The Myrrors are one of those bands, and actually for me there are not many, whose albums I will happily buy without hearing first. They have behind them a series of releases which in many ways defies description and classification. For me this is because they layer so many different ideas and atmospheres into their music. This, I guess, is the band’s third full album (Solar Collector was more of a 12″ single), and the previous two have a special place in my collection. I have only recently got hold of ‘Burning Circles in the Sky’ following a much welcomed Fuzz Club Records re-release and had forgotten just how good it is. Then there is Arena Negra, which I just adored from the moment I heard it; and which went on to be one of our ‘Essential‘ albums of 2015 here at Psych Insight/ Backseat Mafia.
Which brings us up to date, and a dizzying second album in two years from a band whose previous two albums had over half a decade between them. This time, however, it has not been love at first sight with ‘Entranced Earth, but something altogether longer and more studied. Whether it was my mood or whatever, my first couple of listens garnered a few peaks of interest but I didn’t ‘get it’ straight away. Having listened to it more times I have to say that I’ve been cajoled gradually by this album and now, finally and almost thankfully, think that it is an album that sits comfortably alongside its magnificent predecessors.
‘Entranced Earth’ opens with ‘Mountain Morning’ a brief overture of nature and melancholy, perhaps introducing the entranced Earth of the title. It is a short track that is seemingly calling us to take part in a sacred sonic experience before segueing into ‘Liberty Is In The Street’. As this track explodes into life I am immediately reminded of the Cult of Dom Keller, a band with whom The Myrrors shared a brilliant Fuzz Club 10″ split last year. It’s a powerful ‘opener’, perhaps more reminiscent of ‘Burning Circles in the Sky’, but one that grabs your attention and gets you in the mood.
This is followed by ‘No Clear Light’, a track of longing that owes much of its structure to acoustic instruments, giving it a wonderfully spare atmosphere; something that is effectively matched by some etherial vocals. I find this track in many ways to be very relaxing and focussing and, now I’ve heard the album a few times, puts me in the right frame of mind to listen to it.
After these two tracks ‘Entranced Earth’ feels very improvised and freeform, it owes a lot of it’s structure to jazz with the interactions of what sounds like variety of instruments such as sax and table on top of a solid rhythm section which binds the track together. Interspersed with this are naturalistic and ritualistic noises which give the track a real grounding in what I can only describe as something very elemental…something which invites us to connect with our planet in a very direct and spiritual way (without prescribing what that spirituality might be). This is in common with most of the rest of the album, which I find intensely meditative.
This is certainly the case with ‘Tallos’ which is also really atmospheric, bringing to mind being in the depths of a rainforest, far away from what we increasingly laughingly call ‘civilisation’. Here is where the true civil-isation lies, in the natural beauty of our earth, not the increasingly de-civilizing and unnatural world of our capitalist ‘society’. This theme is continued with the majestic ‘Invitation Mantra’, a twelve minute tour de force in slow repetitive music which doesn’t so much invite us to reflect on our relationship with our planet…it demands it…albeit subtly and gently. This is a track to just lose yourself in, a track that could be twice its length and still too short. It invites introspection and reflection, yet not in a way that also encourages detachment. This, it seems to me, is all about connection. This whole album is about connection, about realisation of the true nature of our relationship with the world around us. It summons us to stop and take note. It encourages us to take note, and ultimately to act. It is beautiful and who can say no to this siren voice.
After the mantra comes the dance, ‘Surem Dervish’ feels like the release after the ritualistic reflection; the chance to let all our thoughts dissolve into a improvised movement. This track has a fragmented feel to me, as if the moment of contemplation is passed and now it is time to shake ourselves down. It brings us out of the mantric trance and back into the real world…but with an absolute jolt when the track suddenly and very abruptly ends. Perhaps this is symbolic of our own potential to bring the world to a catastrophic stop.
I think it took me some time to get into this album because I was looking for complexity where I should perhaps have been looking for the opposite. Yes there is the usual layering of sounds on this record which once again gives it an ecosystem all of its own. For me, though, this is an album with a simple message about our relationship with our planet and our impact on it. It presents the enchanted nature of or world (as suggested to me by the title), and for me encourages us to see the relative simplicity of that relationship, basically by taking us away from all the shit that is secreted on top. You may well like this album from the first moment you hear it, it took me a while but my perseverance has been rewarded many times over and the best complement I can give is that it may, over time, even top Arena Negra.
‘Entranced Earth’ is released on Beyond Beyond is Beyond records on 27th May 2016 and is available to pre-order.