BLACK NEEDLE NOISE Gets Rootsy with “That Which Watches”

Known mostly for the dark swaths of gothic strokes from his musical palette, legengary producer / artist JOHN FRYER has dug a little deeper into the grit and gravel with his new song “THAT WHICH WATCHES,” featuring the baritone stylings of Antic Clay.  The stark sepia-toned video matches the song’s roots-based expansive texture, taking visual clues from the percussive rhythm. Watch the video here:

One of a series of songs that Black Needle Noise is releasing consistently and regularly via Bandcamp, “That Which Watches” follows his most recent video La diosa y el hombre,” which featured Mexican vocalist Azzul Monra. Switching musical gears, the track moves closer to Homeland America with its Americana-tinged atmospherics.  “Like [the 2016 single] ‘Queen of Dust,’ I wanted ‘That Which Watches’ to have a kinda Alt-Country / Noir Americana feel to it so who best to get to sing it and add a bit of slide guitar, none other than Antic Clay,” says Fryer. “I originally got to hear about Antic Clay from [Swans vocalist] Jarboe who loves his voice and recommended I check him out. I liked what I heard and thought he could take the songs in the direction I was looking for and the rest is history.”

Antic Clay, who not only provided vocals but wrote the lyrics as well, adds, “My first impression when I heard John’s instrumental track was that its crackling opening strums and lo-fi piano clunks sounded like they were struggling to rise from some devastated electric saloon. Then the thing explodes into this sweeping and epic theme, blasting to the masses from an apocalyptic machine.  I felt it had to go in that direction – something grand and dark haranguing you from the ancient pulpit. Not judging you; but assuring you, you’ll be judged. That which watches. Wants to be played loud.”

Black Needle Noise’s other tracks previously released that features a diverse who’s who of alternative vocalists such as Mimi Page (Delirium), Jennie Vee (bassist, Hole), Ana Breton (Dead Leaf Echo), Omniflux (Puscifer), Kendra Frost (Kite Base), Andrea Kerr (Colt), Sivert Hoyem, ZiaLand among others. “I like to keep people guessing as to what will be released next, not only with sound but now with what language the song will be in,” explains Fryer about his revolving door of vocalists. “I love where Azzul Monraz has taken this song; it’s always surprising when I get the vocals back to hear where the music has taken them.”

John Fryer started his career in 1979 at London’s Blackwing Studios (London) and soon began working with seminal bands on the 4AD, Mute, Rough Trade and Beggars Banquet record labels, including Depeche Mode, The Wolfgang Press and Cocteau Twins. His achievement in helping develop the latter’s pioneering ethereal and ambient sound ultimately led Watts-Russell to recruit Fryer as his partner for This Mortal Coil.

He’s produced many other groundbreaking artists, including PRAYERS, Love and Rockets, Swans, H.I.M., Cradle of Filth, Clan of Xymox, Nitzer Ebb, Dead Can Dance, Yaz (Yazoo), Xmal Deutschland, Fields of the Nephilim, De/Vision, Stabbing Westward, Kristin Hersh, and many others. Over the past two decades, John Fryer has also produced several film soundtracks, including Se7en, Clerks, Johnny Mnemonic, Mortal Kombat, Faust, and Resident Evil: Apocalypse.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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