakespearean. This new progression towards a more dancefloor friendly sound led to favorable reviews from DJs on both East and West coasts. The April 1999 issue of CMJ Monthly chose World Of Tiers as one of the "10 Darkwave Gems From The 90's". Four distinct sounds flow throughout the ep. The industrially rhythmic "Savagery", the dark, Bronte-esque, synth-infused "Waiting", the jazz juxtaposed swamp romp of "Like A Demon" and the strong electro-acoustic noise of "Now I Am Alone". The latter featured the famous soliloquy from Hamlet as read by Orson Welles. This would mark the master orator's first official contribution to a LORETTA'S DOLL record, it would not be his last.

Taking their fascination with Orson to a whole new level, the band's next release would mark a large-scale undertaking: to score the original radio broadcast of Orson Welles' War Of The Worlds. Done in tribute and presented as a joint release between LORETTA'S DOLL and "Orson Welles and the Mercury Theatre", the band added a deep musical subtext to the infamous 1938 radio broadcast that reported a "live" Martian invasion. Utilizing a sinister ambient background of twisted electronic sounds and textures, LD subtly enhanced the inherit tone of dread and horror found in the broadcast without obscuring any of the original work. At the same time they cleaned up much of the surface noise present on the then almost fifty-year-old recording. In doing so LORETTA'S DOLL preserved an important American experience for a new generation.

Limited to 333 copies, their "Halloween" single was a return to the experimental story telling side of the band. Recorded to celebrate the band's 1997 New York City Halloween shows with Current 93, it featured vocal and sculpted musical interpretations of three dark fables, two Brothers Grimm tales and a reading of Edgar Allan Poe's "The Conquering Worm".

In 1998, Nocturnal Arcade marked LD's first full length CD of original song-oriented material since XXI Degrees. This release displayed a seething audio assault of electronic textures, more traditional instruments and sampled sounds. With the raw grinding intensity of "World of Hell" and the pulsating hypnotic drones of "Friendly Fire" to the militaristic and majestic stylings of "Child in Winter", LD established themselves as masters of "aural shapeshifting" with renewed strength and sophistication.

Their latest, 2001's Creeping Sideways, is their darkest and most expressive work to date. Collaborator Derek Rush (Dream into Dust) joins LORETTA'S DOLL on bass guitar and production duties, adding his affinity for dark soundscapes and apocalyptic textures. Further exploring the boundaries of semi-structured dark electro-experimentalism, "Nature" is ominous, crashing and foreboding in sound, with Bryin's distinctive affected growl winding throughout. "Song of Solomon" is throbbing, sensual and tribalistic, featuring frequent phantom member Orson Welles. With disjointed rhythms and minimalist glitches and synths, "Albemuth" is an even further progression into their amorphous sound. "The Disconnected" is a ranting diatribe of human degradation and disgust that could only be spoken with any cynical conviction by guest vocalist Genesis P-Orridge (Psychic TV, Thee Majesty).