last few thuds of a heart: scott mckeating on recent turgid animal

June 15, 2013 at 9:56 am | Posted in new music, no audience underground | Leave a comment
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Various – Behind the Toilet Door Part I (C90 Cassette, Turgid Animal, TA390)

Voltigeurs / Dark Bargain – Split (7 inch vinyl, Turgid Animal, edition of 300)

Karst / La Mancha Del Pecado / Culver – Split (CD-r, Turgid Animal)

voltiguers - dark bargain

OK folks, here’s the sophomore effort from new RFM contributor Scott McKeating in which he reveals what is behind the toilet door, confesses his obsessive love of long-term psyche/noise fiend Matthew Bower and gets grumpy about vinyl again.  Over to Scott:

Despite being a Turgid Animal release, Behind the Toilet Door Part I has the feel of a Fuckin’ Amateurs production wrapped in the aesthetics of Matching Head. A prequel to the 2009 release of Behind the Toilet Door Part II, which actually did come out on Matching Head, like its predecessor this earlier-in-the-day instalment features some lesser known North East noise players and their uncracked aliases. With each of the artists performing their sets in the confines of a carpentry workshop toilet cubicle, y’know as you do. Experimental arts festivals take note. With Behind the Toilet Door Part I having been recorded in the same lowest-fi quality as Part II, there is no concession to spit and polish clean-up here; this is organised, glorious and enjoyable chaos. As you’d except from a Dictaphone type handheld thingy recording set-up the sounds dips at points, conversations are overheard and the levels of applause (and ‘waheying’) sometimes hurricanes out all sound. These mini-sets are as varied as they are dissonant, alongside Wrest’s solo vocal take of ‘My Grandfather’s Clock’ there’s demolished sound collage, free percussion/samples, static cut-ups, stop-start field recordings, the sweep and pluck of solo violin and a dose of virulently energetic New Monkey. Yes, you read that right. New Monkey on Turgid Animal.

There’s no point in being coy about this, I’m a fully paid up Matthew Bower acolyte. We tend to operate in sleeper cells, tracking down his prolific output across disparate labels like randomly strewn Dan Brown clues. As one of the very few still active, evolving and enduring artists from the post-industrial noise scene of the 80s, Matthew Bower can be relied on to deliver the goods whatever the project title. Much like Black Sun Roof! and occasionally Skullflower, Voltigeurs is a duo of Samantha Davies (ex of Harm) and Matthew, and away from the glare of daylight and the accord of reality they hunt the hinterlands of bliss OD and layers of feedback noise. Turgid Animal has become something of a home to Voltigeurs, having previously put out three and a bit releases. So, needle down and right away it’s like being plugged directly into a stream of breathing charred sound that has the Bower/Davies union demon-bound in a living amber covering. It’s heavy. ‘Strangled Angels (In Our Hedgerows)’ has no time wasting coming-up intro, no mirror/signal before the manoeuvre, Voltigeurs are intravenously instant. The layers of haze-horror noise sound like they’re created through an energetic hands-on expelling. From-hand-to-instrument-to-pedal-to-overload, Voltigeurs’ chaos is a living thing far beyond any concept of a mere blackout of harshwallnoise. Howling around a pulse of (possibly) piano notes and an impatient rhythm, this side of vinyl makes me want to turn the volume up till I break on through or kneel in masochist reverie. This is music that inhabits and endorses both the concepts of cosmicism and the glory of the self as simultaneously the only important thing. And then it’s over. Just as immediately as it began we are spat out again into reality. No fade out, no winding down, just a complete and utter removal of everything. Dark Bargain is another spurt from the incestuous pool of the north east of England’s noise/experimental people. With a cast of Lucy Johnson (of Smut and co-runner of Turgid Animal), Mike Simpson (of guitar noisedrone Xazzaz and the Molotov label) and Wrest (of Fuckin’ Amateurs and affiliated labels), Dark Bargain are suppliers of fuzzed-to-hell bleak rock. Their ‘A Fillip To The Senses’ circular riff is a more an aggressive horizontal burrowing than it is primal rock repetition. A battered beat, a seven minute millstone grind that comes careering to a feedback crunching finish, Dark Bargain’s debut track is a shakily solid teaser for this new unit.

(Pedantic vinyl gripe Part 2. No rpm on this 7” means I’m on mental tenterhooks thinking I might have to get up off my behind to change the speed)

A part of Turgid’s appeal is that while they put out pro CD and vinyl releases, they also still slip out the kind of home burnt and photocopied CD-rs you can imagine them putting together at their kitchen counter. This facet of the label often puts out some of its best offerings, keeping up the regular flow from George Proctor and his close allies. This three-way is a strong representative of the label’s pool of close to hand talent. And while there is no evidence that Proctor has angels chained in his basement, Karst’s ‘Shipwreck’ is a good exhibit A to kick off the rumour. There’s a touch of the blinded angelic to the start and end of this 27 minute track.  If you can imagine a take on the idea of a watery grave, de-toned and hidden from daylight, then you might be a third of the way there and you’ll still need to pick this disc up. Nurse With What? Salt Marie Who? La Mancha Del Pecado is the lucky Pierre of this CD-r and needs no introduction to RFM readers.  Miguel’s 22 minute piece is occult slasher horror visuals made aural. I’ve no idea who Julieta from ‘Julieta En Las Catacumbas’ is, but she’s bleeding out as I write/you read – no doubt about that. Stasis drone that attracts a clattering breath industrial rhythm heard through the last few thuds of a heart.

The disc is closed out by RFM ViP Culver, and it feels like something of a slight departure. Where ‘The Fiend’ feels a little different is that it seems to be purposefully constructed as opposed to having just materialised through one of Lee Stokoe’s feedback rites. A twenty-minute slow burning noise-influenced dose, the track soon switches into a collision with harsher sounds once the opening reverse tones are swamped. ‘The Fiend’ is drone dragged through an arterial stream of black Lyle’s, Stokoe’s touch drawing queasy sound and industrial ambience poisons from the track.

All available via Turgid Animal

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