Wednesday, 10 June 2015
If you have been to this post before then go to *UPDATE* at bottom of post if not then i encourage you to read on....
If you came to this post and got the First update above please scroll down to UPDATE II to find the Additional material if not then read on....
Al Cisneros is best known for providing the supreme 4 string bottom end for some of the heaviest bands on the planet, as a founding member of stoner titans Sleep, since 2005 with his own band OM. and more recently with doom supergroup Shrinebuilder. If you are unaware of OM they are a 2 piece band originally comprised of Cisneros and Sleep Drummer Chris Haikus (replaced in 2008 by Emil Amos) so effectively Om were Sleep minus Matt Pike who went on to start High On Fire, OM deal in a sound formed from Bass, Drums and vocals playing heavy rhythmical trance like mantras of epic length (Their first 2 albums contained a mere 5 songs in total!). It should be no surprise then that with his love of bass heavy jams that Cisernos has a love of that other, though at completely the opposite end of the scale, bass driven music that is Dub.
I happened across Al Cisneros solo material purely by chance when doing some research online and was quite surprised to find he had released 2 x 7" singles and a 10" under his own name, if you have followed OM over the years then you may have came across the limited Sub Pop "Singles Club" 7" that OM released called "Gebel Barkal" this 7" was backed by a heavily effected variant on the A-side simply entitled "(Version)" Now you may or may not be familiar with the world of Dub Reggae so I will quickly explain that the Jamaican originators of Dub often released 7" singles where the A side was a backing track made by the producer with a vocal over it however many if not the majority of Dub Reggae singles come backed with a B-side "Version" it's here where the producer is allowed to shine by using the most ground shaking Bass, primitive echo and various reverb type effects for the "Dub" version it was through these B-side "Versions" that many producers such as Lee "Scratch" Perry and King Tubby came to the attention of the world. So although many would argue that there is already a dub influence to the music of OM it's on the "Gebel Barkal" 7" backed with it's "Version" that it is really brought to your attention and more recently OM have released 2 "Dubplate" 12"'s each featuring a remix and a dub of 1 track from their recent "Adviatic Songs" so as you can see Cisneros interest in Dub has obviously been bubbling under his work for a while.
So backing up to Al Cisneros solo releases then on the 1st 7" "Dismas" you get the A Side backed again with a dubbed out "Version" on the flip, on the 10" you have the A side "Ark Procession" Backed with "Jericho" though whilst having been given a title this time "Jericho" is a "Version" of the A side and lastly we have most recent 7" "Teresa Of Avila" which is backed by "Levitation Dub" again a "Version" of the A side. Now whilst all these tracks are dub influenced it has to be said they are not a million miles away from what Cisneros has done with OM just more spaced out and a lot less "Heavy" in the "rock" sense of the word these are slow motion head nodding instrumental dub bass jams!
So onto the files I've put together both Al Ciscernos 7"'s and the 10" into one file below now there are absolutely NO free downloads of these online anywhere i know i tried my hardest to find them so all 6 tracks are ripped from Youtube videos which are themselves taken from vinyl rips however the quality of the finished files was surprisingly good and the bitrates fairly decent as well. I've listened to them a few times myself and I am more than happy and anyone who knows this blog knows I'm a stickler for decent quality and if they were terrible I would not bother to share them with you the records are separated into their own folders with cover art correct tags etc. So bringing Al Cisneros solo material to a wider audience was the main point of this post but I decided in the spirit of the dub influence on these records that I'd add a few more bits for you so I also present for you both OM Dubplate 12"'s "Gesthemane Dubplate" and "Adviatiac Dubplate" as i mentioned before these were released last year on vinyl and feature a remix and a dub remix of songs from their recent "Advaitic Songs" album "Advaitic Dubplate" has 2 mixes of "Addis" and "Gesthemane Dubplate" has 2 mixes of the track "Gesthemane" (Obviously!!) All the mixes are done by long standing British dub duo Alpha and Omega I cannot tell you anything about these but i looked them up on discogs and it would appear that they have been around since 1989 and have released a stunningly prolific 24 albums and almost as many singles!!! But what i can tell you is that these OM Dubplates are exactly what they say they are Dubplates whereas Al's solo material bears some slight resemblance to what he does in OM these 2 x 12" singles are definitely pure DUB, bass heavy modern dub in the finest tradition of the style if you like OM and Dub music (as I do) you will love these records, if you are a "Stoner" fan more into what OM and the bands they are aligned with do, then i suggest you approach with caution as whilst OM and Alpha and Omega both deal in Bass driven music they come at from completely opposite ends of the Bass heavy music scale OK? Fair warning! The "Om Dubplates" file has both 12"'s in one file again taken from youtube rips (NOTE : New better quality direct from vinyl rips have been uploaded see UPDATE at bottom of post) but again also GREAT quality and in separate folders with artwork. And lastly just as a bonus because 1: I use it as a reference point and 2: because it's probably one of the rarest and collectable OM records I also give you the OM Sub Pop 7" "Gebel Barkel" so if you have not heard it and wonder what I'm referring to earlier in this blurb well it's hear for you to d/l and listen to.
In closing I would like to think that as well as heavy music fans who have come to OM through the original 2 members connection to Sleep I would also think that OM being quite unusual for the "rock" world would also appeal to people with a wider range of tastes outside heavier music, the fact that free downloads of the Al Cicernos records and the OM Dubplates did not exist (at least from what my extensive searching tells me) until now and that I like to post obscure and unusual music on here,as well as the usual brutality plus the fact they are only available on vinyl so if you don't have a record player then outside of youtube you won't get to hear them and that it's all involving a musician i have a lot of respect for and who's work I'm a big fan of makes it all the better so here's your links go enjoy something different!
*UPDATE* So instead of re-writing the whole post here I shall just quickly explain why this has been updated. If you read my blurb you will know that i stated that these files were all ripped from youtube videos but a very kind reader of this blog got in touch and said he owned the Dubplates on vinyl and would i like a direct rip of them? Of course i said yes but what this very kind soul also did was send me a copy of Al Cisneros brand new 12" EP "Toward Nazareth" With 5 Brand New Dubs/Versions it's as brilliant as the other Al solo stuff I have uploaded it and it's a great quality 320kbps vinyl rip too so below there is a link to the new better quality 320kbps direct vinyl rip OM dubplates and also a link to the "Toward Nazareth" EP so there you go folks some New Al stuff and a WAY better quality version of the Dubplates I'd like to thank Vid Eckhardt for getting in touch and doing these rips for me and so i could share them with you especially as I had no idea that "Toward Nazareth" even existed!!! Vid you are now officially an Under The Surface Blog Hero! Anything I can do for you here requests etc wise you need only ask it's people like you that inspire me to keep doing this blog!
UPDATE II JUNE 2015 : So I had a few requests on the original post about the 2 further releases by Al Cisneros the EXTREMELY limited "Empty Tomb/Sepulcher Dub" 7" (Which, despite being less than a year old already sells for £25!!!) and "Lantern Of The Soul" 7" but try as I might even with all my resources all i could find was a youtube video of "Lantern Of The Soul" so I resigned myself to the fact that I was unlikely to get them anytime soon so in one last desperate attempt I put a post on Facebook asking if anyone had them or could provide MP3's.....
...Enter my good pal Agz (of 77 not 666 blog) he messaged me within 5 mins and said he had them for me I went to my FB messages and lo and behold there was MP3's of all 4 tracks! Cheers Agz!!! I exhausted all of my resources looking so I must ask him where he got them however in the meantime please find below links to Both 7 Inches!
"Empty Tomb" was at a low bitrate I have tried to jazz it up but it is a little quiet but NOT terrible quality just turn it up, however "Lantern.." sounds digital a good clean 320kbps rip so i am more than happy and glad to share them with you
Neither record is a radical departure from his previous releases with the exception of some stunning live drums on "Lantern..." which i suspect may have been provided by Emil of OM but i can't confirm that. Anyway go enjoy a further 4 tracks of Al's amazing dubs making this post his discography so far. ENJOY
Al Cisneros - Mediafire
Al Cisneros - Toward Nazareth EP - Mediafire
Om Dubplates - Mediafire
Om Sub Pop 7" - Mediafire
Al Cisneros - Empty Tomb 7" - Mediafire
Al Cisneros - "Lantern of The Soul" 7" - Mediafire