Tongues Of Mount Meru, the duo of Lasse Marhaug & Jon Wesseltoft, is back with a second album for Moving Furniture Records: Kalpa. An 100 minute deep and intense drone work.
Kalpa is released as Double CD mastered and in artwork by Lasse Marhaug.
Since the start in 2008 Jon Wesseltoft and Lasse Marhaug, aka Tongues of Mount Meru, have released a set of intense and mind tripping longform pieces. Their music often almost seemingly static and gradually building it’s intensity over long streches of time. This is music that demands concentration, and hypnotically drill into the awareness of the listener. At times abrasive and
intense, but also beautiful and calmly introspective.
Last year they released the culmination of older work with the monumental 4 cd box Naga Mountain (Holidays Records) with material consisting from 2008 to 2011. After a longer hiatus they started recording again in the spring and summer of 2021. First came the over 2 hour long Lalit (2:14 version), being based around the Indian raga Lalit, on the Italian Superpang label.
Now they return with the latest culmination from those sessions with the 100 minute piece Kalpa.
This being probably their most heavy and crude outing to date. With more focus on actively fusing larger sections of almost clustered sound together with tonal activity. This without loosing the consistency of the longer stretches of overarching microtonal interaction.
At times sounding like a churning minimalist nightmare ritual, but on the other end, a beautiful but heavy duty trance inducing drupad veena performance on half speed.
‘Kalpa’ is the follow-up to ‘The Hex Of Light’ (see Vital Weekly 1218) regarding releases on the same label. This duo consists of Jon Wesseltoft and Lasse Marhaug, and since 2008 they have had a few releases with their long-form drone pieces. One is even over two hours long and available digitally.
This new work is 100 minutes, and because of that spread over two CDs. That means an interruption to switching the CDs and, therefore, an interruption in the flow. But, I must say, I didn’t mind, as the level of sonic information is quite high here. Especially if one has the volume up a bit, the music is an all-immersive event. A bit of fresh air in the middle is not bad, but it is an interruption nonetheless.
I have no idea how these drones are made and if the photo on Discogs of two men behind laptops and electronics is representative.
The music here seems to be rooted in the world of raga with that specific sound of raga but filtered and stretched ad infinitum with minimal changes. Throughout the piece, the frequency range slowly changes, and at times sounds like we are locked into a machine room on a boat. Then it all becomes oppressive and noisy, with less feedback and distortion. I played this a few times in the last week, and each time I was overwhelmed by the intensity of the music. This is noise, sure, even when there is no plain distortion. Once the music was over, I didn’t want to hear any other music for some time, read a book and then returned to music again. I must say that is a rare thing.
This music is one of those examples of one can’t say it’s good or bad; at least, I found that hard. I see the merits of it all, but would I play this again any time soon? I am not sure. (FdW)
Double CD limited to 200 copies or digital available in our webshop.