I don’t know why I hadn’t got hold of this until a couple of weeks ago. A Hole is True, Double Leopards last CD from recollection, is one of my favourite drone/noise CD’s of all time. I suppose every copy I’d seen until recently has been prohibitively expensive.
Double Leopards were a quartet when they recorded this (Chris Gray, Marcia bassett, Mike Bernstein and Maya Miller). Marcia Bassett also records as Zaimph and with Matthew Bowers as Hototogisu, Miller and Bernstein are now half of the awesome Religious Knives and I suppose Gray is off doing his own thing as well. Halve Maen was originally a vinyl only release on the vinyl only Eclipse Records. In 2005 they re-released it on CD and I don’t often comment on packaging on this blog but the packaging here is a replica of the gatefold 2 LP vinyl. It is really well done. Lovely stuff indeed.
So what of the actual music? Well I think this record is actually a bit easier on the ears than A Hole is True. They concentrate on drone with a psychedelic twist. It doesn’t have the obvious rock influences of Religious Knives but if you love that band you can hear a link between the two groups most easily on this. I’ve read some comparisons to Stars of the Lid, a band which I’ve only started listening to this year and in some senses the comparisons are justified. They both specialise in drone but Halve Maen is a much darker and less achingly beautiful variant than Stars. It’s also a less visceral and industrial feel than A Hole is True. It’s certainly Dark but not as evil as their final album. In many ways I prefer Halve Maen to A Hole is True but if you like your noise/drone you should really track down both.
This is them live and being scary from the Fun for None DVD. more representative of Hole is True than Halve Maen but great none the less.
Live at ATP 2006. Probably a bit closer to Halve Maen.