Old World Die Must


"This is the 14th album released by this Georgia-based improv trio, but the first to come out on LP. The Electric Nature has gone through a variety of phases during its decade-plus history, but its recent work has been fairly abstract, and so it continues here. The basic threesome -- Michael Potter, Michael Pierce, and Thom Strickland -- are not credited with individual instruments here. It is merely noted that between them they play guitars, synthesizers, drums, percussion, samples and field recordings. Additionally, Jeff Tobias plays sax on one side, and John Kiran Fernandes adds clarinet and violin to the flip. Those with a serious working interest in the Athens GA sub-underground will associate these names with a variety of bands: Bleachy Asshole, Future Ape Tapes, Leisure Service, Smokedog, Wet Garden, as well as a couple of labels. Tobias and Fernandes bring another host of associations, from Arthur Doyle to Frank Hurricane, so we should assume this is a crew that knows exactly what it wants, as well as how to get it. In this instance, what they want are two side-long squalls of sound, so good they have an almost Japanese cast to their improvisational distentions. Despite their parallel intensity, the essential natures of these sides are disparate and distinct. On 'Enter Chapel Perilous,' field recordings give way to swampy sax blister, the sound of boots stuck in mud while spirits voices gibber in the background, and swirling horror-movie synth. These elements are twisted into a sonic fire storm that gets hotter and hotter. Eventually everyone gets spit out onto the parched sands of the Sahara. Meanwhile, on the title track, the team raises a sweetly muzzy curtain of drum splatter, amp roar and swoosh, through which curlicues of clarinet and shards of broken guitar are pushed like puppets at a Punch & Judy show. Anyway, that's my take. The Electric Nature surely have their own chronicle of this music. But who really cares what any says it sounds like. The proof is in the sonic pudding. And The Electric Nature have whipped up a very tasty batch of mystery. Yum." --Byron Coley, 2023