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Norman Records

Dirty Three - Toward The Low Sun

Recommended by us on 23rd February 2012. 2 people love me. Be the 3rd...

Toward The Low Sun by Dirty Three
  • CD £11.89 + £0.00 shipping, based on your current cart
  • CD on Bella Union (BELLACD324X)
  • Artist: Dirty Three
  • Label: Bella Union
  • Genres: Experimental Indie
  • Available for you to buy, but we need to order it in first.
  • Vinyl LP £18.19 + £2.70 shipping, based on your current cart
  • LP & CD on Bella Union (BELLAV324)
  • Artist: Dirty Three
  • Label: Bella Union
  • Genres: Experimental Indie
  • Available for you to buy, but we need to order it in first.
Disclaimer: all reviews are simply the personal opinions of our staff and customers. They are not the official opinion of Norman Records as a whole. More details here...OK?
(1 review) 9/10

Reviews

9/10 according to on Thu 23 Feb, 2012

I've always had a lot of time for the Dirty Three. And since it's been a while since their last album I suppose you're wondering if they've still got it. Both live and on record they've always been a moving and exciting act, capable of conjuring swooping, slow-burning epics that wash over you and overcome you with their powerful emotional resonance as surely as the swirling tide in that climactic scene from Cobra Verde. Warren Ellis is now also a full-time Bad Seed and Grinderman, of course, as well as doing various soundtracks with Nick Cave, so it's safe to say he's a busy boy. Never one to rest on his laurels, though, and with every new Dirty Three record they always play around with the formula a bit. This one's no exception, with the band opening with a couple of keyboard-heavy numbers and the violin astonishingly barely making an appearance until the third track. These opening numbers are lovely, though, with Jim White's inimitable drumming really getting a chance to come to the fore to create dusky, jazzy, mystical grooves over which Mick Turner's guitar chunters elegantly with the keys underpinning the melodic structure. The fact that it still sounds exactly like the Dirty Three is impressive, but when the violin finally does take centre stage it's welcomingly familiar, albeit more restrained and less histrionic than on their earlier records. Ellis's playing is always a treat to the ears, beautiful tone and control and that ever-present sense of physicality and soul that's always made his work so powerful. By allowing his fiddling to be less of a focal point this time round this album's got a really rounded feel to it, and when Ellis's trademark scraping chords puncture the air in That Was Was, only two tracks from the end, it's more triumphant than searing, especially when he throws on some distortion and busts out a total power ballad-style guitar-esque solo. Then the keys come back to the fore in a pretty little number with sweeping, understated strings, and then final track 'You Greet Her Ghost' is a sad little blast of “classic”-sounding Dirty Three with its slow, resigned groove and scattershot drumming and roaming violin, easing us out of our epic journey. So in answer to your question, yes, they've still got it.

Soundclips

Press release

Legendary instrumental trio Dirty Three will boldly break cover in February 2012 with a remarkable new album, “Toward The Low Sun“, on Bella Union records.

Toward The Low Sun is the product of the most ceaselessly creative period in the band’s career, in which Jim White, Mick Turner and Warren Ellis have relentlessly made music in different permutations and locations around the globe. No other Australian band has ever impacted on international music in such a subversive fashion. This is a band that exists within itself and outside of itself, generating a massive (and massively influential) body of work.

Mick lives in Melbourne where he has built his own studio space, developed a fine reputation as a visual artist and released the Blue Trees album alongside the occasional Tren Brothers release. Jim is based out of Brooklyn but endlessly tours the world, recording and/or performing with the likes of Cat Power, Bonnie Prince Billy, Nina Nastasia and PJ Harvey. Warren resides in Paris, though is regularly to be found touring with the Bad Seeds and Grinderman or working with Nick Cave on soundtracks for such films as The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, The Proposition and The Road.  He recently made his acting debut in the film Médée Miracle, alongside Isabelle Huppert.

Dirty Three’s live appearances over the past few years reflect the band’s standing on the international stage. All Tomorrow’s Parties invited them to curate a three day event in the UK, and the band has also played at ATP festivals in Japan, Australia and the USA.

However, all of this frantic creativity and activity is now merely an exotic backdrop to the release of the new album Toward the Low Sun. A return to the mothership was inevitable. There is a certain magic that can only be invoked when these three elements are brought together. Nothing else sounds like the Dirty Three. They are one-off phenomena. As Warren Ellis says: “There is a dialogue within the group that we are all still keen to explore”.

Toward The Low Sun is not a cosy, nice-to-be-back, return to the comfort zone. There is an energy and a raw excitement evident from the first electrifying opening moments through to the album’s finale. In Warren’s words, “Dirty Three has always been about the way we play together and feed off each other. We wanted this one to be a return to the more improvised and instinctive approach of the earlier recordings”. And indeed Toward The Low Sun sounds like a first ever recording, a punk avant-garde art-jazz record! And for all their incredible music of the past, the Dirty Three have never seemed more relevant.

Toward The Low Sun is produced by Casey Rice and Dirty Three and was recorded in Melbourne at Head Gap studios and mixed at Sing Sing.

TRACKLISTING:

1. Furnace Skies 2. Sometimes I Forget You’ve Gone 3. Moon On The Land 4. Rising Below 5. The Pier 6. Rain Song
7. That Was Was 8. Ashen Snow 9. You Greet Her Ghost

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