S-M 2: Abyss in B Minor

Serena Maneesh


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2010, 4AD

In this age, given the ease of bedroom recording, records like this one aren't made very often. But this is no distended double-album; it may open with the eight-minute groove of "Ayisha Abyss," which sounds like a caffeinated Can or something from Funkadelic's Maggot Brain, but the whole album is so concise, so perfectly realised that it's all over in 38 minutes and 45 seconds. Self-indulgent? No. Self-important? Yes, and rightly so.

No 2: Abyss In B Minor follows The Norwegian band's self-titled debut on which they toured with everyone from Dandy Warhols to Nine Inch Nails. S-M mastermind Emile Nikolaisen spent over a year "in different locations with different people, capturing and gathering moments, failures, sounds." Then, with the assistance of the likes of Nick Terry, who has worked with Klaxons and Primal Scream, and Can associate René Tinner, he set about mixing the results. "I Just Want To See Your Face" has a terrifying opening section reminiscent of XTRMNTR-era Primal Scream, before turning into an insanely twisted pop song. There are some incredible, memorable melodies in songs such as "D.I.W.S.W.T.T.D," but the squalling menace of "Reprobate!" and "Blow Yr Brains In The Morning Rain," the ethereal majesty of "Melody For Jaana" and the slow-motion nightmare of "Honeyjinx" are something else entirely.

Tracklisting

Disc 1
1 Ayisha Abyss
2 I Just Want To See Your Face
3 Reprobate!
4 Melody For Jaana
5 Blow Yr Brains In The Mourning Rain
6 Honey Jinx
7 D.I.W.S.W.T.T.D.
8 Magdalena (Symphony #8)



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