Record of the Week

SUNN O))) „Metta, Benevolence. BBC 6Music: Live on the invitation of Mary Anne Hobbs“

„Metta, Benevolence. BBC 6Music: Live on the invitation of Mary Anne Hobbs“
(Southern Lord)

As a well-behaved German citizen paying the radio license fee (there is nothing else to do, even if you don’t own a TV or a radio), you often look and listen enviously across the channel to the United (or not so united, if you think about the Brexit friction) Kingdom. While (subcultural) music programs are rare in the UK, and if they are (still) on late night, they dominate the BBC’s daytime and nighttime programming. Pop culture plays a completely different role in the UK.

This also explains why a band like SUNN O))) was invited by presenter Mary Anne Hobbs (who, accompanied by euphoric praise from musicians of all backgrounds, recently retired from active radio after two decades to seek her fortune as a writer) to spread out her viscous doom-drone sound in those BBC studios where John Peel already received artists.

The band presents itself with the three tracks “Pyroclasts F”, “Pyroclasts C#” and “Troubled Air” ( at the end of an extensive tour, where the albums “Life Metal” and ” Pyroclasts” formed the core of their sets) well-rehearsed. Particularly noteworthy are the wonderful guest contributions by Anna Von Hausswolff (as vocalist and on synthesizer) on “Pyroclasts F” and “Pyroclasts C#” as well as the playful character of “Troubled Air”, in which SUNN O))) opens up the otherwise rather strict sound paradigm of their music into the jazz-like via a lava-like trombone motif that runs steadily through the piece. 
How gladly one would like to hear such a session in this length and intensity on Deutschlandradio, Bayerischer Zündfunk or in the WDR program, one should not give up dreaming.

Supplementary event note: This coming Saturday, 1/29/22, Stephen O’Malley & Kali Malone will be performing in Berlin on the ninth day of Phillip Sollmann & Konrad Sprenger’s performative installation “Modular Organ System”.

The review first appeared in a slightly modified version in the print edition of Kölner Stadtrevue.

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