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Like many of the most important figures to emerge in the foggier, drearier strains of grunge, metal, and post-rock, Dylan Carlson is a Seattle native. Carlson founded the ambient metal band Earth, which first achieved a surge of recognition with its release Earth 2 on Sub Pop in the early nineties.
Earth has been credited with establishing the style known as “doom,” “drone,” or “stoner rock,” and as the band’s backbone and most consistent member, Carlson has in turn been called the “father of drone.” He calls the instinct he once had to repeat a riff —a decision that went on to define an entire genre— his “one good idea.” His fundamental, formative influence on younger bands, particularly Sunn O))), is undeniable and widely cited: Stephen O’Malley and Greg Anderson named their band, which takes Carlson’s drone style to new extremes, after the legendary amps used by Earth. When Carlson fell out of music-making for ten years in the late nineties and early 00s, it was largely the duo who provided a mandate for his creative return: their label, Southern Lord, reissued some of Earth’s early releases and presented a platform for fresh output.
Carlson cites rockers Black Sabbath, AC/DC, and Molly Hatchet and American minimalists Terry Riley and La Monte Young among his influences. It was in Olympia, Washington that he met the musicians with whom he would form Earth. At the time, he also informally made music with his roommate and closest friend at the time, Kurt Cobain.
Carlson’s later solo albums, which all honour the sonorous authority of his guitar, have gone on to incorporate the influence of traditional folk music. Besides his ongoing activity as Earth, Carlson musically inhabits other monikers. As Drcarlsonalbion and Coleman Grey he devotes his sound to the history and occult folklore of the UK. For a collaboration with Kevin Martin aka The Bug, with which he will appear at CTM 2017, he has recorded and performed under his own name. The years since 2012 have been hugely prolific for Carlson. In 2014 he released three albums: the LP Falling With A Thousand Stars and Other Wonders From The House Of Albion (as Dylan Carlson and Coleman Grey), the Ninja Tune 12” Boa/Cold together with The Bug (as Dylan Carlson), and a soundtrack to the feature film Gold, which tells the story of German immigrants during the Klondike Gold Rush in Canada at the end of the 19th century (as Drcarlsonalbion).