For me the beauty of a record like this is that showcases the true, raw power of the electric guitar. I love drone of all sorts but there's something that draws me and allures me to the guitar, maybe just because i play it myself and have a little empathy for anyone else working in the same paradigms, but more so i think because there's something way more organic about it than anything synth or computer generated. I guess i'm just old world that way, but i can't let go of the idea that the feedback puked up from hot, screaming guitar pickups is somehow more natural and beautiful than anything run through a computer or processed a million times backwards and forwards. There's an immediacy on this record that belies its creation; this is totally of the moment, improv fury of the most avant sort, the idea that Neil Young had in his head when he set out to create "Arc" so long ago. Albums like this are Neil's promise fulfilled, the arrogance of volume tempered by the dream of structure and shape. Listening to this is like standing in a wind tunnel in the middle of the Sahara-it's hot and evil and forcing its way down on you and there is no resistance. Marhaug and Hegre are in primal ooze rock territory here, the absolute beginning of everything, where it was all a shapeless quivering mass of potential, before the notion of "song" became something other than sound. Regressing into the past like this is nothing new-there are tons of bands that let things degenerate for the sake of brainfucking (the Melvins being the best example)-but there's something deathly serious about the three pieces making up "Musica Non Grata." It reads more like a challenge to convention and a confronting of ideas than a simple tromp through the drone-o-sphere. This record demands your consideration as well as your attention, and it will transport you to a different headspace than the one where you started. I don't know where everyone individually will come out, but for me the other side looks a hell of a lot cooler.
Thursday, March 24, 2011
JAZKAMER "MUSICA NON GRATA" (Pica Disk)
"Music not welcome." Love it. Especially when it's as massive and immersive as this slab of pure electric drone fielding from the mighty Jazkamer. Near one hour of three vicious chunks of feedback terror, shot through with so much tension it feels like the record's going to snap in half of its own accord. Shit is fucking hot, simmering, bubbling, fierce to the ear and scorching to the touch. Listen to this through a pair of headphones and make your brain boil. Let it melt and let yourself recede into that gulf where you can sometimes get to if the guide is steeped in enough arcane sound lore. This is a buzzing, densely packed jungle and you're dropped right in the darkest heart.