Jonny Greenwood, that guy who plays guitar in Radiohead, has started his own label, and it’s exclusively for classical music. Industry Water is made up of two parts - Industry by Michael Gordon, which features Oliver Coates on Cello and Jonny Greenwood making some noise and Water - three miniature pieces by Jonny Greenwood, which features piano and a string quartet which includes an Indian tanpura.
Vinyl LP £23.25 OCTAT2
180g vinyl LP on Octatonic Records. Comes in a tip-on sleeve with booklet.
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Michael Gordon’s ‘Industry’ is one of the most nightmarish pieces of music I’ve ever heard. I put it on so the whole office could hear it, and almost immediately regretted it. This is not music to get work done to. I’m entirely sure what you should do it to, except maybe try and hide from some horror movie baddie.
The piece is performed Oliver Coates and Jonny Greenwood, whose combination of cello and “distortion” make for a performance utterly dripping in anxiety. Coates sounds like he’s trying to saw through his cello strings with his bow, it’s a little worrying. He mostly plays a simple three note phrase. The first two are quick. The third long, and by its end is discordant enough to strip paint. This repetition dares you to be lulled by it, but the sheer abrasiveness of the piece simply won’t allow it.
Greenwood’s ‘Three Miniatures From Water’ is pretty much the perfect chaser to Gordon’s shot. The music is still tense, but in a much quieter way. On ‘Industry’ the killer is the room with you, on ‘Three Miniatures From Water’ he’s merely in the same building. The piano is twinkles cautiously, traversing a ground made of five different string instruments, including Greenwood on the tanpura. The two sets of instruments are combative, and before long the strings reach their discordant peak, and completely overwhelm.
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