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The Cessation Elegy

by Bill Horist / Jakob Riis



Bill Horist is a Seattle based guitarist, composer and improviser. In addition to his remarkable solo prepared guitar endeavors and time with Master Musicians of Bukkake, he has collaborated with a wide range of esteemed artists including John Zorn, Secret Chiefs 3, Ruins, Eyvind Kang, Bill Frisell, KK Null, Alan Bishop, Kawabata Makoto, Kinski and many more.

Jakob Riis is a pioneer of the Danish experimental scene and the former trombonist now primarily makes electronic, noise and electro-acoustic music. He uses solo laptop performances to improvise within open structures and has played with people like Philipp Wachsmann, Axel Dörner, Pål Nilssen-Love, Lotte Anker and Mats Gustafsson.

Horist and Riis embarked together on a short tour of the Northwest US in the Summer of 2009.

Although they had known each other for years (having first met at a festival in San Diego and soon after, performed together in a larger ad hoc group in Tijuana, Mexico) they had never before worked together as a duo.

The plan was simple; each would do a solo set and then they would perform as a duo, wherein Jakob would process, manipulate and extrapolate Bill’s prepared guitar work.

It seemed like a good strategy, but neither expected such a synergistic result and ‘The Cessation Elegy’ is the culmination of this brief encounter. It explores broad sonic boundaries, finding footholds in a wide array of sounds - drone, raag-infused acoustic
exploration, straight up noise, abstract folk, doom, electro-acoustic excursions and dolorous ambience.





"These two artists are still definitely amidst the collaborative honeymoon phase, and The Cessation Elegy seems to document their journey as they enthusiastically bound, hand in hand, between their numerous points of creative intersection. Each idea is gutted rather than skimmed, rendering the mental visuals vivid enough to taste; echoes of concrete spaces are curdled into lava lamp gunk, feedback leaks in like light between ragged blinds, and power chords crumble with a Sunn O)))-esque doom malfunction. Most enjoyable."

"Horist's beautiful traditional acoustic shapes and more challenging electric experimentalism battling for dominance against Riis's sonic virus of scorched-earth dark ambience and robotised dread. It's a challenging and varied listen which certainly does hint at a soundtrack-esque narrative, it's bringing all sorts of crazy images into my mind. Don't listen to it last thing before you go to bed or you'll almost certainly have nightmares."

"This is an extraordinary piece of work, a wordless communion in caustic colours and sterling guitar playing. Both participants are highly accomplished in their own right: together they form a formidable duo, where divisions between each become deliciously blurred and unfold beyond the sum of their parts. A synergy of open thresholds that make for plenty of replays. A brief encounter that certainly holds plenty of magic."

"Don’t let the classic 78 rpm-style artwork fool you. Michigan’s Horist and Danish sonic innovator Riis serve up a thoroughly avant-garde collection of pastoral guitar and fiendishly dark ambience sure to stimulate the senses and have you fingering your ear on occasions as if to unblock the static. Add a collection of song titles that hint heavily at Jungian spiritual imagery and what we have here (hear?) is something rather quite strange but also strangely appealing... A sometimes turbulent, frequently rewarding and never uninteresting journey"

"The contemplative feel of a project created by two musicians completely at home with themselves, each other and each others music; an occasionally unsettling mix of wordless, solo acoustic guitar melded with dense, industrial hum and mysterious Bladerunner acoustics."


released April 7, 2014

Bill Horist - guitar
Jakob Riis - laptop

Recorded by Jason Schimmel at Rusty Shack Studios, June 23, 2009.


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Lava Thief Bristol, UK

LAVATHIEF is a DIY label set up by Charlie Romijn in 2009 for the purpose of releasing music and printed matter, often with a focus on handmade small runs.

The latest LAVATHIEF release is 'EDEIDA' by Silver Stairs Of Ketchikan, which is out on Friday 5th June 2021 on LP, CD and digital formats.
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