. issue XX : vii .

by barathron

. artist : dead sea apes & black tempest .
. album : the sun behind the sun .
. year : 2012 .
. label : cardinal fuzz .
. grade : a .


On the surface (to the casual ear) there might not seem to be a whole lot in common between Dead Sea Apes and the sonic alchemist known as Black Tempest. The former traffics in rolling, and often boiling, maximum sized sonic tectonics, while the latter conjures up electro-kosmische wonders that lay out flight paths as much as they elevate you onto them. Though both cover huge tracts of land both here and out there with a beguiling agility despite the size of their crafts, they don’t deal in surfaces only. They may create them, but they journey far above them and often through them, glowing with a slow-burning cosmic light that blankets like the sun or provides the safe-harbor lure of a lone flame. Dead Sea Apes and Black Tempest don’t just create deep music. They operate along the other axes as nimbly as a spider, swirling around them, coaxing them into shapes far beyond the linear. Sounds and tangents turn in on themselves, gathering and jettisoning, until The Sun Behind The Sun becomes a gloriously constantly weaving knot, a sonic array with bodies that somehow orbit themselves.

Many collaborations sound good on paper, the lure of a pairing too much to pass up when talking about two bodies that generate as much space and gravity as Dead Sea Apes and Black Tempest. And that’s as far as they get; the sum far less than the parts. Here’s one that effectively generates a third entity to stand toe to toe with its parents. There’s not one point on The Sun Behind The Sun where either outfit feels like they are selling the project short by not being true to their mission. This isn’t Dead Sea Tempest. Both give the other wide berth to ply their trade and paint with with big strokes that turn soft edges into the outline of that unseen third party, the third stone behind the other sun…. Nothing feels grafted onto another or bolted in place; it’s a 100% natural weave. Dead Sea Apes and Black Tempest get down to the core of their individual work, finding the plasticity so they can coil around each other like a double-helix. Getting together to push their envelopes, they’ve turned the spotlight on the DNA that makes them both what they are. Consequently, that’s given birth to something that’s both bigger than both of them in some ways, while fitting seamlessly into their own continua.

The Sun Behind The Sun’s common ground between Dead Sea Apes and Black Tempest isn’t a limp superficial overlap of both. This is new ground, new territory for both, not limited by redundant points of interest and intersections. Its three cuts lay out orbits that ripple and pulse around—as well as in— each other as much as they do the sun of your choice. Both governing bodies become indistinguishable, the gears not so much meshing as melding into each other for a giant self-perpetuating solar fire. Considering the inherent pull and force of each respective gravity well, this is a match made in heaven that actually delivers on the promise, leaving Dead Sea Apes and Black Tempest fully redeemed, and their passengers fully satisfied. Highly recommended for new and old sun worshippers alike.

by Mr. Atavist