Since the release of Six Organs of Admittance's selftitled debut in 1998, Ben Chasny has played pure guitar within individual songs, but For Octavio Paz is his first full record to explore the guitar inside and out, solo and over-dubbed, steel and nylon string (in fact, For Octavio Paz is the first Six Organs album to feature the reverberations of a nylon string guitar). What really sets Chasny apart from the other modern Fahey worshipers is that Chasny's pantheon is willing to accept a wider array of other guitarists into the lexicon - Peter Walker or Richard Youngs, for example - not to mention the fact that he can stand the sound of a Stratocaster. This is the definitive guitar record from Six Organs of Admittance. Originally released in a vinyl-only limited edition by Time-Lag at the end of 2003, For Octavio Paz sold out instantaneously. It was decided that the material is just too strong to belong to so few.
While the "acoustic based project[ions]" of Six Organs of Admittance have been pigeonholed by some as a chance-operated celestial jam unit, the group has always been about songs, and nowhere is this more apparent than on their fourth full length album, an eight-song cycle that mixes the strengths of Ben Chasny's acoustic and electric guitar with his knack for placing this on top of disparate and subtle atmospheric backgrounds. The live favorite (and rare single) "Somewhere Between" has been redone and finalized in a fantastic new version featuring sitar by Comets on Fire's Ethan Miller. The delicate acoustic strum of the album is challenged at the end of the record on the epic "Only the Sun Knows," which features some extremely heavy "electric destruction guitar" from Mr. Miller before Chasny takes back control and lands the album on solid ground.
Dark Noontide is the third full length release from Six Organs of Admittance. While listeners were pleasantly surprised by Ben Chasny's out-of-nowhere acid-folk genius on earlier releases, Dark Noontide comes in a notch or two higher with another spectacular merging of dreamy, hypnotic, finger-picked melodies and psychedelia concrète, not to mention some very fine fuzz guitar. Eight incredible tracks that seamlessly blend powerful blues foot-stomp, backwards interludes, strange string feedback, dark, tabla-infused vibrations and the amazing debut of Chasny's electric guitar as a lead instrument. Drop two tabs in this and come down screaming.
In 1998 Ben Chasny self-released an LP of his “acoustic based project[ions]” under the name Six Organs of Admittance. The resulting five-song LP is a masterpiece of diverse elements using acoustic and electric guitars, a detuned violin, organ, electronics and koto. The material covers a lot of ground: there’s an acid folk duet, an epic, three-part space suite, and two short concrète-like pieces that entice hidden memories of having bees in your mouth. The final sting is the magnificent chaos of “Race from Vishnu” — a nine-minute raga in which the strings of the acoustic guitar are battled by Chasny who ruthlessly punishes them for their ability to make sound. In addition, Chasny has also included two bonus tracks from an elusive 8-inch lathe-cut that no one has ever seen—or heard.