Legacy of Dissolution


Mogwai, Russell Haswell, Jim O'Rourke, Autechre, Justin Broadrick, and SunnO))) feature on this remix LP.

Dylan Carlson has used the Earth nameplate as a freq-torturer more or less since 1990, and over the years a cult has developed in worship of his music's drone. Or is it the doom? The sludge, maybe? Cultish designation depends on hair length and drugs taken. The point is, with 1993's Earth 2, Carlson and his collaborators created a no-motion masterpiece of sub-tonal metal. Its three tracks range between quarter-hour and half. They consume the Melvins, and splay Godflesh out to dry in the sun. Earth 2 adds 40,000 "f"'s onto the end of "riff," and the result drags right off the page. "Humans are present only as audience or operators." That's what the Survival Research Laboratories mission statement says. But it applies to Earth, too, 'cause this shit is a stoned and illuminated manuscript. God is not a DJ. He is an amplifier.

Legacy of Dissolution is a remix project that gathers six of Earth's most important cult members. Sanctioned by Carlson and released as a joint venture between the mighty Southern Lord and Philly's No Quarter (home of Earth's 2002 live compendium Sunn Amps and Smashed Guitars), Dissolution features contributions from Mogwai, Russell Haswell, Jim O'Rourke, Autechre, Justin Broadrick, and SunnO))), the last of which famously began as an Earth cover band. (Name: Mars.) Results vary, but the overall feel is a not-unpleasant sense of thudding dread. Like, "I don't understand this, but I want to lay in it."

The original "Teeth of Lions Rule the Divine" is 27-minute pulse for guitar and bass. Mogwai manipulates that into a singular hovering tone, dropping in the plodding original recording at the four-minute mark over electronic triggers and its own manipulated atmosphere. It's Coil's Angelic Conversation, stuck on an ellipsis. Like Jim O'Rourke's lengthy meditation on the title track to Earth's Phase 3: Thrones and Dominions, it's difficult to call what Mogwai's doing metal. But the source material isn't metal, anyway. It's something stranger, maybe more modal; maybe even louder. Legacy of Dissolution proves the spectacular reach of experimental music-- whether it's Earth or Isis or Kammerflimmer Kollektief, it's open to interpretation.


1. Teeth of Lions Rule the Divine

2. Tibetan Quaaludes

3. Thrones and Dominions

4. Coda Maestosain

5. Harvey