Jah Wobble & Marconi Union: Anomic (30 Hertz)
Release Date: Out Now!
Louder Than War check out the new album by rising stars Marconi Union & old stager Jah Wobble & concluding that it’s “Fantastic”!
Marconi Union have, over their last couple of releases, seen their popularity grow and grow with critics and public alike and with the announcement that they were to collaborate with ex-P.I.L bassist (and all-round musical genius) Jah Wobble on an album, many people were curious and intrigued by how the album would sound, and if the collaboration would work.
Well, it’s safe to say it worked out alright. in fact, Anomic is an incredible album, one that seems to have pulled out the best in both parties and one that has so many hidden layers and secrets that multiple listens are necessary if you want to discover everything on offer in here.
The aural equivalent of Jekyll and Hyde, Anomic likes to lull the listener into a certain feeling of security before whipping the rug from underneath you and showing it’s hidden teeth – and the main reason for this is Mr. Wobble himself.
Marconi Union have outdone themselves with the ‘ambient’ sounds but it’s Wobble that adds heart, fear, euphoria, and a pulse to the album – like on opener Wealth with it’s Sergio Leone twanging guitars, and Westworld sci-fi country leanings as well as it’s repeated bass motif that plays throughout & which really draws you in. Almost hypnotic in its repetitiveness, when the odd different note is thrown in, it really does jolt and surprise.
Reality Crash is up next and the upbeat Afro-stylings again hide an underlying sense of fear and grim reality. Factory-like rhythms bring horrid images to the forefront of the mind, of people marching day in and day out to the meat grinder for low wages, whilst the overlaying joyful nature of the top layer of sound makes you think, hang on! This can’t be that bad”. An entirely schizophrenic sensation is created and one that is as terrifying as it is uplifting.
The title track itself and Love In The Banlieues follow, each with their own personality and purpose (the clubby feel to the title track is particularly fun and a quite welcome respite from the darkness that has gone before) but it’s Times Of Despair that truly sends this album into the realms of greatness.
Times of Despair is the most conflicting track on the album. It’s at equal times heartbreaking, euphoric, tranquil yet chaotic, scary yet welcoming. Despair is rightly Anomic’s centerpiece and you get the feeling that MU and Wobble really had an extraordinary amount of fun creating it. A huge highlight on an album full of them.
The album then starts down the home straight with The Rain Has Stopped and Terminus. The latter is a return to the futuristic soundtrack feel of opener Wealth why the former is an extremely smooth customer that caresses your ear before a sudden spoken-word section comes in, once again adding an unsettling vibe to proceedings.
Anomic is an example of the benefits of musical collaboration at it’s finest. Both parties have really pooled all their skills and ideas together to create an intriguing whole. You can hear MU and Wobble pulling together whilst simultaneously pulling apart. THAT is the genius of this album, it contains so many opposing themes and ideas yet it sits beautifully together.
Marconi Union’s website is here: http://www.marconiunion.com/
Jah Wobble on Twitter: @realjahwobble
Marconi Union on Twitter: @MarconiUnion