Like many a musical endeavor before it, HOUSE OF LOW CULTURE began as an experiment. In this case, Aaron Turner was making guitar recordings in his bedroom in the Mission Hill neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts. The then-ISIS vocalist/guitarist was, as always, looking to expand his musical horizons.
"At the time I was enjoying my participation in ISIS and a couple other more band-oriented type settings, but also felt the need to stretch out a bit more without the judgments or limitations imposed by working with other people-and also outside the confines of conventional songwriting," he explains. And so House Of Low Culture was built with the empirical process at its foundation. "It was about literal play with my instruments, about trying out any idea that came to mind and letting everything in as a possible influence-whether it was comic books or Penderecki or doing bong hits in my bedroom with a Roland digital 8-track."
HOLC's 1st release, Submarine Immersion Techniques Vol.1, would set the tone for all that would follow. Recorded from 1997-1999, released in 2000, the album explored lonely, lysergic drone territories and and the construction of textural weavings. Over the course of the next several years, Turner broadened HOLC's sonic palette considerably-incorporating voices, keyboard textures, and other non-guitar instrumentation-while engaging in collaborative efforts with the likes of Merzbow/Masami Akita, James Plotkin, Z'ev, Stephen O'Malley and others.
As of late, Faith Coloccia, Turner's wife (and bandmate in MAMIFFER), has become a regular contributor. Her presence can be heard and felt on HOLC's new full-length recording, Poisoned Soil, as can that of percussionist B.R.A.D (Asva, MMOB, Burning Witch, etc). The three lengthy compositions within conjure a wide variety of spatial effects and spectral imagery when experienced under headphones: distant rumblings, ominous premonitions and strange equilibrium disturbances, all underscored by the hiss of naked electrical current.The bleak sonic furnishings and deep chants of "Spoiled Fruits Of The Kingdom" preside over a windswept tundra where David Lynch and Loren Connors dream of permanent midnight. The cavernous vocal symphonies and nerve-rattling drum buildup of "The Ladder That Leads To Nowhere" decay into stereophonic gulls and mangled electronics. The blinking notes of a solitary guitar descend into the ether before "Inappropriate Body" immerses the listener in an uneasy kind of percussive mania. From there, a lugubrious torch light leads the way though chambers and caves ringing with the echoes of strange devotional chants and all the attendant speaking-in-tongues. There is static, and then silence.
Aaron Turner has been an active musician, graphic designer and record label owner since the mid 90s.As a musician he has been involved in numerous bands (ISIS, Greymachine, Old Man Gloom, Mamiffer, Jodis, Lotus Eaters, etc.), and collaborated with the likes of Tim Hecker, Justin Broadrick, James Plotkin, Z'ev, Stephen O'Malley, Merzbow/Masami Akita, Lustmord and others.His label Hydra Head Records has released albums for artists such as Jesu, Boris, Harvey Milk, Sunn O))), Bohren & der Club of Gore, Khanate, Merzbow, Xasthur, Prurient, etc. He has also recently begun a new label with his Mamiffer bandmate and partner Faith Coloccia called SIGE records, mostly focused around projects the two are directly involved in, or those of their intimate collaborators.
01. Spoiled Fruits Of The Kingdom 15'53
02. The Ladder That Leads To Nowhere 15'41
03. Inappropriate Body 21'11
Poisoned Soil Album Credits
Recorded at/by The House Of Low Culture 2009-2010
Additional recording & mixing: Randall Dunn at Aleph Studios 2011
Mastered by James Plotkin
Performed by Aaron Turner with additional performances by Faith Coloccia and B.R.A.D. Photos and Design by A. Turner and Faith Coloccia Lettering by Faith Coloccia
House Of Low Culture will release Poisoned Soil via Taiga Records and Sub Rosa.
HOLC Selected discography
Submarine Immersion Techniques Vol. 1 CD (2000)
Gettin' Sentimental 2x7" (2002) Edward's Lament CD (2003)
Live from the House of Low Temperature 12" (2004)
Housing Tracts CDr/DL (2005/2011)
Chinatown Squalls LP (2007)
Hollywood Squalls CS (2007)
House of Low Culture/Mamiffer - split CD/LP (2010)
House of Low Culture/Merzbow/Mamiffer "Lou Lou..." live 2xLP/CD/DVD (2011)