Blues: The "Dark Paintings" of Mark Rothko

by Loren Connors

supported by
John Cratchley
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John Cratchley Firstly,it is wonderful that some of Connors' earlier pieces are being made available again and,hopefully,to a wider audience.
He has always stubbornly ploughed his own furrow with truly idiosyncratic results.
A bit like Derek Bailey,he seems to treat the guitar as a 'found object',discovering new approaches to its sound-making function.
I think these pieces are exquisite,but judge for yourself. I think Blind Willie McTell would have understood the impulses behind these pieces and I will look at Rothko's dark paintings with a fresh perspective.

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    Includes PDF of original and reissue album art.

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  • Record/Vinyl + Digital Album

    Pressed on pristine 150-gram vinyl by Quality Record Pressing in an 800 edition. The original LP jacket is replicated as a glossy inner sleeve.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Blues: The "Dark Paintings" of Mark Rothko via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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Blues: The ‘Dark Paintings’ of Mark Rothko is one of Loren Connors’ most cherished and sought after albums. Originally released in a handmade edition of 300 copies on Connors’ own St. Joan imprint in January 1990 under the name Guitar Roberts -- Blues has been unavailable in any form until now.

At time of its release, Connors was still an inscrutable guitarist whose matchless and alien rendering of the blues was just gaining recognition despite more than a dozen solo and collaborative releases since 1978. Connors’ classic, song-based In Pittsburgh had only been available for three months when Blues welcomed the new decade with its reformation of the blues as minimalist lines and tone; a compound of influences spanning Louisiana guitarist Robert Pete Johnson to painter Mark Rothko.

"Moving with the slow, stately weirdom we expect of Connors' late '80s sound, the music is all shards, all pokes in the eye, as though Rothko's gray scale had exploded, sending shrapnelized paint rocketing through your brain," music historian Byron Coley writes in the liner notes of this reissue. "Just as Connors' notes ricochet hauntedly through its recesses."

For this reissue, engineer Taylor Deupree restored the audio to Connors’ specifications of how these seven instrumentals were intended to sound. Cover art is an untitled 1969 Rothko work -- a painting that influenced the album. The original LP jacket is replicated as a glossy inner sleeve. New liner notes by Coley chart Connors' development and the influence Rothko had on him as a guitarist.

Digital download includes PDF of original and reissue album art.

LP cover image by Mark Rothko Untitled, 1969 © 1998 Kate Rothko Prizel & Christopher Rothko / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York


released May 12, 2015



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