Artridge: Butterfly Wing Theory - Part 1 (Think Tank)
Interlink Audio

Artridge describes its music as “Contemporary Progressive Post-Industrial Chamber Music” and the characterization isn't entirely off-base. Abetted by a trio of drummers, Christoph Mainz (piano, organ, electric piano, synths, keyboards, guitars) and Robin Pleil (electric and acoustic guitars, baritone and steel guitars, string bass, strings, keyboards) shape a heady brew of prog and post-rock into a lumbering colossus, with the material on Artridge's first full-length in four years often sounding like live jams the duo have shaped into multi-layered masses. Throughout its life-span, the group has absorbed multiple styles and pretty much all of them surface at one time or another during the album's forty-five-minute running time, including drum'n'bass (“Milkbar”), prog-rock (“Halo,” “Jellyfish”), post-rock (“Charcoal”), and dub (“World Pool”).

“Distillery” eases the listener in with a bubbly cauldron of tinkling chimes, and beats that occasionally swim to the surface of the chemical broth. “Halo” hits harder with an attack that's rather King Crimson-like in style before easing up in the second half for a downtempo, bass-prodded coda. The initially diffused “Charcoal” gradually assumes a post-rock shape with colourful swathes of electric guitar draped across a tight bass-and-drum groove. Opening with a heavy riff that's distantly reminiscent of “Owner of a Lonely Heart,” the brief “Man in the Middle” exudes the crushing force of a steamroller, after which the funereal “Jellyfish” plunges below the surface towards the murky depths. “Spec Ops” transports the listener to a psychedelic war zone where the gyroscopic churn of helicopter blades and wind-up clocks intertwine, after which the material's political overtones turn even more explicit when George Bush's declamatory voice surfaces amidst the torrential prog-noise blizzards of “Dallas Ditchwater.” Though Artridge originally intended Butterfly Wing Theory to be a triple album, the group eventually scrapped the trilogy concept for a two-part release, with Butterfly Wing Theory - Part 1 (Think Tank) obviously anticipating the second, which one assumes will be released sooner than later.

March 2009