March 14, 2007


Rufige Kru - Malice in Wonderland (Metalheadz). A strangely out-of-time set, like a lost album from 1995 but actually recorded in the last year with Goldie's latest collaborator, Heist. While Goldie's output under his own name has been variable at best, everything he has produced under the Rufige Kru moniker has been pristine. Malice in Wonderland is compulsive; listening to it like returning to a drug you were once hooked on and wondering why you ever gave it up.

Sunn0))) and Boris - Altar. From October last year, this makes the best case I've yet heard for dronecore as the return of post-rock. The album's anomalous centrepiece, 'Sinking Belle (Blue Sheep)', featuring the vocals of Jesse Sykes, is an eerie, echo-drenched submarine-deep downer that sounds like some cross between Seefeel, Insides and Portishead.

If Sunn0))) are metal, it is liquid metal; the physical states that they recall are those in which a solid begins to liquify, or a liquid begins to solidify - the slow flow of glacial ice or cooling lava. Fittingly, then, the first track on Altar is called 'Etna', the last 'Blood Swamp', the latter's title perfectly capturing the sound's clotted viscosity. But the track puts one in mind more of ice fields than fetid swamps: with all the elegiac tense poise of Morricone's Once Upon a Time in America, 'Blood Swamp' could be a soundtrack for the melting of the polar ice-caps. You can practically feel the massive ice sheets slowly cracking beneath your feet, the crevices beginning to open up...

Posted by mark at March 14, 2007 10:42 PM | TrackBack