A1 “Solar Motel Part One” 11:41
A2 ”Solar Motel Part Two” 10:07
B1 ”Solar Motel Part Three” 12:17
B2 ”Solar Motel Part Four” 7:25
Paradise of Bachelors is pleased to present Chris Forsyth’s Solar Motel, an immersive four-part suite that reimagines and reanimates the collected history of guitar-driven rock, lighting out for fresh territory in the process. The arrestingly evocative album navigates new vibe channels among the classic guitar/groove thickets of Television, the Dead, Sonic Youth, the Doors, Eno/Cale combos, et al., featuring important contributions from a crack studio band (Mike Pride on drums, Peter Kerlin on bass, and Shawn Edward Hansen on keys/synths) and co-producer Jeff Zeigler (Kurt Vile, etc.) Solar Motel—named for a derelict and now vanished New Jersey lodge—completes Forsyth’s alchemical transformation from a guitarist renowned for his nuanced playing in varied experimental and post-American Primitive circles into a full-fledged deconstructivist rock and roll bandleader producing unabashedly ambitious, ecstatic body music.
As critic Tony Rettman explains, “Solar Motel is broken up into four parts, each one of them escalating in sequence with head-swelling psychedelic bliss while showcasing Forsyth’s equal admiration for the guitar interplay of both Tom Verlaine and Richard Lloyd from Television and Jerry Garcia and Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead. It serves as a perfect example for what Forsyth calls his music: Cosmic Americana.” The Philadelphia-based Forsyth will be touring the record with the stellar new Solar Motel Band, which includes bassist Kerlin, guitarist Paul Sukeena (Spacin’), drummer Steven Urgo (ex-The War on Drugs), and an accompanying album-length video by artist Maria Dumlao (also the source of the album's striking cover art.)
Forsyth’s hypnotic recordings assimilate art-rock textures with vernacular American influences. Long active in the international underground, he’s released a series of acclaimed records as a solo artist that demonstrate a resolute engagement in making corporeal/cerebral music that transcends such subterranean realms, reaching instead for a bleeding-edge physicality and lyricism heavily influenced by his private studies with Television’s Richard Lloyd. The fascinating tension manifest in Forsyth’s playing between often long-form, rarefied abstraction and percolating rhythms and rock/roots structures animates notable recent works such as his 2011 LP Paranoid Cat (rated a “kinetic masterpiece” by Pitchfork) and Early Astral, a 2012 duo LP with Koen Holtkamp of Mountains (memorably characterized by one unnamed record exec as “’80’s Garcia jamming at Epcot.”)
His 2012 Kenzo Deluxe LP has been described by Aquarium Drunkard as “sublime”; the Philadelphia City Paper deems it “resonant [and] incisive… a cosmic abstraction of the American guitar tradition, reducing blues, rock, folk and improvisation into their spare, hypnotic base elements.” The Wire praises Forsyth as “an erudite and farsighted guitar stylist, mapping a path that’s hip and scholarly in equal measure.” Uncut calls him “an emergent master.”
Forsyth has toured throughout Europe and the U.S., sharing stages with such like-minded travellers as fellow PoB artist Steve Gunn, Sic Alps, Endless Boogie, Grouper, Loren Connors, William Tyler, and Rhys Chatham, and, from 2002 to 2011, as a member of Peeesseye. He’s also collaborated with a diverse range of artists including singer and songwriter Meg Baird, Japanese guitarist/boogie master Tetuzi Akiyama, trumpeter Nate Wooley, and choreographer Miguel Gutierrez, and is a recipient of a 2011 Pew Fellowship in the Arts.
+ Forsyth’s most ambitious, immersive, & sublime work of “Cosmic Americana” to date, featuring a full band
+ Available on 150g virgin vinyl, in a deluxe, gatefold limited edition, as well as on CD and digital formats
+ Vinyl edition includes digital download coupon
Next level… Betrays an innate grasp of the serpentine structures and elevated duels that were integral to Television’s appeal. “Solar Motel Part II” emerges out of a raga and a bit of downtown firefight into the sort of face-off you imagine Verlaine and Lloyd – at least secretly – would be proud of. Heavy, throbbing hints of Glenn Branca underpin the jams, and the slide section being matched to a piano break conjures up a further relationship with The Allman Brothers. “Solar Motel Part IV” comes on like a particularly gnarly take on “Dark Star”, or one of those Dead-derived Sonic Youth epics like “Hits Of Sunshine”. Can’t recommend this enough, as you might have divined by now. I’m struggling to think of a live band I’d like to see more right now.
- John Mulvey, Uncut
Heavy psychedelic stuff. It’s a robust album, prone to multiple minutes of knotted guitars, stumbling over each other to disorienting effect. It’s close to transcendent.
- Sam Hockley-Smith, The Fader
Escalating in sequence with head-swelling psychedelic bliss while showcasing Forsyth’s equal admiration for the guitar interplay of both Verlaine & Lloyd from Television & Garcia & Weir of the Grateful Dead. It serves as a perfect example for what Forsyth calls his music: Cosmic Americana.
- Tony Rettman, Philadelphia Weekly
Each tune builds to meticulously wrought, transcendent climaxes that bring to mind Tom Verlaine’s solo albums (or at least the good parts.) In concert, this music explodes with the same sort of explosive, self-righting chaos that you can find on Television’s bootlegs. [The album’s] precisely arranged layers of keyboards and guitars have as many behind-the-door delights as an advent calendar.
- Bill Meyer, The Wire
A gravity-defying, multi-headed, electric guitar-worshipping hydra. The alchemy between these players cannot be overstated.
- Max Burke, Ad Hoc
An erudite and farsighted guitar stylist, mapping a path that’s hip and scholarly in equal measure.
- The Wire
An emergent master.
released 29 October 2013