Jim White

All Hits: Memories (Drag City)

Contact Yuri Kwon about Jim White

Today, veteran drummer Jim White announces his first-ever solo album  All Hits: Memories, out March 29th via Drag City, and shares the lead single, “Names Make The Name.” All Hits: Memories is a landmark release from White, who has become universally known as one of the greatest drummers alive for his work with the bands Dirty Three, Venom P Stinger, Xylouris White, and Springtime, as well as with other artists such as Cat Power, Mary Margaret O’Hara, PJ Harvey, and Drag City stalwarts Bill Callahan and Bonnie “Prince” Billy. The touch sought by all these artists takes center stage on All Hits: Memories.


Callahan, longtime friend and collaborator, puts it:


This is long overdue.  I mean, looooooonnnnnng overdue. A solo album by Jim.


The trap kit—so straightforward, so mysterious. What’s inside those things? Air and light—from which century? Which continent? Depending on how and when you hit them, it can be a vibration sent through a prehistoric breath… the dead, wet leaves you walked through on the way to the first day of school. These are the memories of the drums on this record. Infinite and personal. Editing each other as they muscle to the front or soft shoe to the shadow. Drums are the instrument where you can feel the presence of the player the most—the full body—and sense the thoughts of the player the most. The instrument with the most choices to be made sends out the most brainwaves. A bouquet of brainwaves is on this LP.


Jim oversees it all, surveys from the lost place we’re in, the void – the drumless song. We trust. We trust, Jim. His big green eyes search for the right tool (mallet, brush, etc), eyes that search you like you’re a song he wants to join, wants to see if he can add to or understand.


Before humans, drums were playing – these drums. Genesis was a solo drum piece. After humans, these drums, this album. Someone – the last man – is out in a spaceship at the edge of space. He plays a single chord on a synth to set time free from its bind and then lets go. This album sets time free, lets it frolic, lets it graze, lets it remember.


This is a record of thoughts, memories, surgery. A deft surgical operation you may not even realize is happening as it’s happening but you’re back on your feet when it’s over. Memories refreshed.


On All Hits: Memories, Jim rides a lifetime’s worth of technique over an eruption of expression. Each piece provides a portal for recollections and emotions brushed onto the kit and into the light of day via Jim’s unremitting musical  imagination. The lead single and video, “Names Make the Name,” casts abstractions of shadow and light, outlining an identity formed by multiple identities; over keyboards  treated with subtle reverbs, edits and overdubs the song modulates through layers of time remembered, truncated, deleted. In step with Jim’s moody drums-and more confection, Tran and Masami Tomihisa‘s video marches the viewer through an abandoned wonderland with serpentine fascination.


All Hits: Memories was engineered and produced by Jim White and Guy Picciotto, who also co-wrote six songs on the record together.