Jesse Draxler shares a third track and accompanying video from his forthcoming release Reigning Cement (September 4, Federal Prisoner) along with the Chelsea Wolfe and Ben Chisholm song “Valerian.”
“When submitting this track, Chelsea briefly mentioned how the lyrics are an ode to her relationship with valerian root and its effects on sleeping habits and insomnia. With the video, we wanted to echo this notion to create a morphing and echoing sleep-scape, straddling the line between dream and nightmare. The video was created by myself and Rizz (of the band VOWWS), while the footage of Chelsea was kindly given to us by herself,” explains Draxler of the four-minute visual he created for “Valerian.”
Reigning Cement is a conceptual, audio-visual project pairing an 100-page book of Draxler’s photography and collage work with a collection of music created by handpicked musicians.
The audio portion of Reigning Cement was inspired by an experiment that Draxler participated in a few years ago, in which a group of collage artists were each given the exact same packet of visual assets with which to create a piece. Similarly, Draxler provided each musician on Reigning Cement with the same 34 sonic elements—all recorded in the noisy industrial environment just outside his studio in Los Angeles.
Like the audio elements, all of the images included in Reigning Cement are products of Draxler’s immediate industrial environment. “The photographic images are all from my neighborhood,” he confirms. “That’s very much a part of the concept. There are images that I wanted to include that would’ve worked really well in the book, but I didn’t put them in because I took them in Japan or something.”
In the end, Reigning Cement is less of a compilation and more of a conceptual art project to be viewed—and listened to—as a whole. “It’s not just an album that comes with a book,” Draxler points out. “You could also say it’s a book that comes with an album.”
Reigning Cement quickly sold out of the initial 500-piece pressing. Federal Prisoner has made a new 100-piece variant featuring clear vinyl and an alternate book cover, available here.
A digital version of the audio element is available for preorder here.