‘Sunn O))) is impossible to jog along to’ – Niall McGuirk on Sunn O))) & Ulver‘s recent collaboration,Terrestrials
I have taken up jogging to work three days a week. It is the pastime of the soon to be middle aged. We get to a stage where we get our bloods checked for sugar levels and cholesterol. No longer are property prices the conversation hogger over dinner, nope that bubble has well and truly burst for blood pressure levels. Heck I’ve even got a monitor at home.
Anyway I’ve a soundtrack for jogging. It usually involved singalong 4/4 beat punk rock or US hardcore. Off With Their Heads are particularly good accompaniment. I find myself trying to keep pace with a bass drum. Sunn O))) is impossible to jog along to. 3 songs on this record take up its 36 minutes and whilst it is the perfect indicator of how you should pace yourself on said run it is nut going to get you pounding the pavement any quicker.
If the word ‘drone’ means more to you than a type of missile used in horrible warfare then you might be on the right track here. A drone is an unmanned missile that can kill indiscriminately. I have been known, however, to drone on for hours given half a chance – if I think you might be willing to listen to my rambling a about bin tax or property tax of impending water tax, I will chew that ear off. Well, Sunn O))) is the musical equivalent to my rambling. Or my ideal jog into work.
9 minutes before a drum beat kicks in and it certainly is no beat. It’s an attack on your senses. A challenge for you to sit down and listen. And yet if you meet that challenge head on the crescendo of noise and sound will absorb you.
If your perception of music is verse chorus verse chorus middle right etc then forget it. These tracks (can’t really call them songs) are one big middle eight. The sound of a disused train track. Isolation and desolation everywhere. They are a challenging attack on your ears, but right throughout the soundscape there are pieces to hone in on and develop in your mind. Get lost in the music and 36 minutes later you will reach your destination.