Wednesday, August 10, 2011

God Destroyer - S/T

God Destroyer is from New Zealand. I personally have not been to Australia's smaller neighbour (yet) but I've heard good things. For such a small country with a tiny population, I'm always surprised at how good underground music is over there. There are several death metal bands who've recently gained international limelight, and the last year or so I've uncovered a burdgeoning hardcore/PV scene with more filth than most can handle. Nowadays when I associate a style of music with NZ, I think of crackling tapes and lo-fi aesthetic.

Now to be sure, I'm not complaining in the least. While I'm positive every style of music exists in NZ and I simply haven't heard about it yet, God Destroyer is a surprise for me, as well as being completely expected. Given the different bands and styles I commonly associate with NZ, God Destroyer is very far removed. But then given the placid atmosphere and scenery that we all know NZ to be famous for, God Destroyer is incredibly fitting as a musical accompaniment to the country’s environment.

When I received the self-titled album, the tag of ambient didn’t dissuade my thoughts that this would be something a little noise oriented, something a little fucked up. This is not the case. God Destroyer is reminiscent of some earlier Aidan Baker, displaying gentle, flowing tones that pulsate through your own warped visions of nostalgia. There is something genuinely haunting about this type of drone music – while it can often be very alienating, it at the same time breeds a greater appreciation of isolation.

There are four lengthy tracks on this demo, all which follow a similar template. It’s pointless to go into specifics here – this is minimalist ambient music. However, when it does break the mold of minimalism and reaches into the expanses of drone, when the pulsations are loud and the musical surrounds are filled with a soothing buzz, God Destroyer is at its best. These weightier passages are juxtaposed with the minimalist quietness of other passages, further emphasising their intensity.

As far as I know (and can tell) this is a DIY recording, so listeners only familiar with the later works of bigger artists such as Baker or Tim Hecker should not expect crystal clear production. In my opinion the somewhat fuzzy exterior to this album gives it a sense of reality, making it all the more authentic and organic. But that’s just me though. The demo is free to download, and you’re all encouraged to do so.


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