Gail Priest is interested in releasing the hidden melodies and broken beats found in raw sonic material. She manipulates field recordings, random instruments and the tortured voice to create works that explore the fine line between pleasure and pain. Her atmospheric explorations incorporate dirty machinic rhythms and bass-heavy pulsations contrasted with glassy cascades and occasional sweet slippery vocals.
Click here for RADIO WORKS.
In Sept-Oct 2016 Gail undertook a residency in Olafsfjordur, an industrial fishing village in Northern Iceland, population 800. The eight compositions on Heraclitus in Iceland are based on field recordings in and around the town (the locations of which can be viewed on an interactive map) but they are far from pastoral meditations on idyllic landscapes. Certainly the natural elements of water and wind dominate but they are met head on with metal, the industrial clamour telling of the toughness required to survive in this harsh environment.
Combined with vocal and instrumental improvisations the figurative qualities of the manipulated field recordings are stretched and twisted to create portals through which the listener may travel to this beautiful brutal land to experience previously untold folktales, forgotten ghost stories and suspected alien invasions.
Early in her residency the ubiquity of water (melted ice) got Gail thinking about the adage “you cannot step twice into the same river,” attributed to the 5th Century BC philosopher Heraclitus The Obscure. She found he had some other interesting things to say that added to her ruminations of this curious locale. Twenty-first century mediation means that every place now feels familiar but in many ways Gail found this small fishing town uncanny and inscrutable, leaving her feeling as strangely misplaced as if in fact she were the ancient Heraclitus, transported across time to far Northern Iceland.
Availabe through Bandcamp, iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, Googleplay etc.
Heraclitus in Iceland is one part of the Songmapping Ólafsfjörður project undertaken during the Nor∂andvindur: North Wind Sound Art Residency, Listhus, Iceland, Sept-Oct 2016
With a refined musical sensibility, this album explores green field-recordings and sculpted sound waves, slowly moving droney variations, acoustic resonances, metallic reverbs, vocal mantra-like improvs, and timbral manipulations on various objects. A reflective, cerebral and moodily introspective travel through natural elements and atmospheres of deep quietness.
Igloo Magazine - full review
Carefully balanced, original instrumentation and beautiful vocalisations: this album is a refreshing surprise and another proof that Iceland is a huge source of creativity and inspiration for those open to it.
Ambient Blog - full review
Through melodies that slur across the skies like dark clouds, or voices that sigh like a lethargic, phantom dawn chorus, Priest turns Olafsfjordur into scenic setting for the mind’s more complex deviations of thought...
ATTN:Magazine - full review
Priest’s diverse skills yield a wide variety of timbres. “Rusted Rituals” seeps glissandos and drones, echoing the sorrow of sailors drowned at sea…The winds of “Home Moan” are met by siren choirs as they whip against neighborhood flagpoles, an invitation to a shipwreck. Yet as Priest turns her attention to streams, churches, and ultimately to the Northern Lights, the mood shifts from doom to delight. Above, below and all around, wonders are waiting to be heard.
A closer listen - full review
Compiled by Elle Knox and Lindsay Webb
Original concept by Matt Hetherington and Robert Boehm
Intone: Voice Abstractions showcases new experimental and electronic treatments of the human voice. Intone features 21 unique manipulations of vocalisation and verbiage from Australian and international artists working in the left-field reaches of electronic sound.
Compilation of Australia female artists, compiled by Lara Soulio
Featuring: Alice Hui-Sheng, Amanda Stewart, Cat Hope, Comfort Zones, Eves, Fur Chick, Gail Priest, Gurner, Iambe, Kusum Normoyle, Laura Altman, Ravens And Crows, Rosalind Hall, Stanier Black-Five, Three Way, X In O
You first realise that a Common Koel has come to stay at around 5am on an October morning. His nagging squawk will continue sometime until March, when he will return to more northern climes. Over those long four months his monotonous bleating will have attracted him a lady friend (who is nowhere near as noisy) and their avian passion will have resulted in an egg, left in some other poor bird’s nest.
Common Koels don’t have nice manners and they don’t have a pretty song. I was interested in working with the Koel’s material—aesthetically awkward, perhaps even repellent—to find new ways of integrating and manipulating field recording. Taking lessons from the bird, the resulting piece explores infiltration, imitation and subjugation as strategies.
Gail Priest enters into a remarkable cross-species dialogue……Priest appears to be performing the imaginary Philip Glass score to Hitchcock’s The Birds.
Stephen Fruitman, Igloo Magazine. Full review
It’s as if Priest is puppeteering the parasitic birds with an unholy invention, a swirling of wings aligning with the occult. Many of the pieces in this series have been ambient with birds integrated within, but Gail Priest’s Common Koel plays out like a creation myth with scary implications.
Nayt Keane, A closer listen. Full review
She uses various processing techniques to turn the sound of the koel into a reverberating wash of noise and a metrically regular melody, before launching into a retro sci-fi-esque number featuring an impressive human vocal performance competing with the avian one.
Fluid Radio. Full review
A cyberspace of insanity is built bit by bit, terrifically sinister synth-like strings waft in the background, and whatever the current pattern or surface of them is, beyond the shrubbery of textures the koel rests. The finale is incredibly weird, paganism is all over this piece...
Ambient Exotica. Full review
Box sets of the entire series packaged in handmade birdhouses are also available.
Tiny Portraits - Sonic postcards from Australia's lesser known places.
An all Australian compilation with tracks by Michael Terren, Kate Carr, Broken Chip, Seaworthy and Matt Rosner, Camilla Hannan, Tom Hall, Gail Priest, Anonymeye, Dan Whiting and Shoeb Ahmad.
From power points to a sedge and a working harbour, Tiny Portraits offers a sonic postcard from some of Australia’s lesser known places.
An exploration of a slice of the spectrum by Kate Carr (Flaming Pines) & Gail Priest (Metal Bitch Recordings).
The ice cold cool of blue, meets the regenerative power of green in a new vinyl LP by Kate Carr and Gail Priest.
blue | green presents a sonic interrogation of two colours packed full of allusions, metaphors, associations and even clichés.
Kate Carr’s blue charts a story of sailors and tides, inky nights and lonesome journeys. From bursts of radio static to the crackle of old records, receding tides and forgotten chants, blue moves from choppy seas to dark ponds and lost tales before closing with a delicate rain shower.
Through green Gail Priest plumbs the sounds of her own backyard—the greenness of crickets, wild winds through leaves, raindrops on palm fronds and the dark dampness of the wormfarm. Emerging from this verdant landscape are half heard melodies and eerie voices, alluding to secret songs and forgotten spirits.
The final piece on both sides see Carr and Priest exploring the ambiguous terrain where blue and green converge. The artists swapped samples remixing and re-working them into closers which tip toe around the edges of perception to paint a greeny-blue landscape or perhaps one of bluey-green.
We’ve seen a few color-based releases already this year…Kate Carr and Gail Priest‘s new release is a wonderful addition to this collection…
Richard Allen, A closer listen. Full review
This is a fascinating release that demonstrates the powerful journeys that can be experienced through sound. This is very much an album that needs to be heard in full to be fully appreciated (or at least each side in full). However those that take on the journey will discover some amazing experiences!
Tomatrax. Full review
Wordless vocals emerge alongside the rustling of winds, at the same time as dark pulsations introduce an undercurrent of Coil-like unease, and, at disc's end, blue seeps into Priest's “Grue Bleen” to deepen the sense of foreboding and hallucination. Textura. Full Review
Available via paypal (prices inc postage)
Also available at Red Eye Records
York St, Sydney
Digital version available via Bandcamp $10
|Audition Records: [ar058]
WONDERWERP CONCERT SERIES is curated by Yolanda Uriz at Studio Loos. Promotional compilation curated by Julian Bonequi.
Featuring: Xavier Lopez, The Monarchy, John Fanning, Ofer Smilansky, Ariel Ninas, Moonrise Hernandez (Michael Straus & Ted Coffey), Microseq (Pandelis Diamantides), Duel Protocol (Aurimas Bavarskis & Yiannis Tsirikoglou), ZLB (Miguel Cerdeira Marreiros Negrão), Hatzatz (Maya Felixbrodt, Ilya Ziblat, Tomer Harari), Ayankoko, Gerri Jäger, Enka (Nikos Kandarakis), Basshaters (Tony Dryer, Jacob Felix Heule), Visumatic Craft (Claudia Ignoto, Augusto Pirodda, Michele Bagaglio), Luc Döbereiner, Yota Morimoto, Robert Blatt, Marie Guilleray, Gail Priest, Future Fossils (Raoul van der Weide, Takuro Mizuta Lippit aka DJ Sniff, Sanne van Hek)
|Audition Records: [ar024]
A compilation of Salon Bruit archives curated by Séamus O'Donnell & Julian Bonequi
Featuring: Angie Yeowell (USA); Circuit Parallele (FR); Gail Priest (AUS) and Mangrove Kipling (FR); Hassan Khan (EG); Steffan de Turck aka Staplerfahrer (NL); Jeff Gburek (USA) and Rinus van Alebeek (NL); The Quiet Club (IE); AntenA and David Vrbik (CZ); Tetsuya Hori (JP); Fake Mistress (DE); Ostear (IE); Sciolist (IE); Bob Rutman (DE); Preslav Literary School (UK); Hilot Lilanth (DE) and The Evolution Control Committee (USA); DeeMeeTree (RU); HANY (DE); Ayankoko (FR) and Matchees (DE); Lifeloop, Stoerfan Sender, Fake Mistress and Dr.Nexus; Mahmoud Refat (EG)
Second full length release courtesy of Endgame Records. Presentiments from the Spider Garden weaves together field recordings, vocals, instrumental material and extended digital methodologies to create an album that challenges, charms and transports the listener to a mirror-world of revolutionary battles, natural histories and strange alchemies.
The author, enigmatic and hypnotic in the performance, doesn't shy away from capturing the listener's attention…Priest is always fully [in] control of the atmospheres, which sparkle imaginatively but are neither trivial nor predictable because of that.
Aurelio Cianciotta, Neural, March 2011 (see full review)
[A]n engaging, enigmatic and hypnotic work…
Oliver Laing, Cyclic Defrost, Dec 2010 (see full review)
[U]nanticipated exotic territories…There are many creatures in Priest's garden besides common spiders.Caleb Deupree, Furthernoise, Dec 2010 (see full review)
[A] deeply rewarding album… Fred Nolan, The Muse in Music Nov 2010, (see full review)
6 tracks composed over 2009/2010. Extreme vocals and drone guitars, multiply manipulated to make moody soundscapes teettering between lullaby and nightmare.
Gail Priest has been exploring the timbre and elasticity of sound in a way that has become distinctly her own…[Fear of Stranglers] shows her taking her vocal and sonic manipulations to new levels of textural improvisation and processing…Treading a tightrope between darkness and light, texture and space, Priest creates sound worlds that never feel too gloomy or melancholic. It is this duality in her work which keeps refreshing her sound and charting new directions.
Roger Mills, Furthernoise June 2010
Download from Bandcamp (pay what you feel)
OR burned to order with handmade covers
$12 inc gst & postage and handling
New Weird Australia, Volume Five includes tracks from Vorad Fils (a new solo project from Seekae's John Hassel), Justice Yeldham, Gail Priest, Crab Smasher and Peace Out! (featuring Milo Kossowski from The Emergency), plus new and exclusive music from Mookoid, Dot.AY, Burning Palms, The Atlas Room, ///^^^\\\, Kate Carr, Duns, Caught Ship, Ripples and Blake Freele. The cover artwork is by musician and artist Kris Keogh, formerly known as Blastcorp -and the compilation also features a track from Kris' new project, Red Plum & Snow.
Over 28 days I went to different locations in Tokyo to make audio recordings. I listened to the sounds around me and then sang back what I heard, improvising a small tune with the city.
These samples were then manipulated, working with the narrative arc of the recording, to bring out the character of the site. No extra vocal material was added: through editing, filtering, effecting and overlaying, I hoped to draw out the songs of the city.
See the project page for 28 Songs to hear samples
Burned to order with hand made covers
$15 inc postage & handling
Or if in Australia you can email me to order
A compilation of sound works inspired by the tones, drones and rhythms of everyday life. Featuring Solange Kershaw, Thanos Chrysakis, Derek Morton, Gail Priest, John Kannenberg, Iris Garrelfs & Douglas Benford, Simon Longo, Robert Curgenven
curated by Roger Mills
Imaginary conversations in reverberant rooms is the debut CD from Gail Priest released on her own label Metal Bitch Recordings Nov 2006
Restlessly pacing between music and sound art, Imaginary conversations weaves broken melodies, splintered rhythms, multi-processed vocals and other digital debris into potent atmospheres and near-future fantasies.
Imaginary conversations… is co-produced by Sydney sound artists Julian Knowles, Peter Blamey & Jasper Streit.
Priest weaves her ethereal vocal deconstructions … and textural sonic works into a shifting range of sound fields from essential IDM rhythms to more static states of tone and aural intricacy.
Lawrence English, Cyclic Defrost #15, (full review)
I can only recommend listening to this album for yourself as it is as curious as it is enthralling.
Stacey Sewell, Furthernoise (full review)
She lets slip the incompleteness of any human discourse; 'there always seems to be something left to say'… at once a thrillingly openended idea, reflecting the gaping chasms of possibility evoked by this album.
David Stubbs, Wire 276 (full review)
You can download from Bandcamp (pay what you feel)
Hard copy gatefold $22 inc postage & handling
Or if in Australia you can email me to order
Compilation cd from the 2006 festival including: Faber Castell, Gail Priest, Greg Davis & Jeph Jerman, Speak Percussion, Martin Baumgartner, Philip Brophy, Julian Knowles & Donna Hewitt, Dean Roberts, Duo B&B, Erik M, The Loop Orchestra
Lawrence English surveys a variety of radically different sonic environments and sets them against a rich array of textured electronics.
Featuring audio contributions from John Chantler, Mike Cooper, DJ Olive, Ben Frost, Cat Hope, Tam Patton, Gail Priest, Heinz Riegler, Robin Rimbaud and Philip Samartzis
Featuring new works from Chris Watson, Stephen Vitiello, Ai Yamamoto, Oren Ambarchi, DJ Olive, Lawrence English, Pimmon, Marina Rosenfeld, Skist, Timeblind, DJ/rupture, John Chantler, Scanner, Zane Trow, David Toop, Steinbruchel, Philip Samartzis, Barrett, Musgrove, Sinclair, Martin Ng, Tetuzi Akiyama, Frost, Gail Priest, Tim Koch and Janek Schaefer
CD sold out - Digital download available from PostEverything & ITunes