In 2008, the core trio that make up Woven Skull began gathering together in the home of two of the members, set deep in the bogs and forests of County Leitrim: an empty, sparse area in the northwest of Ireland known for its myths of banshees and tales of lake monsters. Several years experimenting with combinations of instrumentation, kitchen utensils, seashells, footsteps, chimes, recordings of cats purring and frogs mating led to their current sound which combines densely propulsive guitar, distorted mandola and endless cyclical rhythms. Woven Skull strip and scrape what they can out of minimal instrumentation to teeter on the brink of total sonic meltdown creating engulfing, raw primal drones and damaged rock manoeuvres; the result of which has often been described as the traditional music of a self-imagined land. This sound draws on the influences of the combined backgrounds of the trio with Aonghus (guitar) and Willie (percussion) born and bred in Dublin and Natalia (mandola) born in Ukraine and raised in Baltimore, Maryland. Beaten through strings and blasted through amplifiers in a live setting, the group (whose members can swell from 3 to 4 or 6 or 10) meld repetitions that spiral through each other to create multiple layers of beautiful but harsh entrapments.
Along the way Woven skull have collaborated with such artists as Daniel Higgs, Mike Gangloff, Neil Campbell, Core of the Coalman and Paul leBrecque among others. Many of these collaborations have been documented on limited cassette and cdr releases.
They have also played on line ups alongside Richard Dawson, Six Organs of Admittance, Eternal Tapestry, Circuit Des Yeux and Liturgy to name but a few.
The band tour extensively, embarking on at least two tours of the UK, Ireland and main-land Europe annually alongside a number one-off festival dates.
“Woven Skull’s edge comes from their ability to rock without rocking, squeezing unexpected sounds from their relatively minimal setup (they don’t appear to do much when it comes to effects pedals). Woven Skull always manage to feel their way into some dead trippy corners”-The Quietus
“the trio skitter confidently in a roving trance across loose ragas, spliced field recordings and a range of exotic wind and percussion, creating an atmosphere that nicely cushions sections of more intensive kosmiche meditation”-Decoder magazine
“the band recall the ramshackle anthems of Exuma and the spirited improv of Six Organs Of Admittance, suggesting that without furious discipline they can make very beautiful sounds. It’s within them to make pretty music, but for the most part Lair Of The Glowing Bantling sounds like it’s shaking itself from nightmare to existence.”-Norman Records
“Maybe it’s because Woven Skull have recorded stuff in dark haunted woods and the attics of abandoned houses that has lent them such an otherworldly air. Or maybe it’s because they’ve spent years experimenting with recordings of cats purring and frogs mating that have given them their edge, but whatever it is they’ve piqued interest far beyond Ireland. Using mandolins, guitars and drums, their latest album is a trip in every sense of the world, taking listeners on a wild ride into some polyrhythmic pastures”
-The Crack magazine
“ it’s so beautiful it makes my withered old heart soar. I love these people and I love their music and the world is just immeasurably better for having Woven Skull in it.”
“Ireland’s Woven Skull are another level of magnificent blasted noise altogether, through distorted guitar, stripped-down drum kit, mandola and viola lock into a discordant mantra with an eastern edge, building and building and building some more, until you’re swept up in something truly transcendental………It’s absolutely fucking incredible, folk music at it’s most irregular, from the demonic mandola solo that flashed in and out of a wall of feedback, to the best drum solo ever played on just a floor tom and a cymbal.”