Free November

Featuring :

3rd Face- Canto della Liberta

As a child on my first summer holiday abroad I was shocked to discover the local kids didn’t speak the same language. What was this strange sound coming from there mouth, all fierce and gutural! I was a bit scarred.

This soon changed into fascination and the inevitable swapping of rude words in each others mother tongue. Shit scheisse merde, mierda, concha ect were the first words of any other language I learned to speak. The lady shouting at me in this (I think she’s called Paola Ratclif who also features on Style Of Eye – Gioco – which sounds similar, but more straight forward.) gave me the same feeling of joy, excitement and fear.

The time stretched oddness of Teutonic organic south American rhythms is bonkers to say the least and Jaki Liebezeit would be proud. Like Maurice Fulton’s production on Mu – Let’s Get Sick, this just breaks all the rules, but not in as hardcore a way. If you don’t get it on first listen, try it in a club or loud in headphones. Is this house? Apparently it is! It was in that section at my local record shop. Last time I listened to house really didn’t sound like this – but I might have to get really into house if it does nowadays, when’s the next big house night? I’m off to it.

I might get into the forest instead, my mum said I shouldn’t but…

Mount Eerie- November 22nd, 2003, 4:45 PM

‘Dark Forest Music’

Inside this category I would place certain bands that make music which is joyous and eerie and wild at the same time, like Simon Bisley’s illustrations in Slaine…Oneida, Sunburned Hand of The Man, Comets on Fire, Boredoms, The Animal Collective, Amon Duul, Fly Pan Am, Liars, Hawkwind, Jackie O’ Motherfucker, Acid Mothers Temple, Ghost, Sunn O)), Kyuss or Nebula would be good examples: although obviously different, they share a certain pagan, tribal quality in their sound, one where menace and wonder coexist in the same way as they do in the howling of a wolf in the distance or the sight of a spider spinning its web: its clear that when composing and recording and playing they are not building a road or a cathedral or a robot or an atmosphere, they are following a hidden path instead, treading the wilderness, sometimes trampling and falling, cutting their skin with branches and rocks.

Yes, there is an element of chaos, simultaneous growth and decay in their music, blood spilt, obvious psychedelia not necessarily derived from hallucinogen intake but from a (maybe amplified) weird feeling of affinity with what lies beneath and what hangs above and what crawls around. I could never make music like this, too much plumb in my bloodstream already, but I can appreciate it.

Mount Eerie are one of these bands: last year, when they were still known as The Microphones they took a breathtaking leap from the minimal avant-folk that characterised their previous releases into a dark abyss at the bottom of which they found a sun shining, they burned in it and the fire in their skin and their bones and their souls brought us Mount Eerie, a grandiose conceptual album where in between the rhythm barrages and the outbursts of distortion and noise laid a still, fragile beauty, that of Phil Elvrum’s husky voice and his guitar chords falling gently like raindrops too precious to be ignored.

The song we post today, ‘November 22nd, 2003, 4:45 PM’ hasn’t been taken from this album (it does not seem right to detach any of its parts from the rest), but from ‘Seven New Songs Of Mount Eerie’, the first mini-album Mount Eerie, the re-incarnation of the Microphones, have released.

I think it represents quite well what I was talking about before, it’s an ominous and esoteric affair not fully understandable at a conscious level, it’s more like shards of wind from the north blowing in the back of your head while you sit in front of a bonfire, you can hear something moving hidden by the shadows that leap alive, something dark sliding through the interstitial spaces between the sounds that make up this song, you might die listening, and this is neither good nor bad, just another spin of the wheel.

Weird thing is it also reminds me quite a lot of the Velvet Underground, the quintessential New York City band, not many forests in the Big Apple…ah, wait, there’s Central Park. Werewolves roaming around at night illuminated by stars and skyscraper lights.