Wrekmeister Harmonies

The shape-shifting drone, modern classical, outrock and extreme metal collective, led by the enigmatic and visionary musician JR Robinson, came into chaotic life in 2006 with the modus operandi of performing and recording long pieces in museums, mausoleums and other impressive public spaces. J.R. Robinson perceives life as a long, gradual process of decay. Lightness fades into darkness, while innocence succumbs to the evils of modern society. His music reflects not only this worldview but his emotional response to it.

Over three inimitable albums, released at a feverish pace (You’ve Always Meant So Much to Me, 2013; Then It All Came Down, 2014; Night of Your Ascension, 2015) JR proved himself to be a master collaborator - curating and orchestrating the talents of such varied underground luminaries as Jef Whitehead of Leviathan; Alexander Hacke of Einstürzende Neubauten; David Yow of The Jesus Lizard; Chip King and Lee Buford of The Body; Marissa Nadler; Sanford Parker of Minsk; the free-improv cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm; Chris Brokaw of Codeine; and jazz composer Ken Vandermark.

Following the critical success of last year’s Night Of Your Ascension, which featured no less than 30 musicians, JR felt it was time to seek out new methods, processes and creative strategies. Focusing his energies on a smaller collective.

Wrekmeister Harmonies is performing with the core members JR (vocals, guitar) and Esther Shaw (keyboards, piano, violin, vocals) in 2017.


"Wrekmeister's new album 'Light Falls' which features members of Godspeed You! Black Emperor, coheres beautifully into a meditation on the banality of evil." - Pitchfork

"Since the project’s beginnings in Chicago around a decade ago, Wrekmeister Harmonies has been mulled, revered, and critically acclaimed." - The Quietus

"I’m watching Wrekmeister Harmonies perform In front of a rapt audience, they create 30 unbroken minutes of musical catharsis. Just as quickly, the towering enigma (JR Robinson) and his multi-instrumentalist foil descend the stage, leaving Robinson’s mystery wholly intact." - Invisible Oranges

"...a diverse and rotating collective of musicians known for exploring the darker side of life and the human condition through slow-building, atmospheric music." - VICE



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