Cloud to Ground
Minibus Pimps is a duo featuring the legendary John Paul Jones -- former bassist in Led Zeppelin -- and prolific electronic musician, improviser, and producer Helge Sten (Deathprod, Supersilent), which has existed since its first performance in 2011. The debut album Cloud to Ground contains seven tracks, all recorded live at different venues, from London's Café Oto to venues in Norway and Denmark. The secret of Minibus Pimps' colossal sonic gas giants is their use of the Kyma computer system (created by Symbolic Sound). Instruments such as guitar, bass and violin are fed into the system and radically transformed by self-designed digital instruments and processors until their sources are barely recognizable. This method continues John Paul Jones' experiments with computer music which began as far back as the late '70s. With titles referencing what scientists call "remarkable luminous phenomena in nature," the tracks are scintillating exercises in bending timbres and refracting sound signals. "Black Aurora" is an electronic suite in four movements, pulsing and hovering like some collapsing dark star. The title-track is a monstrous duet for icicles and cathedral organ, and the other pieces are masses of sound and noise explored in different densities. John Paul Jones played as a session musician with Donovan, Herman's Hermits, Jeff Beck, Françoise Hardy, and many others until co-founding Led Zeppelin with Jimmy Page. He has collaborated or produced a range of artists including Diamanda Galás, R.E.M., Foo Fighters, Peter Gabriel, Paul McCartney, and many more. His most recent group is Them Crooked Vultures. Helge Sten has been making electronic music since the early '90s, both under the name Deathprod and, since 1997, as a member of the improvising group Supersilent. One of Norway's most innovative and uncompromising artists, his "audio virus" has spread across the music of many collaborators including Motorpsycho, Susanna, Biosphere, and more.