Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Lull - Continue (1996)

Lull is the side project of Mick Harris, perhaps best known as the drummer for the extreme death metal band Napalm Death. What can one expect from such a celebrated noisemaker? Certainly not anything like this. Let me just say that Lull lives up to its name. Don't expect any aggression here.

The record consists of a single, hour long track of an extremely minimal ambient drone. There is some motion, and indeed some evolution in the sound, but it all happens at a glacial pace and it took me several listens to even be aware of some of the subtleties going on beneath the surface. From what I can tell, the tones are produced electronically and there are a number of layers shifting back and forth on top of one another like the slow grinding of tectonic plates. The atmosphere is fairly dark and sinister, but it doesn't hit you over the head like some of Lustmord's stuff.

"Continue" probably works best as a background record, something to listen to while you do other things. Given that it makes the ambient music of people like Brian Eno or Harold Budd seem like speed metal, it would probably be difficult for most people to give it their full attention for very long. That being said, it does provide a nice atmosphere and does what ambient is supposed to do: lurk unobtrusively on the edge of your consciousness.

On a personal note, I once hosted "ambient night" at my college discotheque with the sole intention of preventing anyone from dancing (a rousing success, I must say) and I used this record as the grand finale to my set. I think only one person showed up that night.

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