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Dragon or Emperor

Dragon Or Emperor are the awesome two-piece lightning-bolt drum & bass assault of Aaron Moore (Volcano the Bear, Songs of Norway) on drums/vocals, and Stewart Brackley (Black Carrot, Songs of Norway) on bass guitar/vocals. Somewhat akin to a geeky Lightning Bolt in charity shop suits loosening up and playing jazz-metal, with additional manic Pere Ubu-style vocalisations, Moore beats absolute hell out of his drumkit, whilst Brackley embarks on daring fretless excursions to the absolute edges of what constitutes a rhythm. An enormous sound that marries their intense mixture of fun and chaos.

Aaron and Stewart have been friends for over 20 years, and have previously played together (along with fellow Volcano the Bear member, Nick Mott) in the improv jazz trio, Songs of Norway (Beta Lactum Ring Records). However, it was when Moore heard Brackley sing for the first time - with Black Carrot – that he knew the right thing to do....... form a band with him, and explore his new found voice.

Dragon or Emperor have some live shows coming up. Check the live page for details.


Dragon or Emperor CD
(Pickled Egg Records, Egg 64CD)

"DoE are a bass and drums punk/jazz/metal powerhouse, with a spontaneous feel that frequently threatens to spill over into hysteria. This is partly down to Brackley’s monstrous distended fuzz bass riffs, but has more to do with his wild evocation of what it might sound like if Yamataka Eye found himself trapped inside the body of David Thomas" [The Wire]

"You call it Lightning Bolt. I say I have no conception of what such tight-knit formation drumming mans, and go for older - the James Brown-insired yeh-yeh groove of The Make Up, given a metal makeover. Someone mutters 'math rock', but I flinch, indicate that no way are these frenetic twists and turns, these plum-in-mouth spasm vocals humourless. 'Formerly Volcano the Bear, you know', you smugly remark, 'and Songs of Norway'. I shrug, and rave about the way this enormous, near hallucinogenic duo remind me of prime '76 Pere Ubu, thus indicating my overbearing age once more. Sigh. Fucking seriously mighty" [Everett True, Plan B]

"The thing that sets this collection aside from other Volcano the Bear related releases is the fact that it's immediate, actually engaging to a notional formulaic script of sorts. Note we did say of sorts. Each of these buckled beauties fester and lurch from the grooves as though bitten by some mutated shredded swamp-dragged jazz funk bug, over which Stewart Brackley’s vocals (think Pere Ubu’s David Thomas with DNA traces of Don Van Vliet and Jello Biafra) surge frantically between states of petrified panic, to the eerily grim foreboding death rattle of the chilled-to-the-bone unnatural black carnival of the tribalistic Tom Waits fronting a particularly pensive and doom laden Joy Division. Caustic it may be - but playfully so - at times sounding like some kind of anger management jam, with Moore pounding out a gripping floor rumbling underpin, that's blistered and pummelled in equal measures by Brackley's low slung curdling bass groove, onto which fragments of musical genres past and present are interwoven, cross referenced and dragged screaming from their safe native habits. Just think - how many times will you ever get to hear Zeppelin motifs fused with the Melvins glue wired into a lysergic Hendrix haze, of the like as found looming large on the opening 'Part of me says', or Mark E Smith being out-Falled, as on 'Your Success' - not very often I suspect. In a word stunning" [Mark Barton, The Sunday Experience]

"This album is a deluge of drum and bass chaos coming on like the bastard son of Pere Ubu, Lightning Bolt and (for some reason) Family. Opening with the adrenaline rush of 'Part Of Me Says', the band turn everything up to eleven, fire up the distortion pedal and get down to some serious sonic destruction, the electricity literally crackling in the air. At almost eight minutes 'Slow Toms' allows the duo to slow the pace without losing the intensity, producing a classic piece of slow-burning paranoia, heavy and psychedelic, sounding like the Banshees covering an early Can epic. 'Never Know What To Say' rounds off the album with a glorious bass riff and some vocal posturing that Lux Interior would be proud of, the drums punctuating every word perfectly" [Simon Lewis, The Ptolemaic Terrascope]

'Part of Me Says' (MP3)
'Piano' (MP3)

Download Dragon or Emperor from eMusic
Listen to Dragon or Emperor on Last.fm

UK: £10.00

EU: €15.00

US: $18.00


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Ptolemaic Terrascope


Dragon or Emperor Myspace


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