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New Amsterdam Records has revealed “Pretender” by No Lands, the recording and performing alias of Michael Hammond. “Pretender” comes from No Lands’ upcoming full-length debut Negative Space, due July 29, 2014 via New Amsterdam.
Negative Space was mixed by Alexander Overington and mastered by Joe Lambert. In addition to digital and CD, the album will be available on 12″ vinyl, including a limited edition run of clear vinyl. After a short run of dates spanning August 11-16, No Lands will celebrate the release of Negative Space with a performance at Baby’s All Right in Brooklyn with Lorna Dune (Victoire) on August 24, 2014. Current tour dates can be found below.
The music of No Lands exists in the realm between sonic experimentation and traditional song craft, a space that will be familiar to fans of Brian Eno, Fennesz, and late Talk Talk.
As a sound designer, producer, and programmer, Hammond has fostered a lifelong obsession with sound. Growing up in West Tennessee in the 90s, Hammond first began his recording experiments on the family desktop computer, printing his sprawling opuses on CD-Rs and pushing the limits of primitive processors.
Later, Hammond spent time creating custom music software and soldering together speakers in a search for new sounds. Studying with visionary composer and instrument builder Dan Trueman, Hammond further honed his technical craft. On Negative Space, some of these tools are employed, along with an arsenal of guitars, vintage synthesizers, drum machines, and processed vocals to create pristine and enveloping sound worlds.
Written and recorded over the course of 3 years, the album is an atlas of the sounds that have preoccupied Hammond. While the majority of the instruments were performed by Hammond, the album features cameos from Anthony LaMarca (current touring member of The War on Drugs and previously a member of St. Vincent), Aaron Roche (who performs regularly with R. Stevie Moore and Chris Schlarb), and Jay Hammond.
When performing live, Hammond is joined by these musicians. The four-piece becomes a digital hive mind of wires and devices, with each individual’s vocals and instruments filtered through the central brain of Hammond’s computer
In visual art, the concept of negative space refers to the areas around and between the subject of a work of art. The auditory equivalent of negative space is not immediately apparent. Is it silence (as John Cage might conceive of it)? Or maybe noise? On Negative Space, No Lands plumbs the depths of these questions with a patience and intensity that is rare. Ultimately, the album is a document of this obsessive relationship with both sound and song, the genesis of which spans the course of three years and a hurricane
Much of the music for Negative Space was written and recorded following a period of itinerancy in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. The flood swept through Hammond’s apartment and studio space in the Red Hook neighborhood of Brooklyn and leaked a particular feeling of unease and rootlessness into his music. The watery world that displaced him became a renewed object of fascination, kindling a nascent obsession with all things aquatic.