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DNMF - Smelter

Ok, since I like my Dead Neanderthals reviews to come in pairs - and I bought this together with "Molar Wrench" - here's yet another collaborative record of the New Wave of Dutch Heavy Jazz duo:

DNMF - Smelter (LP) (2018)

"Smelter" marks the second time after the self-titled debut in 2014 Otto Kokke and René Aquarius team up with the hyper-prolific ambient / drone artist Rutger Zuydervelt aka Machinefabriek under the moniker DNMF.

The album only consists of one single thirty-nine minute drone track, which can roughly be seperated into four phases.

During the first one, which makes the largest part of side A, the low-frequency raucous roaring of "Craters" is combined with a steadily stomping doom beat and majestic slow organ chords. The result is huge, it feels like being dragged through an enormously vast dome of drone.

When the drums break away for the second part, the composition loses volume and brutality for a while, but grows even more transcendent in its clerical, religious tone.

If there was one thing missing during this first half of "Smelter", I would say it's the magical voice of Anna von Hausswolff. Because up to this point, this album totally feels and sounds like an instrumental appendix to her masterpiece (and still number one contestant for album of the year) "Dead Magic"!

The third act then sees a shift of atmosphere, when first the familiar drum rhythm is reprised, but it soon gets overlayed with more and more increasingly loud and dissonant noises.

Finally the whole thing explodes and slides into a very long finish, dismantling itself over the span of ten minutes, which is very reminiscent of what Justin Broadrick has done in Godflesh's "Go Spread Your Wings" or Jesu's "Infnity".

So now that I've spoiled all the plot points - enjoy this!

No, seriously. This is monolithically good. Easily the best Dead Neanderthals release of this year so far.

There are still a handful of LP and CD copies left, which I very much recommend. The brilliantly minimalistic artwork alone is worth it.

And to close this review let me address the obligatory jazz question:

Nope, even with the most ambitious mental gymnastics, this isn't jazz.
But I'll file it under jazz in my record shelf anyway, because it's - at least half - the fucking Dead Neanderthals, so fuck all of you!

Yes, I'll stand by this. I've said it, so I'm owning it. Fuck you all! Yeah.

Highlight: Smelter

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