Saturday 7 July 2012

Various Artists - Mars EP

This EP is something of a mystery to me. It's made up of four different artists, each re-imagining Holst's Planets Suite. Holst was a classical English composer, who lived between the 1870's and the 1930's. This EP focuses on Mars.

This EP has been released by London based label, Domestic Records and features four distinctly different artists:-

Gnaw Their Tongues - An experimental, black metal band from Holland.

Ancestry - A DJ from London, who spent time DJing Jungle/Drum and Bass/Garage music.

Don Yule - Is a classically trained pianist, who's influences include techno.

Alex Mein Smith - A Brighton based electronica artist.


Gnaw Their Tongues - Mars
Ancestry - Mars
Don Yule - Mars
Alex Mein Smith - Mars

Gnaw their Tongues version of Mars begins with haunting chanting and wailing noise, with subtle choral chanting in the background. There are also strings deep within the music. Almost two minutes into the track, Gnaw Their Tongues begin to make themselves heard, with distant drumming and the odd guitar. The majestic imagery conjured by the orchestral music that this song is built around, is pretty incredible. 

There's an awful lot going on within this piece and it's hard to pick out a single element to follow. It's very creative though, with swathes of classical music amongst the chaos. It's definitely music you should not be listening to alone.

Ancestry's piece begins in a very different way, with exotic bird-calls and subtle noise, making you believe your journeying through a deep jungle. The atmosphere builds, as more textures appear then the music dies. Faint footsteps can be heard as the music comes back in again. The classical element sitting underneath shrill sounds and lowly beats.

There are elements of strange electronic music in this piece. Lots of percussion sounds and sample, that while not being an expert, come from Ancestry's Jungle/Drum and Bass excursions in the past. It's a very contemporary song, with jilted beats and melodies and very reminiscent of metal in it's structure. The piano towards the middle of track, adds a nice element of melody and washes away some of the harshness caused by the electronics.

Don Yule's contribution builds with sporadic piano, interesting beats and all encompassing strings. Again it’s a unique take on this classical piece, but like the other songs here, it doesn't try to ape it. The music sits alongside the main classical piece and adds to it. There are hints of Don Yule's techno influences in here, but they are never allowed to take over. The piece ends with haunting jolts of piano and hissing noise that fades to nothing.

Alex Mein Smith is the final contributor here. His piece builds slowly, with a single sound of what seems like croaking frogs or crickets. This carries on for about one and a half minutes, before getting louder and then fading again. Other elements begin to appear and then disappear. This peace sounds very experimental; yet very minimalist as it reaches it's halfway point. You get the feeling that something is just around the corner, but it never quite hits. More and more textures and effects become present, which boosts the overall effect of the music.

Overall, these four compositions can’t be categorised. They all include different elements and influences and are the work of four very different artists.
I'll be honest and say that this kind of music is not my field of expertise, but sometimes that’s a good thing. Not being close to genre, allows me to look at it for what it is. This is unique and will appeal to fans of experimental music and will surely gain metal listeners, thanks to it’s different outlook and non-mainstream sound.

 If you're intrigued by this review, you can listen to both Ancestry and Don Yule tracks via Domestic records own Soundcloud page below:-

The entire EP can also be streamed via Spotify.

To find out more about Domestic Records, visit their Facebook page at

1 comment:

  1. Does anyone else think that Ancestry track is plagiarizing elements from a (or many) Lustmord track? I could be mistaken of course, but it seems very familiar.

    More fool me if Ancestry is a pseudonym of Lustmord.