New Villager “Rich Doors”


A friend put “Rich Doors” on a recent mix (the song kills…), reminding me of how I posted about New Villager back in January, so I thought I’d repost the original and include another jam, “Genghis On” as well.
Original post:
I just picked up my own limited edition, hand-numbered copy of NewVillager’s 7″ Rich Doors through twosyllable records – perhaps you should too?

From Brooklyn, NewVillager is Jess Bromley and Ross Simonini and the dudes know how to do that whole ‘blog thang’.

New Villager “Rich Doors”

New Villager “Genghis On”

… on the origin of ‘NEWVILLAGER’:
Excerpted from the article, NewVillager Shakes Its Finger At Pop’s Lucid Dream: “Buried deep in the American memory hole is this thing called NewVillager that threatens to—if not watched, and studied, and cornered—collapse all that is around it in on itself. NewVillager is, as you no doubt know, a part of a tradition that begins with Villager. Continued to Villager 2. And VillagerVillager. And VillagersAgain. And now to NewVillager. The Villager tradition ingests itself periodically, in its way following the model created by the Puerto Rican pop group Menudo. In fact, the only major difference between the process by which Menudo evolves and the way a Villager iteration forms is the Villager commitment to what they refer to as Radical Parthenogenesis.” — Matthew Simmons, The Daily Press, Escanaba Michigan, April 15, 1985

What (usually critical?) critics are saying about NewVillager:

“NewVillager, who recently played with Brooklyn dream-weavers High Places, can be forgiven a little bravado– especially when it’s sort of justified. “Rich Doors” starts with clanging Hot 97 percussion and shape-shifting electronics, then drags the whole thing through drifting, effects-soaked translucence. The bright earworm of a melody reminds of nothing so much as (sorry) “Truly Madly Deeply”, but the production is, well, “rich” enough you can forget I ever said that.” – Pitchfork

“There is no you in NewVillager, but there is a we. Your job thenceforth will be that of the bodhisattva, the guru, the gap-toothed docent with a serious thing for Whistler’s Mother. There will be others, newervillagers than yourself, who never stood a chance either. Only through them do you stand any hope of tracing your footsteps back to where you began.” – Daniel Levin Becker, L.H.O.O.Quarterly

“[Rich Doors] shifts enough to initially demand dancing from all of the ears it retains to leaving you standing still, trapped inside your own head with ambient melodies promoting that type of intellectual floating. The duo are on the upswing, releasing a 7″ via Two Syllable and slowly turning the heads of all those who listen.” –

“Ben Bromley and Ross Simonini seem determined to fuck with the face of dance music. Rich Doors does just that, kicking off confidently with a stomping beat that leads you to believe things are about to get mental, but instead surprises you with the soft kiss of sweet, interweaving vocals and electronic atmospherics that combine to sound like a club hit beamed in from the dance floor of some distant planet. Not that I’m trying, but I can’t seem to get this one out of my head.”

“NewVillager is a mythology: the Black Crow Boy, before he takes that name, wakes from a dream and is met by the Bright Man, who, he discovers, has been visiting him in the night. He learns of the “Bright Thirteen,” the “Lighthouse,” and “the Four Substances.” These ideas excite him to follow a series of threads toward a still unknown end. Will he summon the strength to fulfill the prophecy? Will he plant his ideas in the ground and bring life to the New Village? Ben Bromley and Ross Simonini, for their part, are exploring the mythology through songwriting, technology, video, art, and lifestyle. For the last few years they have been working in the forest, by the sea, and in the city.” -NewVillager

“NewVillager (should be said as one word, like “Terwilliger”) is the musical project of Ben Bromley and Ross Simonini, two multi-instrumentalists who remain friends. Goalball is a game designed for the blind, kind of like handball. A lot of good bands came out of the goalball scene back in ‘83, ‘85—the Sweetie Motions, the Sans Larrys—and NewVillager listened to all of them, mostly in Ross’s car, a Karmann Ghia he bought from Ben’s mom, against the wishes of Ben’s dad. They formed the band to carry that torch forward, and started out playing low-level Goalball tournaments, rigged games in bad neighborhoods, but Goalball is supposed to be played in total silence, because the ball has bells on it. They should have known; it was a tough time for the two of them, tougher than most. The thing is, they listened, they soaked it up, the sound of that ball and its bells, and then they went into the woods and wrote a record. Everything matters, is the point, even when you’re in the woods and your name implies isolated tribesmen. It’s like George Steiner says: ‘Explorers’ postulates about totally isolated tribes, about corners of tropical forest or mountain innocent of any contact with the outside are largely spurious. Good shivery stuff for the glossy magazines. How word sped across the barbed lines of mutually incomprehensible tongues, how iron utensils from the distant fringe stations came to be found in the inmost of the Mato Grosso, was something of a riddle. But the facts were certain. News could tear like invisible fire through thicket and across cataracts. You had only to listen and it came humming back.'” -Jordan Bass, Philadelphia Herald-Times, Sept 25th 2008

“Take the intensity of a severe marijuana-induced panic attack. Now sap it of all anxiety: only a supercharged, translucent husk remains. Meet the New Villager: Seal, the performer, blissed-out and fetally coiled in the trunk of a black 1992 Audi sedan. NewVillager are only the most prominent members in a slew of new bands in the loosely affiliated “Diet Shaman” movement. A self-described “rag-tag crew,” Spielberg won’t touch them. NewVillager’s music creates a hot, moist aura that actually reduces the appetite and tends to increase physical activity. Sexual intercourse and modern dance become indistinguishable. Would you like a falafel sandwich as tall as a mangrove, filled with curried, salted plant stamens? The sandwich shakes with frequencies that bake in the mozzarella, turning the cheese a deep golden brown.”-Andrew Leland, Chief Film Critic, The Uncle-Valley Herald, October 6th, 2008

“Je n’ai jamais fait l’amour doux que l’exubérant avec des sons de New Villager qui coule à travers le haut-fi.” – Scheherezade Blum, editor, New Seine Review, Sept 27th 2008

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