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Deutrom, Mark: Brief Sensuality and Western Violence

Wow. Just wow! This is a spectacularly good record. Deutrom is the co-founder of Alchemy Records, and was involved with releases from bands as varied as Neurosis, Rich Kids on LSD and the Melvins, whom he later joined and toured with for a good number of years. He also notes having attended seminars taught by a slew of notable avante-garde and modernist composers, including folk like Morton Feldman, Morton Subotnick (the two holy Mortons, so to say), and John Cage. These influences pervade this disc, but Deutrom puts all of this into a highly modern and complex mix. This is totally unique.

So, the songs. I find it cool to say that the opening track, "Dick Cheney," is a composition designed to do nothing less than reflect "the origins, history and destiny of mankind, using cardiac pathology and imperial hegemony as an allegory for Eschatology." This takes about 20 minutes to accomplish, but during that time the song moves through a number of different tempos, styles and approaches. Duetrom provides a reading of the song, which begins with the dawn of consciousness, enter the dark ages, and closes with decline of imperial aspirations in distant lands, and final cacophony. Now, having said this,what does it actually sounds like? First, drones. Later repetitive hypnotic pounding and song-chant over processed cymbals and distorted guitar chords. At the end it sounds more like industrial collapse. An amazing piece.

"Winter Haystacks at Twilight" in more impressionistic. Its beginning would not be out of place on a Ralph Towner ECM release, but it then overlays a long, sustained guitar line, to great effect. Deutrom notes that "Sky Full of Witches" was based on the growing presence of drones in the sky, making him think of medieval engravings of witches in the sky. This is slow, slogging song heavily reminiscent of the Melvins, but also with some New Romantic overtones. "Temple Smasher" is more like a heavy metal rave-up. This segues into "Other Gods," which uses sustained organ tones and drones, with a processed echo-heavy vocal line. Duetrom notes that these two songs first celebrate Jesus, but note how angry he would be upon his return; then, it negates that entirely by requesting pantheism. "A Shaky Rabbit" is a sprightly swing-ish song based on a blues progression. "Venerate the relic" treats rock itself as a relic. It starts with just guitar and bongos, but later amps it up into crunch song. The release closes with "Turn Toward the Sun,' which is a slow dirge and sort of stoner in nature, but perhaps more upbeat for all that.

This is a highly creative work, moving through a host of styles, using technology to great effect, and with great range and depth. Strongly recommended.

Track Listing

  1. Dick Cheney
  2. Winter Haystacks at Twilight
  3. Sky Full of Witches
  4. Temple Smasher
  5. Other Gods
  6. A Shaky Rabbit
  7. Venerate the Relic
  8. Turn Toward the Sun

Added: November 8th 2013
Reviewer: Dana Lawrence
Related Link: Artist Website
Hits: 1811
Language: english

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