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David Viecelli

It's been a wicked dry spell of seven years since the filthy unit of Mick Turner, Jim White, and Warren Ellis graced the world with a full-length of any kind. As individuals, they've had their hands in many different pies between now and then, but nothing comes close to what occurs when the Dirty Three lock themselves in a room with the tape rolling to milk whatever they can out of each other. This time around, they've discovered the heavens and it's heat source, birthing to the world a brand-spanking new album and gracefully aiming it straight for that giant orange bulb of the sky . . . they call it Toward The Low Sun and Drag City is proud to release it, the first album by the Dirty Three, in North America on February 28th.

In these recent years, Ellis, White and Turner have been busy, playing with others including Nick Cave, Grinderman, Bonnie 'Prince' Billy, PJ Harvey, Nina Nastasia, White Magic, Bill Callahan, and Cat Power, making solo records, and, of course, there's Warren's soundtrack collaborations with Mr. Cave ("The Road," "Proposition," "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford."), all the while generally seeing and feeling the world on their own terms.

All this is reflected in the power and the glory of Toward the Low Sun. Returning to the basic formula for the Dirty Three, the labor and decision-making is divined evenly and democratically as they improvise themselves into the heart of the moment. The sounds of traditional music are glimpsed in Warren's violin as he saws away at something that kind of tightens our chest and give us that ol' thousand-yard stare. Mick wanders hollow-bodied from abstract and dreamy to punishing hard chord rock in the space of a breath, never sacrificing a sense of the awesome along the path. And Jim . . . There's drummers and time, and then there's Jim White. He's doing something that no one else does back there. Plus, he's drumming! Each takes the lead as the untidy trio trip lightly and jazzily from etude to still life to exploding the air into flames around us with just a violin, electric guitar and trap kit. Don't shade your eyes! Look Toward the Low Sun and you will know once again the burn of the Dirty Three.



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