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Liam Murphy

September 30, 2019

Tracks in this feature

Tracks in this release

A low, gurgling bass staggers from the mud of beautiful, vibrant greenery. Originally started by prolific dutch producer 猫 シ…

A low, gurgling bass staggers from the mud of beautiful, vibrant greenery. Originally started by prolific dutch producer 猫 シ Corp as a way to ‘explore new sounds’ 地球’s reissued album ジャングル (Jungle) stands confidently on its own from the commencement of the sound. The bass dissipates, leaving us with only birdsong momentarily. An echoed shroud of notes slowly looms into earshot, as the creative lashings of the artist and the natural world share the space. The notes pulse through the natural scene like rays of sunlight through the canopy. Within the first two minutes a scene has unfolded with the power of a religious epiphany. The notes, now choral pads, seem to float through the solid structure of the natural scene. As if they live on a different plane entirely.

The sequence of notes is mostly uplifting, though some are tinged with the sublime and unfathomable. The melodies becomes emotive and sentient, pushing towards a structured and linear narrative, though the birdsong and trickling water carry on unabashed. They live together in complete harmony, and at some points it feels as if we are hearing the beauty of the natural scene manifest in the swelling chords. The warm sunlight shifts across the forest floor in patterns, the treetops are set ablaze with light. The choirs suddenly fade. Replaced gradually by more low and sinister sounds. All is slow-moving, but effortlessly crafted by a producer with an invested interest in the listener’s immersion.

This time, the bass sound has a harmonic ringing to it, as if we are tuning out of the sounds of the forest having just realised or comprehended something that negates the beauty and serenity we witnessed only a moment ago. The sound seems to quiet the life surrounding the listener. Deep rumblings can be heard somewhere into the distance. Rain begins. Sharp stalactites of water dash the grass and trees. Minor notes drift in on the back of the powerful bass. The rain then stops, a brief nuisance, though the deep thunderous clouds remain. The rolling bass tones combine with the rumbling clouds, and all of a sudden both are lifted high above the forest floor. The bad weather seems to disappear, and all that was moody and eerie is transformed into singing light. The sounds float above the scene now, like seraphim slowly evaporating into the heavens.

A bird begins to sing an almost nonsense refrain. Conveyed to the listener is the fact that not once did the birds, trees or water ever stir that much differently. Throughout golden sunlight and religious epiphany, as well as incomprehensible low bass and hellish weather. The creatures and plants remained, veterans of natural tumult and transformation.

We move into Part 2, a bonus edition to the release originally on Dream Catalogue. Another burst of golden sun appears. Reaching through the undergrowth and spreading across the soft ground. The sounds are so beautifully layered upon field recordings of thriving wildlife. 猫 シ Corp let’s the two mingle effortlessly. Slight patterns of rain, a duality of both light and grey cloud. The notes hold an ambivalent tone, pulsing and driving through the ambience, the notes providing us no sustenance or sign of calm. Overflowing pools of water trickle from leaves unto the overgrown pathways of the forest. Lighter notes take the place of the full, overpowering sounds of before. Small cracks of sunlight as the cloud continues to slide across the sky. The birdsong sounds like melodious offerings pushed from the dissonant, natural landscape. A particular bird who’s call catches on the up inflection sings. This makes it sound similar to a portamento-effected lead sound, possibly one of the only glimpses of the artist we see through the harrowing, immersive scene created. A warm, crystalline note ventures forth as the wildlife seems to gather around it. One bird trails off into the distance, the Doppler effect transforming its song into some sort of receding alarm.

The glacial notes, ringing every so often, emanate through the scene. The sound is so full it’s almost as if an extra-terrestrial visitor has landed softly on the peat and marsh, floating just above it. The forest seems to be enraptured by the glowing sound. It too, fades out. Earth Earth has now taken us through a multitude of different cathartic episodes in the 32-minute runtime. The listener, if focused, has cycled through a range of emotions, the nature that surrounds, on the other hand, them remains stalwart an almost nonplussed.

Large globules of rain fall, causing more substantial pattering as drops bounces off leaves and are absorbed into the ground. One last interjection from the alien force, as the gurgling bass that begun the EP sounds again.

In this outing, it is proved once again how incredibly important the task of world-building is to those at Hiraeth Records. The two outings have been beautiful feasts of sound as the artists have sought to spend the entirety of the time creating a realistic and lineal environment. Listeners are indebted to them, with immersion from the outset, the experience is truly unforgettable.

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