Monday, May 10, 2010

International Harvester - Sov Gott Rose-Marie (1969)

This record starts out with an ominous theme stated amongst bird songs. Unlike much of the psychedelia of this era, the myth of a flower-coated noble savage does not exist here. Similarly, progress and refinement are rejected, and the dark side of nature is embraced.

A droning version of song structure is applied throughout and creates a hypnotic effect. A theme is repeated until it reaches atmospheric saturation and it begins to tickle ritualistic impulses. These are rich melodies filled with just the right amount of whimsical trippiness to mold your imagination into a beautiful, Stravinskian pagan scene.

And don't think for a second that just because there's a clarinet on one of the tracks that this is useless music dressed up with surface level "interestingness." Bizarre instrumentation and sound effects supplement textures and structures perfectly capable of standing on their own.

I would hesitate to draw too solid of a line between this release and the Norwegian black metal scene of the early 90s, but I will say that Scandinavians writing droney, minimalistic music that lashes out against modern civilization is one of my favorite things.


This review originally appeared in Jettison Quarterly.


Roger Camden said...

thanks for (indirectly) reminding me that I had this record
the first three Träd, Gräs & Stenar records are also good
as is Pärson Sound

Todd said...

Haven't heard Träd, Gräs & Stenar so I will put that on my "to listen" list!