• Ancient Music
  • Ancient Music

Boxhead Ensemble

Ancient Music

Cat. No. JB222

$ 10.00




Disc 1

  1. The Bare Earth
  2. The Incandescent Wanderer
  3. The Other Shore
  4. Cuckoo Symposium
  5. An Illuminated Afterthought
  6. Mountain Music
  7. The Death Of An Ancient Star
  8. The Swallowing Sea
  9. A Quiet Place

Disc 2

  1. Elephant Architecture
  2. Between The River Banks
  3. Desert Fugue
  4. The Cadence Of Lunar Time
  5. Rodan Crater
  6. Three Dimensional Memories
  7. Moth
  8. Ancient Music
  9. Life Cycles
  10. A Farewell Under The Palo Verde Tree





    Michael Krassner found himself in the desert. Though his long running instrumental collective Boxhead Ensemble began in Los Angeles and cut its teeth on the Chicago improv/art rock scene of the late ‘90s and 2000s, the forthcoming double album Ancient Music is rooted deeply in the Sonoran Desert, where Krassner lives the unassuming life of a restaurateur and has raised his family. In its arid washes of sound and dirt under foot sonic surrealism—reminiscent of Brian Eno, Roger Eno, and Daniel Lanois’s Apollos: Atmospheres and Soundtracks, William Basinski disintegrating a Morricone score, or even the sand dune new age of Kevin Braheny Fortune, Michael Stearns, and Steve Roach’s Desert Solitaire—you hear the sound of growth at its own, natural pace. Slowly assembled over the course of more than 20 years, it’s a defining statement from the Boxhead collective, overseen by an artisan craftsmen who has carefully burnished its sounds down to the geologic essentials.

    “The early days reflected the grittiness of that city,” Krassner says of Boxhead’s start, when characters like Jim O’Rourke, Jeff Parker, Edith Frost, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Bonnie “Prince” Billy, Doug McCombs (Brokeback, Tortoise), Scott Tuma (Sold American), Ken Vandermark, Dirty Three members Mick Turner and Jim White, and a pre-Wilco Glen Kotche (not to mention Mr. Wilco himself, Jeff Tweedy) appeared on Krassner’s early soundtrack recordings for director Braden King and Laura Moya. But when Krassner decamped to the heart of Phoenix, Arizona, a metropolitan sprawl in the heart of the desert, where his music began to take on a different tone, informed by the luminous quality of Southwestern light he found out west. “There’s something in the light out here,” he says.

    Working with longtime collaborators like Tim Rutili of Califone, Wil Hendricks, Jakob Koller, Robin Vining, Keith Kelly on woodwinds, Joshua Hill, and Laraine Kaizer-Viazovtsev, Krassner oversaw sessions between 2001-2021 in Los Angeles and Finland, but primarily worked on the album in the 7-Track Shack, a small studio space behind his family’s home. Uniting chamber music stillness with rangy, naturalistic ambient country tones, Krassner and his collaborators reflect the vast unknowability of the desert, a place renowned for its beauty but also its deadliness.

    Exclusive access to limited releases, special edition colored vinyl, and more fun that you can shake a stick at!