The Bug vs Earth – Concrete Desert

bugearthI have long loved both The Bug and Earth, obviously for very different reasons. The Bug’s London Zoo in particular was righteous in its wrath and groovy in its execution, whilst Earth’s catalogue (particularly since the comeback) is one often inducive to deep relaxation and meditation. You might not think they would make obvious collaborators, in other words.

Of course, if my finger ever came out of its shell-like and went and tried to find the pulse, then I might have been aware that this has been brewing a while since they did a single a little way back.

On this release, Kevin Martin seems to work to Dylan Carlsons’ strengths, letting the guitarist dictate the pace whilst he complements the tones with a sound that I find myself calling glacial paranoia. The grooves are there, but they’re dialled back. It’s about the atmosphere, which is dark and resonant. Ambient industrial grime, if you want a label.

Despite the fact that the times we live in are frankly a riot of chaos, I could imagine this as a surreal soundtrack to them.

 

 

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Selim Lemouchi & his Enemies

lemouchiimageThe first time I listened to ‘Earth Air Spirit Water,’ I wasn’t really sure what to make of it.

The second time I listened, I was floored.

Opener ‘Chiaroscuro’ has to be one of the most outrageously ambitious pieces of music I’ve ever heard, and definitely one of my current favourites. It’s a repetitive three chord riff where the progression from chord one to two doesn’t seem obvious, and although the third chord resolves it, it’s hard to tell in which chords favour, suggesting the best kind of resolution. And the gradual progression of more and more vocals in separate layers just adds to the ecstasy. Yes, ecstasy. This music is ecstatic.

Which makes it incredibly ironic that he killed himself the not long after this came out (I only found that out when researching this post).

Sonically, some of the tunes remind me of 80s prog (think Rush from this period) whilst the latter part of the album has a similar atmosphere to Polvo’s 2009 comeback album (which is also very decent, btw) although the song constructions are very different, and this is heavier. Much heavier.

Here’s one of the tunes in video:

and here’s the album: