GROSS NET: Gross Net Means Gross Net.

13 10 2019

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I’ve said countless times that music is a form of escapism for so many, but sometimes you need something to keep you right where you are- even if it is daunting, or terrible. I’ve always admired Gross Net (or Philip if you want to be proper) and how his mind works. He is one of the most expressive souls out there, and he takes you on this futuristic journey every single time. His newest record, Gross Net Means Gross Net is one of the most experimental records I’ve heard in a long time. It’s got this Scandinavian Noir feel to it; it could easily be played in some Thriller TV series as something truly gruesome and barbaric is about to happen. It is a creepy record, and it is nothing short of exceptional. I’m going to do my best to explain why this is one of the most out there records of the year.

There’s been a few years in between this record, and Philip’s last Gross Net record. This is a totally different sound, and as someone who is influenced by what they see- Philip has truly taken the state of the world (mainly the UK) and given us this tense breakdown of the shitshows that are occurring daily. Think a really political version of Einstürzende Neubauten with hints of Psychic TV. Basically, two of the greatest bands ever rolled in one. But, as we know, Philip is his own creation and a bloody genius. What this record gives you is something so eerie and captivating.

 

 

The best time to listen to this record is when it starts to get dark. This is not a daytime listen- this is dead of the night listen. I mean, it’s only 18:47 but it’s pretty dark out now so, and it works. You cannot help but be absolutely consumed by these songs and how remarkable the production is. It is, for me, the best produced record of the year. Shedding Skin is probably one of the most gloriously composed songs of the year. These aren’t just sounds, these are synth-based symphonies that will take over your soul in the most beautiful way. I love everything about Shedding Skin. It’s just over 6 minutes, and the lyrics are sure to hit you in the gut- they are explicit to the core (I mean in an exposing of the soul kind of way) and it isn’t hard to truly connect with this one. You can just imagine it being performed live in a basement bar, almost pitch black with a smoke machine creating this eerie mood, and a tense atmosphere crashing over.

Every song on this record serves the sole purpose to ignite the listener, and to get them to a place where no other piece of music could. The music alone on this record is so spooky and is comforting at the same time. Although there’s a song on the record named after a terrible person (Theresa May) it is actually one of the most gorgeous pieces of music you’ll hear. There is no need for words on this one, you can create your own story to this beautiful instrumental. In a way on this one, you get a glimpse into how Philip’s mind works- you can hear the care and feel the thought in this piece so much. Then it slides into Gentrification which almost feels like it could be played at a rave at 4am somewhere. He can make you flitter between several emotions on this record, and that just makes me admire him even more. He’s easily one of my favourite musicians around (and I think he knows this!)

 I love how the songs can touch on subjects you don’t really hear in modern music (how we’re all prone to consuming too much and not being aware of the consequence, thus turning a blind eye to our future) which can really be felt on Of Late Capitalism. Gentrification leads into Of Late Capitalism in such a succinct way, again it is another moment on the record where you can really pick up on the thought and care that has gone into this perfect record. Philip has massively pushed himself on this record, when you listen to his previous records you can hear something on this record that you haven’t quite heard him do before. It’s a cross between very early Scott Walker meets Suicide (the best duo ever), with hints of the future. It’s such a stunning record to lose yourself in. Dust To Dust is heart-breaking but my god it is the most beautiful song that Philip has ever done. To date, this song is the best thing he has done. Obviously, that’s just my personal view, and maybe I’ll change my mind but lyrically and the composure of this song is nothing short of mind-blowing. It just shows us how much of a genius he is, and how unafraid he is in his approach to creating such powerful music.

 

 

Gross Net Is Gross Net is one of the most thought-provoking records of the year. Sure, Philip will take you to a different world with the sounds, but the lyrics will bring you right back to Earth. This record is made up of 10 songs to truly hit you in the soul. One person, just one person has made this absolutely vital record. It doesn’t tell a story; it tells the truth. It is a truth to really, really listen to.





SEXTILE.

14 08 2018

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I thought I had written about Sextile but I clearly hadn’t. I’ve been a fan of them for a couple of years now, so better late than never to write about them. They are touring the UK in September along with a new EP coming out, but I’m just going to focus on their music to date and try put across my love for them in a somewhat coherent manner.

They’ve had a few line-up changes, but now it’s just Brady and Melissa. I’m always in awe of duos because I feel they work a bit harder than most, and when they make this much noise- I can’t help but be impressed. There’s a real rugged industrial feel to their music, and if you’re a fan of my biggest loves, Cold Cave, then you’ll adore Sextile. Or you’re probably smart and love them already.

What I love about Sextile is that they make me feel like I am listening to Seventeen Seconds by The Cure all over again. If you’ve read anything I’ve written before, you probably know that I’m always looking for music that makes me feel like I’m listening to Seventeen Seconds all over again. Sextile do it in such an incredibly eerie way. They’ll freak you out with their wonderful synth based sounds. This is the kind of music you’d find in some real dark and twisted thriller. You know, when someone really creepy is chasing someone through a forest or down a desolate street. It’ll give you the chills, and you won’t be able to stop listening.

I love how they make their drums sound like Bobby Gillespie when he was in The Jesus And Mary Chain- simple but genius. They’re an effortlessly brilliant band that have something about them that just makes you want to cast daily responsibilities aside and follow them on tour. Sure the set may be the same, but imagine having that constant feeling of seeing a band you love every single night on stage. There’s no better feeling, if you’re a music obsessive like me. One Of These which is taken from 2017’s release, Albeit Living is one of the best openers I’ve heard for a record in a long time. It’s a probably smack in the belly, and like I mentioned- the drums on it is just like The Jesus And Mary Chain’s Psychocandy era. As well as Seventeen Seconds, Psychocandy is another record I use as reference for how a new band I’m listening to make me feel. If they have that urgency and eeriness to their sound like those two, I’ll probably love them.

I’m currently playing them loud enough to drown out the car alarm that keeps going off across the road, and it’s a pretty solid distraction. Maybe my neighbours would get into Sextile too, but its 10:30pm and I’m not that much of an asshole to cause a disturbance. But the person with the car alarm, that’s a different story. It’s been going on since 3 this morning. Anyway, enough of that.

I’m pretty sure they’ll get the Cold Cave, Nine Inch Nails and Drab Majesty comparisons lobbed at them. They’d be in good company (I’m being biased but still) but Sextile have something about them that gives them a brilliant distinctive sound. Part of you feels like you’ve gone way back in time, and another part of you feels like you’ve headed deep into the future because this is totally unlike anything else you’ve heard before. I love how Sextile can create such a dark and creepy atmosphere with their music. It feels so natural, and it is something to absolutely treasure.

For me, I’d say the best time to listen to Sextile when it’s dark out. Allow yourself to feel a little on edge and unsure, then go full pelt into the music. Don’t hold nothing back. Sextile will take you on this journey into what you didn’t think you were ready for, but you totally needed. I love the sordid and animalistic sound they have, and I’m pretty sure in a live setting it’ll just be out of this world.

Sextile do have a new EP coming out in September, and I think it is the first where it is just Melissa and Brady. It was recorded in their home- imagine being their neighbour! That’d be ridiculously cool. They used a LinnDrum on this record, and it sounds so, so good.

You can pre-order it here: https://sextile.bandcamp.com/album/3 and it will be released via Felte Records. Buy the EP and come see them on tour!