Wrekmeister Harmonies: You’ve Always Meant So Much To Me – album review

Wrekmeister Harmonies – You’ve Always Meant So Much To Me (Thrill Jockey)

LP

10 June 2013

8/10

The new album by Wrekmeister Harmonies is a brilliant, one track affair showcasing drone at its best. Louder Than Wars Paul Scott-Bates gave it a listen.

This is an interesting beast if ever I heard one, proving unequivocally that ‘everything deserves at least one listen’. It would be tempting, if you’re not a fan of the drone genre, to stop listening to You’ve Always Meant So Much To Me after nine or ten minutes but with patience & given slightly a chance this grows into something rather wonderful.

The piece was written to accompany a film that Robinson had shot in the desert of Joshua Tree and the Tasmanian forests. It was recorded live in Chicago at the Museum of Contemporary Art and included avant garde and balck metal artists such as Bruce Lamont (Yakuza), Jef Whitehead (Leviathan) and Nachmystium (Andrew Markuszewski).

What is a triumph is the slow and gradual progression of the track from almost monotone monotony to funereal doom in little over thirty-eight minutes. The drone grows and grows into an enormous wall of distorted sound of crashing drums and screams before gradually slowing again and continuing with synthesized sounds as the moaning voices fall into the pit of Hell from whence they came.

A plucked Harp and orchestral workings enter and You’ve Always Meant So Much to Me fades away into nothingness, leaving your ears slightly confused as the big sounds continue to resonate.

It’s an incredibly emotional and intelligent piece of work and one that fully deserves to be listened to in its entirety and it’s yet another brave release from those clever people at Thrill Jockey Records. It’s not the sort of thing you’d play to your Grandma, but then again, would you really want to share something like this with anyone?

Find out more about Wrekmeister Harmonies on the Thrill Jockey website here.

All words by Paul Scott-Bates. More of Paul’s writing on Louder Than War can be found here. Paul’s website is hiapop Blog. Paul has been working hard to save Radio Lancashire’s On The Wire, the BBCs longest running alternative music programme. Follow him on twitter as @saveonthewire for all On The Wire news or follow hiapop Blog on Twitter, @hiapop.

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