jute gyte The Sparrow (12", £9.50)
The post-genre sounds Blue Tapes and X-Ray Records has mined and curated over the past couple of years might not immediately code as metal, but as early as our home-dubbed tape days we were exploring death metal’s potential as vocal-only music with blue ten: EyeSea. Jute Gyte is unambiguously metal music and I genuinely believe that Adam Kalmbach, the sole musician and producer behind the project, is the most important musician in metal since Death’s Chuck Schuldiner, himself the most important metal musician since Tony Iommi, the man whose fingers created metal. As a teenager into the Mortal Kombat soundtrack and Nine Inch Nails, Adam learnt metal guitar. Later, he studied composition at university and had his brain nuked by early and baroque music, serialism and Sibelius, and the universes of potentials opening like wormholes in his head created Jute Gyte. Jute Gyte applies microtonality and modernist compositional approaches to black metal. This isn’t in itself what makes Jute Gyte’s music great, though it does explode an increasingly conservative musical tradition out into something new, that no one has heard before. New sounds and new feelings. Jute Gyte’s orchestra of microtonal guitars sounds as though it is vomiting blackholes. But maybe what initially scans as occult horror in Jute Gyte’s music is just seasickness caused by the unfamiliarity of this new terrain. “I understand how stuff I've done sounds ugly to people,” Adam concedes, “but it doesn't sound ugly to me. Or, it doesn't sound exclusively ugly. It's just a different kind of language. If you haven't internalised that language, then you're going to hear a lot of things that sound like 'wrong' notes. I hear little musical jokes, I hear happy parts and sad parts, and I hear a lot of parts that don't seem to have any emotive content at all. It's not just uniformly ugly, just as Schoenberg's work is not intended to be uniformly ugly.” For x-ray five, Adam has crafted two side-long pieces. The first of these, The Sparrow, is a kind of modernist black metal symphony that might share some signifiers with the despair-loaded blizzard hymns familiar to fans of Norwegian BM. But those beautiful flocks of guitars - sometimes they sound like they’re hovering, or scrolling back and forth, rather than ‘riffing’. A dazzling murmuration. And it wasn’t some grimoire that provided the lyrical inspiration for the piece, but Stoner author John Edward Williams’ 1965 poetry collection, The Necessary Lie. The second piece, Monadanom, is from a suite of ambient microtonal guitar pieces that Adam has been incubating for us since early 2014. It is oceanic, not in the usual new age-y sense most often applied to ambient music, but in that it is raging with life and detail; unfathomable. TRACKLIST: 1. The Sparrow, 2. Monadanom.
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