NEW MUSIC: Earth – Cats On The Briar

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It’s hard to believe it’s been five years since Earth released their last LP, Primitive And Deadly. The great news this morning is that a brand new album, Full Upon Her Burning Lips is set for release on May 24th.

Earth are Dylan Carlson on guitar and bass and Adrienne Davies on drums and percussion,

Here’s the first taste of the album with the track ‘Cats On The Briar’. It’s typical Earth though there’s more body and swirling melody to this compared to some of their more desolate work.

“I wanted this to be a ‘sexy’ record, a record acknowledging the ‘witchy’ and ‘sensual’ aspects in the music… sort of a ‘witch’s garden’ kind of theme, with references to mind altering plants and animals that people have always held superstitious beliefs towards. A conjuror or root doctor’s herbarium of songs, as it were,” Dylan Carlson says of the record’s aspirations.

Preorder Album

1. Datura’s Crimson
2. Exhaltation of Larks
3. Cats on the Briar
4. The Color of Poison
5. Descending Belladonna
6. She Rides
7. Maidens Catafalque
8. An Unnatural Carousel
9. The Mandrake’s Hymn
10. A Wretched Country of Dusk

NEWS: Dylan Carlson (Earth) Announces Solo LP

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Dylan Carlson, he of the slow motion, distorted, drag and drone guitar soundscapes, has announced a new solo album, his first under his own name. Apart from a now quarter century of Earth albums he has also recorded under the drcarlsonalbion, releasing the soundtrack for the film Gold and a smattering of other projects.

Conquistador will be released on the Sargent House label on April 27th.

PREORDER

NEW MUSIC: The Bug Vs Earth – Snakes Vs Rats from their new LP Concrete Desert

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Dylan Carlson (Earth) has once again teamed up with The Bug’s Kevin Martin (Techno Animal, Ice, God, Razor X, King Midas Sound), this time for a full-length LP called Concrete Desert. The album also features guest vocals from Justin Broadrick from Jesu/Godflesh etc on two tracks. Below you can hear the first taste of the album – ‘Snakes Vs Rats’.

Martin says that the album is in some ways a Los Angeles-set companion piece to London Zoo. The record’s beautiful, chiming melodies are like shards of sonic light, glowing in currents of heavy bass darkness. There are pulsing soundscapes, ambient pinks and whites, and irresistible grooves. This is music that grips you entirely, and catches you in its lava-flow – an astonishing, primal album of vast depth.

Inspired by J.G. Ballard’s urban dystopias, Concrete Desert could be understood as reflecting a “mistrust of “Hollywoodisms”, the shadow of Hollywood fantasy that looms large over life in LA, and the USA in general. “Dylan’s a master at amplifying the flavour of America,” Martin says, “but not the side we see in this Trump climate.” For Martin, the “American dream is like a nightmare under Trump” but Dylan captures the “best side of that dream, a utopian openess…I hear the writing of Cormac McCarthy in his music. His playing conjures deserts, and wide open spaces.”

Concrete Desert is out 24th March via Ninja Tune. Preorders available HERE

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ALBUM REVIEW: Earth – Primitive and Deadly

Rating8Earth-Primitive-And-Deadly-ArtworkIn 2005, out of the ashes of Earth’s first phase of existence as a band immersed in heavy metallic drone, came a new beast. Still laden with slow-crawling repetition this was drone with quite different colours, textures and most significantly elegant desert-parched melodies that hung in the air rather than being sucked into a dense morass of guitars. With each album over the last decade Dylan Carlson has stealthily explored similar dusty landscapes but Primitive and Deadly feels like the start of a new chapter.

The most obvious change is the addition of vocals and on two tracks Mark Lanegan is the perfect foil to Carlson’s primal, monolithic rumblings. He sounds as ancient as the music and never intrudes on the slow motion heavy metal riffs and sustained, distorted notes. ‘Rooks Across The Gates’ is the better of the two with his voice woven into the song rather than sounding like it was added to a pre-existing one. The epic eleven and a half minutes of ‘From The Zodiacal Light’ is the defining centrepiece of the album with Shaheen Qazi (Rose Windows) providing mystical, swirling, mantra-styled singing on a song that subtly morphs between great beauty and more doom-laden sonic gestures.

The success of Primitive and Deadly lies in Carlson deciding to evolve the Earth sound after it felt like it was threatening to become Earth-by-numbers. He has done that and done it exceedingly well, combining ethereality, weight and grace on an album that caresses with a sledgehammer in grand hypnotic fashion.

Chris Familton

this review was first published on undertheradar.co.nz 

http://rd.io/x/QUN9AiIY_Ks/

 

NEW MUSIC: Earth | From The Zodiacal Light

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I was lucky enough to witness Earth live in concert in Sydney last night and it was a totally absorbing and sonically hypnotic experience with the Dylan Carlson-led trio playing a cross-section of music from across the second incarnation of the band’s existence. A few new songs were aired which sounded as good as anything else they’ve done. The new album Primitive and Deadly is out in September via Southern Lord and here’s the first taste of it in the form of ‘From The Zodiacal Light’. Oh, and that’s the stunning album artwork above.

2012 | Twenty First Half Favourites

We’re already half away through 2012, crazy huh? It felt like it was a slow start to the year in terms of standout album releases but slowly things have picked up pace and some (in our ears) essential purchases have emerged. Here, in no particular order are twenty LPs that have captured our attention over the last six months.

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LAMBCHOP | MR. M

This is their best since Nixon, majestic, intimate and ethereal.

NEIL YOUNG & CRAZY HORSE | AMERICANA

The long awaited return of Crazy Horse to the NY fold and they recommence work with brilliant primitive garage rock interpretations of folk classics.

EARTH | ANGELS OF DARKNESS, DEMONS OF LIGHT II

Dylan Carlson and co continue to explore parched and ghostly americana doom.

SHACKLETON | MUSIC FOR THE QUIET HOUR

This music for the head, food for the ears and possesses an astonishing range of electronic composition.

TORCHE | HARMONICRAFT

The sludge metallers continue to refine their heaviosity with their most realised collision of melody and surging heavy rock.

JOSEF VAN WISSEM & JIM JARMUSCH | CONCERNING THE ENTRANCE INTO ETERNITY

A fascinating journey into experimental post rock with this collaboration between a lutist and the acclaimed indie film director on electric guitar.

DR JOHN | LOCKED DOWN

The Night Tripper hooks up with a Black Key and produces his finest work in years. New Orleans voodoo swamp blues and jazz at its finest.

SINEAD O’CONNOR | HOW ABOUT I BE ME (AND YOU BE YOU)?

O’Connor gets personal and raw on one of her best collection of songs in years. FULL REVIEW

OREN AMBARCHI | AUDIENCE OF ONE

Ambarchi’s exquisitely recorded guitar compositions are stretched fleshed out with vocals, whirs and patter making this his most holistic release to date.

DEEP SEA ARCADE | OUTLANDS

Sydney quintet Deep Sea Arcade deserve to top charts and win hearts with this stellar collection of infectious indie guitar pop. FULL REVIEW

FATHER JOHN MISTY | FEAR FUN

Josh Tillman discards his dark stark folk and reveals an album brimming with hooks and a sharp wit. FULL REVIEW

SUZY CONNOLLY | NIGHT LARKS

An early candidate for my album of the year. Night Larks is heartfelt and mature songwriting of the highest order. This will take up residency in your heart and ears. FULL REVIEW

THE CARETAKER | PATIENCE (AFTER SEBALD)

Arcane, lost and forgotten sounds in a bed of crackle and hiss. Pick the right time (night, wine and headphones) and prepare to be transported through space and time.

DAMIEN JURADO | MARAQOPA

Jurado follows up his excellent Saint Bartlett with another LP of classic troubadour songs, this time a tad more psychedelic and swirling in the hands of collaborator Richard Swift.

OPOSSOM | ELECTRIC HAWAII

Essentially the solo project of ex Mint Chick Kody Nielson, this is technicolor pop music at its finest. FULL REVIEW

THE MEN | OPEN YOUR HEART

A real mix of post punk, hardcore and indie rock. The songs tumble from the speakers leaving a trail of carefree gems scattered in their wake. FULL REVIEW

PUBLIC IMAGE LTD | THIS IS PIL

The return of John Lydon and his band of merry men and what a welcome return with this dub heavy excursion into indie, post punk, industrial rhythms and rhymes.

JUSTIN TOWNES EARLE | NOTHING’S GONNA CHANGE THE WAY YOU FEEL ABOUT ME NOW

Earle is now beginning to expand his sound, taking it into Memphis soul territory with horns aplenty and a bigger band sound to match his outstanding country and folk songwriting abilities. FULL REVIEW

CHARLIE HORSE | I HOPE I’M NOT A MONSTER

A record from Sydney’s Blue Mountains that takes strong and sultry country rock vocals and marries them to some Peter Buck and Neil Young guitar anthems in waiting. FULL REVIEW

VCMG | SSSS

Who’d have thought original Depeche Moders Martin Gore and Vince Clarke would collaborate again/ They did and the results were surprisingly dark and fun on this techno collision between two stalwarts of modern electronic pop music. FULL REVIEW

NEWS: Earth have a new album coming…

Pretty damn excited to wake up on this friday morning to the news that Earth have a new record in the can and will be releasing it in February via Southern Lord.

Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light: I was produced and recorded at Avast Studios in Seattle,Washington by Stuart Hallerman (notable engineer behind Earth 2), featuring the following line-up.

Adrienne Davies – trap kit and percussives
Dylan Carlson – electric guitar and devices
Lori Goldston – cello and devices
Karl Blau – electric bass guitar

Apparently British prog folk and the Tuareg desert blues of Tinariwen were influences on the album. Can’t wait to hear this one…

Tracklisting

01 Old Black
02 Father Midnight
03 Descent to the Zenith
04 Hell’s Winter
05 Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light 1

REVIEW: EARTH vs BRIGHTBLACK MORNING LIGHT

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Listening to both these records over the weekend I sensed a real connection and some common threads running between the two of them.  Made from two different environments and perspectives but sharing some of the same sonic aesthetics, they are disparate personalites travelling on opposite sides of the same road, with the same destination.

Earth is a band that revolves around Dylan Carlson, the one constant member since the formation of the band in Olympia, Washington back in 1991.  Their sound has slowly evolved from dense, suffocating drone metal to the more structured grandeur of the last three years.  In this time they have released three brilliant records with Hex: Or Printing in the Infernal Method, Hibernaculum and now The Bees Made Honey

Brightblack Morning Light formed more recently in 2001 and revolve around the New Mexico duo of Nathan Shineywater and Rachael Hughes.  Their first full length was Ala.Cali.Tucky under the name Brightblack, followed by the self titled Brightblack Morning Light and now the new Motion to Rejoin.

Earth operate as a purely instrumental band, using large dynamics, repetition and drone as the constant tools to create an atmosphere.  One that conjures up images of bold landscapes, impending doom and the parched and windswept American desert.  Brightblack on the other hand use a different kind of drone and repetition.  Theirs is a drifting, woozier haze.  Their desert is drowning in the twilight, or shimmering in the glow of the last rays of the day.  It doesn’t quite produce the same feelings of dread or of marching into danger but it is still nonetheless unsettling.

Earth’s evolution has seen the inclusion of a wider palette of instruments.  We hear piano, organ and glockenspiel chiming with and against guitar tones that shimmer darkly.  Tones that have the same depth and grit as those Neil Young conjured up for the Dead Man soundtrack.  The hymnal twang that Carlson creates reverberates and swells through the canyons in almost slow motion.  The sound is mesmerizing in that you feel like you are slowly being led somewhere against your will, towards the end of the earth, it’s a feeling that the space and texture builds up chord by chord.  The one track that perhaps rises above that is Miami Morning Coming Down II (Shine).  Here the mood is more optimistic with a chiming guitar melody rising and falling over a cathedral organ sermon.  The old phrase that comes to mind is ‘behind every cloud is a silver lining’.

Motion To Rejoin also moves through the same canyons but its journey is more intimate and mystical.  The swirling tones and vocal incantations, though often lyrically indiscernable, build a mood of campfire cermonies, mexican potions, smoke and ghosts.  Songs like Gathered Years also trade in the stop start lumbering rhythm but the gospel vibe in their church is a dreamier one of spells rather than brimstone and doom.

I highly recommend checking out both these records if you are curious or a fan of this psychedelic blues strand of americana and other bands such as Dirty Three, Neil Young, Mogwai, Calexico, WovenHand, Spiritualized and Metallic Falcon.

Earth – Engine Of Ruin (song)

Brightblack Morning Light – Hologram Buffalo (song)