This 2006 re-release of an earlier two-song collaboration between England's ultimate drone
outfit and Tulsa, Oklahoma's one and possibly only avant-garde record label owner is easily
the most intense and thorough investigation of the power of the slow burn. These two tracks,
along with a additional track, remixed recently for good measure, add up to 40-plus minutes
of drawn out wailing tones, a musical equivalent of the shimmering, cascading Aurora Borealis,
hovering in the night air like a dream.
While Rameses III has been slowly accumulating amazing releases over the past 10 years*, the
North Sea (mainly the work of Digitalis Industries co-founder Brad Rose) has quickly and
seemingly effortlessly compiled a massive and diverse discography, not including the score
of other projects that Mr. Rose is involved in or has started himself (see Ajilvsga, the
Corsican Paintbrush, Akhet, Alligator Crystal Moth, etc, etc, etc.) But it is definitely a
meeting of equals; a meeting of giants with this record and once met, these giants proceed
to slowly set fire to the world, as they lull it to sleep with their songs.
In the first track, "Death of the Ankou", flutes and violins and bells and strange Dr.
Seuss-like horns dance slowly underneath a streaming pulse of tones and E-bow vibrations.
There is no sense of hurry, only a building intensity and a seamless journey through the
almost eighteen minute track. With the second piece, "Night Blossoms Written in Sanskrit",
there is a bit more traditional structure with an acoustic instrument strumming gracefully
in the background, as tones rise and fall about, like long-distance trumpeters communicating
in long blasts. When this structure eventually disintegrates into the ether, there is a left
a whirlpool of sounds, bordering on the most ambient of ambient, but still grounded in the
organic sounds of some acoustic instruments. It is as if they captured the sounds of the
world within a giant reverb box and you are trapped within as well. The final track comes
the closest to the work of other artists, evoking visions of Sigur Ros experimenting further
with the sounds they had falsely thought were experimental enough. This eight minute track,
pulled together by Type Records boss John Xela is the Reader's Digest condensed version of
the album, and if it were the only piece of music you heard by these amazing artists, you
could die happy.
* Note: Rameses III had only actually been releasing records for 5 years by this point,
although we had released music under other guises before that.
Wednesday 2 August 2006