Taiwanese experimentalists Scattered Purgatory, whose sound is pitched somewhere between the crazier end of krautrock and left-field metal, re-issue this compilation of material consisting of some of their earliest work, dating from 2013-2014. Originally released on cassette only, Lost Ethnography of the Miscanthus Ocean now appears on double gold-coloured vinyl. 

Vinyl Double LP £34.99 GGB-020

Gold coloured vinyl, gatefold 2LP on Guruguru Brain.

  • Coloured vinyl
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REVIEWS

Lost Ethnography of the Miscanthus Ocean by Scattered Purgatory
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8/10 Will 11 December 2019

Taiwan's Central Mountain Range was formed, in part, by igneous intrusion. Igneous intrusion is the process whereby magma coagulates, cools, and crystallizes over time to form huge, towering structures. Taiwan's own Scattered Purgatory have made an album called 'Lost Ethnography of the Miscanthus Ocean' and the songs on it bear stylistic resemblance to this mighty massif. 

The songs are slow, glacially slow. The album's opener, '破城入山 Ramming The Town Roaming The Mountain', opens with the resounding sound of a cavernous drum. This sounds for over two minutes without embellishment or change. This intimidating beginnning feels like a cosmic calibration. The preparation of an area from which a giant will spring. 

The sounds themselves seem borne of natural processes. There are growls, murmurs, creaks, and booms. The sludgey waves of distorted noise on '目犍連 Maudgalyayana' are so tangible as to feel like the slow progression of molten rock. Even recognisable sounds like guitar and bass take on new sonic characteristics when heard next to the cavernous spaces and elongated drones this album makes great use of. 

I wanted to end this piece by saying that you should listen to this album because, to butcher Mallory's famous phrase, "it is there", but that's unbearably contrived so I won't. 'Lost Ethnography of the Miscanthus Ocean' is an album with all the qualities of a mountain range, both bewitching and impassive. 




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