Articles by Jared Dix
Pastoral is an intuitive interrogation of the national psyche, a compulsive repetition, ancient myths and cheap tv heritage, a panic attack in Poundland. It’s not an easy record, it’s short on catchy choruses and you can’t dance to it but it is really quite brilliant.
SUMAC have arrived at a wonderfully effective blend of long form structures and free improvised passages. They’ve harnessed that spontaneity to their own road map and found their way to their best record yet.
Á is a collection of dreamlike, beat less, vocal and theremin duets that explore its possibilities. Hekla summons an impressive range of sounds from bass drones to high end bleeps via smooth melodic arcs and mostly avoids the sinister clanger whistle and wobble of her instrument’s b-movie pigeonhole.
There Is No Elsewhere takes their unique blend of neo classical, electronica and post rock moves to new heights and broader horizons. It’s both more ambitious and more accomplished, a quietly astonishing record destined for discerning end of year lists.
Sonnborner, the 20th full length studio album from Aidan Baker’s doom-drone duo Nadja finds them pushing out at the edges of their usual ambient doom with mostly pleasing results.
The idea that Mogwai will one day make a really bad record seems to have faded away. They’re only human, surely that day must eventually come? It only makes sense, but we’re not there yet. ‘We’re Not Done’ indeed.
Claw Marks take a cracked bucket and mix filthy garage punk with noise rock and stir in matted tales of the uncanny and unwholesome.
They are the nation’s most convivial improvisatory noise band, an ecstatic and celebratory communion. A Dionysian ritual both pagan and post industrial. If you haven’t seen them, I urge you to remedy that situation at the soonest possible opportunity.
In the wake of a turbulent first half of 2018 and ahead of the release of their new live album, Jared Dix talks road accidents & music with Matt from Sly & The Family Drone.
It moves at a doom like crawl but without any of the steady, numbing comforts of doom riffs. Instead it maintains a high end horror scream as slabs of sound smack into you. It’s like a distressed animal hit by a car, howling in terror and rage as it drags its crushed lower half behind it along the road. ‘Blood Loss’ is an intense blast of crushing noise and wailing despair, an ideal soundtrack to some of our summers then.
Of the many great things filling this weekend few can be as illustrative of Supersonic’s approach and its audience than the closing headline acts. An English folk singer in her 80’s and an American black metal band might appear at the furthest poles from one another, but that a considerable proportion of us aren’t sure which we’ll choose to watch, and that the deep currents that connect them seem natural and obvious, says much for the spirit of the festival.
There are no 4/4 party bangers here, Power is an abstract and emotionally expressive album of joy, pain and transformation.
The world, I have often observed, is far stranger than the rational mind would allow. The dense web of source materials and curious obfuscations gathered here is one a determined investigator might unravel in a short time but to no great gain. They should not be permitted to detract from the power of the oracles themselves. The recordings here are hallucinatory and compelling pieces.
Steeped in a blend of cold war paranoia and space race possibility Waiting For The Bomb presents a supremely evocative set of cinematic miniatures, each one charming and individual but teeming with remarkable details on closer listens.
As a whole the EP is a smartly chosen and brilliantly reworked set of tunes. It appears I have underestimated a band dressed as shrubbery, how could such a thing have happened?
Intention or the ‘hand of the artist’ seem absent from the picture as if the tape had captured ghosts in the studio. The music is full of soft drones and washes of sound in which more recognisable instrumentation appears briefly before dissolving, Czukay’s beloved short wave radio burbles in from time to time.
Hundreds Of Days is a thing of delicate, shimmering beauty. It wraps around you like a warm breeze in an unfamiliar place. It’s your new favourite harp record.
Across the record their tunes unfold in an unhurried and slightly directionless manner, turning this way and that on a whim. The journey has no particular goal, it’s all about the ride.
On his horror soundtrack for Hereditary, Colin Stetson opts for mood and texture throughout and when he pushes the discomfort into noise it’s gratifyingly abrasive at the same time as being densely layered up.
Warmduscher front like a barely capable garage band but there’s a fistful of styles dragged though the grinder for this twisted song cycle. Each one coated in their unique grime and carried off with lopsided élan.
It’s possible to hear the last 30 to 40 years of American avant rock spooling through the background of this album; no wave and hardcore, math rock, post-rock, noise rock all feed into it but none of them overpower the band’s own voice.