On Friday, Athens psych and drone explorer Michael Potter will release a split LP with Philipp Bückle, leader of the German group Teamforest. The two met on a record posting group on Facebook, and soon bonded over their shared musical tastes — a bond which eventually blossomed into a fast friendship. On Never Got the Message/End of Summer Music, each songwriter maintains their affinity for experimentation and left-field songwriting, while, at least in Potter’s case, composing some of the most accessible and free-flowing music of their career.
Consisting of three electric guitar instrumentals, Potter’s contributions to the record features a pair of single-take improvisations, as well as the more structured composition “Crickets, Cicadas, Fireflies.” Although the track utilizes a few overdubs and layers in ambient field recordings taken outside his home, the majority of the song was recorded in one go. “I seem to do my best work on the first try, without overthinking anything,” says Potter.
For the longtime mastermind behind the Electric Nature, the spontaneous approach is part of a new style of writing he’s been developing over the past couple of years — one that is simpler and more open-ended than the dense soundscapes and noisy drones he’s concocted in the past. “A few years ago when the Electric Nature was a rock band, the songs were much tighter, more set in stone with how they should be played every time — part A, part B, part C, etcetera,” Potter explains. “I really like working with just one element, like a guitar, and having a loose framework to explore different avenues inside each piece.”
Built on a caressing swirl of looped guitars and and echoing chords, “Crickets, Cicadas, Fireflies” is warm and radiant like the final vestiges of a setting sun. There’s an aura of melancholy lurking there as well, a kind of autumnal glow that speaks to the second half of the LP’s title, which presumably refers to Potter’s portion of the record. Constantly shifting in gradual, subtle evolutions, the track lacks a rhythmic core, choosing instead to float across your speakers in a meditative mist. If there were a soundtrack to losing yourself and staring into the distance, this would almost certainly be on it.
Never Got the Message/End of Summer Music is out September 8 on limited-edition cassette and digital via Potter’s own \NULL|ZØNE//. Pre-orders are available here.
Michael Potter will celebrate the release of Never Got the Message/End of Summer Music on Fri., September 8 at Hendershot’s Coffee Bar alongside Lingua Franca and the Ruination. Doors open at 8 p.m. $5.