(another) fortnight with lee and miguel, part two: conspiracies

February 12, 2014 at 9:36 am | Posted in new music, no audience underground | Leave a comment
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culver & la mancha del pecado – collaboration 3 (tape, At War With False Noise, ATWAR140, edition of 50)

culver & la mancha del pecado – collaboration 4 (CD-r, Turgid Animal)

culver & la mancha del pecado – collaboration 5 (tape, Narcolepsia)

The Dead End Street Band / La Mancha Del Pecado – El Mercado De Las Brujas (CD-r, Agorafobia Tapes, #25)

Crown of Bone / La Mancha Del Pecado – split (CD-r, Agorafobia Tapes #26/Occult Supremacy OSP040)

the collects & culver – untitled (tape, Matching Head, mh203)

la mancha - culver - collaboration 3culver - la mancha - collaboration 4

OK, see part one for an extensive preamble.  This second half showcases a bunch of Lee and Miguel’s collaborations and split releases.

—ooOoo—

Firstly, the ongoing team-up between our two heroes sees their powers squared by being combined.  Three more products:

#3 is the final moments of a desperate refugee attempting to escape certain death by clinging on to the landing gear of a passenger jet.  As the aeroplane climbs to cruising altitude, and hypothermia takes hold, this doomed soul hallucinates he is entering a kind of aviation heaven.  The roar of jets, the ‘whup-whup’ of rotors, the burrr of propellers all condense into a single throb carrying him upwards.  This pulse fades along with his own and a slow-picked refrain on acoustic guitar mourns the frozen.

#4 is a single 48 minute long track in three movements.  First is the chugging clatter of a damaged piston furiously rattling its housing as the engine it is part of belches out acrid black smoke.  Secondly, great swathes of the sound are blown away by a cooling wind leaving a rumble as the seemingly broken engine settles, components fusing.  Finally, surprisingly, as it cools the engine bursts back into life in a suicidal last gasp but then – spoiler alert – the piece ends in a relatively upbeat state as the rhythm calms and smoke is replaced with a pleasing iridescent glow.  It is a genuinely unexpected conclusion.

#5 is 38 minutes of scouring radio static as heard in the cockpit of a single propeller aeroplane surveying the bomb damage inflicted by Wehrmacht Lombardo’s war machines.

All great.

dead end street - la mancha - split

I know Miguel is proud of this one ‘cos it’s his tape label Agorafobia’s first transatlantic split: The Dead End Street Band hail from exotic Newcastle.  Their track, ‘Night of the Bloody Apes’, has the greasy, queasy electronic pulse that made the best of first wave industrial music such uncomfortable listening.  It also adds a viscous layer of inescapable stickiness.  At twelve minutes long it is the perfect length to lure an unsuspecting fly into the monkey cup…

The La Mancha track, ‘Raza Crapulienta’, has a forward motion I am tempted to describe as ‘roaring’ but in this case ‘gushing’ might be more accurate.  There is a wetness to the torrent that suggests subterranean rivers coursing through pitch black limestone caverns.

crown of bone - la mancha - split

It took me a while to warm to ‘The Chapters of Judas’ by Crown of Bone, their contribution to this split release.  At first it seemed too fierce for my tastes, too easily described with clichéd adjectives such as ‘harsh’, ‘relentless’ etc.  I was won round by its ridiculous, visceral, irresistible momentum.  At around the 16 minute mark pedals are stamped on which adds variation to the blowtorch ferocity.  With a few minutes to go we are transported instantaneously into the centre of a black mass before the noise returns just as suddenly to play us out.  I don’t listen to this type of stuff very often but I would if more of it was like this.

The La Mancha track, ‘Helena’, is an example of that super-advanced music for alien races that I mentioned in part one.  To feeble ears attached to feeble brains like ours it sounds like metal played by a flock of drunken geese.

collects and culver

…and finally we have the collaboration between Culver and mysterious, new-name-to-me The Collects.  Scott McKeating, the omniscient third voice here at RFM, reckons this is the best of the latest crop.  His verdict, pulled from the pneumatic tube system we use for office communication, is:

shit hot

…which is undeniable.  The cauldron of boiling black liquid provided by Culver is what you might expect, I guess, but a spell is cast by the carefully chosen ingredients tossed into the mix.  There is insectoid filter whine, viscera-rearranging generator throb and reedy, fluting near-melody amongst the other earthy and unplaceable flavours.  Stepping away from the witch’s brew metaphor and into the suburban living room, I am reminded (again) of the little girl in the film Poltergeist, speaking to voices only she can hear via a detuned television.  The first two tracks of this C30(ish) album, ‘clutch fed’ and ‘you are never going home’, could well be what is heard by her during gaps in the conversation: the background noise of a dead realm.

Given its title – ‘do you remember her last moments?’ – and the bound figure illustrated on the cover, it would be easy to interpret the side-long third piece as some kind of torture-porn soundtrack but who wants to linger on that thought, eh?  Not me.  Instead let’s imagine the Culveresque rumble as the mud colouring a drop of dirty water.  Now put that drop on a microscope slide and take a closer look at its contents.  The uniform dirt is separated into boulders suspended in solution and a teeming ecosystem is revealed, thick with monsters.  This is the noise they make as they strive without sense, unaware of how beautiful and terrifying they are.  Flagella thrust clumsily, cilia ripple rhythmically, translucent blobs are attacked by floating mouths.  It is a grotesquely, magnificently alien scene.

Scott is, as ever, correct.

Matching Head

Agorafobia Tapes / Oracle Netlabel

Turgid Animal

Narcolepsia

At War With False Noise

Occult Supremacy

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