Secret Thirteen Mix 204 - James Welburn

James Welburn of Miasmah

Photo by Erik Knive Skodvin

James Welburn of Miasmah records a lengthy and contemplative musical diary, reflecting his travels through the works of musicians met along the way (listen/download now)

James Welburn is a UK-born bass-guitar player and composer who currently resides in Norway. James has been active in music for many years - since the early 90’s - but his first full length solo release, Hold, came out on Miasmah only in 2015. This LP, which was recorded with The Necks’ drummer Tony Buck (a long-time collaborator on Transmit and Project Transmit), is a special treat for anyone who enjoys grand narratives and atmospherics in drone, post-rock and other related areas of “heavy” music - and it was all realised using only a minor arsenal. It’s the remarkable ideas that make this album so stunning. James’ vision creates long, drawn-out tracks that are meditative despite their overwhelming abrasiveness, and have a strong sense of direction and purpose. The background is always a rich and detailed floating choir of noises and drones singing some monumental epic. In short, hopefully the wait for new James Welburn material will not be a long one. And in the meantime...

Secret Thirteen Mix 204 is a truly personal piece of work - there is nothing superficial or glib about it. In keeping with what makes James tick, he has given us a lengthy compilation that gives a lot of space for each track to breathe and do it’s work. The mix is a musical diary of James’ travels over the past couple of years and includes only the work of artists he personally got to know and grew to enjoy the music of. The general blend of musical forms on here is a balance of industrial/noise, such as Human Larvae, Matter, Yodok; ambient music, such as the long and beautiful folk piece by Origami Arktika; and rock/metal music - BARST or Masselys. Most tracks are extensive, slow-building and genuinely evocative. Emotion is celebrated and felt in its entirety - all nuance included - rather than chopped into pieces and served as appetizers. Not much of a workplace listen, but then this is precisely the time for reflection. James Welburn’s mix reminds Arkhip Kuindzhi’s impressionistic painting of the Crimea landscape. It is a turbulent - supercharged - image, yet at the same time, paradoxically, there is calm in its ominous depths.


IIVII - Signals from Home - Colony (ConSouling Sounds 2015)
The Observatory - Part 5 (Mankind) - Continuum (The Observatory 2015)
Lars Lundehave Hansen - Muted Enthusiasm - Terminal Velocity (Tonometer Music 2016)
James Welburn (featuring Tony Buck) - Naught - Hold - (Miasmah 2015)
MoE - No Noise - 3 - (Fysisk Format 2014)
Human Larvae - Tis My Desire To Loath In The Fires Of Vengeance - Home Is Where The Hurt Is (Existence Establishment 2008)
Sophia - Steel Cathedral - Unclean (Cyclic Law 2016)
BARST - Ascend - The Downfall (Wool-E Tapes 2015)
Matter - Grain - Biorhexistasy (Kvitnu 2013)
Tehkla - Telepathic - Yagé (Schematic 2016)
Origami Arktika ‎– Tora liti - aBSOLuT GEHöR (Killer 2014)
Brendan Dougherty ‎– M150 - Sensate (Entr'acte 2016)
Masselys - Let Snake Be Snake - High Fantasy Low Fantasy (Mottomotto 2016)
BALG - Antechamber - part of the Cold Noise Phonia split 7" (CNP 2016)
Dario Sanfilippo & Sec_ - Dried Mouth - Fame d'aria (Tsuku Boshi 2014)
René Aquarius - III - Blight (Utech records 2016)
Anna Zaradny - Theurgy One - Go Go Theurgy (Musica Genera 2016)
Hilde Marie Holsen - Plagioklas - Ask (Hubro 2015)
Circuit Des Yeux ‎– In The Late Afternoon - In Plain Speech (Thrill Jockey 2015)
Simon Scott - Relapse - Insomni - (Touch 2015)
BBS - Hogan Pence - Palace (Miasmah 2016)
Alexander Rishaug - Things That Disappear - Shadow Of Events (Dekorder 2011)
Yodok - I - IIII (Substrata. 2015)
Phragments - New Queens - New Kings and New Queens - (Malignant Records 2013)

About Author

Tadas Švenčionis is a Secret Thirteen editor and journalist. He organizes the occasional event in Lithuania and is obsessed with the harsh, the sad, the delirious, and the political.

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