Voluminous Arts

VOL 011 Transverberation

by Gavilán Rayna Russom

Long ago, in the days before Rayna quit drinking, one of her favorite cocktails was something of her own invention called a “Saint Teresa”; iced chamomile tea and gin, usually Crystal Palace brand. To call it a cocktail is ridiculous, considering her technique was to mix it in an old orange juice bottle and carry that around all night. Something about the botanicals used in distilling the gin and mixing the chamomile leaves and flowers produced a mildly psychedelic effect before the inevitable blackout. The drink’s name came from the fascination-bordering-on-obsession Rayna developed for the story and writings of Saint Teresa of Ávila. She sought these out after being shown Bernini’s sculptural rendering of St Teresa’s experience of being penetrated by the Holy Spirit in an art history class in the early 90’s. She often spent most of that class sitting next to her girlfriend so they could fondle each other in the darkened lecture hall; the mix of religious ecstasy, sexuality and attention to detail in the sculpture lodged deeply in her consciousness. As a deeply spiritual and often extremely solitary and private person, her love of the story that animated Bernini’s hand has continued to grow throughout her life, especially after multiple visits in the late 90’s and early 2000’s to the chapel of Santa Maria de la Vittoria in Rome where the sculpture is currently kept. Transverberation sees her returning to that story as a sober woman in her mid 40’s, initiated into several spiritual traditions that specifically work with the energy of saints. The 9 works that comprise this release are also informed by her experiences of quarantine and social distancing. In an environment of enforced solitude and ramping collective horniness, the idea and practice of sexual intimacy with god became deep, complex and necessary.

As a sober person with much experience of the psychedelic, Rayna’s connection with and development of spirituality as an expansive, living energy has been vital. The idea that intimacy with god could have a sexual dimension, or could even be contextualized by sexuality has been an important component of this connection and development, one that sets the experiences of the divine she sonically describes on Transverberation very far from the staunch conservatism of Chistinaity in its colonial forms. Rayna’s spirituality affirms the body and all of its desires and fantasies, and it was for this reason that St Teresa’s writing, and the fantastical and erotic webs it weaves spoke to her and continues to be a reference point. When she no longer had the ecstatic effects of drugs and alcohol to draw on for a sense of connectedness, she found that her body’s demands for connection through channels of sexuality increased, and that a simplistic understanding of sexuality was no longer sustainable. In the isolation of quarantine, this imperative to shift sexuality from the rigid and compartmentalized definitions that its commodification in our shame based culture has created to an expansive method of connection with the creative energies of the universe increased. It became a method of survival and sustainability. While this connection sometimes took the form of engagement with other individuals and their bodies or with the images and descriptions of them as transmitted via text messages, voice notes, pictures or webcam feeds, its anchor was in the connection to a sustainability affirming divine source. Engagement with another individual, although welcomed, was not necessary to experience connection with this source. It was simply one manifestation of it. At the center, anchoring her during this time, which continues to unfold, was the knowing that her creator could be as near to her as she was willing to have that energy be, and that included both its admission into her body and the opening of that energy force to her body’s deepest sexual desires.

Transverberation describes an embodied and self-determined spirituality, one that embraces and entwines with rich and creative sexualities rather than compartmentalizing them. This avenue of spiritual experience connects with the lives of the Saints, especially St. Teresa, not through the gateway guarded by the church but directly through the vinculum of the ecstatic. Its sonically immersive descriptions map a spirituality that reclaims ritual and resides within the sexual as a communion with divine creative forces and their residues that manifest in nature, resistance and the spirit world. As both a digital album with tracks separated and discreet, or as a cassette tape where they blend together into a contiguous landscape on each side, the album unfolds itself like a rosary, reminiscent of St Teresa’s concept of the interior castle in which deepening experiences of prayer lead one through a complex of mansions where increasingly profound modes of connection become possible. Sounds, more spun than woven, evoke echoing hallways, intimate breaths, silent faces and disembodied voices. In ringing tones one hears and feels not only the reverberant bell but the wand that strikes it and the grip of the hand that holds the wand. There are moments of wailing, mourning, screaming, bleeding, cumming, dying and birthing. This passionate energy, although it celebrates the fluidity of sexuality, does not pursue transgression as much as it proposes that the strictures that religion, in collusion with capital and the state, put on sexuality are themselves transgressions against the body. Through sound, composed in time, Transverberation constructs another type of interior architecture, one in which the supervision and punitive prudishness of colonialism are absent, and an unconditionally loving, gorgeous, horny and perverse divine power is palpably present.

  • A1 - Excession - 1:08
  • A2 - Blessing - 5:35
  • A3 - Burning Face - 0:59
  • A4 - In the Service of Moving Out of Avoidance - 7:36
  • A5 - Blooming Vulvae - 0:57
  • A6 - Funeral Rites for Eurocentrism - 9:50
  • B1 - Gold Spear - 1:56
  • B2 - Releasing Enlightenment - 1:32
  • B3 - Transverberation - 20:39

Transverberation cover art

VOL010 - Crash Convention: Paper Eyes Tape Archive Volume II

by Paper Eyes

Voluminous Arts’ latest release “Crash Convention” is an electrifying collection of material from Gavilán Rayna Russom’s Paper Eyes project (1996-1998). While both previous archival releases of Paper Eyes sounds (2017’s “Source Cognitive Drive” on Ecstatic and “In A Cage” released by Voluminous Arts earlier this year) have stretched across the project’s sonic spectrum, from its most meditative expressions to the most ear-splitting, “Crash Convention” pulls some of the highest intensity and most mutant selections out of the vault. At the time that the Paper Eyes material was being recorded, first in Rayna’s home studio on 31st St and later at her place on the corner of Metropolitan and Roebling in Williamsburg, New York City was in a moment of dynamic shift. Gentrification was becoming mechanized, even more violently displacing and incarcerating some of the city’s most significant multi-generational residents, especially Black, Puerto Rican and Dominican families. The unbearably violent assault of Abner Louima by the NYPD and the subsequent attempted cover-up were activating increased waves of resistance to policing; a tone which had already been set in response to the LAPD’s refusal to be accountable for their horrifying assault on Rodney King, and the clearly racist murder of 15 year old Latasha Harlins by a store owner from whom she was attempting to purchase a $1.79 bottle of orange juice. In the midst of this, and while attempting to orient herself correctly towards the goals of these struggles, Rayna was herself in an extreme moment of personal upheaval; deep in a relapse of her drug addiction and alcoholism. In the golden window between rigid discomfort and total blackout she was catching traces and threads of her queer trans-femininity; an experience for which there was very little community or even language at that time. Paper Eyes emerged from an attempt to use fictitious narrative and fantasy to create context for these experiences. These sounds emerged from an intersection of a vivid imagination as it bears witness to harsh realities. For example, as mentioned in the liner notes of the “Source Cognitive Drive” release, Rayna spent many nights in the summer of 1997 sitting on her rooftop watching police coerce favors from neighborhood sex workers she had become friendly with. She also witnessed how the same police would harass and intimidate these women during daylight hours. Eventually they were arrested and did not reappear in the neighborhood. This was particularly haunting because of the way in which it emotionally drove home the sense of total lawlessness that existed among those who were making and upholding laws. Williamsburg was also still held in the grip of the late stages of the crack epidemic, in which policing played a vicious role. Living daily in this environment as a sensitive person with a liminal identity was disorienting, heartbreaking and rage inducing. She was often at a loss for what to do with those feelings and when they did not simply trigger a binge of one kind or another she brought them to her tape machines, her odd collection of instruments and the fantasy world of the Paper Eyes character which mirrored her daily reality in both obvious and stealthy ways. In her search for technologies through which to heal and be useful in re-orienting the society in which she lived towards something ethical and sustainable she was encountering Black trans-atlantic healing traditions that had been kept alive and innovated in neighborhoods such as Los Sures, where large populations of immigrants from Cuba and Puerto Rico made their homes. These traditions and the legacies they carried challenged her basic assumptions of reality, eventually becoming deeply transformative for her. The period during which Rayna did Paper Eyes was one of multiple thresholds, a fact that is physically apparent on these recordings. The works on “Crash Convention” are full of sounds pushed to their limits as well as fevered yelps, utterances, mumblings and other border state vocalizations. Mixer feedback, tape loops, toy drum machines and keyboards all crash together in a bath of distortion that makes the edges between sounds burst and melt. Beneath the antagonistic surface of these tracks is an engagement with sound as a physical material and a method for reclaiming time. While these foci had been central to Rayna’s earlier work in Music Program Zero, the combination of moving from a rural to an urban environment and the reemergence of her active substance addictions pushed her music into new realms of saturation and intensity. Combined with a desire to find some form of connection in any of the multiple scenes where she was hanging out and soaking up the creative expressions of others, this became the fuel that ignited Paper Eyes into being and set the project apart from her previous works in Soma and as Child. Reflecting on that time she says, “I felt extremely alone in what I was interested in and was always trying to re-shape it to fit the things happening around me that excited me. As a result, I was in an almost constant state of rage and/or anxiety. I wanted to destroy everything, especially genre and the limited way the market had programmed me and others to think about cultural materials. Many of these imperatives led much later to my starting Voluminous Arts, which of course I hope is a much more mature, and more sustainable and community oriented approach to them”.

This digital only release includes a download of visual materials from the Paper Eyes archive.
Released August 6, 2020

All music written and recorded by Gavilán Rayna Russom as Paper Eyes
Archival materials by Gavilán Rayna Russom are courtesy of her personal archive

  • Drumming Transmission 02:59
  • Horror Beat Loop 01:38
  • Mayhem Keys and Beats 02:54
  • Still Dreamworld 02:36
  • Glow Beats 01:17
  • Metal Creatures 01:43
  • Cryptic Transmission 01:23
  • Arpeggiatron 01:05
  • Disco Beat Drone Wars 06:39
  • Crash Convention 04:34
  • Feedback Beating 02:21
  • Cymbal Shapes 01:18

Paper Eyes Vol 2 cover art

VOL 009 RFNAL - February 1995

by Child (Gavilán Rayna Russom)

Voluminous Arts presents RFNAL, a 25 year old archival recording that crystallizes a significant moment in the development of Gavilán Rayna Russom’s music and thought. In February of 1995, when RFNAL was recorded, Rayna was 19 and had just moved to Tivoli, New York. She was beginning her second year of study in Benjamin Boretz’s “Continuing experiment in holistic development and inter-arts exploration”, Music Program Zero. The moment marked a node along a trajectory that stretched from her underground and diy roots in Providence; playing in psychedelic and noise bands and making home recordings, to the beginnings of a compositional process informed by multiple lineages, one in which the inherently political nature of creativity was central. Troubled by the relentless processes of cultural appropriation that seemed unbearably embedded into the work of making music as a white person in a media and cultural marketplace dominated by white superamicst agendas, she had begun attempting several years earlier to tease out and remove these threads from her own practice. This growing consciousness had prompted her to step away from DJ’ing and from the hip hop and acid house music she had been experimenting with and to step towards first founding Soma; a psychedelic noise band whose process was uncompromisingly improvisational, and then into creating atmospheric home recordings as Child that pushed beyond improvisation and into the genuinely uncategorizable. As she began to understand the limits and liabilities of this path of investigation in terms of genuinely addressing the issues of appropriation that initiated it, she encountered Boretz, who illuminated for her much deeper ways in which political oppressions reproduced themselves in the composition and dissemination of music. These insights extended to tight knit problems such as the primacy of melody and mono-vocality as encodings-into-sound of fascism, and to structures such as the western tonal scale as mapped on a piano keyboard as reflections of the rigid categorizations of heteropatriarchy. Her studies also exposed the currently dominant systems of commercial cultural exchange as fraudulent and harmful. Much of what was transmitted to her during this time is summed up in this quote from Boretz’s liner notes to 1988’s Open Space audio CD 1:

“...Do I have to tell you about the spiritual cannibalism of the culture, our culture, which has been bombarding us with ultrasensory overstimulation aiming to reprocess us into fulltime consumption machines, stealing above all from us our time (not an inch of time without an imprint of message), and even our very sense of time (to be measured in lengths of no more than one message unit each) under the guise of entertainment, and even of 'art,' commoditizing the eternal, hyping the primal? Our time is the sine qua non of our identity. We need to take extreme measures to reclaim it for ourselves and each other."

RFNAL, an artifact that emerged from deep within this learning/unlearning process, is an uncompromising exercise in the mechanics of using sound as a way to radically reclaim time from capitalism. It is a tremendously haunted and haunting recording. Throughout the 30 minute piece there is a distinct absence of recognizable musical signifiers such as melodies, chords, traditional arrangements or structures of any kind. Instead there is an emphasis on the ability of multitrack recording to overlay multiple spaces and time frames in the service of disrupting the linear notions of time forcibly imposed by Eurocentrist thought and its settler-colonial implementations. While one can place certain of the sounds that interpenetrate these textural layers amongst instrumental groupings such as wind, string, brass and electronics, even the exact instruments used are opaque because of the way they are approached; not as tools to reproduce the recognizable and externally imposed rules of “how music goes” but as weapons and charms to delineate a sacred space of communion with nature and the dead based on an internal and embodied imperative. Although the original cassette of RFNAL was only re-discovered after the release of Secret Passage, there are many links between the two; most directly, RFNAL includes as part of its source material, the recording of Rayna and her cousin Mike Kelley (Kelley Polar) making sound in the East Side Rail Tunnel which served as the inspiration for “Ghosts Wail In Us”. At a deeper level, though, the type of episodic drift continuity that is so palpably on the surface of RFNAL is a journey into Rayna’s music in its most essential and starkly revealed form. This continuity and approach to sound making is central to all of her later work. It is the deep skeleton upon which somewhat more conventionally “musical” projects such as Black Meteoric Star, The Days of Mars, The Crystal Ark and even Paper Eyes were crafted and is what gives those projects their unique “hypnotic” quality. Her work on Secret Passage, though, saw a re-awakening of the emphasis on this skeleton as a central audible focus, raw and exposed anew. This use of episodic drift continuity and lack of easily identifiable signifiers is particularly evident in the cassette version of Secret Passage on which the individual tracks blur and blend together. RFNAL was originally composed as a way for Rayna to deal with childhood trauma that was being reactivated by two close friends of hers that were constantly fighting, with the additional hope that it might function as a spell to cool the animosity between them. Resurrecting it now perhaps it can fulfil these functions on a wider level. At minimum, RFNAL provides a remarkable window into the early seeds of Rayna’s compositional approach and opens an expanse of undulating temporality that stands in stark contrast to the timelines of consumption and the marketplace.

This digital only release includes a download of several written texts by Rayna from 1995 as well as additional archival materials.

Released August 6, 2020
All music written and recorded by Gavilán Rayna Russom
Texts and archival materials by Gavilán Rayna Russom are courtesy of her personal archive

  • RFNAL - February 1995 30:00

RFNAL cover art

VOL 008 Bloodshock

by Pain Slut

It’s a strange time for the club; the live streams that have stepped in, attempting to hold space for all clubs used to do, are fraught with problems including accessibility barriers and surveillance. Online alternatives also seem to leave out several languages of the body; rhythmic codes, which grew deep from the roots of club culture, resonating in our cavities and on our skin, bridging the gaps between the ancestral and the immediate. The environment of the club is impossible to replicate alone. Sharing physical space on a dance floor, as was once the default, is no longer a viable option. Will it ever be again? Whether this shift is temporary or permanent, there are needs that must be met. Those of us who have traditionally found meaning, purpose, healing and connection in the dark amid the lights, sounds and bodies will need to dream new forms through which to meet those needs. This release, both for the way it speaks to the body in the present, and for the way in which it speaks to a powerful moment from the recent past, offers material for that dreaming.

Like any good track for a club, “Bloodshock” is a test of endurance; the track is dynamic and has moments for pause, before coming back up again, all while maintaining a relentless groove that mandates exploration and investment with all of one’s body. The alternate mixes (“Stripped” and “Goth Girl”) tease out different aspects of this complex and pumping web. The former homes in on those glitching, short-stopped fuzz-as-percussion sounds that punctuate growling, pulsating and re-emerging washes of synth. The latter puts emotions on suspense with a ticking clock and low passed throb, gripping you and demanding you stay put until it gives into a sensuously unfolding, dark candy arpeggios syncopating for most of the bar, then lining up with the beat by the end, wielding tension and release, denial and reward like a skilled dominatrix. Outlier B-side “Blessed” receives a PhD in not giving a fuck for its obsessive embrace of repetition’s ability to provoke ecstasy, as screaming bursts of synth streak across the frequency spectrum within a tightly held grid of pulsing kicks and hats. Each meditation on "Bloodshock" demands attention while also allowing a fluid expanse of experiences to grow out, in manifold ways, from its discrete set of source materials.

The tracks on Bloodshock turned up while Rayna was searching through old hard drives. They come from some point in the stretch of years when she was doing a monthly residency at Brooklyn’s Bossa Nova Civic Club. The fact that her studio was across the street meant she could work fluidly between the roles of DJ and producer, often testing out a track during an earlier set, tweaking it in her studio during a break and trying an improved version during a second set later the same night. Bossa at that time was a special place, one where the poetics and social frameworks of hip hop, punk, goth and dance music were reconnecting and mingling authentically after being segregated and commodified through whitened market interests in the previous two decades. It was an important gathering spot for a whole wave of New Yorkers in need of somewhere to be complex and real. The material on this EP didn’t fit into Rayna’s discography at the time, so these tracks were relegated to making occasional appearances in her DJ sets until the launch of Voluminous Arts created the opportunity to publicly present a more authentic picture of her expansive vision.

The team at Voluminous Arts had a meeting about this release and Rayna said, “well this is a club banger, but what’s a club banger for in a world without clubs? I think a ‘live stream banger’ is maybe something different”. We all laughed but the heartbreak was also palpable

  • Bloodshock - 9:36
  • Bloodshock (Stripped Mix) - 9:40
  • Bloodshock (Goth Girl Mix) - 9:36
  • Blessed - 7:42

bloodshock EP cover art

VOL 007 Road Trip Tape Summer 2020

by Gavilán Rayna Russom

During periods of grieving and revelation such as this, it can be difficult to know which course to take. Sometimes only the next step is visible, sometimes not even that. The fundamental groundlessness and basic uncertainty of the human experience are brought to life and it becomes palpably clear that the dead do in fact walk among us and must be reckoned with. Conversations become critical modes of engagement with the unknown. Drawing on decades of using the creative medium to interrogate and challenge colonialism, capitalism and their carceral mechanisms, Gavilán Rayna Russom delivers a sonic gesture painting entitled “Road Trip Tape Summer 2020” as a contribution to those conversations. Rayna’s work often opens expanses of fluid and non-hierarchical investigation and this work, composed of two long-form pieces, is no exception. Conceived as the soundtrack to a road trip across a wounded but healing landscape, a journey that does not require physical movement but does insist upon spiritual growth, these pieces are the audible byproduct of the dynamic shift in Rayna’s life described in her essay “Sick” (published in Love Injection fanzine in May). Specifically, these works are an invitation to direct the drift and seeking energies associated with road trips towards an acknowledgment of the haunted shadow world that one of necessity moves through when travelling in the 21st century. That travel may be across land marred by interstates and checkpoints, through the streets of a city or town, within one’s own mind and body, through the multiple webs of data held by the internet or across oceans and vast stretches only possible to traverse by flight but it always involves negotiating with both the violent realities brought on by the colonial process and the ghosts that violence has created. Use these sounds as you would like, but Voluminous Arts hopes that releasing them publicly might provide restoration for those who have been using their strength to bring us to the crossroads at which we currently stand, inspiration for those conceiving of new forms, structures and worlds, sustenance for those committed to the long haul and permission for those needing to shed skins and old ideas.

  • Side 1 - A Moment's Pause 11:31
  • Side 2 - Still Learning, Still Growing 10:03

road trip tape summer 2020 cover art email lyric sheet

VOL 006 In a Cage: Paper Eyes Tape Archive Volume 1

by Paper Eyes

Voluminous Arts presents the first in a series of archival recordings from Gavilán Rayna Russom’s late 90’s freakout electronics project Paper Eyes. “In a Cage: Paper Eyes Tape Archive Volume 1” unearths 11 blistering and uncompromising selections from Rayna’s trove of cassette tapes made between her first two New York apartments, both industrial loft spaces in neglected corners of the city. The world was not ready for these sounds when Rayna was distributing small edition cassettes of them through local record shops and networks of friends in 1997 and 1998. Paper Eyes was too queer for the noise weirdos and the ill-beint scene and too weird for everyone else. The music on these recordings was created to utterly scramble the concept of genre and of course that meant everybody was like “what the fuck is this?” In 2020 it sounds remarkably up to date, finding a long needed home within the landscape of intentionally un-categorizable sounds that currently permeate the burbling undergrounds of Brooklyn and Queens. Across explosive bursts of dense static, harmonic clusters and feedback distortion with occasional barked, yelped or mangled vocal outbursts “In a Cage” captures the prescient qualities of Rayna’s creative output in her early 20’s, evoking the fragmented, disjointed and prismatic qualities of queer and trans experience alongside sonic landscapes of systemic frameworks in collapse. If asking yourself the question “what the fuck is this?” is an experience you actively seek out in your musical encounters, if you desire to be challenged and pushed to the edges of your notions of acceptability or if you just don’t like vanilla shit then this series is probably for you. “In a Cage: Paper Eyes Tape Archive Volume 1” follows on the heels of Ecstatic Recordings’ 2016 release “Source Cognitive Drive: Transmissions 1996 – 1998” which re-introduced the Paper Eyes sound to listeners after a nearly 20 year silence.

Paper Eyes live at The Faceship 1997 photo by Robert Sheedy

Paper Eyes "In a Cage" photo story excerpts by Gavilán Rayna Russom, 1997

Released May 1, 2020

  • Beat Bass Transmission 02:10
  • Queen Meanie 08:27
  • Catalyst Circle 01:53
  • Girl Rok 03:40
  • Roaring Electronics 05:32
  • Cryptic Transmission 01:12
  • In a Cage 01:13
  • Depth Transmission (Jesus is Waiting) 04:23
  • Insane Keys 04:05
  • Waves 1 03:21
  • Squeegee Man 05:14

Paper Eyes cover art

VOL 005 Secret Passage

by Gavilán Rayna Russom

The inaugural (official) release on Voluminous Arts comes from label founder Gavilán Rayna Russom. Secret Passage is a collection of 5 sound works created in conversation with her memories of the East Side Rail Tunnel in Providence, Rhode Island where she was born and raised.

In Rayna's words...

"I grew up in Providence, Rhode Island in the 1970’s and 80’s. The booming jewelry and textile industries of the previous decades had pulled out by that point. The Italian mob ran most details of the day to day operations of the city. As kids coming up in that environment, before the internet, me and the people I hung out with didn’t know anything else and we worked with what we had to entertain ourselves. We found places that had been forgotten by market interests and made them spaces of creative community building. One of the most special of these places was the East Side Rail Tunnel. Running for almost exactly one mile beneath the city’s streets, the tunnel and nearby Crook Point Bridge were unsupervised autonomous zones where I tasted the possibilities of a world without surveilance. The tunnel was particularly important in my creative development because not only was it a marginal zone apart from monetized spaces of creative consumption, but it also had specific experiential properties. It had a bend in it which meant that when you got to the middle of it you were in complete darkness, and I learned quickly that when you spend enough time in complete darkness you start to hallucinate, which I liked. The acoustics were also remarkable; long natural delays and harmonic-reinforcing reverberances. Making any sound in there added layers of acoustic effects which made noises physical and fluid and, combined with the complete darkness, absolutely dissolved boundaries between internal and external experience. I started hanging out there when I was 14 and continued to return there regularly until development, gentrification and policing eventually made it inaccessible. By the mid ‘90s it was sealed off with progressively more impenetrable barriers. Nowadays it looks very different. This music is about some of the significant experiences I had in this beautifully neglected place and the people I had them with."

Released March 26, 2020

  • A Place for Us Among the Ruins (for Alyson) 14:25
  • Shotgun Hits with Boys who Drum on Metal (for Cheyney) 11:38
  • Ghosts Wail in Us (for Mike) 09:11
  • Sarafina Calls because the Police are Beating People (for Brian C.) 08:11
  • Fireworks (for Brian T.) 11:00

Secret Passage cover art

VOL 004 Disco

by Black Metoric Star

Voluminous Arts happily announces its third official release, a 12 track digital album and accompanying 3xLP limited 3 color vinyl edition entitled “Disco” by Gavilán Rayna Russom’s elusive alias Black Meteoric Star. This is not a Disco record. The title deliberately troubles the music biz’s incessant tendency to hierarchize genre classification over the experience of listening. If you must categorize these mutant sounds think of them as a proposed alternate score for those long, caffeinated sessions in Abby Sciuto’s forensics lab, the soundtrack to a heavy workout in the Westchester Danger Room or perhaps the musical accompaniment to deep body investigations of your own ancestral memories. What this record really is, and why it’s called “Disco” has to do with the layering of time and life energy present in the spaces where we have traditionally danced to music which are sometimes called Discos. From the pounding urgency of “Muscle Machine” through the unbridled night vision romp that is “Fluid Feline Forms” and the shimmering investigations of “Whispers Between Worlds” to the extended lazer pointer focus of “I’m Unmelting” this record lays out a broad slab of practice-based research into the ghosts we connect with on the dance floor. Whether it be through partying in former industrial buildings, contested spaces of labor built on lands violently appropriated from indigenous people, uncomfortably inhabiting vacuums in queerness left by the AIDS epidemic, lifting lineages through sampling, or the relentless cycle of whitening that accompanies dance music’s march into the market, our experiences in the Disco have been permeated by the spectral and the haunted. Through rhythm and frequency, organized over time, this music blurs the veil between the living and the dead inviting those who move to it to connect with experiences beyond that false binary. What you have here is another fantastic Black Meteoric Star record, as always made without multitracking or overdubbing, recorded directly from single live takes. It is is utterly consistent with all that name has come to mean, but on “Disco” Black Meteoric Star’s vision has been allowed to expand into an almost mythologically epic space. Ancestral time works differently. Settle in and absorb the frequencies. As the closing track suggests, the virtual Disco these sounds evoke is for “Freaks Only”.

  • Manifesto 01:40
  • Muscle Machine 04:23
  • Disorienting Shapes 12:39
  • Fluid Feline Forms 19:05
  • Apparitions on a Dancefloor 04:59
  • Whispers Between Worlds 15:00
  • Pelts Laid Out 06:16
  • Quincox 05:32
  • A Charm Against the Evil that Men Do 06:53
  • I'm Unmelting 15:41
  • Purr Atraxxxxion 08:11
  • Freaks Only 09:13

Disco cover art

VOL 003 Ghost Frequency

by Black Meteroic Star

Rayna on Ghost Frequency:

"The title Ghost Frequency works on several levels. I was introduced to the term when I first began learning about recording techniques. It was used (usually negatively) to describe sounds that appeared on recordings due to signal interactions that resulted from “improper” mixing or recording and read as “noise” rather than the “music” that was being recorded. I became instantly fascinated with the phenomenon and intentionally creating these sounds in my recordings by deliberately using supposedly incorrect techniques has become a big part of my composing and recording process, probably the most central and consistent practice of it. I’m interested in how the presence of these sounds, and traditional production’s insistence on eradicating relates to larger ideas about the eradication of vital social practices relating to the dead such as ancestor worship, mediumship and history itself in favor of state and market dictated modes of understanding existence. The internet abounds with references to the the term, but applied to ultra low frequency or “infrasound” which can allegedly be responsible for inducing supernatural perception experiences. These posts from the margins posit a Ghost Frequency that operates on the same level as a radio station, one can simply tune into paranormal activity. It’s also a pun on an imaginary metric of how frequently ghosts might be around at any given moment. The songs on the EP employ (as does all of my music) a large amount of Ghost Frequencies (i.e. sounds that appear on the recording as the result of signal interactions rather than those sounds being performed on an instrument) and they also orient themselves toward interaction with the dead as a necessary component of human experience, and a mode of resistance to state power and it’s accompanying carceral technologies."

released May 1, 2019

  • Fallout Ancestor 11:54
  • Riding Shotgun 06:37
  • Beneath the Radar 05:38
  • Love, Panic, Breath 13:28

3 Love Songs cover art

VOL 002 3 Love Songs

by Black Meteroic Star

Rayna on the release:

"The 3 Love Songs EP comes out of a live show I did at a house party. I grew up and came of age playing shows in people's houses but hadn't done it in a while. My good friends L'Amour Bleu, a New York based band I'm a big fan of asked me to play with them at their record release party. It would have been impossible to bring my normal equipment and perform my normal Black Meteoric Star set so I decided to create something stripped down and simple that would require a minimal amount of gear. Black Meteoric Star live shows often include vocal elements that don't appear on the record, but some of those elements began to creep into more recent recordings such as "No Map" on the Xecond Xoming record and the two poems I read on the NMWP Soundtrack. This stripped down and more "punk" incarnation gave me an opportunity to formalize and expand on these vocal elements. I was just beginning to truly awaken to and accept my trans feminine identity and grasped onto the idea of a love song that, defying convention, spoke about my relationship with my inner world and the elemental forces around me rather than a cherished "other", imagined or real. After performing at the event I felt the "songs' were strong enough to record and the result was this EP. As with all Black Meteoric Star music these are live takes to cassette tape with no multitracking or editing."

  • Love Song #1 07:45
  • Love Song #2 05:16
  • Love Song #3 09:11

3 Love Songs cover art

VOL 001 No More White Presidents

by Black Metoric Star

Black Meteoric Star's original soundtrack for the film "No More White Presidents" unofficial cat# VOL001, the first release on Voluminous Arts.

No More White Presidents is a multi-layered abstract film by Gavilán Rayna Russom. She began the film in 2015 and after working on it gradually over two years completed it in January of 2017. It is the first formal occurrence of the “flash film” technique that now forms the central structural device of her filmmaking practice. This technique has connections to both compositional techniques such as serialism and chance operations and craft technologies such as beading, braiding and weaving. The film engages the failures of capitalism via an extended meditation on the different forms of unreconciled dead its fallout has accumulated.

Released September 1, 2017

  • No More White Presidents - Part 1 31:57
  • No More White Presidents - Part 2 28:48

No More White Presidents cover art