Horseback, the well-established solo-plus project of Chapel Hill ace experimentalist Jenks Miller, has signed to Relapse Records, one of the nation's biggest and most respected loud-music labels. He joins a roster that includes Baroness, Dillinger Escape Plan, Pig Destroyer and many others.
Later this year, Relapse will re-release Horseback's 2009 album, The Invisible Mountain, on CD, following a vinyl release of the album via UK label Aurora Borealis (pre-orders available imminently, says Miller) and an as-yet-unrecorded companion piece to The Invisible Mountain. Aurora Borealis will handle the next Horseback LP, too, which Miller says via e-mail is similar to his harsh noise EP, MILH IHVH. "It's undoubtedly the most confrontational Horseback record yet," he assures.
"The idea was to create an abrasive and alien sonic environment as a contrast to the more organic records I've made," he writes, describing the record, now being mastered by Khanate's James Plotkin. "Most of the source material was performed with typical instrumentation and then processed in some way, cut apart and reassembled with new priority given to textural elements. There are identifiable riffs and melodic phrases here and there, but I tried to bury them in layers of noise whenever they threatened to become pleasant."
As for the yet-to-come Relapse album, details are scarce. Miller is just beginning to write the material, but he did give a broad sense of what listeners might expect from Horseback in the future: the unexpected. "Horseback is a very diverse project in terms of both sound and compositional approach, and I'm still triangulating the territory I want to explore with it," he said. "Relapse offers an enormous pool of resources, so I'm very excited about the prospects of this relationship."
As for Miller himself, the coming months will be busy. Between releasing two new albums, he'll perform at least once as Horseback with a full band—at the Indy's Hopscotch Music Festival in September—and swap tourdates with his other bands, Mount Moriah and In The Year of The Pig.