Sub Soil

Nice Cat Records, Occultists

I think I’m hearing a return of the dread “Concept Album.” Those cut a wide swath in the 1970’s and had a musician take an idea and write a whole album of songs that sort of told a story, or at least tied together in some arguable form. It seems to be back, this drum heavy collection offers s just four tracks back with a press release about the various meanings of “Sub Soil”. I always thought of it as whatever lies beneath the dirt you grow stuff in, but that’s just shallow knowledge on my part. “About” opens our experience with a driving, polyrhythmic drum line decorated with a tinsel of synth chords and small loops. The press sheet refers to “A confident and colorful swarm of insects” and it is hard to top that line. We progress to “Metanoia,” a darker and slower but still rhythm heavy number. This rhythm has the polyrhythmic feel of an African drumming but here it overlays sounds like a big joiner in a wood shop – scary and powerful, if you can control it. Here the accompanying press release refers to the underworld and how our ear fits into the established order. With a bit of a free association I can make that work, and perhaps you can as well. “Metonia” indicates a change of heart or a spiritual conversion, a fact that will serve you well in philosophy class as well as “Words with Friends”

At the half way point we land on the title track “Sub Soil.” The industrial sounds are now darker, and more construction oriented. Echoes reverberate as if a large plate of steel has slipped in a giant ship yard as sparks fly; hard hats and steel toed shoes are required on this dance floor, and in the last transmission from Mr. Press release we learn here about where “Nested feelings…from perversion to unexpected desire” lurk. Clearly, this dance floor is HAPPENING…

Entering our final decent on this journey we meet at a track called “Glue.” Synth riffs entertain spacey descending whistlers, rhythms remain tense but move around with sudden time shifts and a build that might cartoon a big-name DJ trying not to spin in his own style. Are we now bound together with this music? And do we now have a firm foundation for the growth of new sounds, new worlds, new sense of being? As a group yes, most certainly. We are all fans of electronic music. Let’s start digging.


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