3 out of 5
Label: Auris Apothecary
Produced by: Seth Mayhew (?)
There are a lot of references going on here that will probably help to inform the appeal of this: the bandcamp page mentions the Magnetic South label, and this one blog post / review of the album references Sun Ra, Tower Recordings, and others. To be honest, most of that isn’t exactly up my alley – I have my tastes in experimental music, but Tower and Magnetic South tended / tend to veer in directions that haven’t always held my interest – and Lord Fyre’s (aka Seth Mayhew) ‘Destruction at 2013’ is, even given those referential contexts, a bit more wandering than I’d prefer. Which isn’t to say it doesn’t hold value for the more “casual” outre music listener, especially on repeated listens: the end of the album is especially strong, with somewhat more noisy and layered additions that bring in a sense of evolution to the music, the tracks moving their way through moods as they buzz and hum and grow. An opener Drinking Away Demons is a good example of something that rewards the more familiar you become with it, picking out its nuances from the pleasant, haunting drone. Between these bookends, though, is where it gets a little varied, going in to loose and hazy psychedelic folk for a couple of tracks that, to me, don’t feel like they belong with the rest of the material, and rather dispel the opener’s establishing of a vibe. In the album’s middle (Vintage Violins; The Night Before) are some interesting, minimalist sound experiments, but that’s where we get into the type of material I have trouble getting much traction with – it feels more demo-y than purposeful.
Destruction at 2013 is a good background listen, but, juxtaposingly, I don’t know that it offers much depth (excepting those last two tracks) unless you are actually paying attention. So it’s a few spins to get a feel for it – to tell whether it’s for you or not – and then it can sink into a background layer thereafter, adding some minute levels above noise to keep ears invested but not distracted.