Sunday, 21 June 2015

Earth's gravity

I'm currently pursuing an obsession with Dylan Carlson's Earth, in particular the albums recorded for the Southern Lord label. Earlier I was listening to Earth's 2005 album Hex; Or Printing in the Infernal Method, whilst poring over Stephen O'Malley's exquisitely designed 20 page CD booklet containing photographs of the Old American West. O'Malley assembled the photographs as he listened to rough mixes of the album, the result, a striking symbiosis of music and visuals, the sparse, desolate guitar-driven instrumentals reflecting the hardness, even savagery of late 19th century American life depicted in the photographs. One image features a mountain of bison skulls, while another features men standing around a mass grave of dead Lakota killed in battle at Wounded Knee Creek. In another image, a group of Native Americans look gloomily into the camera, the buildings behind them suggestive of their removal from their ancestral land. There are images of toil and struggle - farmers scratching out a living in the dead of winter, as well as guarded prosperity - the cover photograph features a barn decorated with Dutch Pennsylvanian Hex symbols as if to ward off misfortune and evil spirits... Images from the Hex album can be seen in more detail here

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