A Preliminary Exploration to the Core
Over the years, I have heard many descriptions and labels associated with Earth's music, like Doom, Minimalist, Experimental, Post-Rock, and Drone. While I don't view these terms as incorrect, I think it can be important to try to develop your own interpretation of a band's sound that goes beyond these. It may take a bit more effort to go past base genre descriptions, but once you play around and peel back the layers and textures of the sound, the discovery can be quite magical.
So, I decided to give it a try; sit in a quiet space and go past the obvious by listening and unraveling. My initial listen of Earth's music, specifically Hex: Or Printing In The Infernal Method, bounced dark, sometimes foreboding, sounds against the walls but with each additional listen, I found a presence of clarity and even optimism in certain spaces and notes. It made me feel that Earth's sonic landscape could evoke anything I could imagine- an endless desert, a snowy field, a dense forest or even a twisted, concrete jungle. I felt like I was being asked, "Where do you want to go?".
Once I felt I had an understanding of the sound, my goal was to express Earth's sound and my experiences with it, in a visual context. As I had done with listening, I had to push past my first graphic ideas and discard concepts that came too fast. These initial thoughts would be too expected and not take the viewer to a new place. I wanted to inject a sense of simple sullen beauty to this world of dark power and texture.
In the end, Earth's sound let me evolve my concepts and ideas into something new, yet pleasantly uncomfortable. Going to a place I may not have gone had I just taken the pre-assigned labels at face value. Isn't that what good music should do?