DELIQUESCENCE is a 2XCD live album recorded in 2016/17, documenting the final Swans tour of this configuration of the band. It shows the Swans live set generally as it stands now (though, as always, the set continues its transformation along the way as the tour progresses). It contains two (long) pieces that have never been, and never will be, recorded elsewhere. In addition it contains a lengthy, unfinished and discarded work in progress. As usual, the pre-existing material used in the live set is subject to constant revision/expansion. The performances were expertly (multi track and live mics) recorded and mixed, and this album and package serves as an excellent document of this mutually telepathic and fiercely exploratory version of Swans. The two concerts that provided the material for these recordings took place at Huxley’s, Berlin, and The Regency Ballroom, San Francisco. The artwork is drawn/designed by Michael Gira. The art is printed on raw cardboard stock and is undercoated and embossed strategically for maximum tactile effect. Each dot represents a very specific point in time, expanding infinitely and consigned to flames. This item is sold primarily at this website and on tour. All copies sold at this website and at live shows are signed by M.Gira. This album is not available digitally. We are printing a maximum of 3000 and then this item will disappear forever.
Track Listing: 1. The Knot (new piece) 2. Screen Shot 3. Cloud of Forgetting 4. Deliquescing (new, discarded) 5. Cloud of Unknowing 6. The Man Who Refused To Be Unhappy (new) 7. The Glowing Man Total Running Time: 2 hours, 36 minutes
Deliquescence Personnel: Norman Westberg: Guitar Christoph Hahn: Lap Steel Guitar, loops Christopher Pravdica: Bass Guitar Phil Puleo: Drums, Dulcimer Paul Wallfisch: Piano, Organ, Mellotron sounds Michael Gira: Guitar, Vocals
This fond reflection of the characters involved in this configuration of Swans appears in the extensive notes in the booklet contained in the package:
Swans Live Personnel 2010 – 2017, Considered: ...in which a portrait of the seven sentinels is assayed... Christoph Hahn: The subject plays a lap steel guitar, caressing, then viciously torturing the strings, while precariously perched high atop his stool, knees akimbo. Part guardian-gargoyle, part bird of prey, part film noir barstool-lothario, he’s often seen spontaneously erupting in a Teutonic fury of blurred hands, arms and teeth, then just as suddenly relaxing back on his pedestal, surveying the scene onstage while running a comb nonchalantly through his pomaded coiffure. His heroes are Robert Mitchum, Dr. Strangelove and Karl Marx; Phil Puleo: The subject plays the drums and the hammer dulcimer with equally applied force, and even nuance, when occasionally appropriate. Sporting the honed body of a Spartan, he nevertheless improvises on his batterrie with the clairvoyant and graceful intuition of a deer darting happily through a nighttime forest, while doggedly scanning his colleagues’ glistening backs for signs of danger, opportunity, or blessed relief. He admits candidly to having rarely found any of these things, or at least he thinks so. Like everyone else in the group, the minute he leaves the stage he forgets everything that just happened; Norman Westberg: The subject plays guitar and stands impossibly still, grinding a helpless nugget of gum into abjection while simultaneously piercing objects near and far with a cruel and impassive gaze. His hands move up and down the neck of his guitar without collaborating with the rest of his body. An old-school American stoic in the extreme, he once made M.G. weep helplessly by smiling for a glimpsed instant onstage. He knits scarves for friends and family while listening to Raw Power on repeat; Michael Gira: The subject plays guitar to questionable effect, sings, often spastically gesticulates, and can sometimes be seen slapping his face Three Stooges- like onstage. He claims he can actually feel the molecules that comprise his body breaking down inside him, turning painfully to powder, but he remains stupefied with childish joy at the simple fact of his existence. He believes he “runs things,” and this delusion often results in catastrophe. He sometimes coyly pretends to help load and unload the band’s copious gear. He cries during the finale of It’s a Wonderful Life; Christopher Pravdica: The subject plays the bass guitar, and has also been known to wield it like a club. The contained and disciplined violence of this man can nightly be seen squeezing out in jets from his pores, shamelessly saturating his shirt, pants, and socks with liquefied, pungent pheromones, leaving a sizeable puddle where he stands. He plays the bass like Robert De Niro pounding the jail cell wall in Raging Bull. His unrelenting onstage obsession with Phil Puleo is alarming. He once beat the obscenely muscular Thor at arm wrestling. He long ago eschewed a formal education, yet he hungrily studies and thoroughly understands quantum physics. His brain is a terrifying vortex of minutiae; Thor Harris: The subject plays the vibraphone, orchestral bells, percussion, gong, and various gizmos with equal parts aplomb, mechanical precision, abandon, and near-fatal masochistic endurance. Known worldwide as a boyishly handsome gentle giant, he loads gear as if it were saltine crackers. Even-tempered, tolerant, democratic in spirit, his sublimated dark side more than once caused him to lose it with M.G.’s annoying, incessant and insensible directives. An expert, curious, and inventive carpenter by trade, he has never been seen wearing a shirt; Paul Wallfisch: The subject plays the piano and organ with carefree virtuosity as his head bobs like a dashboard Jesus careening at 90 MPH down an unpaved road. In addition to the musical flair and style with which he naturally comports himself, this newest recruit to the group brings with him a sartorial aura that alludes, perhaps unwittingly, to a slightly louche lounge singer. An accomplished arranger and director of theater music, an admitted New York intellectual, an intrepid bare- bones world-traveler (he claims to have once been lined up against a wall in a Sub-Saharan country, but he’s increasingly unsure if he instead read this in a book by Sartre), he can also often be found watching DVDs of dubious merit on the tour bus at 4 AM with the rest of the spiral-eyed group.