’Commercial Music’ this is not. Jarrod Zlatic and Nisa Venerosa have created a monumental sound for their third album. Fans of Fabulous Diamonds II will find this new album sonically thicker, rhythmically slower, more miasmic and darker than their previous work. They have thought about how to deliver the hardest punch with the minimum swing, the duo gaining a Zen-like poise in the delivery of these particularly low blows.
If you think that sounds too dry, too nihilist, you will miss the core of Commercial Music’s appeal. It feels like there is real purpose in this album, it seems to capture that something that drives humans onward through the fucked up shit of our lives. Maybe what we have here is akin to the relentless growth of life forms in the jungle that Werner Herzog called obscenity, with trees and birds in screaming not in some bucolic reverie, but in perpetual misery.
Stay with me. On the final album masterpiece Downhill one sound will repeat whilst others constrict and contort and slide venomously around each other. This is the music of creation, or a Brueghel painting of hell. It’s a record of frozen moments, but in that slow motion moment the senses open up and discern micro shifts in nuance and accent. Like a glacier carving its signature into rock, like the itch of the hour hand across the face of a clock.
Venerosa’s drumming is pared back to one or two toms and a hi hat for the greater part of the album. Basslines are lower and simpler, patience is tested, picked away at. By deliberately restricting the tonal and rhythmic palette, the mood becomes much more trenchant, and daring. We love how the sheer weight of John Song pins us down for its length. This is fissile material with a very slow burn time. It feels like Tangerine Dream have been infected with some Swans like virus. And we don’t mind being seized in the shadows by this beast, we embrace the fear and feel….reborn.