Saturday, September 24, 2016

House show this Friday Sept 30 in Olympia!



Howdy folks we're playing at ABC House this Friday September 30 in Olympia, show starts at 8 and we're on 1st so don't be late!  We'll be debuting two new compositions as well as some new gear.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Over 40,000 downloads & listens at the Free Music Archive!

That's right folks, we haven't been performing as much in the last year (which will be changing) and the next record isn't out yet (very soon) but we've still managed to pass the 40,000 download/listen mark at WFMU's Free Music Archive!


Not bad for a group as obscure and non self promoting as us!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Album review of "Sphere"

Here's what David Nemeth said about us:


Sometimes when writing a review it’s difficult to not oversell with superlatives and adjectives such as blogs which seems to proliferate blog writing today. (For the record I am talking more about generalist blogs rather than music blogs.) That said, I believe that Hammer of Harthor’s self released Sphere is one damn fine album.
Hammer of Hathor is the duo Heather Vergotis and Mark Kaylor who now hail from Olympia, Washington but have spent time in Maine and Philadelphia. The eight tracks ofSphere venture from twisted versions of Japanese folk songs to percussion-laden improvisations to my favorite, a duet between a banjo and a guitar mimicking bamboo flutes. All of this is an over-simplification and most likely wrong, regardless this may be one of the best albums you will hear this year.
Here's the link to his site:
http://www.actsofsilence.com/album-review/divine-hammer/

NOTE:  "Sphere" is NOT self released, but made possible by the lovely folks of Don't Trust the Ruin.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Review of "Sphere"!!

This is from DMG in NYC:



Hammer Of Hathor is Heather Vergotis and Mark Kaylor.  Instrumentation is unlisted but sounds like out-of-tune guitar with flute, saxophone and percussion amongst other instruments.  The music I can only best describe as being a lo-fi No-Wave influenced insanity which ranges from angular freak outs to end-of-the-world doom dirges. Perhaps if you imagined Arto Lindsay recording guitar on Sun Ra's "Strange Strings" that would paint a more vivid picture. A lovely recording that will be revisited many times over!  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! -Chuck Bettis/DMG

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Holy cow downloads!

Well here are some interesting numbers!

Hammer of Hathor has now released 9 albums, typically of small run editions from 25-100 copies, most  
(but not all) of which are sold out.

I just checked the WFMU Free Music Archive where we have stuff available for download and much to my surprise we're almost at the 30,000 download mark!

Who are all these people downloading our music?  Who is listening to us right now?

Just wait, there's more to come!  Starting recording on Friday.....

Monday, February 23, 2015

Here are some words written about our latest release by the folks at Don't Trust The Ruin:

"Hammer of Hathor were only among us here in Maine for a few short years, but  in there wake they left us “Sphere”, and man albums don’t get much better than this! An epic album of organic ramblings, resulting in the most woozy and entrancing listen. Amazing fuzzed out electric guitar, pulsing intoxicating rhythms that would make Louis Hardin (Moondog) proud. A living, breathing album that softens even the backmost roads of the winter laden north.  "
This just in!  Our 9th album has hit the streets!

Entitled "Sphere" its available on cassette & CD.

Please email us if you want a hard copy.

Also available for perusal at:

www.freemusicarchive.org/music/Hammer_of _Hathor


Sunday, February 22, 2015

Here's a little writeup that escaped my notice, by Dylan of Field Hymns:

It’s not like we are not working or anything, we just are not sharing our daily thoughts at the moment! 2012 is going to be a big year for us at FH – we are relishing the quiet here for just a little bit longer…. On a somewhat related note – back from vacation was waiting for me the Goaty release ofHammer of Hathor’s The Ineluctable Modality of the Visible that was so kindly sent by Mark of said band. If you recall, HOH graced Field Hymns with an excellent album titled Vroom Psycho a while back and I was terribly excited to see what they had been up to in the meantime.Once again what strikes me about this band is how ethnically non-specific their music is – what I mean by that is I have no idea how to approach this album from my North American background.  It is an amalgamation, a synthesis of so many forms of music – I have no mental divider in my internal Rolodex in which to file this, which makes writing about it tricky. Hammer of Hathor are conversing in a musical language that excludes my understanding – I am fascinated by it but I cannot respond in turn, forever to be an outsider. And unlike many of their contemporaries it is always musical – even at it’s most un-hinged. It’s like a free-jazz Gamalen Kentucky minimalist banjo workshop in North Africa.  No, it’s like Sun Ra re-interpreting the score to Badlands.  See?  A better writer could explain this better. I feel like this is truly original piece of work and encourage you to seek out the rest of their catalog.Luckily Hammer of Hathor have just posted this album and a great deal of their work  at the Free Music Archive (which I seriously recommend checking out if have not before).  If you need the tape you can pick one up at the fabulous EGGY ( and I will always recommend the tape) and our release can be gotten here.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

We haven't recieved the tapes in the mail yet but you can go to WFMU's free music archive & check out our 9th album!!!

http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Hammer_of_Hathor/Sphere/

Monday, February 9, 2015

Whoa, long time no post!

Haven't posted here in ages.

We live in Olympia Washington now!!

A big thanks to all those who made it out for the fantastic show at Obsidian last night.  We're still buzzing over the magical music that happened!

Stay tuned for our 9th release due out on Don't Trust The Ruin (Big Blood) any minute now!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

"Saw Isosceles" now uploaded to Free Music Archive!

Folks-

The last release on Phase is so limited that I went ahead and uploaded  a digital version of the album to our Free Music Archive account, go here:

http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Hammer_of_Hathor

We promised physical copies of the cassette to a few folks and yes, we will mail those out, its just been super busy around these parts!

In other news we're playing a show at the wonderful Ro He Ge Magik Theater in Belfast on Aug 3 w/ Eggs, Eggs and other guests.

There's also a short Maine/New England tour in the works likely for October.

And hopefully recording this winter!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

xo

Mark/Hather/Sonny

Saturday, June 2, 2012

New cassette release on Phase is here, now!!!

Folks, here's some great news!

We now have in our hands the cassettes from Phase in Greece, these are super cool looking and very limited.

The music is mostly some things that were going to end up on an LP that fell through, twice, but we're super excited to work with Phase and hope to be in Greece the next year or two to play some music.  Its a mix of guitar/drums, tape manipulation, and dual synth Frippetronics psychedelic brain meltdown!

If you want a tape shoot us an email, $6 shipped, while they last!


Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Life in Maine, new music, house show!!!

Folks!!! Well, its been a little since anything has happened here. We've been busy! Maybe you already know but we up and moved from Philly to Maine just before April began. This is a huge move and I think its safe to say we've found a place that is just what we've been looking for! Heather works as a bakers assistant in Belfast and Mark works on a farm a few miles from our house. Sonny doesn't have a job yet. I attached a pic of us in front of a huge sugar maple in front of the property. We live in a very old Cape style farmhouse that is just smashing, there's pasture and woods, a huge barn, lots of fresh air and wildlife. We are planting things and building structures for animals to live in. But now to the point of this blog, music music music! We're very happy to announce that the very last of the recordings made in the Harmelodic Haus on Kerby St. in Portland Or. are finally being released, and on a fantastic Athens Greece label called Phase!! This will be a limited run cassette (of course) and features some of our favorite stuff. Alot of this material was recorded on the old Ampex 440 and some even pre dates the material that was released on the Goaty tape! We'll do an official post when we have the cassette in our hands for sale, but we just gave the okay for the art yesterday, it looks rad! Also we will be having a special house show/party/potluck here at our place for Mark's birthday, Friday May 18th! The show will be from 7-10 SHARP (gotta start early, most of the bands have kids!) Music will be in this order, throughout the house: C Section 8 (Drew rules, very neat synth/drum machine etc) Village of Spaces (Dan and Amy rule and they have a new band member to boot!!) Hammmer of Hathor (ever heard of 'em??) Tracey Trance (cool sounding stuff to be sure!) Potluck too, bring food, BYOB 196 Bryant Rd Unity Maine Although we really live in Freedom, our road intersects 137 at the Freedom Post Office, look for the old red house and barn when you see Raven Rd on the left. xoxo Heather/mark/sonny IMG_6282

Friday, February 10, 2012

Complete works available at WFMU Free Music Archive!!

Folks

We're in the process of digitizing our recorded output, much of which is out of print, and releasing it to anyone and everyone via WMFU's Free Archive Library! Its so cool to be onboard for this, its been interesting taking these analog artifacts and making them listenable to the digital world!

Here's the link:

http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Hammer_of_Hathor/

Everything should be up in the next week.

Oh there are still copies of the LP left if you want one hit us up!!

Friday, January 13, 2012

NEWS

Folks

Its been awhile, things are busy as usual!

We're gearing up to release a bunch of material, new and old.

Stankhouse opted to not do this 12" with us so we're going to put it out ourselves, probably a run of 100-150 by spring, hand screen printed covers, yeah! This is material we recorded while still in Portland and mixed/mastered with Mike Lastra (Smegma). John Golden will do the mastering of course. This record is heavy! 3 electric guitar and drum tracks and as well as tape manipulation/deconstruction and a long dual synth piece that ends in a lock groove!

As well we've begun recording what will be the only Philadelphia material here at our place on Spring Garden St. We've been talking to this great label in Greece called Phase about doing a cassette, stay tuned!

Finally some of you may know this and others may not, but we're relocating to Maine as of the spring. We fell in love with the area and feel it will be a wonderful place to be close to nature, raise a child, and concentrate on creating more art and music!

xo

mark/hathor/sonny klook

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Link to live sounds on BSR Providence check it out!

Go here:

http://www.bsrlive.com/playlists/live-block/391375

We played live and it was fun, the recording quality isn't great but I think you'll get the point!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Tour thanks for folks who helped out!

We had a very nice time indeed in New England and would like to thank the Apohadion in Portland along with Ed and Dave, and thanks to the Hersey State house for having us even with loudmouth Sonny along, and HUGE thanks to Erika in Easthampton who's played our music on her radio show for years, it was great to meet and hang out with you, and Chris at the Flywheel too, a helpful fella, in Providence we have to thank all the peeps at Brown Radio, Tim, Eric, Dannie, John, and the West House who gave us a roof to sleep under, in Belfast a real big thanks to all the people, Dan, Amy, Olai, Eva, Troy, Rose, and of course the Ro He Ge barn.....oh and don't forget that cop who busted up the party.

Good times.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

New England tour!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yes folks, we're making a visit to New England and playing some shows too. We're bringing our buddy and roommate Dann Pell along too.

Here's what's happening:

Sept 20th----Portland Maine @ the Apohadion Theater, w/Big Black Cloud and others, I heard this was the last show ever at this space!!!
Sept 21st--Easthampton, MA @ the Flywheel w/ Tongue Oven, Beek
Sept 22nd--Providence RI @ BSR (Brown U. Radio, live on the air)
Sept 25th--Belfast, Maine @ ro he ge Magikal Theater

Probably some other things will pop up too, this is a vacation as much as a tour, get some fresh air, wide open spaces, yeah!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

NOT a Portland duo!

Oh the Volcanic Tongue people said we were a Portland duo..........NOT!!

We WERE..........NOW we be a Philly duo, but folks, we're an OUTER SPACE duo!! Space is the place!

New Cassette new cassette NEW CASSETTE!!!





Hammer Of Hathor
The Ineluctable Modality Of The Visible
Goaty Tapes No Cat
Cassette
£6.99

New cassette from this psychedelic Portland duo who navigate their way between monochord/Parson Sound-style wipeout, ethno-tinged almost-AACM style percussive improvisation w/plenty of zonked fourth world detail and classic cultic flutes and bongo style levitations ala Kalacakra/Yatha Sidhra/Paivansade et al. “These veterans of instrumental psychedelia offer up a sundry set of new works, rotating between sparse single-instrument meditations, cyclical atmospherics, and some profoundly groovable full-scale jammers. This is Hammer of Hathor at their best, weaving imperceptibly between cool La Monte Young meditations and sweltering Wattstax commotion.” – GT.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

This was a few years a ago, touching isn't it?

The Hammer of Hathor family in front of the mothership......

Our son was born in that Airstream trailer.
We spent the winter in it. At one point during an ice storm i had to kick our door open in the morning, it iced shut. We ran two space heaters all winter long!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Oh boy, the new release on Goaty Tapes!!!

Hammer of Hathor - The Ineluctable Modality of the Visible $6



These veterans of instrumental psychedelia offer up a sundry set of new works, rotating between sparse single-instrument meditations, cyclical atmospherics, and some profoundly groovable full-scale jammers. This is Hammer of Hathor at their best, blurring the lines between cool La Monte Young paeans and sweltering Wattstax commotion.

IMG_4213



www.goatytapes.com

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Old sights and sound

Here's an old clip from back when we thought we could just play jazz and do whatever we wanted, Heather was very pregnant, we were in Tuscany at this point in the midst of 20 shows in 23 days all over Italy with dear Tiziano driving us around. Fantastic time. We don't play jazz anymore.












Another live snippet!!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Live in Philly ya'll!

It was a nice evening on Frankford Ave in the lovely city of Philadelphia June 13 2011.

We played and some other folks played like Jacob Felix Huele, Tony Dryer (they are also Basshaters), Jack Wright, and an ensemble of Philly out jazz folks.

Earlier in the day we had a wonderful time playing music in the Spring Garden house with Jacob, Tony, Jack, Kelvin Pittman, and a trombone player named Dan Blacksburg.

AND YESTERDAY! Yesterday we were blessed with having a FREE 6 hour performance of Morten Feldman's String Quartet #2 being performed at this amazing Episcopalian cathedral here in West Philly. We took turns watching Sonny outsdide and went in for what was a truly amazing sonic experience. Wow.

Its been a blurry day. So many things happened, here's the video snippet from our performance. It felt good. And Sonny had a good time running up and down the sidewalk and finding kids and empty lots to play in. yeah!


Friday, June 10, 2011

Our 1st Philly show!!

Yes lovely folks, whoever you are:

we're playing our 1st show in Philly after moving here on April 1st.

Its at the Highwire Gallery on Frankford Ave.

Its Monday June 13th. Its a Fire Museum event.

Also playing are Jack Wright and an ensemble called "Live Like a King". More info to follow.

We're on 1st I think. We have a set dreamed up that involves tape loops (of course, cassette and reel to reel), banjo, electric guitar, drums, xylophone, mbira, and drums. Some new things and some other things.

Yeah!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Hammer of Hathor in Brooklyn June 5th!!

See this folks: http://roulettenyc.wordpress.com/2011/05/26/roulette-musicircus-june-4th-5th/

We're playing as a part of Roulette's 2 day John Cage Circus piece, yeah!

Doing two versions of "For Guylene"

Check it out!!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Review of Vroom Psycho on Auxillary Out

Family portrait!

From Hammer of Hathor

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Foxy Digitalis Review of Vroom Psycho

Hammer of Hathor is minimalism with muscle. The Portland duo/trio has a basement-jam feel to it – a couple of kids with some guitars/amps and drums, a tape machine, horns and various other noisemakers. Each kid picks one, hits ‘rec’ on the tape deck, and then proceeds to just let ‘er rip for a few minutes. Sometimes, they not only rip but absolutely destroy and devour. But no matter what, no matter how “jammy” Hammer of Hathor is in theory (and the music for the most part is steadfast in its improvisatory approach, highly akin to free jazz giants like Sonny Sharrock or Ornette Coleman), the ensemble manages to formulate five distinct, succinct, and coherent statements on this tape, each with a clear beginning, middle, and end.

There’s no rocket science here. No theory, skill or any kind of instrumental mastery at work. But what results are maddening, insanity-incarnate tracks that build with focused inertia and then succeed to piss you off by notexploding into a million pieces. This, of course, is why “Vroom-Psycho” is such an entrancing, engrossing listen, though – especially the album’s magnificent centerpieces (one for each side), “Mt. Tabor” and “Invincible Armor,” which both feature noisy, shrapnel-shards of guitar and skull-pounding, overdriven drums. The former sets up a 6/8 waltz feel with a single guitar note pulsing a simple rhythm for a bass drum/crash cymbal combo to simply pound the notes alongside in an eight-minute pressure-cooker crescendo. “Invincible Armor” is a bit more diverse in the way the drums move through three different thematic rhythms for the guitar to embellish with nervous, skittering lines. And though the sounds are dark, menacing, powerful—evil even—Hammer of Hathor still produces a thoughtful, weirdly playful exchange between aligned voices – a stylistic element that ultimately binds the entirety of the tape into a satisfying, unified statement.

The remaining tracks round things out with shorter compositions, and highlight one of the best features of “Vroom-Psycho,” which is how different each track is composed instrumentally, and how they contribute to the bigger picture of what Hammer of Hathor accomplishes beyond a basic guitar/drums arrangement. “Alice & John” is like two saxophones learning to talk with each other for the first time in muted honks. “Air Pain” is a scathing cacophony of harp strings atop a deep, cavernous baritone that wavers and wobbles below (like a timpani drum with someone massaging the tension pedal, perhaps). Album closer “For Guylene” is a duet of either ocarina flutes or guitar feedback (it’s seriously tough to tell). The effect is what is important here: two distinct pitches, throbbing at near-similar tempos, then successively bending themselves up or down. Overall, listening to “Vroom-Psycho” is like quitting smoking: you get that edgy, nervous feel of despair, anger and frustration, all focused here into instrumental chaos. Sometimes there’s pleasure in this kind of pain, like chewing on the inside of your cheek or stretching your back in hopes of getting that one final crack – a sigh, a moment of release that may never come. Hammer of Hathor finds a horrifying beauty in impatience.

Field Hymns


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

We be Mark E. Kaylor and Heather Vergotis.
....
Instruments we have employed live and recorded: drumkit, random percussion, prepared banjos, Hungarian flutes, wood fife, tenor sax, clarinet, trombone, sousaphone, electric guitar, bass guitar, processed horns, acoustic guitar, tenor guitar, analog synthesizer, reel to reel tape loops, upright bass, marimba, turntable, jaw harp, alto sax, soprano sax, cassette loops, tape echo, tenor/alto recorder, field recordings......
....
Mark also plays/has played in CexFucx, Thee Oregon Artificial Limb Co., Cells, Au, Rubella, Bunny, solo, Kinetic Harpoon, Htoo Trio, Ghost to Falco, Portland Bike Ensemble, etc etc
....
Heather plays/has played in FlyFlyFlyFlyFly, CexFucx, Evolutionary Jass Band, Egon Hegone, etc etc
Got this one a little bit ago as well, this time from Hammer of Hathor with the first LP release on their new label, Shimmering on a Dim Tide. A duo comprised of Mark E. Kaylor and Heather Vergetis, the LP looks, I dare say, spankingly wonderful. Nice uber-light image on the front and white vinyl gives it all a real ethereal look. Rather than complimenting the music though, the look serves the sound more in its opposition than in any mood setting role. Apparently the duo more or less shows up and plays whatever's lying around, making for a raw improv sound that is often focused on repetition and slight change more than endless momentum.

This is apparent from the get-go as "Run Run" features drums and guitar engaging in some pretty minimal dialogue. The guitars endless strumming of one chord rumbles on while the drums clatter along with it. Change does occur, but its more in the way the instruments are hit than in what's getting hit. Almost like some super minimal and loose Branca experiment or something, with a real focus on the repetitious aspects and the variations found within it. The next track is aptly named "Plum Blossom Killer," not necessarily because it sounds like one but because it's such a righteous name and the track is righteous as well. More or less all rhythm, the thing is a real experiment in garbage can gamelan, with some highly capable and taut drum work and odd inside of the piano (maybe?) strums. Nice little mini percussion orchestra thing, and again it goes nowhere, just drifting on nice and nimble-like, skeleton fever style. Seems to be a real focus here on digging themselves into a hole and setting up shop, which I'm all for. Refreshing to hear a rhythm thing too that doesn't veer into tribal pseudo-spirit conjuring. Just sounds straight fun to play in fact. Though I would say that by the end the plum blossoms are still in tact, if a bit loose on the vine.

The second side opens with an odd guitar and drum jangler called "Lady Hermit" that's odd as can be; angular and repetitive, the thing builds into some kind of crunchy take on minimal free jazz, almost like some Blue Humans thing or something. The drummer can really play here, and the odd meter and movement of the guitar lines are well on point. Nice and curious stuff that drifts on for a ways, cresting and crashing back to its origins over and over in some perverse take on verse chorus verse format. The closing "Black Butterfly" is a super stripped back drum, flute, trombone (?) thing that's equal parts Art Ensemble of Chicago and Chicago City Dump. Not unlike Alloy Orchestra's score for Man with a Movie Camera at parts actually. Clattery thumps and bumps accompany the spare order of the various tonalities before some wood block comes in to take it back inward. There's something very structured about all of this actually, almost meditative like some shakuhachi thing. Zen thing going on even, Monkish and ceremonial in the best kind of way. Get the feeling this could have gone on for eight hours, which is always a good feeling and a great way to end this one, which really has a fantastic overall shape and some spectacular moments in there. Nice. Posted by Henry Smith at 8:37 AM

Another record review!

Here you go, this one from Art For Spastics (a radio show/blog in Davis California):


From Portland comes the first vinyl full-length by a duo of experimental musicians calledHammer of Hathor. I have seen Heather Vergotis skronk supremely on a baritone sax that's over half as long as she is tall in bands like Evolutionary Jass Band andFly!Fly!Fly!Fly!Fly! (she's also done stints inJackie O. Motherfucker). Mark Kaylorhas performed in AU, Ghost to Falco,Portland Bike Ensemble, the Oregon Artificial Limb Co., and the rather creative sorta-HC band Cells. I first took a keener interest in Mark when I saw him perform in a duo called Haiku Ambulance which conjured ghosts in feedback so awesomely when they performed in the echoey Fools Foundation (r.i.p.) in Sacramento a few years ago. I first saw Mark and Heather perform together in Cex Fucx, rather the psych jamrock dance-party vibe-charmer band which also featured Gabriel Mindel of Yellow Swans. I feared that it would be way too cheesy, but there was a cumulative effect of awesomeness that broke like a wave over a crowd of sweaty kids at Funcastle last year. So, I've seen these two do it all in so many different bands, I never know what to expect next when they appear in new formations. To be sure, I did actually buy the first Hammer of Hathor tape at that Cex Fucx show, and due to the lossy type-I cassette format, it was probably the one thing that I've heard from either of them which failed to leave much of an impression on me. But the sound of Tooth Eeth or Teeth Ooth--produced by Mike Lastra at Smegma Studios--is very detailed, separated yet synergistic, timbrally rich (and thereby vibrant), and increasingly rewarding upon repeat listens. As an improvisational record, the album's neatly composed and interestingly paced, too...two songs per side; one more demanding and confrontational workout (A-side begins with hints of lurching doom; militaristic rigor on B) followed by a soothing meditative piece of audio-Calgon to sweep you into a dreamstate. Look for it wherever you buy Mississippi Records releases....this is distro'd through them.
  • As a one-time proper member of Au and founder of the infamous noise-mongers Cex Fucx and Thee Oregon Artificial Limb Co., Mark Kaylor's nonchalant, tribal drumbeats have probably found their way to your ears at some point.

    Now a father of an 8-month-old child, the past year has kept him home a bit more, but that doesn't mean his focus on music has wavered in the slightest. Hammer of Hathor is the domestic avant-noise child of Kaylor and his wife, Heather Vergotis, also of Cex Fucx and The Evolutionary Jass Band.

    The pieces usually come together in the sparse combination of drums and guitar, to slight and hypnotic effect. What seems disjointed becomes unified and built into smart, slowly escalating, well-paid-off minimalist jams. They've somehow found the time to press a new album, and will be playing a release show at Work Sound next week.

    Daily Vanguard: Where did you record the new album?
    Mark Kaylor:
    We have a studio at the Portland Cement Building. We recorded ourselves on reel-to-reel and had Mike Lastra from Smegma do the mixing for us. A lot of people will record analog but mix digitally and then have the lacquer master made from a CD. We're kind of purists as far as the sound of analog [goes]. We recorded on reel-to-reel, took those reels to Mike Lastra and he mixed them, with a little tweaking and his good ears, directly into two reels of quarter-inch tape. It was never digital.

    DV: Does Hammer of Hathor always try and avoid digital?
    MK:
    All of our other recordings are like that. We have three cassettes we've put out, the first one was actually recorded on a handheld on a trip we took to Montana to visit my sister and we call them Field Recordings. The second tape we made for our Italian tour, we recorded it in our bedroom on reel-to-reel. Those first two tapes got written up in Blow Up, which is the Italian version of The Wire, which is pretty cool. If we send stuff to The Wire, they probably won't do anything with it, but in Italy we sent two cassettes to Blow Up and someone actually listened to them. A lot of it has to do with the Italian fascination with Portland. There are a lot Portland bands that are pretty big there—Jackie-O Motherfucker, Rollerball, who we actually played a couple of shows with while we were there, and Larry Yes.

    DV: Why this Italian fascination with Portland bands?
    MK:
    For some reason a lot of Portland bands have gone there and had good success, and now I'm even thinking of Old Time Relijun as another example. Italy is really into newer music; I think all the bands I mentioned are sort of not straightforward. I thought it was really funny, [Hammer of Hathor] can send stuff to the local papers [Willamette Week, The Portland Mercury], like our record release show, and we could put on our press release all the bands we've played with, like Au—I played on every track on the last Au record, and both papers adore that record—but still neither paper will even mention [Hammer of Hathor's] record release show. And honestly, it's not that big of a deal for us, we're not bitter about it, but me and Heather always joke about how we're going to be the Dead Moon of avant-composed newer music. The ideas we're using aren't new, but the combinations of instruments and the way we employ sounds is pretty unique.

    DV: How long have you been playing music together?
    MK:
    Hammer of Hathor is a couple of years old now. We met a long time ago, but Heather was living in New York and she moved back to Portland, and she ended up renting a room in a house where I lived on Michigan Avenue. We put out a cassette or two and we toured Italy as a sax-and-drums group, sort of rootsy jazz I guess you could say. She was pregnant, so as her belly got bigger she couldn't play tenor sax anymore and she started playing guitar, and we've since abandoned playing jazz at all, even though that’s the music that's really informed us. Now we're in a new phase where the last couple of recordings have been sort of minimalist things. I think it’s kind of trance-y, psychedelic music sometimes. It’s been really satisfying for us because we have a young son who really takes up a lot of our time so we're able to still play music with each other.

    DV: Do you think your son will be a musician?
    MK:
    He plays the toy piano … he'll play the drums and cymbals. If he wants to play music, you never know with kids. I know a lot of musicians who have kids who don't end up playing music.

    DV: I guess you can't really do what your parents do.
    MK:
    Yeah, I mean sometimes that’s not the case. We envision a family band, like he's gonna be in Hammer of Hathor. At very least he's gonna unload the van and set my drums up. We'll see. He was present with every rehearsal and everything we recorded, asleep in the corner with hearing protection on. A lot of times it was like, “We need to get this one track done, please take a nap.” There’s this enormous amount of blood, sweat and tears with this record, every time I hear it I think about that.


another review!

Here's what Norma Records in the UK had to say:

Rating: ecstatic This record left our Business Lady feeling ecstatic.
'Tooth eeth or Tooth ooth' is the work of Mark E. Kaylor and Heather Vergotis under the guise of Hammer of Hathor. These two sonic experimentalist have been involved in a number of obscure and abstract acts such as; CexFucx, Thee Oregon Artificial Limb Co, Cells, Au, Rubella (my personal favourite), Bunny, solo, Kinetic Harpoon (not to be mistaken for my dad's band Kid Harpoon), Htoo Trio, Ghost to Falco, Portland Bike Ensemble, FlyFlyFlyFlyFly, Evolutionary Jass Band, Egon Hegone. I've not heard any of these groups/ensembles/whatever so i might not be the best person to evaluate the works of Hammer of Hathor. Saying that, i'm really enjoying this record. Things kick off with a heavily strained honk of a guitar tone that is eventually accompanied by some low down, dirty ass, sludgy rock drums. It's dirgy and hypnotic!! In contrast the second tune (no titles i'm afraid) is a lo-fi, pseudo african jam that includes a strange string instrument i don't recognize. It's loose and cheeky and we at Normo HQ are digging it. The second side introduces a crazy tune that sounds like Beefheart's band jamming on three beats of music in constant loop forever. Also reminds me of an Oxes riff but i can't put my finger on which. The last tune is suitably vague an intriguing with it's use of japanese style drum thumps and random pan pipe/flute playing. This eventually makes way for a flurry of timpani style cymbal splashes that further reinforce the idea that this is some kind of buddha jam. Thought you'd like to know that the vinyl is white, the label is white and the artwork is peachy white on a white. Well white and well good. Recommended (at least by me...)!

Oh, another review woo hoo!!

We sent a bunch of records to Alt Vinyl in the UK for distro and here's what they had to say on their website about the record:



"""""Absolutely stonking LP which comes on like Howlin' Wolf frozen in a block of ice, augmented by some filthy drumming and bizarre blissed-out tones that stretch and wobble messily about the air. Here's what the group have to say for themselves: "We be Mark E. Kaylor and Heather Vergotis. Instruments we have employed live and recorded: drumkit, random percussion, prepared banjos, Hungarian flutes, wood fife, tenor sax, clarinet, trombone, sousaphone, electric guitar, bass guitar, processed horns, acoustic guitar, tenor guitar, analog synthesizer, reel to reel tape loops........ Mark also plays/has played in CexFucx, Thee Oregon Artificial Limb Co., Cells, Au, Rubella, Bunny, solo, Kinetic Harpoon, Htoo Trio, Ghost to Falco, Portland Bike Ensemble, etc etc. Heather plays/has played in FlyFlyFlyFlyFly, CexFucx, Evolutionary Jass Band, Egon Hegone, etc etc.

Pretty cool."""""


Here's another offering sent to me by the Hammer of Hathor folks, Mark and Heather. Dug that last LP and it's no surprise that this one provides a similar strain, though the presentation here is a bit more constrained than on the other one. Apparently the duo used to be a sax and drum duet but when Heather got pregnant she couldn't manage the sax quite so well so she picked up a geetar, and what results here are some duets featuring Mark's fairly nimble rhythm work and Heather's wonderfully detuned guitar repetitions.

This is some tight stuff. Given how loose the general sound is the couple react on a dime to each other, settling into these little coves of repeated mantra stuff, Heather sounding like a stoned out Arto Lindsay and Mark giving it a real poly-rhythmic go-round, nice and grooving but without anything too firm to latch on to. Rather they both sort of get something going and then sit there, barely changing it at all but still maintaining freshness through tiny little differences within the very enacting of the looping. It's a surprisingly minimal and interesting approach, and the stuff has real life in its folds. While a lot of stuff like this tends toward the irritating end, either not sticking with the idea long enough or, conversely, sticking with it in too limited a scope, HoH finds a really funky in between spot that really has a lot of space for movement in its constrained universe. Each little piece is as chugging and confusing as the last, and Heather's damn good at proving that if you repeat it enough, it gets head-bobby. These lines are totally fried little things, but they keep going and eventually you'll be tapping your foot right along to its a-melodic anti-groove. And Mark fits right in as close as can be. A little release, but one that further demarcates the group's unique sound. Adding to the mystery, it's a c-30 on a c-90, so I guess there's plenty of room to try it out yourself if you want. Good luck though. Another cool one from these guys.

12" review by Foxy Digitalis!

Yes here's a review of the "tooth eeth or teeth ooth" record posted at Foxy Digitalis:

Hammer of Hathor "Tooth Eeth or Teeth Ooth"


This is one of the more hyper-minimal recordings I've heard in a while. In fact, it's more reminiscent of minimal musical experiments from the Fluxus movement than anything currently happening in the trends of experimental music. Seeing that this music was intentionally recorded and produced without any digital assistance further alludes to the feeling that these are sounds from some uncertain point in the past.

Hammer of Hathor are a duo made up of Heather Vergotis and Mark Kaylor, two individuals who have played in a wide range of bands in the Pacific Northwest. This is the 4th full length by the group, and the first that I've had a chance to hear. The way the band approaches each of the four tracks on the album seems similar- one or two segments of sound are repeated with little variation, pulling the listener into the pieces to notice any subtle shift of dynamics or movement in the sounds. The first song is made up of a single distorted guitar note rhythmically being hit with a varying degree of intensity. After a few minutes, plodding drums are added to the mix to create a unique, almost doom metal-ish feel. The second track feels like a playful take on gamelan percussion- a little repeated sequence of melodic plinks and plonks. Again, a very intentional pace is set which barely shifts throughout the piece.

The B-side presents a little more movement to things, particularly in the percussion department. The opener here is another guitar and drums jam, this time with the guitar plucking a couple more notes and the drumming focusing more on a march-like snare drum. The closing track is made of flute, horn and clashing percussion- building into a nice hypnotic whirl that is a quite effective closer.

"Tooth Eeth or Teeth Ooth" is a strange album that is bound to test the patience of a lot of listeners. I like that the band has a unique focus that I just don't hear a lot anymore. The intentionality of the music really forces me to pay closer attention to what this group is actually doing. While the record definitely did affect me, I'm still a little unsure how much I truly enjoyed it- and I kind of like that. It almost feels like I need a new set of rules to base my opinion on. 8/10 -- Charles Franklin (20 August, 2009)