Dirty Three - Whatever you love, you are - 2000


In the year 2000, in the humble opinion of this poor columnist of the progressive world, some specially prominent events have taken place, such as my discovery of the wonderful duo Klimperei, the resurrection in the RIO scene of Volapuk and Thierry Zaboitzeff, or the return of White Willow to their best essence.


In the margins of the progressive world, in that strange intermediate world in which we find electronics, Gothic, space music, jazz… I have found marvels such as Godspeed You Black Emperor, Shalabi Effect, Sigur Ros, Union Wireless, In The Nursery, or the, in my view, more attractive discovery of the year, the fabulous and wonderful Dirty Three. Surprisingly, I have just come to realize, 90% of my favorite music of the year is basically instrumental, for sure some day I will find an explanation to this fact.

This is a trio of Australian origin, formed by Warren Ellis (violin), Mick Turner (guitar) and Jim White (drums), some of whose components have played for some years in my beloved Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds. After some years in which they published another four albums, have released at the beginning of year 2000, one of the jewels of the instrumental music of the last decades, this fabulous album named "Whatever you love, you are".

It is worth highlighting the curious composition of the trio in the first place: violin, guitar and drums that play as three solo instruments. In the second place, their particular sound collage that mixes the best instrumental essence of Nick Cave's classic albums ("Tender Prey", "The good Son"), the dense developments and arid discharges of an impressive violin doubled in several tracks that reaches in occasions folk sonorities, fragments that approach dangerously the sound of the first Univers Zero or the King Crimson of "Red" and "Starless and bible black" (possibly for pure chance), and finally clear reminiscences in bolero and canon fragments of the contemporary classic of Stravinsky, Bartok, Gorecki or Adams. In third place, their special use of silence in music that serves as an interlude between soft warm fragments and icy discharges of noise and tension.

The album includes six long instrumentals, of beautiful and strange titles: "Some summers they drop like flys", "I really should've gone out last night", "I offered it up to the stars & the night sky", "Some things I just don't want to know", "Stellar" and "Lullabye for Christie". All are instrumental pieces, and in spite of the apparent simplicity of the only three musicians’ format, dazzle for their variety of sounds and atmospheres, the perfection of their instrumental developments, and the perfect and exciting conjunction of the three instruments.


In summary, a beautiful album, loaded with emotions and feeling, as only three great musicians full with ideas can display. A compulsory purchase for all lovers of the music of our time.

author - date - rating - label

José Nafría - January 2001 -   - Bella Union