DSMS009 I Hear Drums I Hear Voices - Big Drum Sky Religion /ARU Split
review from Foxy Digitalis
What’s with all the religious or quasi-religious affectation these days in underground circles? If there were any residue of a punk attitude, a sacrilegious secularity, in the current crop of anti-establishment music, then it is not so much an anti-religious sentiment as total indifference bordering on autism. Rather than an object of derision, religion or at least the pretence of religion then becomes the last resort of resistance.
However, regardless of your Weltanschauung, what Big Drum in the Sky Religion effect in sound, here in cahoots with Aural Resuscitation Unit, might persuade you to become a devotee of whatever worship the combined forces of Sky and Resuscitation manifest. This disc, aptly called I Hear Drums, I Hear Voices, is proffered to us by the equally esoteric Dubuque Strange Music Society, which asserts it deals in Industrial, Afrobeat, Experimental. Well, strange it is what you hear on I Hear Drums, I Hear Voices. The music is as close to what you expect members of an animistic tribe to do by way of leisure activities. The sonorous chant throughout the first track of the disc, clocking in at over 27 minutes, is pitted against ringing percussion, reminiscent of the clanging sound of The Nubians of Plutonia-era Sun Ra, its closest ally in attempting to reach the sky through the sound of music.
Whilst the 1st track plumbs the depths of earthly devotion with an emphasis on the lowest frequencies, the second number on the disc goes for more heavenly, trebly realms: bizarre brass or flute sounds (from what I can gather) and odd percussive lines are coupled with repeated female phrasing for the first 10 minutes or so, whereafter the flutes and what not get all Near Eastern, if in a very, very contorted way, occasionally adorned anew by the woman’s chants to subsequently end in a giddying drone. This is weird 21st century stuff, referencing ancient practices, but engrossing nonetheless.