The latest from his own Trace Recordings is Rothko‘s bleak Blood Demands More Blood. From the get go this is a raucous wash of noisy thrashing layers. It’s a sharp turn as May 3rd 1979 (When Evil Took Hold) revs its powerful engine. At first I had to double-take that I imported the right record, but alas Mark Beazley is on to a brazen new sound, striated and unpretty as is. That day in history did you know that Martin Sherman’s Bent premiered in London, however, I doubt wholeheartedly that is the tragic event that this artist pines on about herein, though it was the same day that Margaret Thatcher took power in Britain. Throughout the nine short works here (the longest running just over six minutes) Rothko touts reverse milestones with titles like: One Million Drops Of Death In The Seas, May 2nd 1997 (The End Of Truth), There Is No End To War. A wake-up alarm call of socio-political desperation. It’s a bold and near vantablack canvas, trademarked or not. The drone is broad and bass-driven with an atonal motorized buzz.
On For The Disappeared the guitar strings are fueled with a downward echo chamber of hallowed tone, balanced with wavier harmonies that are near subliminal – not unlike the call-to-attention tones that we might hear at an airport, mall or train depot. There’s some light through all the distortion, and though it starts off with a roar, there are minor pauses and pockets of contemplative space parsed here and there. The most string-focused track here might be the sordid Famine Drought, Famine Flood, Famine Death. Repeat. As the din plays on with wavering dips and stringed interludes this seems less pessimistic and more strident in its patina. Fiery and ambiguous its a dusty total recall of past mistakes, a meditative v. caustic petition for change, hinted at in The Peace Process. Perhaps this is justifiably, then, sharply aimed towards the disinclined moral majority and one percent among us. The atmosphere has a forward momentum and doesn’t offer softening discourse, even within the final track, Surface For The Last Time, builds to a shrill wail halfway in. There are peaceful harmonies playing through the caterwaul, space given to this alternate voice, contradicted by a whirling percussive blur and hiss until the very final seconds when it just goes silent. The album (CD/Digital) which hits the airwaves officially on April 6 includes collaborations with Michael Donnelly, Graham Dowdall/Garagin and BLK w/BEAR. A record to reckon with.