Sub Pop

EARTH - Earth2 Special Lower Frequency DLP

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Did you know there are horses on the cover of Earth 2: Special Low Frequency Version? There are at least three in the right hand corner, gathered inexplicably near a white canvas tent, a human possibly perched among its folds. As widescreen and vast as the cover may seem, those little details-the horses, the possible human, the faint wisp of white clouds-give it depth and wonder, something to which the imagination can return. Did you know that the music on Earth 2-repressed now for its 30th anniversary, back in its original artwork, and accompanied by a riveting set of remixes that demonstrate the reach of what Dylan Carlson long ago called "ambient metal"-works much the same way? The surface is massive and obvious, the meatpaw riffs of Carlson and bassist Dave Harwell pounding and swiping and pawing at the speakers, a true bludgeon in three-dimensional sound. Listen, though, for the details in the corners, for the finesse beneath the force, and Earth 2 reveals new levels of depth and wonder. The widespread impact of Earth 2 suggests that others have indeed been leaning in, listening to these minutiae and making something new of them. A masterpiece without many genre precedents, Earth 2 surely helped send doom metal down its more modern drone, ambient, and avant-garde avenues. Those descendants are obvious. Perhaps more surprising and gratifying are the ways it has influenced electronic music, modern composition, and even hip-hop by realigning our senses of tempo, time, and texture. Earth 2 engendered a rearrangement of expectations, regardless of preferred form.