Natural Snow Buildings - The Dance of the Moon and the Sun (2006)
Natural Snow Buildings...Where the hell did this band come from? I know there is alot of shit out there, and its easy to miss it, especially when youre a full on music junkie like I am. But letting this one pass you by is like missing and elephant waking by in broad daylight. This album is a huge pagan monolith of universal proportions. Now dont mistake my analogies, this album is large, but not grind-you-up-and-spit-you-out large, nor is it 16-band-members, full-on-orchestra large. It is really just 2 1/2 hours of droning psych and raga, falling sometimes near early Six Organs works, at other times falling near Iron & Wine in simple beautiful melancholy, still other times sounding like Animal Collective on downers, the whole time treading the line between a Sunn 0)))-like darkness and a twinkling post-rock ambience such as Eluvium or even Explosions in the Sky. It is a slow burn, starting with Disc 1, Moon, dripping like sap from a tree while nymphs and satyrs slowly sway with the leaves. There are some heavy, cerebral moments here, namely the 15 minute true opener (after a short folk intro), Cut Joint Sinews & Divided Reincarnation. Similar moments exist in the 25 minute Felt Presence, Ghostly Humming and short and sweet Rain Parade. Interspersed throughout are shorter folk songs, often with a similar acoustic drone fluttering just behind the melody. Disc 2, Sun starts off darker, opening with the spooky and unsettling Tupilak before taking us into more droning folk and subtle atmospherics. The high point here is Ten Guardian-Spirits Motherfucker, with a steady back beat and sharply plucked yet shimmering guitars over an evil drone that could easily be likened to the sun rising over the desert. Images abound in the lengthier songs and would be greatly enjoyed by fans of the acoustic drone/ psych sound. The shorter, folkier songs keep the album from getting bogged down in its own wall of noise and bring it back to earth, making Natural Snow Buildings a band firmly rooted in the earth and the stars.
Natural Snow Buildings is a duo from France, consisting of artists Mehdi and Solange, and have released one album prior to Moon and Sun called Ghost Folks, which apprently owes more of its sound to Constellation Records and Godspeed You! Black Emperor. The band has self-released its latest double cd-r in highly limited quantities with hand made packaging and artwork, and basically they are all sold out, so this is a good chance to hear a band that should hopefully be a force to contend with in short time.
Many thanks go out the Postapocalyptic Vanguard for not only posting tons of great instrumental post-rock but also for providing the links to this incredible, haunting record.