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cd version comes in a four panel mini-lp style gatefold package. 'ancestral star' is the third barn owl album and their first for thrill jockey. recorded by the norman conquest in the fall of 2009, this was the first time that barn owl were able to take their time in a professional studio, fine tuning and honing the pieces over the span of a couple months. the majority of the tracks were recorded live to tape and were a mix of composed and improvised elements. the near limitless options, as far as equipment and microphones were concerned, allowed the band to shape and refine the definition of the barn owl sound. the extra time in the studio also allowed for other textural embellishments. marielle jakobsons (of darwinsbitch, date palms, myrmyr) contributed violin to 'flatlands' and 'awakening' which gave the two pieces a heavier americana vibe and really enriched the sonic palette. the norman conquest lent vocals to several tracks and also played modular synth through a marshall half-stack that added a nice low end to the title track. on 'incantation' an ensemble that barn owl's evan caminiti and jon porras are members of called portraits, played gong, bells, singing bowls, and other percussive metals which really lends to the ritualistic feeling of the piece. at the very least, there are 10 people playing on the track. 'ancestral star' also acts as the first album in which bowed guitar is heavily explored. barn owl have previously released material on root strata, digitalis, not not fun, and blackest rainbow.
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