Combining elements of horror-film soundtracks, psychedelic doom, and atmospheric noise, NYC/Portland-based instrumental duo Insect Ark presents their newest record, Marrow Hymns. Comprised of Dana Schechter (bass, lap steel guitar, synthesizers) and Ashley Spungin (drums, synthesizers), Insect Ark's intensely visual music weaves interludes of fragile beauty with crushing passages of swirling doom, spinning like a backwards fever dream. This album is a wordless song, a hypnotic voice that screams and whispers from a place deep in the furrows, from the bones, from the blood.
Defying easy categorization, their uncommon sound is in part the amalgamation of these two women's passions: Schechter's sinister bass lines and unconventional use of lap steel guitar (and her complete omission of electric guitar), and Spungin's lucid, exacting drumming and synth work with her own hand-built analog noise pedals (Ormus Electronics). With the two halves of the band residing on opposite coasts, the album was largely skeletal in form upon commencement of recording. Overdubs and further writing / arrangements were done after Spungin's return to Portland in the isolation of Schechter's home studio.
The sense of distance and vast emptiness remained intact in the songs, built out over many long nights. These songs of displacement, loss, and isolation are personal journals of that time period, as both members found themselves simultaneously experiencing existential crises. However, the album also tells a story of strength and determination, made from the marrow of these two women, a song for all things that struggle to survive.