DISASSEMBLER is the nocturnal ambient playground in which visual artist, multi-instrumentalist and producer Christopher Royal King – whose work includes album covers for both Thrice and Deftones and videos for Adult Swim – comes together in a perfumed, ambient post-classicism with violinist and composer Christopher Tignor, in which they look to weave together current thinking in the bliss and drone musics from both West and East coasts of the States. And their first single is out now. We’ve got it here for you, too.
Christopher Royal King has been releasing exploratory cassettes as Symbol for the past decade or so, during which time he upped sticks and left Texas for the bright lights and ocean in Los Angeles. A teen metaller and punk, he perhaps unexpectedly cleaved from that initial musical diet toward minimalists such as Philip Glass and Terry Riley; together he blended them in the post-rock outfit This Will Destroy You, who have an eight-album canon over the past 16 years.
King and Tignor’s paths crossed more than a decade ago, when the latter brought his exceptional arranging nous to strings for This Will Destroy You; he became a sometime touring member. He’s also got an impressive solo sonic CV with his groups Slow Six and Wires Under Tension, all of which creativity he was undertaking whilst completing Princeton’s PhD program for music composition and New York University’s masters in computer science.
And Disassembler is the new formal space for the duo, with “Devotion” the first, revealed fruits: it’s bold, far-reaching, moves in territories akin to A Winged Victory For The Sullen, Bing & Ruth, and others. It’s filled with the rapture of violin, glittering piano, mysterious tones; opulent, beautiful, while completely swerving the saccharine that can infect some modern compositional thinking.
The collaboration was effected via tape loops and synth vignettes sent from Los Angeles to New York City.
Tignor says: “Like the other pieces on [forthcoming album] …Wave…, I honed in on melodic and harmonic qualities and then orchestrated it out with a ton of violin tracks and low-end string samples.
“For ‘In Devotion’ I also recorded these quartal piano arpeggios and transformed them with speed and direction shifts. Like the other cuts I tried to listen for the big form of the tune, to find its story, give it shape; that harmonic arrival that came out of a gesture from Chris [King’s] original improv. When I heard him go to that chord I knew it would be the big moment, so I used it as such.’
Disassembler then, is their joint mission to rescue ambient music from being vapid anesthesia, offering instead a profound emotional experience for listeners who wish to be moved and not just lulled. It sounds like they’re right on course.
Disassembler’s “In Devotion” is out now across digital streaming platforms. Their debut album, A Wave From A Shore, will be released by Western Vinyl digitally, on CD, and on limited edition bleeding glacier vinyl on March 11th; if you’re Stateside you can place your order direct with the label now, here.