Belong: October Language

Amazing, isn't it, how feedback-drenched noise can be transformed into material of the most unearthly, euphoric grandeur? On its October Language debut, Belong (New Orleans duo Turk Dietrich and Michael Jones) sculpts its material into majestic slabs of shuddering smears that are absolutely riveting. Listen to how “Red Velvet or Nothing” and “The Door Opens the Other Way” take the sputter of grinding decay and alchemize it into heavenly blocks of architectural sound. The album isn't entirely about epic grandiosity, however; “I'm Too Sleepy…Shall We Swim?” shows the duo equally capable of crafting a gentler setting of becalmed placidity. Whether loud or soft, the music's abstract character invites projection; in the meditative “Remove the Inside,” for example, choral moans of rapturous supplication appear to lie beneath the grimy surface. Devotees of Tim Hecker, Eluvium, and Fennesz should run, not walk, to grab their copies of October Language. But play it loud to fully experience the slow-motion wail and grandiose glory of Belong's sound.

February 2006