These New Puritans | DNO170
Beat Pyramid is These New Puritans debut album on Domino Records. Recorded alongside Gareth Jones - the producer of albums by Einsturzende Neubauten, Liars, and Wire's most electronica inspired albums - its songs are an ever-mutating blur of brash chords, subtle details and taut rhythms, borne of influences as disparate as Sonic Youth and dubstep, This Heat and Greek pottery, David Lynch and Dr. Feelgood, J Dilla and the 16th century occultist John Dee.
This is a band of extremes. The songs on Beat Pyramid have an immediacy that belies their complex themes: 'Numbers' is typical of the band's output, marrying themes of medieval numerology to pop choruses and a colossal dub-step drum loop. A truly modern pop song. 'Infinitytinifni' a celebration of the melting of the polar ice-caps set to one chord and three drums; 'Swords Of Truth' is centered around a dancehall-ish beat with cut-up drums, named after the terrorist cell linked with the kidnap of BBC journalist Alan Johnson, that may or may not also have been written in homage to the Wu-Tang Clan.
The first (and last) thing you'll hear, however, is a strange, dislocated voice. "We started off with just this voice; this fragment of voice saying 'I Will Say This Twice, I Will Say This Twice' - that was the mystery," says Jack. "And we thought 'OK, where can we go now?' We wanted to make a pyramid with our sound. Cutting, carving a pyramid out of the air waves - like the sounds pulsing through the air and carving out a pyramid structure. It took on a lot of other meanings, and you can hear them all in the album. It has all the secrets, labyrinths and tunnels that a pyramid has."
"This music is weightless," says Jack midway through 'Swords Of Truth', perhaps the most striking track on the album. "This music's symbolic." In seven words, he manages to sum up his band better than anyone else could, in typically oblique fashion, of course.