The second release on Izabel Caligiore’s imprint Lullabies For Insomniacs comes from a New Jersey musician who goes by the moniker of Unearth Noise.
Roger Berkowitz’s chosen musical alter ego echoes the seminal non-fiction book Noise: The Political Economy of Music written by the economist Jacques Attali. In this book, Attali advocates the existence of four cultural stages in the history of music, which are in themselves intricately linked to their modes of production (technologies for recording and/ or transmitting music).
These are, in chronological order: Sacrificing, Representing, Repeating and Post-Repeating. Sacrificing emphasizes the role of orally transmitted traditions and rituals, whereas in the next stage, Representing, music is linked to a physical medium, such as musical notation and morphs itself from an intelligible ritualized product available to all strata of the population, into a commodity intelligible only to musical specialists. Repeating engages a third party, which is fidelity in the production and the reproduction of music. Finally, Post-Repeating is disguised in mystery and one could speculate on what it actually means now, hinting at techniques such as remixing or sampling.
Coincidentally or not, Unearth Noise manages to embody all four of the above mentioned stages, while sensitively blurring and delicately intertwining their edges.
The ritualistic dimension is being ensured not only by the suggestive title of the double LP, but also by the extended use of spoken word and incantation apparatus, on songs such as: Like Meeting God, Soul Surgery, Ayahuasca, A Place where Prayers are Heard, Message from the Dead, etc.
One hint that could enhance our whole experience of the album comes from the artist himself: 'Having experimented a bit with hallucinogens, I could see clearly that there is far more here than meets the eye'. This would suggest another level of consciousness from where we could surrender ourselves to the sounds.
This new territory could provide us with the basis and immediacy of acknowledging that we need to reassess our approach/link to nature and non-human life. The name of the track Ayahuasca is a pretty straightforward pointer in that direction, since the ayahuasca vine carries within itself a profoundly ancient genetic and evolutionary wisdom, meant to enhance our perception of everything that surrounds us, but are unaware of it due to our finite senses.
The journey operates like a sermon and is as meditative as it is insurgent; there could be more than meets the ears.
1. Soul Surgery
3. Divining Rod
4. A Place Where Prayers Are Heard
5. Decoding The Past
1. Message From The Dead
3. Sacret Souls
4. The Sound Is God
3. The Mist
1. I Have A Dream
2. I Surrender
3. Like Meeting God
4. Another Dimension