Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Earth 2: Special Low Frequency Version - Earth
Well, where do I start off with this album? It's very hard to understand if someone doesn't know much about minimalism and/or drone first of all. This came out in 1993 and pioneered the entire doom drone genre, so obviously this record has had a gigantic impact on music today, but when I recommend it to some people they don't really get it, so this review will also be an explanation of the pieces and my interpretations.
You have a guitar, bass, some drums in track three, and feedback. Tons of feedback. The guitar hits off on some fuzzy sludge-like riffs that repeat over until the riff itself feels like it's become one with the feedback, which not only creates this atmosphere, but a hypnotic feeling of being literally sucked into the music violently. The bass goes other places and is what's really helping that feedback grow throughout the piece. I have to say you can't really experience this album unless you can turn the bass up on your speakers as loud as possible, then put your face right next to it.
It's the noisy feedback that is mainly creating the atmosphere, not the guitar or bass. This sound evolves and explodes through out and helps branch off the two different experiences you can have listening to this album; (1) Having this to be a loud, heavy, and evil ride of destruction hypnotise your mind (2) Create a relaxing and soothing current, while it can also strangely become a nice album to fall asleep to. So not only can this album be extremily heavy, but it can also be just the opposite and still give off a positive response.
It's important to know what minimalism is even though this piece isn't fully minimal; only the last two tracks. Think of Philip Glass, Arvo Part, or Gavin Bryers. These are all minimalistic composers, but who would ever think distortion out of all things could be so minimal? Something that seems small but is incredibly so large, a few colors that make the colors themselves stand out in front of your eyes giving light to something beautiful, and also something that looks so simple, but tends to be such a complicated subject and/or method to present.
This is exactly that. A piece played with only so few riffs, but like i said earlier, these riffs become something else the more you grow into the piece. The bass and feedback are like husband and wife in the second track, but you barely even notice that unless you're really focusing on this music itself. And the cymbals and drums on the third track? They help grow this somnolent quality of drone to make this album unique then any other drone record out there. When I'm listening to this I'm receiving only few colors, red, orange, and yellow. These colors resemble fire and this fire sparks, whistles, and screams throughout the the three tracks.
Maybe this album just isn't for everyone, but it's an experience needed for any open minded listener and definitely for anyone interesting in drone. I hope this will give a better explanation to this record for you and maybe incite you to the doom drone genre. If I have failed I guess it was worth the try.
Below is the first ten minutes of the first track with footage of a movie entitled Eraserhead. Watch and enjoy.