ALBUM: Divide and Dissolve – ‘Gas Lit’

An exhilarating, powerful assembly of sounds designed to erode the foundations of colonialism and liberate the land for indigenous communities, instrumental activists Divide and Dissolve‘s second album Gas Lit smoulders with a righteous fury. Produced by Ruban Neilson of Unknown Mortal Orchestra, the record is an aural purging of injustice, fuelled by the diversity of Takiaya Reed’s doom-ridden saxophone sounds and Sylvie Nehill’s phenomenal percussion. It’s the band’s first full length release since their 2018 album Abomination, and much like its predecessor it flows with a unique gargantuan grace.

Released via Invada Records, Gas Lit sees Divide and Dissolve continue their sonic mission to disrupt toxic white supremacy. Reed & Nehill’s sublime instinct for colossal drop-ins permeates their music and acts as a powerful weapon in the fight against inequality. These cathartic shifts in sound permeate Gas Lit, and opening track ‘Oblique’ is the first of many aural shockwaves to hit listeners. It’s not for the faint-hearted, but neither are the issues the band are confronting. Silence in a world of inequality is damaging, and Divide and Dissolve seek to shatter the illusions surrounding this. The intense grit of ‘Prove It’ continues to hammer this message home, with its pulverizing beats and caustic riffs.

The pensive spoken words of poet Minori Sanchiz-Fung on ‘Did You Have Something To Do With It’ bring to life a poignant question that underscores the record: “are [we] a part of this world / or its affliction?” It bleeds into the epic seven and a half minute ‘Denial’, which is a disorientating sonic whirlwind of thunderous riffs, ear-shattering percussion and uncanny saxophone notes. The visceral sounds on ‘Far From Ideal’ and ‘It’s Really Complicated’ beautifully embellish the band’s narrative charge against oppression and provide more riotous cacophonies to escape into.

On ‘Mental Gymnastics’ and ‘We Are Really Worried About You’ Reed flexes more of her extraordinary sax-playing muscles and her ear for intense riff distortion. On the latter, they’re combined with Nehill’s crashing cymbals to form a swirling vortex of cathartic dissonance, reiterating the band’s message that the sufferings of indigenous communities have evolved beyond what’s “recorded in stone / and in bone.” The resentment and need to overcome this is now so strong that – in the words of Minori Sanchiz-Fung – “language can’t console it.” Divide and Dissolve are here to give weight and validation to these voices, and Gas Lit is a majestic and moving effort to do so.

Pre-order your copy of Divide and Dissolve’s new album Gas Lit here.

Follow Divide and Dissolve on bandcampInstagramSpotifyTwitter & Facebook

Photo Credit: Billy Eyers

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

LISTEN: Petrol Girls – ‘I Believe Them’ (Solidarity Not Silence)

A raucous anthem with a defiant and empowering message, Petrol Girls have shared their latest single ‘I Believe Them’. The uncompromising track has been released to raise funds for Solidarity Not Silence, who are a group of women fighting a claim of defamation made against them by a well-known musician. You can download ‘I Believe Them’ exclusively from bandcamp today to support their cause.

GIHE stands in solidarity with the women affected by the Solidarity Not Silence case. Read the powerful statement Ren from Petrol Girls has made about the track below, and scroll down to the end of this post to watch the accompanying video. #IBelieveThem

“We’re releasing this track to raise as much money as we possibly can for Solidarity Not Silence and to widen the network of people supporting the cause. Solidarity Not Silence is the legal defence fund for a group of women, including myself, who are being sued for defamation by a man in the music industry because of comments that we each made separately regarding his behaviour towards women. We’ve been fighting this case since December 2016 and desperately need help raising money for our legal costs. The only reason we’ve been able to successfully fight this case as long as we have is because we were able to come together and fundraise for our legal defence. Help us keep our legal representation all the way to court and win this!

“As one of the Solidarity Not Silence defendants, I’m limited in what I can say about the case whilst it’s ongoing. However, there’s nothing to stop me contributing to a wider conversation about sexual violence and the law – which is what this track, ‘I Believe Them’ is about.

“’How are we meant to protect ourselves?’ I find myself internally screaming this question, which is the chorus lyric, on a pretty regular basis. On the one hand, the criminal justice system consistently fails and often further traumatises survivors of sexual violence who decide to report to the police. This system clearly does not protect the majority of survivors and I personally do not believe it holds any answers in dealing with gender based violence. Then on the other hand, when survivors and their allies try to protect one another by speaking out about abusive behaviour, they become vulnerable to libel/ defamation law. And in both criminal and libel cases, the burden of truth is placed on the survivor. Literally what does the law expect us to do?

“There is, in practice, no legal aid available for the defence of a defamation case, which creates a dynamic whereby it is relatively easy for someone with money to silence those without. Money should not be a barrier to accessing justice and we refuse to allow our case to set a precedent for silencing marginalised voices in the music community and beyond. Please donate to/share our crowdfunder.”

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

LISTEN: Divide and Dissolve – ‘Denial’

An exhilarating, powerful soundscape that aims to erode the foundations of colonialism and liberate the land for black and indigenous communities, multidimensional duo Divide and Dissolve have shared their latest single ‘Denial’. Taken from their upcoming album Gas Lit, which is set for release on 29th January 2021 via Invada Records, the track is an eerie cacophony of thunderous riffs, ear-shattering percussion and uncanny saxophone notes that aim to eradicate white supremacy.

“Sometimes we don’t need to talk in order for others to understand what’s going on,” the duo explain about their intense instrumentals. “We are communicating with our ancestors through the music. Our ancestors help us to communicate with each other on a deeper level as well. This deep connection is able to be achieved without words.” Through their blend of visceral noise and captivating visuals, Divide and Dissolve – formed of Takiaya Reed (Black & Tsalagi [Cherokee]) and Sylvie Nehill (Māori) – dismantle the social frameworks that prevent black and indigenous communities from thriving in an equal society.

The accompanying video for ‘Denial’ was shot in Taupo, Aotearoa by indigenous director Amber Beaton. “I’m a huge fan of Divide and Dissolve and so happy to have made this video for them,” Beaton explains. “I understand and appreciate the message behind the music and I wanted to make sure the video held the same intentions no matter how subtle.”

“For instance, we start off with a shot of a Kōwhai tree. Native to Aotearoa, Kōwhai in bloom signifies to Māori that some seafood is ready for harvest, the roots can be used to make fishing hooks, the sap on the sunny side of the tree can be used to heal wounds… but the vibrancy of the yellow flower was also the first thing Captain Cook saw when he arrived on the shores of Aotearoa signalling the start of colonial violence on this whenua/land. The changing colours of its flower in the video represents our change as a country and as people since that fateful arrival.”

Dedicated to shining a light on social injustices both past and present, Divide and Dissolve continue to demand equality on thunderous new offering ‘Denial’, which serves as another reminder of the duo’s talent for creating abrasive yet graceful soundscapes.

Listen to the track below.

 

Follow Divide and Dissolve on bandcampInstagramSpotify, Twitter & Facebook for more updates.

Photo Credit: Billy Eyers

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

Track Of The Day: Francis Of Delirium – ‘Equality Song’

**TRIGGER WARNING: DISCUSSION OF RAPE AND SEXUAL ASSAULT**

A candid, necessary dismantling of the ingrained sexism and toxic masculinity that permeates society, Luxembourg-based, Canadian-American duo Francis Of Delirium have shared their latest single ‘Equality Song’. Funded by Luxembourg’s Ministry of Equality to celebrate 100 years of women’s right to vote, vocalist & guitarist Jana Bahrich penned the poignant track in the wake of the Brett Kavanaugh hearings.

“Sometimes it feels like a fact of life / You’re born, get your period and you’ll get raped some time,” Bahrich states in the song’s cutting opening lyrics. Her message is made all the more startling by the strength and sincerity in her vocals, highlighting the systems that are “hindering our change” when it comes to openly discussing the inequality that women face on a daily basis.

“The song was written mainly out of anger, at how absurd it is that sexual abuse is so normalised, and the systems that are in place just essentially shit on anyone that comes forward with their story”, explains the 19 year old songwriter. “The Brett Kavanaugh hearings had just happened and then every week it felt like another story came out and it seemed like no-one cared. You grow up learning to be sceptical of other people and spend a lot of time in fear of the people around you. So, the song is meant to be lashing out about how broken structures and systems are”.

Bahrich’s anger is underscored by a desire to support those who speak up about abuse, which is why all proceeds generated from the first week of downloads of the single on Francis Of Delirium’s bandcamp page will go to Femmes en Detresse, a Luxembourg domestic abuse charity that provides protection and therapy.

Listen to ‘Equality Song’ below and follow Francis Of Delirium on Facebook & Spotify for more updates.

Photo Credit: Lynn Theisen

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut