Standard Of Living, the new LP by Los Angeles’s Pure Ground, finds the duo moving further into the whirring electrical storm only suggested at by their more minimalist previous recordings, creating a soundtrack to a crumbling culture full of provisional one-two rhythms and syncopated bursts of white noise, complimented by grim arpeggiated melodies.
Pure Ground have created a niche in the LA hard electronics underground making exclusive use of analog hardware to arrive at their sound, which straddles a fine line between early EBM on tracks like Poison and Second Skin, owing inspiration to Belgium’s Klinik and Front 242, and more melancholy minimal synth on downers In Silence and Tides.
The one element that binds the new LP is the undercurrent of experimentalism pervasive in every song, which at times comes to surface on tracks like The Glory Of Absence, which merges the convoluted rhythms of In Phaze era Portion Control with an industrial din and vocal delivery reminiscent of European power electronics groups like Genocide Organ.
Lyrical themes focus on the disharmony between the natural, even spiritual, world, with the human dystopia of the post-industrial wastes, and the contradictory sensations of bliss and desperation, ecstasy and fear, bred in this climate. This is music for the end of days.
A1 Second Skin
A2 Watch the Lines Grow
A3 War in Every House
A4 In Silence
B3 The Glory of Absence
B4 Centuries in Gold