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The Other Without – The Other Without

Heavy Rural

The Other Without - S/TThis sounds like home.

It’s slow, like Somerset. It creeps up on you, like the sunlight splitting off the top of Glastonbury Tor. It gets where it’s going in its own time; there’s absolutely nothing about this release which feels forced. Neil Mortimer (Urthona) and Michael J York (Cyclobe, Téléplasmiste, The Stargazer’s Assistant) have a beautiful sense of quietude as their music crawls majestically over the landscape. It is tidal music; it is rural music. The electronics on show here sound like they were spun from earth, from nature; they are dew-dipped, wind-swept, maybe just a little fogfucked.

This music slips between the cracks. It sounds like Music for Salvia Divinorum. Their old synths are cranked up and ready to blow great Kosmische eggs, but they are kept in tow; they serve a greater, softer, purpose in this album. The Other Without doesn’t attempt to fuck with the cosmos; it’s rooted on earth, in earth. I’ve listened to this only three times so far, but each time it’s sounded a bit different, as if it churns a little with the weather, gets corroded by the sun and the rain. It’s not unlike an aural Rorschach, a gently projective test which attempts to get inside your skull.

I live in Somerset, near where this was recorded. It makes sense if you’re here and would act as an effective guide to the area; you can hear exactly where they’re coming from, just by being where this album is from. It has a place, like all albums should.

There are many albums similar to this out there, but there are very few that manage these kind of tricks without seeming aimless. Michael J York has played with Coil, of course, but I’m not mentioning that. It doesn’t sound like Coil; it has its own rhythm. It’s not moon musick. It sounds more like the land itself is trying to speak, or perhaps sing. You need to pay proper attention and you probably need to be outside. It doesn’t sound anywhere near as good in my kitchen as it does out in the fields. Buy it, take it for a walk. Let the rest of the world’s sounds slip alongside these gently unfurling synthesisers. This music is utterly benevolent; I have no doubt at all that it would be very accommodating.


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