Tuesday, 2 July 2019

Temple Music - The Unquiet Mind.

Album: The Unquiet Mind

Artist: Temple Music

Label: Sombre Soniks

Catalogue  no: N/A


1. An Unquiet Moment
2. Jungle in the Night with Tigers
3. Art in the 21st Century
4. Hatching Broods
5. Skyros Comes Out of the Clouds

A real pot-pourri of moods and atmospherics this one, reflecting an adventurousness and playfulness that’s a welcome distraction from the usual doom and nihilistic destruction I usually make a habit of listening to. Add to that a certain old-school ambience into the mix, plus a distinct streak of an ‘in the moment’ convergence of time, place, influence, and mood, and you have an album that could have come from the, dare I say it, ‘golden age’ of industrial music culture – the 1990s. This isn’t so surprising, as the gentleman behind the Temple Music project introduced me to Nurse With Wound, Current 93, Lemon Kittens, Sol Invictus, and many others almost three decades ago now.

The other convergence apparent here, one of cultural influences, is tied up with the place in which these recordings had their origin: Evia and Skyros, two of the Greek Islands. As the press release notes, Greece at one time was a melting pot of humanity and ideas, including the Greek, Byzantine, Ottoman, Venetian, and Albanian cultures. This is most evident on the skirling, whirling album opener ‘An Unquiet Moment’, a demented dervish high on a heady cocktail of ouzo, raki, and retsina. Shades of ancient Eastern cultures abound here, flavours of Arabia, Anatolia, Persia, and Mesopotamia weaving snake-like in hypnotically sinuous strains. ‘Art in the 2st Century’ and ‘Skyros Comes Out of the Clouds’ remind me somewhat of the sweeter and lighter moments of Throbbing Gristle, which is no bad thing, ringing tones and meandering guitar melodies which superficially don’t appear to go anywhere and yet conjure up sparklingly bright images of faraway places where edifices of white marble shimmer in the heat haze, tantalisingly close and yet unreachable. Here we’re only temporary visitors to this Otherworld.

‘Hatching Broods’ scrapes its way into existence and then flares quietly into a gentle sustained keyboard that carries us along into clear air, blue skies, and even bluer water. Barely audible accompaniments soar and flutter above, below, and through the ebbing and flowing underpinnings, sharp white streaks of luminescence refusing to be brought into focus. It’s the endless, cyclic flow of time and motion, the seasons upon seasons, and the years upon years.

In complete contrast is the second track, ‘Jungle in the Night with Tigers’ – a track with percussive elements and bright stabs of colour that reminds me heavily of classic Tangerine Dream/Edgar Froese. That’s definitely a big plus in my book as that’s where all this experimental music exploration malarkey began for me.

If you like your experimentation old school, quirky, varied, full of atmospherics, and above all playful then I think you should give this one a go. Available at Bandcamp on the link below.

Psymon Marshall 2019.

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