For nearly two years we have been working collectively to bring together post-rock bands and listeners from all over the globe into one space to facilitate growth in whatever manner possible. The idea for the Open Language and Hemispheres comps began as a way to grow and strengthen a network. We recognized that this music crosses borders and oceans; it speaks a universal language that knocks down the walls that often separate the different regions of the world. We also quickly realized that these comps helped the artists involved to discover others with similar sonic aesthetics. We are proud to say that the A Thousand Arms comps have helped bring musicians together in a similar fashion as they have connected bands with listeners.
We wanted to highlight the vast expanse of the post-rock community and Hemispheres presented a unique and exciting challenge. By splitting the comp into two "Sides," we tasked ourselves to discover an equal amount of talent in the Southern Hemisphere as we were in the Northern. Anyone familiar with the genre knows that it is flourishing in both Europe and North America – the sheer volume of artists is sometimes staggering even for those of us who are deeply entrenched. But the Southern Hemisphere demanded deeper research. Many people are familiar with the pocket of great bands coming out of Australia, but what of the rest of the South Pacific, what of Africa, what of South America? What we discovered through this process is that there are a wealth of talented bands working in every corner of the world, just waiting to be heard. We hope that our efforts have played some role in getting ears on artists that had previously been more isolated.
With Hemispheres: Volume II we decided to take a slightly different approach, halving the comp by Western and Eastern Hemispheres. We've added some new regions to our map, including Japan, Azerbaijan and Belarus, and also re-discovered some well-tread places like Australia, the UK, and of course, our home base here in the United States. Another thing we pride ourselves on is seeking out newer bands that deserve the spotlight. Here you'll find bands such as Outlander, Through A Glass, Darkly, PILLARS, Hallowed and The Last Sighs of the Wind that have made a very strong impression in recent months. You'll also discover some brand new tracks as well --- the debut of Wess Meets West's "Skylar, There's Rot" leads off Side A. Sagor Som Leder Mot Slutet previews "Ovisshet," from their soon-to-be-released new album; Hiboux's "From the Good Mountain" makes its first appearance anywhere as does Oldernar's "Universal Language"; both hubris. and Hallowed present previously released material in a re-formatted presentation. Finally, we are very excited to be able to present for the first time Girih, a trio from New Hampshire who will be releasing their first album later this year. "Eigengrau" is our exclusive first look at this fantastic new band.
We want to take a moment to thank everyone who downloads and listens to this new Hemispheres compilation. We hope to continue to provide you all with top-quality material, but without your interest and passion we wouldn't be in the position to do so in the first place. So thank you. Please enjoy Hemispheres: Volume II, and if you're particularly inspired by what you hear please continue to share it with others.
Don't forget to enter to win a free copy of 'Hemispheres: Volume II' on CD by participating in the Giveaway Contest on the A Thousand Arms Facebook page.