John Elliot's (Emeralds) always on point Spectrum Spools label give this classy album a much-needed vinyl reissue. Originally released back in 2006 on Carpark Records and later on Kranky, it's an album that truly deserves to remain in print. This fine work of Michael Jones and Turk Dietrich (Second Woman) has the sort of fuzzy, dense and droning emotive textures that will appeal to fans of Flying Saucer Attack, My Bloody Valentine etc.
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Back in 2006, New Orleans’ Belong released their debut album ‘October Language’. Though well received at the time, it deserves so much more. Then it was compared to the shoegaze greats, a much deserved comparison, but I think the spirit of ‘October Language’ has more in common with the bittersweet heft of Blanck Mass’s debut (before he went all industrial-electro), or the disintegrating pop that Ian William Craig makes.
There’s something about music like this, music that is so intent on overwhelming you, that finds its way into every inch of my body. It lifts you, but very carefully. This music is strong, but it’s also fragile, and it’s really that fragility that makes it so exciting. It’s easy to play very loudly, even I can do that, but loudness on its own very rarely leaves space for drama. There’s a space for pummeling music for sure, but that’s very rarely as compelling to me as something that is aware of its insecurities.
This is something that happens song to song too, the difference between the gentle and timid ‘I’m Too Sleepy...Shall We Swim?’, and the more repetitious and assertive ‘Remove the Inside’ helps map the enormous space this album takes place in. It’s cavernous and awesome and sublime. If this was an album of ‘I Never Lose. Never Really’s that would be impossible. You’d get sick of it. But Belong provide space to breath, to rest, to reflect. ‘October Language’ is an absolute masterclass in excess and restraint. I hope one day it finds that place in music history it deserves.
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- October Language by Belong
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