Black To Comm – Earth (CD De Stijl)

Listening to Black to Comm’s Earth sometimes feels like being part of a historical landscape, a 20th century opera, a golden era upper-class party or even further back. The 5 tracks on Earth are written for ‘Earth’, a 42 minutes long movie by Singaporean producer Ho Tzu Nyen which, purely based on internet reviews, is very well summarized by the picture on the front. A large group of actors simulating death in the midst of debris of all kind, shot in stunning lights falling onto them, as if they were pasted onto a canvas like a Rembrandt. The post-apocalyptic setting starts with the slowly unwinding Stickstoff II (German for nitrogen), and in conjunction with the images, this asphyxiating gas could very well be cause #1 for the drama unfolding. But then, just as we are getting used a bit to the alienating voice of Vindicatrix’s David Aird, hope starts shimmering through on  ‘The Children’, Earth’s 4th track,  effectively mixing distant children's voices with glistening synth loops. As if a new day is dawning and progressing, ‘Mirror’ gloriously concludes the set.  

All though Earth still has the typical Black To Comm drony character, this time it is much more than that. Earth’s music slowly progresses and the development leaves scars ; a lot of cracks, hiss, distant children’s voices and otherworldliness in general. Marc Richter plays together with David Aird, Machinefabriek’s Rutger Zuiderveldt, Renate Nikolaus and Christopher Kline on Earth and in a way it very much enriches the music. Because it is so different compared to other BTC’s releases, it may take the listener by surprise. It feels as if Richter is only controlling things from a distant, allowing the musicians to give birth to Earth themselves. Once getting used to that idea, there is a lot to appreciate and enjoy. PvdG