For the most part it’s the absence. I’ve said Earth 2: Special Low Frequency Version is the heaviest album of all time because it’s an hour and twenty minutes of absence and this comes close to the sky-falling-in heaviness of that record. It never really gets done beginning, it never really ends. Certainly it reaches its own sort of climax of bell-ringing synthesised madness but it’s not a song. It’s a meditative agenda; it’s a Stuka putting on the siren of Jericho and hoving down on some empty desert town, but atomically dissected by Cope and his magical mystical time-travel machine of Zenlike genius. The entire friggin’ record is the calm before a very nasty storm. It’s the slight howl in the wind, that deep-down gut wrench at seeing a pitch-black cloud on the horizon; youbetcha, it’s 2012 baby!
|The Archdrude in full flow - |
Photo Head Heritage
Woden is a ‘from the treasure troves’ release which is either a cynical cash-grab or a genuine attempt at rock genius from the one and only rock genius. I chose the latter, natch, but it’s a modern one-man orchestra and a powerfully spiritual lamentation. I’m not usually stuck for words, but each listen has slammed me into the chair with eyes fastened open and made my muscles hurt and audaciously filled the room with the trogliditic silence even Dylan Carlson in his best moments couldn’t bring himself to muster. Multiple listens will follow, many more and I may even feel compelled to complete another lamentation on this creation and it’ll fo’ sho’ feature in the best-of-year end-of-year class report. It’s the audacity to embrace silence on such a panoramic scale that blows my mind every time. How many things, in this mechanical 24 hour world of ours know how to embrace true rural heathen silence. How many people know how to be quiet, utterly silent without the merest hint of action or movement or comment or noise? That’s the stroke of genius that’ll filter down through the ages as the ripples of this record start up in isolated little locations and headphoned heads all across the world. Reading around it, someone suggested that the tundra Troglodyte nature of this record demands actual undergroundness, in which case I am informed the lowest point of the London underground is 32 metres below the ground, at the Jubilee platforms at Westminster (wouldn’t it be though?) ‘Course the nearest I can get is fucking about in Edinburgh’s Marianas trench of a street, the Cowgate. I’m seeing the permanent pilgrim Dylan Carlson there soon, so I’ll report back with field recordings. Peace.
Written under duress by Steven.
Post script – I would have called it Woden-ful, if I were a label-approved journalist secretly longing for death.