Monday, April 17, 2006

urban decay

Before I deleted my sound card driver earlier this weekend, I was listening to October Language, the debut album by the New Orleans-based duo Belong. Turk Dietrich and Michael Jones recorded this record in New Orleans, pre-Katrina, and with any critical attention it's bound to be blamed for premonition, similar to Wilco and Dream Theater's post-911 material that was written slightly pre-911.

It is easy to read post-Katrina destruction into this record's overwhelmingly sad sonic landscapes, particularly in the opening track. The slowly moving songs, which truly make up the whole of the album, are shades of distorted sounds with droning white noise and traces of crackly, warbly melodies, reminiscent of something lost. The title track is the record's most beautiful--slowly crescendoing washes of sound build up to a majestic slide guitar melody before the climax fades into static and feedback.

Musically Belong isn't going anywhere Fennesz, Spacemen 3, My Bloody Valentine, etc. haven't gone before--and maybe they don't go as far--but these are beautifully expressive tracks nonetheless and are well worth a listen.

Belong - I Never Lose. Really Really
Belong - October Language


If you haven't heard the Grandmaster, Christian Fennesz, before, here's my favorite song from his record Endless Summer, "Caecilia."


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