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Volcano the Bear founding member Aaron Moore and Miasmah man Erik K. “Svarte Greiner” Skodvin won’t go down well at the rain party tonight, but at least they’ll be dry. Six years in the making, this long-distance collaboration boasts all the aching, immersive cinematic modern composition soundscapery (courtesy of piano, cello, harp and much more) you’d expect from such a meeting of the minds. Great cover art as well.

  • LP £16.99
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  • HITD 040
  • HITD 040 / LP on Hands In The Dark, mastered by Helmut Erler @ Dubplates & Mastering, Berlin. Limited Edition of 300 copies
  • Includes download code

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Instead of Rain I Bring a Hat by Aaron Moore & Erik K Skodvin
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8/10 Ant Staff review, 27 June 2018

Masterfully executed and exquisitely produced long-distance collaboration between Volcano The Bear’s Aaron Moore and Erik K Skodvin aka Svarte Greiner, also half of Deaf Centre. Their music feels positively haunted on this record, conjuring strong visual images of haunted hallways, ballrooms, strange pastoral landscapes, and characters in bizarre attire. Some of the music here could almost be an alternative soundtrack to some of the masked scenes from Stanley Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut, while other sounds evoke some of Max Ernst’s surreal paintings from the early 1940’s; Napoleon in the Wilderness, The Antipope and The Robing of the Bride.

Apparently, the collaborative process unfolded and developed over a period of almost six years - this is evident in the attention to detail and the numerous layers the ears can peel back over repeated listens. It’s a peculiar and complex shared vision achieved through the use of traditional instruments (piano, cello, drums, harp, vocals) and electronics. Naturally, we can hear individual signature contributions but this is one of those collaborations that despite being separated by distance, feels fully realised into a third entity. ‘Instead of Rain I Bring a Hat’ is a vividly evocative record that’s occasionally frightening and often moving. Marcus Cummins adds some startling Soprano saxophone that swerves in and around pounding tribal drums to dramatic effect on ‘Grown Horse’, one of many quite unexpected directions the album takes.

The map has been torn apart and the compass destroyed on this album - geographically I have no idea where we are, and likewise, the clock has stopped - what time or year is this? This music feels completely outside of any known time or place, and right now, that’s exactly where I want to be.


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