Michael Begg & Human Greed :: Dirt on Earth: A Pocket of Resistance (Omnempathy)

Too dramatic, almost literary, to be called ambient, too idealistically engaged to be postmodern, Dirt on Earth: A Pocket of Resistance is a quietly roiling, wordless plea to come to our senses.

‘Dirt on Earth: A Pocket of Resistance’

[Release page] Michael Begg came to my attention through his longstanding involvement with Fovea Hex, that mercurial collective revolving around singer Clodagh Simonds that seems to have been assembled by some higher, Celtic intelligence. Other previous collaborators include an eclectic mix from David Lynch to David Tibet. Human Greed is childhood friend Deryk Thomas, and the duo’s sound has slowly been finding its natural level, not the least through working with the talents involved in Fovea Hex. However, its environmentalist, quasi-occult fundament seems to have been solid from the outset.

Too dramatic, almost literary, to be called ambient, too idealistically engaged to be postmodern, Dirt on Earth: A Pocket of Resistance is a quietly roiling, wordless plea to come to our senses. In interviews Begg speaks of his attraction to areas of liminality, boundary crossings, rituals of transformation, and I believe he thinks we are the dirt on earth, but in a good way. We all share molecules and responsibility, and the seventy-minute album, by turns threatening and morose, is a journey through the dark in order to reach some enlightenment.

Barely contained rumbles like “Invocation of the Scottish Winter” are abreactions in the face of indifference, and throughout, the music bears deep within a spirit of detourned northern folk and Presbyterian severity, a drone pitched high like bagpipes or ridged like a slow-motion accordion, but with brief, if distinct Eastern flecks glinting like temple bells. The huge, lengthy organ drones that bring the album to its conclusion leave open the question as to whether Begg is optimistic about reaching anyone with his message.

There’s great despair in Dirt on Earth but also great poetry.

Dirt on Earth: A Pocket of Resistance is available on Omnepathy. [Release page]

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