Dirty Three: “Rising Below”
It would be easy to assume that Dirty Three‘s “Rising Below” comes from some long-lost Western epic–the mournful violin and crashing drums certainly give that impression. And yet that thought isn’t very far off the mark. Dirty Three’s violinist is Warren Ellis, who’s worked with Nick Cave in the past on the soundtracks to films like The Proposition and The Assassination of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford, both gritty, modern Westerns that Dirty Three perfectly embody on their new album, Toward The Low Sun.
Rounding out the Australian trio are Mick Turner on guitar and Jim White on drums, and along with Ellis the three members have been associated with other Nick Cave projects like the Bad Seeds and Grinderman. Dirty Three first came together in 1993, and from the very beginning, the trio has had an almost-telepathic musical connection. Their songs are largely improvised around a basic framework, and unlike a lot of improvisational music, Dirty Three can actually take their compositions somewhere.
“Rising Below” reflects this aspect. Sitting at the intersection of folk and jazz, the song starts off tenuously before building to a chaotic finale. All the years together have paid off, resulting in instrumental music that’s challenging but interesting.