Josh Graham has been making music under the moniker IIVII for the last 5 years and has been involved in the past with Red Sparowes, Nuerosis, Battle of Mice among other projects. He has an incredible double album titled Grinding Teeth / Zero Sleep coming out March 20th on Consouling Sounds, and we’re pleased to share a quick teaser of this amazing release with you. The records are very different with Zero Sleep visiting the softer more ambient side as his past music has explored, while Grinding Teeth is drenched in metallic drone.
Featured on the science fiction short film soundtrack for Don’t Forget to Remember (directed by Thomas D. Rotenberg), and displayed above, Sun and Solace is a new track off of Zero Sleep, which is half of the DLP 2XCD release, Grinding Teeth / Zero Sleep, coming out March 20th 2020 on Consouling Sounds.
Grinding Teeth and Zero Sleep are individual albums that work together, exploring the grey areas between black and white, light and dark, life and death, good and evil, truth and fiction.
IIVII (aka Josh Graham: visual artist, multi-instrumentalist, electro-acoustic composer) focuses on enigmatic cinematic atmospheres, exploring elements of electronica, classical, ambient, drone and vaporwave.
2020 will bring Josh Graham’s most ambitious IIVII album to date. The release spans not one album, but two albums at the same time! Where “Zero Sleep” explores the balance of living and sleeping, “Grinding Teeth” will lead you through a nightmare. The ugly, dark and disorienting sounds are in direct opposition with the themes and tropes of “Zero Sleep,” making it a complementary release. Rather than releasing it separately, it is presented as a double release. Both albums tell their own story, but the dialogue between “Zero Sleep” and “Grinding Teeth” also tells a bleak tale. The albums have an impressive dynamic range. From subtle and fragile ambient vibes, to fierce metallic drones: Graham tapped in to the whole of his own back catalogue in order to have this story told. It’s a bold and daring, yet captivating effort, where Graham enlisted the help from a myriad of friends to conjure up this elaborate and complex world, including Sarah Pendleton (SubRosa), Mathilde Smessaert (BARST), Jo Quail, Gregory Simons (Vonnis), Dana Schechter (Insect Ark), Billy Graves (A Storm of Light), Shane Ocell (Sorxe), Kim Thayil (Soundgarden) and Ben Weinman (Dillinger Escape Plan).
The inspired soundtrack to the true-life love story of Duane and Debra Johnson. Battling multiple health and mental illness issues, Debra Johnson asked her husband, Duane, to remove her from a medical facility so she could die at home. Over the next 5 days, they had an extended “death party;” smoking methamphetamine, listening to Quiet Riot and having sex. After Debra died in Duane’s arms, he wrapped her in linen and called the police. When they arrived on scene, Duane was standing naked near the front door, screaming that his wife was dead. The words “Death Parde God Hell” were spray-painted across the door.
Touching on themes of love, death, drug use, sex and criminality, Grinding Teeth features guitars, drums, electric violin and cello, lap steel and electronic instrumentation.
The album cover for Grinding Teeth uses “crystal meth” arranged in the form of Lucifer’s sigil. This imagery plays off of Duane’s spray painted door and works as a contrast to Zero Sleep’s cross, while also referencing the surreal darkness of this story.
The adapted score from Thomas D. Rotenberg’s sci-fi short film, Don’t Forget to Remember.
After humanity loses its ability to sleep, mass displacement ensues. Unnamed black pills are distributed to the people by governments at camps around the world. Highly controlled and coveted, these pills provide the only possibility of sleep; while an overdose of the pills opens up an unexpected path to salvation.
Touching on themes of hope, despair, love and liberation, Zero Sleep features a live string trio, live vocals and electronic instrumentation.
The album cover for Zero Sleep uses black capsules arranged to form a surrounded cross. The pills symbolize a path to sanity and salvation, huddled around their symbol of hope.