DOWNLOAD – LingAM [English]


autor recenzji / reviewed by: Peter Marks || ENG:Quiet. Unassuming. Mindblowing. These three words encapsulate what Download have been doing since 1997’s III album. They attained their core line up of cEvin Key and Phil Western in 2000 with Effector. For fans of The Eyes of Stanley Pain, don’t even bother reading this. Go listen to your album and live in the past. Every time this pair do an album, I really have to struggle to keep up; they carve out a new epoch with each record they release, shedding (shredding?) all previous achivements. Even if you hold their debut, Furnace, as your favorite, you’re going to find a lot to enjoy on lingAM. Some of the chaotic free form improvisation that one is littered with sneaks on to what Key and Western have just put out. But first let’s dispense with a popular notion about Download.

This project has never stood still nor does it have a definable ‘sound’. There are eras, to be certain, but Download don’t do formula even though a lot of people have dismissed them as just chaotic noise merchants. These two are more interested in explorations of the mind. What really gets me is how vibrantly colorful these pieces are, that they somehow only exist in a studio. Sterile technology? Not where Download are concerned. Organic is a term which gets a bit much usage but this more than anything else is where our duo are coming from. Sometimes you just have to sit back and marvel at just how well their two particular approaches mesh with one another, Saw Crust really drives this point home. Key’s atmospheres and Philth’s effective rhythms are something to witness, even if it is only on disc. They then overlay this basis with all manner of effects and synthesis running wildly. There are even some dialogue samples which happen on lingAM who’s placement can only be termed diabolical.

My face is a mess this morning…

Bear in mind that Download have now been a going concern nearly twenty years. Just mull that one over, you’ll start to understand how much for granted they are taken. This is the band which came about due to Skinny Puppy’s impending implosion and ever since then, Download have charted their own path embracing no fads and jumping on no one else’s train. The techno bent to their work which is so bemoaned has been going on for a while now, it was there at the start don’t forget. Goettel was a big fan of it, and so is Western. As with every new release these guys do, there are more than a few ghosts being exorcised. The one I truly hope that gets shown the door is Key’s reluctance to do another solo album under his own name. It’s been twelve years since The Ghost of Each Room!

The cohesive flow of lingAM is probably the biggest strength it has, nothing is done in excess and unlike Helicopter varied tempos are employed with decimating results. I don’t know precisely who did what here but the finished product speaks for itself (no vocals are on this one, as it should be) with music that will shake off your apathy and result in you playing this thing over and over and over and over until your ears become a mere extension of the ten songs that make up Download’s newest. Strangely enough, the only direct connection to anything they’ve done I can discern would be The Inception Jams way way back in 1994/95.

Unlike those confrontational stabs of creative frustration (which retain their potency to this day), lingAM is an extremely well thought out, precisely composed series of rhythmic experiments. These two have been working together off and on for nearly two decades. Think about that. Now close this window and play your way through the mindwarping auditory terrain this much mentioned but seldom-heard outfit are the masters of. The one axiom Download have is this: when next we meet, your jaw will hit the floor.

Metropolis Records

CD/Download 2013
Metropolis Records [Met 873]

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