Agitated Atmosphere: Rangda – False Flag

As major labels continue to exist behind the times, artists and labels with little capital and lesser reputations are producing some of the most innovative, interesting, and inspiring music. Whether it’s creating a new niche in digital technology or looking to once obsolete formats, Agitated Atmosphere hopes to pull back the curtain on a wealth of sights and sound from luminaries such as Rangda.

As separate entities, the minds of Sir Richard Bishop, Ben Chasny, and Chris Corsano have laid waste to conventions without regard to the fallout. Armed with guitars and drum sticks, each has bred a unique bud of chaos that only flowers under their care. That each has done this with myriad dance partners over the course of countless collaborations, projects, and experiments is all the more remarkable, showcasing durability often absent in modern music.

Thus it seems a no-brainer that Bishop, Chasny, and Corsano would finally pull their resources together as longtime compadres to form Rangda. The trio’s birth was first broadcast in the tight confines of The Sunset Tavern and the audience was all too awestricken that September evening to comprehend the mayhem of such a union but the promise of a record has finally come to fruition with the band’s debut, False Flag, released by the home of much of Bishop and Chasny’s output, Drag City.

Listen to “Bull Lore”:

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The ferocity that greeted Rangda’s first live audience is as palpable throughout False Flag as it was in September of last year. “Waldorf Hysteria” sprays its buckshot across your speakers as notes and rimshots fly everywhere and you, left without proper cover. Seamlessly, the trio transfer the kinetic fury of the album’s opening shot into the prodigious “Bull Lore,” with showcases the guitar prowess of Bishop and Chasny. False Flag is a series of glimpses into the proficiency of each personality without confinement to one aesthetic. The album shifts from heavy assaults to hushed, warm tones and back again without losing a beat. Look no further than album finale “Plain of Jars,” for the encapsulation of how Rangda not only functions as individuals but as a well worn outfit comfortable with each other and yet, never settling for second best.

Justin Spicer is a freelance journalist who also runs the webzine, Electronic Voice Phenomenon. He writes the Monday News Mash-Up for the KEXP Blog. You may follow him on Twitter.

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