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Two instrumental ambient mood pieces on EP - 70%

NausikaDalazBlindaz, February 10th, 2013

A very short split EP, almost a single, this lasts for just 12 minutes and a bit which might explain in part why this Earth / Tribes of Neurot release has been overlooked. The tracks on offer are "Filament" by Earth and ToN's "The Forest that Shelters".

"The Forest that Shelters" is an all-instrumental dark ambient mood piece dominated by very long and drawn-out, sometimes piercingly high guitar tones. Some guitar tones are almost human in sound. Analog synthesiser wiggles and drones are added for a slightly antiquated-sounding space ambience reminiscent of floating spacey or cosmic synthesiser soundscape recordings from the 1970s. The track builds up in layers of tones, riffs and noise texture generated on guitar, along with an increasingly louder array of keyboard-based effects. The riffing is repetitive and includes some choppy and quivering tones. An underlayer of purring switch-on / switch-off bleeps and bloops, coming from a malfunctioning robot perhaps, appears in the second half of the track. The whole work is quite good but feels very much like an introduction to a longer track that Tribes of Neurot never managed to complete and the music may still have a lot of potential to develop into something very major.

"Filament" is a very relaxed and lethargic country rock dawdle that might recall a hot, humid summer's day: long grass has been cut in the morning and is now all stacked up in mounds in the fields to dry. The folks who cut the grass can't do any more, the weather is so hot, so they rest and drink some cool juice or beer. The track appears to wander and lack focus and direction but the actual guitar notes and the spaces between them, though drawn out, seem measured with the spaces between notes lengthened or shortened for impact. The guitar tones are soft and subdued and could almost be mistaken for acoustic guitar.

Tribes of Neurot's track is a far more assertive and busy track compared to "Filament" and will attract most listener attention. "Filament" seems very inward-looking at first but there's a lot of concentration going on in developing a style and sound consistently quiet and subdued yet in its way teasing those people still listening after the first minute to continue to the end. There might not be much to see and hear in the way of bells and whistles but the track has a quiet and grave dignity that complements the intense and boiling-busy nature of the ToN piece.