Ambertron is the first full-length album by Mint Mile, a musical concern from Chicago, Illinois.
Amber is a preservative. It’s used to hold things in suspension, to keep them still forever so they can be examined and appreciated. It imparts a tint to what it holds.
-tron is a suffix indicating an instrument.
Art is an ambertron. Bands are ambertrons.
Mint Mile is helmed by Tim Midyett, who spent eighteen years in the acclaimed Silkworm, eight more in the critically lauded Bottomless Pit and currently plays bass with SUNN O)))).
After three four-song EPs in as many years, Mint Mile piles up the tunes on Ambertron with over an hour of music across this sprawling, dare-we-say epic double LP. From stripped-down twisters to languid drifters to opulent jams alternately joyous, gripped, hopeful and desolate, Ambertron explores the optimistic, rueful space between the personal and global, the emotional and political, and the places (sometimes dark) where memory and reality meet and sometimes disagree with each other.
Baritone guitar, pedal steel, rock solid rhythms predominate, with keyboards, strings, horns, and atmosphere woven into the mix as expert spices.
The Mint Mile cast includes:
-Tim Midyett (Silkworm, Bottomless Pit, SUNN O)))) sings and plays mostly baritone guitar.
-Jeff Panall (Songs: Ohia) is on drums.
-Justin Brown (Palliard) plays pedal steel, most of the electric guitar, and dobro.
-Matthew Barnhart (Tre Orsi) handles almost all bass and most of the engineering.
-Howard Draper (Shearwater, Tre Orsi) does his magic spackling thing.
-Greg Norman (Bitter Tears) plays the trumpet.
Mint Mile were fortunate to be enlivened by a variety of talented guests, from corners of music as varied as Helen Money (Alison Chesley), Poi Dog Pondering (Susan Voelz), modern classical music (Mabel Kwan), and Glen Hansard’s band (Rob Bochnik). Then there’s the all-world vocalist Kelly Hogan, with whom Tim was thrilled to work again, after her contributions to Silkworm’s Italian Platinum so long ago.