The scarred earth lay out of view behind the hill. Crouched low among the crops, in one of the many fields that divided the hillside, the sun bleached ears of corn obscuring the peak and its vantage point over the nightmarish vistas beyond. Beneath their feet, the small houses in the valley below – with their dark, dry stone and simple wooden roofs – provided a steady stream of smoke from their lashed together, tin chimneys. The smoke rose and meshed with the red-grey sky, forming a beacon home.
Ivory Coast do not have a website. Sorry. Ivory Coast do not have music for sale (yet). Sorry. What Ivory Coast do have is Liner Notes, one of three incredible songs on the Skinny Dipping EP. Epic in the best sense. Not through minimalism or sheer stamina. Epic in the intricacy and calmness of a build. Epic in the sense of grandeur beyond the rolling waves of fed-back guitar subjugated to a simply strummed melody. That epic.
The scarred earth lay out before them as they spread themselves flat upon the last vestiges of grass, perched atop the brow of the hill. The grey mesh of devastation laid like fabric over the undulating landscape before them. Wrenched, as it was, from the continental bedrock, and suspended at various vertical intervals above the surface of the world, gently bobbing up and down. Mile long slabs of land, sliding up and down to an unknown celestial tide. Valleys formed and mountain ranges pulled apart while the static grey devastation retains its reassuringly unifying hold on the surface of these heaving landmasses. Nothing had changed so they return home.
Strange Forces return to the the yellowing pages of 20JFG with this thundering psch-dirge. Rattling, monstrous invocations of acid-rock breakdowns both mental and musical. If 20JFG required a gateway back into the murky swamps of a guitar drenched adolescence the slow build of Soul Window proffers one. Reverb soaked guitar flutters in the shadows of a tree lined clearing, shadows constantly profaned by the flames of some awful, ancient ritual at the clearing’s centre. Unimaginable colour shooting up into space from a cyclopean obelisk. The Old Ones would be proud.
Nearing sleep in a draughty stone shack, spine contorted to fit within the confines of the salvaged cot, the song of the shifting lands drifts over the protecting walls of the valley. Its separation from its long deceased inhabitants bleeds within the harmonic vibrations that are carried on the wind, through the heavy ears of corn and down the fertile valley to the stone shelters. The song is beautiful. The devastation as a choir behind a looping melody that rises and falls with the floating world beyond.