(Album artwork by Jean-Sebastien Denis, from the series Imbrications 2017)
Mechanics Of Dominion features two very different visual artist collaborations: the abstract paintings of Montréal artist Jean-Sébastien Denis comprise the album artwork (including a set of five art prints as part of the deluxe vinyl edition) while the video works of celebrated multi-disciplinary artist Brad Todd provide a visual album treatment for all the songs on the new record.
Two new chapters of Todd’s visual album for Mechanics Of Dominion have been published, highlighting the album’s most explosive songs: the fried free-improv noise of “¡Que Se Vayan Todos!” and the swirling two-step post-rock of the album’s epic title track.
WATCH: “¡Que Se Vayan Todos!
and “Mechanics Of Dominion”
The first two chapters – pairing two of the album’s stately post-classical tracks “Piscibus Maris” and “The Space In Between” – were previously published in tandem with the official album reveal and first announcement. Revisit them here and note the permalink for the entire visual album as the chapters
roll out in the coming weeks.
Culled wholly from footage shot with an iPhone, Brad Todd (together with co-editing from Constellation label founder Ian Ilavsky) created this series of patient, unfussy, largely unadulterated video pieces to accompany the dynamic sonic narrative of Mechanics Of Dominion. Todd’s steady gimlet eye yields studious, naturalistic explorations of form and texture, or solemn juxtapositions of human activity and abstraction in the ‘built environment’ –and as can be viewed above, a psychedelic trip through the woods on the album’s centerpiece title track “Mechanics Of Dominion” (the only video in the series to incorporate touches of surrealist treatment via post-production effects).
With four of the eight tracks from Mechanics Of Dominion now available to hear and watch as part of the visual album, look out for videos revealing and accompanying the remaining four songs in the coming weeks, as the album’s 20 October 2017 release date approaches.
Co-founded 15 years ago by cellist Rebecca Foon (Silver Mt. Zion, Saltland) and percussionist/marimba player Bruce Cawdron (Godspeed You! Black Emperor), the Montréal-based group has developed a well-earned reputation for exquisite album artwork/packaging and interesting collaborations with various local artists in other capacities, alongside their stylistically unique, expressive and expansive instrumental music. Past Esmerine collaborators have included Clea Minaker (whose live manually-manipulated lightbox animations have also been commissioned by Feist and Atom Egoyan) and the Oscar-nominated animation duo Clyde Henry Productions. Esmerine’s previous album Lost Voices was a 2016 Juno Award finalist for Instrumental Album Of The Year and winner of the Album Package of the Year; the band’s 2013 album Dalmak won the Instrumental Album Of The Year award.
The deluxe vinyl edition of Mechanics Of Dominion includes a set of five 12”x12” art prints and a 12”x19” art print poster featuring the work of visual artist Jean-Sébastien Denis.
“Esmerine don’t hold anything back on their latest album; they’re at their most intense. Mechanics Of Dominion has a steely grit in its belly, but it’s also a playful listen; it’s not restricted or caged in any way. Encompassing so much more than the sum of its parts, Esmerine’s songcraft has been elevated once again.” – FLUID RADIO
“What distinguishes Esmerine from so many artists skirting the overlaps between new folk and chamber music-style arrangements is the attention to composition and content. Where lesser talents are content merely to create mood, satisfying themselves with the surface rewards of alternative timbres, Esmerine wrap mood around substance.” – THE WIRE