Middle Pillar Presents sprang forth in November of 1998 from Middle Pillar Distribution, a mail order, distributor and web company since 1994. The label is just the latest branch of what Middle Pillar does, which is to present musical esoterica to a wider audience.
The name Middle Pillar comes from the center path on the Tree of Life, originally a Kabbalistic symbol for higher spiritual learning, attaining a true state of communion with God. There are multiple paths on the tree. But the most direct path, is the straight one, which is called the Middle Pillar. It is traditionally the most rewarding path but also the most difficult to achieve.
The label came about as a vehicle to give exposure to ethereal, ambient and experimental music. The debut release was the compilation "What is Eternal", a collection of talented artists that included many future Middle Pillar bands.
Since then the roster of artists has grown to include The Machine in the Garden, Loretta's Doll, ZOAR, The Mirror Reveals, A Murder of Angels, The Unquiet Void, THREAD and Sumerland. A second compilation entitled BUTOH: the Dance of Darkness, contained music influenced by the japanese art of intrepretive dance. One of the hallmarks of MPP is their packaging and art design with BUTOH being an outstanding example - the CD package folds out to resemble the doors of a japanese temple.
From beautiful female vocals (TMITG & TMR ) to dark ambient soundscapes (AMOA, ZOAR & TUQV), dark electronica (LD & THREAD) to apocalyptic folk (Sumerland), Middle Pillar Presents continues to explore the genres of darkness that leads to beauty.
You can hear various selections from MPP artists on the Gothic Paradise radio shows.
Eclectica Vol. 2 Review
With the excellent roster of artists that have signed with Middle Pillar, I think that this was an excellent time for the release of this sampler album. It contains something from each artist, most of which are great selections and a great cross-section of the material presented by these talented artists. The great thing about this album is that most of the tracks are exclusive to this release, so while its a great sampler for newcomers to this label, its also a great collectors item for fans.
One thing about this release is that it really brings out the best of these musicians in a unique way. The remixes are such that they dont detract too much from the original style so that you can get a taste of what the artist has to offer. Beginning with an excellent remix of Pale, Aenima kicks off this compilation. The soaring vocals and moody Gothic/Ethereal music is a statement of the talent that this label has picked up over the last few years. While Aenima is one of my favorites on this label, we cant forget the incredible talents of The Changelings which included a moving remix of My Shadow, Your Ghost which is one of the better tracks from their latest album Astronomica. Also included is a trancy mix of Zoars Ashes Falling (Hyper-Magma Remix by Carmen Rizzo), which is also a selection from their latest album. Like every label, there are some bands that I dont enjoy as much as others, and so the tracks included here from those dont really stand out. But I think overall its a great sample of what is available, especially the talented artists already listed as well as Sumerland and The Machine in the Garden just to name a couple. But this is just something you take with every label sampler or compilation.
Along with these great inclusions from artists and albums already released, we get to see slightly into the future releases of The Mirror Reveals with the excellent track Finale and the newcomers to this label Mirabilis with a really nice remix of In The Dark. This latter track is easily one of my favorites on this sampler and this remix really takes the cake, very dark and slightly dancey.
Whether youre familiar with this label or not, this is a great compilation to have. There is something for all fans of any of the artists from this label. For those just finding out about this label, if you enjoy similar artists like Dead Can Dance, Black Tape for a Blue Girl or anything of the more Gothic, Ethereal and Ambient music, you?ll love the artists here and this release.