Oxbow To Release “Thin Black Duke”, Their First Album In 10 Years

Oxbow to release their seventh album, Thin Black Duke via Hydra Head on 5th May, their first album in 10 years, and the first new release to emerge on the label since 2013.

Certainly we all became increasingly aware that none of us are getting younger,” says guitarist Niko Wenner. “For this record I wanted to go even further in the way we always make recordings, as music that hangs together over an entire album, ‘large scale coherence’ if you will,” Wenner says of his compositional strategy. “I was inspired by pieces like Bach’s Goldberg Variations and the formal technique in classical music where a small idea, a kernel, is reiterated, morphed, expanded and truncated, to make a piece of music permeated with the potent perfume of that small element.”

You can view the album trailer below.

Oxbow’s principle duality can be seen in the conflicting creative strategies of Wenner, who serves as the band’s highly disciplined composer and arranger, and Eugene Robinson, Oxbow’s imposing vocalist and lyricist. Wenner is prone to discussing the specific process behind the songs, the co-production duties shared with Joe Chiccarelli (Beck, Frank Zappa, Morrissey), and the operas that seem most congruous to Thin Black Duke. Robinson, on the other hand, begins the discussion of the album by saying “lucre and cash, the twin fuels that fund all of our excessive shames and glories undergird a terrible kind of amoral economy that helps you make total sense of why you might be murdered for $100.” While Thin Black Duke’s elaborate compositions were years in the making, Robinson’s vignettes about “the places where all that glitters IS gold, and evil is a quaint concept born of a moral framework in a place that is shorn of morality” were born over a decade ago.

Written without any song structures in place, the sordid details are howled, bellowed, growled, and spat out in a manner that seems to defy the rigorous order of the music. “I remember hashing through the elements of some of these songs, aware of the urges which inevitably come up to make the stuff sound like things you’ve done before, or things you like now, or things you have always loved,” bassist Dan Adams says of the writing process. “Niko steadfastly pushed, repeatedly saying things like ‘you just need to give in to what feels good.’ Greg (Davis, drummer) had a mantra: ‘look, whatever we do, it will be an Oxbow record of Oxbow music, meaning a lot of people probably won’t like it. And that’s perfectly fine.’”

It is a great luxury to let yourself be part of an organism which just does things as it does,” Adams says in summary, “Though, in Oxbow, ‘doing’ is extraordinarily inefficient, convoluted and anything but effortless.

tthm_OXBOWTBDcoverhireswebThin Black Duke Tracklist:
1. Cold & Well Lit Place
2. Ecce Homo
3. A Gentleman’s Gentleman
4. Letter Of Note
5. Host
6. The Upper
7. Other People
8. The Finished Line

20-04-2017 Futurum Music Club, Prague Czech Republic w/ Sumac
21-04-2017 Doom over Leipzig, Leipzig Germany w/ Sumac
22-04-2017 Dude fest, Karlsruhe Germany w/ Sumac
23-04-2017 Roadburn festival, Tilburg Netherlands w/ Sumac
24-04-2017 Magasin 4, Brussels Belgium w/ Sumac
25-04-2017 The Dome London, United Kingdom w/ Sumac
26-04-2017 Brudenell Social Club, Leeds United Kingdom w/ Sumac
27-04-2017 Patterns, Brighton United Kingdom w/ Sumac
28-04-2017 OTB Night @ Gibus Live, Paris France w/ Sumac
29-04-2017 La Grange A Musique, Creil France w/ Sumac
01-05-2017 Magnolia, Milan Italy w/ Sumac
02-05-2017 Bronson, Ravenna Italy w/ Sumac
03-05-2017 Le Romandie, Lausanne Switzerland w/ Sumac
04-05-2017 Feierwerk, Munich Germany w/ Sumac
05-05-2017 Cassiopeia, Berlin Germany w/ Sumac
06-05-2017 A Colossal Weekend, Copenhagen Denmark w/ Sumac
18-06-2017 Supersonic Festival, Birmingham United Kingdom

Photo credit: Kasia Robinson
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