[8 January 2014]
PopMatters Associate Music Editor
Diluvial might be Bruce Gilbert’s most ambitious work since leaving Wire. Recorded in conjunction with BAW (Beaconsfield ArtWorks, London), this is an album that easily dwarfs Gilbert’s last two releases. It’s expansive in pretty much every sense of the word. It’s lengthy—of the seven tracks, the shortest one is over eight minutes in length. It finds Gilbert playing with his usual stash of clicks and buzzes. But then “The Expanse” manipulates the sound of a water droplet far beyond anything most of us would recognize. On “Dry Land”, the sound of a storm is so powerful it could spill over into another one of your senses (something tells me that land didn’t stay too dry that day). Once in a while, a little bit of “music” will creep into the mix as it does on “Creatures of Sea and Air” and the closer “Rest/Reflection”. Tones enter, shimmer, and provide moral support for the uninitiated.
But like 2009’s Oblivio Agitatum, Diluvial hits full impact through your headphones. The tracks blend into one another, so just make sure you have a 74-minute block of free time in your future. Then let the thing flood over you.