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Started by Kid Millions and Bobby Matador of Oneida, People of the North is another voice emanating from that inscrutable Brooklyn collective. The group has always included Kid and Bobby, and usually other members of Oneida as well. POTN has performed live from time to time since 2002; most recently, they were invited by Portishead to play at the I'll Be Your Mirror edition of the All Tomorrow's Parties festival held in Asbury Park, NJ in October 2011.
In 2010, People of the North released its first full-length album, titled Deep Tissue. This recording was hailed by cognoscenti of contemporary psychedelia as an essential component of the recent Oneida canon. Media outlets compared the sound of Deep Tissue to Suicide and Silver Apples [Pitchfork]; This Heat [Stereogum]; Eno, Loop, Simply Saucer, and Amon Duul [Julian Cope at Head Heritage]; and Eno again [AllMusic].
Steep Formations, a double LP consisting of two long-form pieces, was recorded at the Ocropolis in 2010 and 2011, with the participation of Shahin Motia and Barry London of Oneida. Here, the drumming of Kid Millions has ascended to a profound and utterly unique level: muscular African-derived fluidity and relentless motorik drive have been alchemized into an indescribable brew that surges and pounds among the distorted tides of "Border Waves"; and the stony, brutal glaze of the title track displays a far more severe commitment to minimalism and noise than prior work offered.
While much that has been written about People of the North before remains relevant, newly apt touchstones and contextual clues might include Kevin Drumm, Giusto Pio, Terry Riley, Tony Williams, Conrad Schnitzler, Throbbing Gristle, Pelt.
Themes present in the minds of the creators during the construction of this recording have included:
- the overlap and juxtaposition of natural with industrial processes;
- the interplay between man-made and natural entropies;
- the limits on human comprehension of chaos;
- the contradictions inherent in conscious acts of surrender
- more, but why not use this as a starting point?
Juicy praise for 2010's Deep Tissue, courtesy of Julian Cope at Head Heritage:
"Brooklyn duo People of the North describe an ecstatic and meditative sound somewhere between Amon Düül, Simply Saucer, Friendsound and Loop playing Eno's 'Third Uncle'. And boy, what with the epic drumming of Oneida's Kid Millions informing the core of this ensemble's sound, don't this just shit all over so many modern so-called Kraut-informed bands. Kiddies, you get somebody this righteously Taliban behind the traps and you just cain't go wrong...this is a highly driven yet divine cosmic ooze that envelops listeners in its inner hurricane and allows them merely to...Be, Motherfuckers!"