Stag Hare

Djrona Trilogy (Angel Tech / Gazer / Pongdools)

2014 has been a big year for Stag Hare. With the help of some of you reading (hopefully) Stag Hare has released this massive 3xtape trilogy into the world via his new Djrona imprint, played a fantastic set at Goldrush Music Festival and, obviously the biggest thing yet (psych), released a single through Heligator Records. I am probably missing a bajillion other accomplishments/wins for Garrick Biggs this year, but those are the ones I am acquainted with. As for the first of the accomplishments, releasing a 3xtape trilogy under the Djrona flag, I have moved beyond casual acquaintance and am writing mash notes with stars and hearts for eyes. I've fallen pretty hard for the entire sequence as a whole and individually as stand alone tapes. 

Rest assured this isn't one long drone piece split between three tapes (although that wouldn't be bad either) Djrona is three distinct tapes with different emphasis but the same elemental make up. For those lucky enough to see Stag Hare at Goldrush it wouldn't be hyperbole to say we are catching Biggs at the top of his game here. 

Starting from the top, Angel Tech, released on Space Slave last year but reimagined for the Djrona trilogy, is Bigg's most beat-oriented offering. Witness the 12 + minute "Grays (Doom and Gloom Mantra)" in which Biggs starts with a racing synth arpeggio before a signature Stag Hare beat drops. A simple rhythmic pattern begins to pick up steam before cut and stuck in a intense house beat that holds the track in a suspended build-up to a crescendo in the form of some incredibly processed guitars that sound miraculously like Steve Winwood's synth tones on the Arc of a Diver album. Angel Tech builds sturdy foundations on beats, gorgeously crystalline guitar tones, synth arpeggios and heavily processed vocals . By itself the album stands alone as a culmination of Stag Hare's proclivities to cut a fine line between meditative, sacred-space and liminal dance floor that exists in both dreamtime and realtime. Realtime being whatever venue made holy by questing communiques.

Gazer (not the Cincinnati post-hardcore band of the same name) is the trilogies most subdued and drone-based offering and is built from the ground up from layers and layers of guitar sounds tuned to celestial hum of a spinning compass. While the barrier to any Stag Hare track is relatively low, these pillowy soft drones are the easiest to fall into when engagement with the outside world can wait. Guitars gracefully arc like radiating shards of spectral drift that hang suspended in mid-air. It is a wonderful, deep listening stretch if you have the time to hear these tapes in sequence. 

Stag Hare's last offering is Pongdools, and is possibly the most exciting indicator of where Biggs is taking his meditative drone-pop. Pongdools is Stag Hare's rock album. And it is about good as that sentence sounds. Anchoring the three tracks in a steady Kraut beat, Biggs strikes a balance between the ephemeral drift of Landing and the intensity and focus of NEU! Major chords played with rhythmic intensity as Biggs's breathy voice and ever-ascending synths and shimmering guitar work. The record is palpable and complete. Hopeful and wistful. Voices coming off the waves.

As everyone is polishing up their best of lists, I am still being reminded how great a year 2014 was for music.

December 4th, 2014