Starting with ‘Killing the Whale’ released on Halloween, Norwich-based experimental group Red Mar have began releasing a trio of singles. The second of the trio, ‘HOUND,’ released on the 22nd of November– a couple of days after our publication– but I was given the opportunity to have a listen before, as well as getting a sneak peak of the third, ‘Euphrasie Visits.’
‘Killing the Whale’ is purely instrumental, a sprawling nine minutes featuring elements of drone and noise music. There is a constant guitar loop throughout that haunts you long after the track finishes, although it speeds up towards the track’s conclusion in a cacophony of adrenaline-fuelled drumming and distortion.
The second, ‘Hound,’ features vocals this time, resembling a younger, slightly less tortured Michael Gira of Swans. Thankfully, Red Mar avoids the abrasion of tracks like ‘Cop’ from Swans’ early work, as the creaking bass is eventually met with twinkling strings and far more engaging drum work. A similarly explosive conclusion for this track as well, but as an epilogue of sorts we’re treated to a juxtaposition with some gentler vocals and an eerie, high-pitched melody like a road crossing signal crossed with a music box.
The third and final single, releasing in December, is the longest of three: ‘Euphrasie Visits’ is an ambient exploration of countless haunting samples and distorted instruments, including an opening four minutes of improvisation. I had some flashbacks to my listening of Godspeed You! Black Emperor’s discography. The track takes us through a series of acts, with Miles’ vocal performance starting at around seven minutes in acting as a melancholic highlight.