When was the last time you saw a triple album that was named Volume 1? Well Gnod have never been too concerned with what is ordinary, and frankly the prospect of almost two straight hours of incantatory-heavy-psych-dub-electric-noise-rock-weirdo madness should excite you greatly. Welcome to Infinity Machines (Volume 1) on Rocket Recordings. The first 100 copies come with a bonus 40 minute live CD recorded when they supported Earth!
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- Infinity Machines by GNOD
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Gnod’s new album is essentially a social experiment with the hypothesis “Can you listen to Gnod for three hours?”. ‘Infinite Machines’ takes the band’s spirit-crushing discipline to the peak of its powers, a narratively woven epic with grainy ambience, humorlessly loud free jazz and tinkering beats that sound more afraid of dying than full of life. Their mix of soul-sucked drone and abyss-staring psychedelia is intact, and it’s spookier than ever. Six sides of this thing! Did Peter Jackson direct?
In this iteration, Gnod are letting beats thrill and fray, placing huge, ugly, bouldering ones over spoken word or letting distantly cascading percussive marches roll rhythmically into place. The formlessness of the saxophones is disorientating and archaic in its sound, but the band shadow it against sounds that are often futurist and naturalistic: shades of chiming applied sound ambient artists like Danny Clay appear in moments, brightly cresting against the cruel jazz affectations.
Gnod are absolutely amazing at invoking their own atmosphere through this genre-disrupted haze, but they should be wary of giving into reference. Vocal samples occasionally take us out of their universe and into a less interesting one where all our usual institutions exist: one track samples a treatise which begins “Should I have faith in politicians?”, and it sounds like a throwback to the days of second-gen post-rock. I don't wanna talk about that; if you want me, I’ll be immersed in the noisy corner of Gnod’s recording studio, sitting in the dark with nothing but the sounds.
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