Friendships: Nullarbor 1988-1989 (Mansion Records/Dot Dash Recordings/Remote Control Records, 2016)

October 16, 2016 at 6:48 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Friendships: Nullarbor 1988-1989

Friendships: Nullarbor 1988-1989

Friendships are an Australian duo who make dark, punishing, paranoid music which embraces jungle, grime, ragga, R&B, and spoken word. All of the tracks on this album are wildly different from each other, but it all holds together, and it’s incredibly exciting and eye-opening. “Big Farm in the Sky” and “Paradise” are jungle tracks with heavy bass and insistent breakbeats, and they’re both astounding. “Purebred Dogs” is a hyperspeed garage/grime track, while “Pedal to the Metal” is more of a club-focused track with Latin and Middle Eastern influences. “Spit/Flesh/Splinter” alternates between vulnerable R&B and harsher industrial textures, and it’s got “Ha” stabs. “Jerramungup 1988” is a spoken word interlude which leads up to “When I Feel Like Killing I Murder”, a dubstep-ish track which hinges around the last few lines of the previous track. “Move (Fast)” adds ragga vocals to the pummeling beats, and after “O.O.O. (Eat Your Flesh)” the album gets more distant and abstract. Following another spoken word piece, there’s the aggressive drum workout “The Roof” and the album ends with a detached piano drone called “Keep Smiling at Me Like That and You’ll Be Picking Your Teeth Up Out of the Gutter”. An absolutely deadly album, and probably the biggest surprise of the month, if not the last few.

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