Sunday, February 05, 2006

I love the name.

A Silver mount Zion is a group of musicians who have constructed expressive, somewhat poetic, and often melancholy music which completely and utterly destroys any distinction between contemporary "classical" and far out indie music (not that the dirty Projectors and several others haven’t done this already)*. What genre is this? Im perfectly fine without an answer.

First off, i need to say- i havent heard enough music by this group to make a truly substantial commentary about their music, so i'll make it brief . From the start i like what they're doing, i appreciate their approach.

The singer, when he does sing, often crones in a way that puts both David Longstreth and Bob Dylan to shame, and it feels confrontational in its roughness. Of course. singing isnt everything and if it were Dylan wouldn’t be a household name. The music is usually languid and morose, long sustained tones that linger and fade in and out- A similar feel to many pieces by Boards of Canada. This is music that appears to be expressing some sort of self-pity, but it does it with a convincing intensity.

There are echoes of minimalism, much help from electronics which create beautiful and often surreal sounds, but also elegant and lyrical string passages, the occasional plucks of a bass and a solid beat. "post-rock" they say, what ever the hell that means. Unfortunately all these sustained notes and repetitive structures can leave me yawning. I feel the need for contrast.

There are clear religious undertones in the pieces im listening to, with titles like " blown out joy from heaven's mercied hole" and "angels standing guard round your bed" and my favorite "sisters! brothers! small boats of fire are falling from the sky!" . Apparently they have a problem with titles that arent complete sentences. Some of this music, like boards of canada , a subtly sinister quality, music that is both beautiful and sickly.

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