Earth - A Bureaucratic Desire for Extra Capsular Extraction

by Andy Brown Rating:9.5 Release Date:2010-10-18

A Bureaucratic Desire for Extra Capsular Extraction contains the first recordings made by Dylan Carlsons' legendary drone/doom/experimental project Earth, previously available via the Extra Capsular Extractions and Sunn Amps and Smashed Guitars CD's. Suffice to say if you don't already own these recordings on another collection then this new release serves as an ideal introduction to the minimalist, drone and riff dominated world of the mighty Earth.

More recent output such as The Bees Made Honey in the Lion's Skull or 2007 release Hibernaculum have seen Carlsons' music mellow and evolve, taking on influences as diverse as country and jazz while retaining his love of 'the drone'. What we get with A Bureaucratic Desire... is altogether simpler and a whole lot heavier. Opening track 'A Bureaucratic Desire for Revenge Part 1' takes the dirge-like sludge metal of early Melvins and stretches it's brutal simplicity to breaking point over seven minutes of slow, methodical and wonderful riff worship. It's amazing how such a simple mixture of drums and repeated riffs can sound so satisfying and so good - and believe me it sounds really good.

Second track 'A Bureaucratic Desire for Revenge Part II' continues with another sludge-metal riff and kind of turns into The Stooges 'We Will Fall' with chants and screams about halfway into the track. Next piece 'Ouroboros is Broken' sounds like the greatest soundtrack to the most intense horror film never made with its huge gong crashes, oppressive noise and sinister drones. Clocking in at just under 20 minutes, 'Ouroboros is Broken' is A Bureaucratic Desire's huge, droned and stoned, centrepiece. This is music you can lose yourself in for days on end - you also get the feeling that Dylan could happily live inside 'the drone' forever.

The riff in 'Geometry of Murder' speeds things up a little bit; bouncing around the speakers like King Kong throwing a fit. It's similar in some ways to some of the material on Earth's more rock indebted Sub Pop release Pentastar: In the Style of Demons. By this point, it's almost an impossibility that you haven't turned your speakers up to a satisfyingly loud volume. The wonderfully titled 'German Dental Work' takes things back into more noise and drone orientated territory - you can see where every noise-based band from Wolf Eyes to Part Chimp must have picked up a few tips. 'Divine and Bright' is as close to a traditional song structure that Earth get and features the drawling vocals of Dylan Carlson's number one fan Kurt Cobain. It's a really great track and if Kurt's inclusion on vocals (comprising of Cobain singing "divine" before someone else screams "bright") bring any new listeners to Earth than I'm sure the Nirvana frontman would be pleased. Final piece 'Dissolution 1' starts as a barrage of riffs and drums, sounding not unlike contemporary metal forerunners Om. It's a suitably heavy and commanding closing statement.

Dylan Carlson is one of heavy music's undisputed pioneers, making drone and noise albums when everyone was looking to grunge and britpop for answers and pretty much inventing a sub-genre, sometimes referred to as drone-doom, along the way. Sunn O))) started as a tribute to Earth and essentially owe their whole career to what Dylan Carlson started with these very recordings. Other artists such as Mogwai, Melvins, Jim O'Rourke and Nirvana have voiced their appreciation over the years; maybe it's time you had a listen too.

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