♫ Gastr del Sol – “The Seasons Reverse”
Your forgetting knows the seasons never change but only reverse when it is finally Autumn in this hemisphere, and you remember the previous Spring, how the first week of warmth saw you forgetting it’d ever been that warm, how wary you were without a scarf tight around your throat, how you’d already forgotten that even a week before that Wednesday it’d been snowing obnoxiously, so C told you, over birthday beers in a scummy bar, that when you were all sitting soon enough on his roof in only t-shirts, that was going to be all he’d talk about, he’d not let anyone forget those leaden skies and slush-soaked days, the longest Winter in your age’s memory, or even since 1962, M’s father told you, he remembers the snow that Easter and how quickly his żurek z jajkiem I chrzanem got cold.
A great drone piece. Kevin Drumm’s calmer and more meditative work is very appealing, especially with the knowledge of how abrasive and challenging his sound can get.
But what is going on here in terms of the positive or negative mandate in the title? Is there something sinister underneath the calming effects of listening to such a long drone, something lurking that we try not to acknowledge? Is Drumm asking us to forget Sheer Hellish Miasma, providing us with some breathing room, or is he trying to lull us to sleep, where a different set of memories and associations will be confronted? Was he himself trying to forget the darkness of Imperial Distortion with an hour-long come down?
And with the cover, is there a contradiction at work between the cemetery on a bright day, a funereal nod, and the levity of the drone, a too easy equation of forgetting, death, and peace? Is Drumm playing with our desire for placid sound by pointing all signifiers towards the plaintive?