PBK / SPYBEY / BUTCHER / JOHNSON “Heat on Earth” C25 (Humanhood Recordings)

When we wake up to a scorched planet one day, we’ll wonder to ourselves, how did it get like this? We’ll probably have this thought at the exact same time we breathe our last – human habitability on an overheated Earth is not something that’s really going to occur in any meaningful way. In any way at all, actually.

So we’re left with artists to imagine it for us, drop hints about our doom in musical form so that maybe we can be just a little more prepared. Here, Phillip B. Klingler, Mark Spybey, John Butcher, and Travis Johnson do the heavy lifting. All have been around for a while, but I’ll let you dig into their CVs. Only Johnson is younger than me, and not by much. The quartet whip up a maelstrom of windswept doom across 200-degree plains, electronics, sax, percussion, and cello manifesting the driest desert air over sun-baked landscapes. Listen: there is no more humidity in the air here – there is no more life.

It’s unpleasant, you guys! Nothing’s left. Imagine that desolation. Imagine it! These four dudes do a good job of imagining it, and I’m right there with them, as a listener extraordinaire. There’s nothing left for us except an escape route: “The River That Runs to the Sea of Stars.” It’s the only way out. We ride the sax and electrical currents, we ride the hope in liquid form, and we bust outta there… Too bad it’s all just a hallucination brought on by the intense heat as we evaporate.

We’re 95% water, right?