Joe DeNardo usually makes music with the band Growing, but here, as he’s treading a slightly different path, he has adopted the name Ornament. Protest Music was recorded in Brooklyn in 2014. It has interesting arrangements that develop from discordant folk beginnings, raw guitars and messed-up production with thick, lurching drone throughout. Ornament has created a complex album that deals with the mundanity of life.
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- Protest Music by Ornament
8/10 Robin Staff review, 10 November 2015
Usually a component of drone triforce Growing, who’ve done things with all the appropriate labels (Kranky, Rock Action, etc), Joe DeNardo is now totally stoked on doing his own thing -- treating himself, he’s made some grainy, blood-tinged artwork and put a record in between it. Opening on a slither of grotty kosmische promise before involving the spectre ambience of Natural Snow Buildings, the modulating crackle of Ian William Craig and the queasy sounds of Sunn, ‘Protest Music’ proves itself to be an aesthetically varied record that’s tethered by drone, rather than driven by it.
On his own, DeNardo’s music has more aggression than ever; the ambience can be driving, which seems to be the symbolic gesture he’s trying to make on the opener of the record’s second side, or simply overwhelming, involving gothic organs that chew out the listener, refusing them the respite of melody. In a way, it’s like hearing a sample-based musician run through different bits of music they’ve collected, only DeNardo’s choice cuts are slow, loud and hellish. This record can shed its skin whenever it wants, only to become a grander version of itself.
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