Thing of the Day #4

Wild Nature!

Release Date
Writer
wild nature

Wild Nature! is Ivan The Tolerable's 4th record of 2019, and seemingly his 32nd release since 2011 (kudos to whoever is managing to keep track). It's the follow up to Rations, a mammoth, over blown full band affair which took the Ivan the Tolerable name into uncharted territories. But where that album revelled in excess, this one is the antithesis, moving back to basics whilst Oli Heffernan himself has reverted back to doing it all himself - playing, writing, sleeve designing, mixing, mastering and releasing via his own Ack! Ack! Ack! label. It's Heffernan's default mode (Rations being a glaring and notable exception to the rule), and one which allows him to "get on with it at my own frantic pace". But the results are, once again, marvellous. This isn't minimal, maudlin bedroom indie, each song is built from the ground up using layers of instrumentation, drone and found sounds to form sweeping, organic pieces which are sometimes harsh and sometimes delicate.

There are many moments of calm, such as the Spiritualized-esque "Black Ink" with it's swirling drone and repetitive keys, but on most of these songs, the ambience is broken apart by some typically lofi element. Whether that be the crunching bassline on "The Contrarian" or the electro clatter and robo-vocals on the aforementioned "Black Ink". Then there's the epic and atmospheric "25 Minutes in Albert Park" based on field recordings taken in Middlesbrough's scenic and vibrant urban park. The collected sounds form something which is both eerie and beautiful, akin to something built up by Tim Hecker on Ravedeath 1972.

I can't think of many other musicians that are just hitting their stride on record 32, but Ivan the Tolerable doesn't seem to have any interest in following the traditional rock n roll path (explode onto the scene and then burn out). If you want to dip into his back catalogue, this would be a fine place to start.

Something else...

Ivan The Tolerable
Ack! Ack! Ack!
Ivan The Tolerable
Ivan The Tolerable
Cruel Nature

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