John Clyde-Evans – Apetall Thunderfall

John Clyde-Evans
Apetall Thunderfall

When Ravi Shankar’s sitar styles were popularized in America, India was still resisting Industrializing, preferring to focus it’s energy on services and domestic goods. But with China’s “one child” policy making families increasingly smaller, the Industrial market has begun to transfer elsewhere. John Deere and LG have built factories in villages whose primary mode of transportation is the camel. Steel manufacturers who create beams for high-rises have set-up shop in towns still trying to resist the cultural depression which our western world is shoving on them. While spending a year in the Punjab republic of India, a place not only of high political tension but of large interest to foreign corporations, John Clyde-Evans began making music under his Sikh name- Tirath Singh Nirmala. His output under this name was generally considered “pastoral,” “beautiful,” and described by Gordon Isnor of Left Hip magazine as “ecstatic eastern-tinged avant-drones with a heavy dose of mysticism”. Changing back to recording under his birth name is not the only change John Clyde-Evans makes for his latest, apetall thunderfall.

Soaked in tension, murky and unapologetic, John Clyde-Evans presents an industrial album, much like Nurse With Wound’s classic Homotopy to Marie, for a nation who is starting to slowly embrace, or at least accept, everything that comes with said industrialization. The foreground of his work, which is made up of three tracks functioning as one, are harsh screeches, clanks and banging, music for a new world. In the background are all of the pieces of culture that is being clung to, still apparent, but blending and molding, being surrounded by the industrial sounds. Birds chirping, soft twitters, and almost psychedelic noises seem almost eerie when enveloped by the confrontational sounds on apetall thunderfall. Whether John Clyde-Evans is making a statement about our society suffocating something beautiful, or showing that you need to embrace change while remembering where you came from, I really don’t know. He may not be trying to make a statement; this may just be how he perceived India, his own ode to impressionism.

While it is beautiful, Evans’ apetall thunderfall is very harsh at times, and sometimes impossible to listen to. I had the album sitting on my desk for two months, every time I came to it I was stumped on how I could approach the review. The last time I put this record on I turned it off within three minutes out of disgust; now, two weeks later, I have it on repeat. Like with any noise album, give it some time, give it some space, approach it in various moods and settings and you might find that this album hits you just right.