Warmth: Leave Your Brain in the Hot Sun

Blurrily mixing diseased fragments of guitar, piano, synthesizer, and assorted other noise, the hour-long Leave Your Wet Brain in the Hot Sun by Warmth (Michigan-based Steev Thompson) approximates a harrowing descent into the underworld (the Digitalis release adds two unreleased tracks to the 2005 version that was issued under the name Roxanne Jean Polise on the Belgium label Audiobot). Emerging quietly with the faint sounds of an out-of-tune piano amidst the rumble of gathering winds, “Leave Your Wet” quickly gathers force and, by the four-minute mark, churns aggressively. The piece turns increasingly murky and disturbing, as industrial ripples and blasts drag the listener towards the center of a nightmare. Though one might assume otherwise, the album's material is not unrelentingly abrasive. The hazy loops that introduce “Hot Sun” are so lulling, one swoons as if entranced by the odour of rotting corpses encountered during the journey; the twenty-minute piece does, however, eventually swell into a churning mass that, seventeen minutes in, induces eardrum-shattering pain when it volcanically erupts into squealing, blistered noise. The subsequent “Thank You Cloud. Fuck You Deerfly” splits itself even more markedly into two sections, the first a welcome episode of calm that allows one to recover from the merciless onslaught that came before, and the second an abrupt return to seething noise. Thankfully, “Watch the Animals Glisten as They Rust & Rejoice” opts for relative calm, and suggests the simmering ruins of a destroyed cityscape. Obviously a challenging listening experience but one sure to satisfy devotees of dark soundscaping.

September 2007