missing organs

STAFF PICKS: Missing Organs finds the humanity in instrumental drone on Undiscovered

Tristan Bath's London-based drone project challenges, soothes, and strikes harmonies you didn't know you had.

- Oct 23, 2014

Undiscovered, a new record of passionate drone movements from Missing Organs, shouldn't be so unpretentious. Tristan Bath, a music writer based in London who records under the name Missing Organs, tells me via email that after interviewing electronic hellion Ben Frost, he was provoked into only making music that meant something. This could have easily been a toxin. But the unnecessary grandeur of some of Undiscovered's moments is easily overshadowed by Bath's honest concerns: human stuff, especially what we put out of our minds.

The genuflections are there. Faust, Tim Hecker's Ravedeath, 1972 and the Kranky roster all join Undiscovered's solemn march from room to room of an abandoned, cavernous orchestra. But the album best distances itself from these artists - and even its own songs - when there's a mixture of analogue and digital.

Second track "Absence of Evidence," the album's most baldly aggressive, lives in the red through its waves of yawning distortion as well as the anxious strings. "Rotting Apricot" becomes a kind of ashram from its psychedelic guitar line, its phaser giving it the glow of astral projection. And "Evidence of Absence," well, those glockenspiels make me feel like I'm back inside Vangelis's soundtrack to Blade Runner. Which is always welcome.

Referentiality isn't the guiding principle of Missing Organs, and neither is an overarching concept (don't be fooled by the over-heady track titles). The album's harmony rests on something intractable, though the complexities do not congeal into inscrutable music. Perhaps it's a humbleness. When it holds on a comforting bed of tones and tosses them with more nauseous elements, the tension is something true, a soundtrack for any one of our billion internal battles.

Download Missing Organs's new album Undiscovered at Bandcamp via Power Moves.

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