grot all get mangled: joe murray on panelak, f. ampism, david birchall, rogier small, rotten tables, golden meat, ckdhJuly 5, 2014 at 8:09 pm | Posted in new music, no audience underground | Leave a comment
Tags: angurosakuson, ckdh, david birchall, f. ampism, improv, joe murray, new music, no audience underground, noise, panelak, pascal ansell, poot records, rogier small, rotten tables golden meat, tapes, total vermin, vocal improvisation
Panelak – Heimat (CD-r or download, Angurosakuson, AS#007)
F. Ampism – Chew Valley Moor Wardens (CD-r, Poot Records)
David Birchall/Rogier Small Duo – S/T (C20 tape, Poot Records)
Rotten Tables, Golden Meat – My Nose is Broken (C20 tape, Total Vermin)
CKDH – Yr Putrid Eyeballs (CD-r, Poot Records)
Panelak – Heimat
Starting with electronics swimming in electric bile over a bunch of Korean zither pings all antiseptic and clean an antique ZX81 crashes. KkKKkkqqQKkqKQKkk. In the Congo ghosts play Mbira via shortwave lightning with sudden peaks in volume and intensity. Phew! The first two songs (‘How I wrote Panelak’ & ‘Underfelt Silk Leaves’) are over and I’m sweating already.
‘Prayer Milk’ does that tunnel-vision thing for your ears making them tune inward as granular chuff curls like a graphite wave. Watch out casual surfers…don’t get caught in the undertow.
My gosh, this is the Crossfit of noise; all muscular beefing and sweaty reps. But…Panelak’s Pascal Ansell isn’t getting all Rollins on your ass. No sir. This is still pretty enough to make me blush pinky-red. Especially with the glitch water-jug/chess beats/preset keys of ‘Slugs Salloon’ which is the kinda junk turning up on PAN at the minute. Dance music mutated out the disco, round the corner and into the all night Deli serving chrome toaster-noise to anxious couples climbing out a collective K-hole. Selector? Re-rewind!
The 14 minute palette-cleanser ‘Nix Cornd Beef/Timesheet’ reminds me of the time I was locked in King Cross train station trying to avoid the security guards as semi-automated cleaning carts trundle the platforms snagging metal rails and sparking green in the darkness. Just so you know.
This prepares the listener for ‘BBBlues’ with a guitar that’s the sort of thing to give Albini nightmares such is the sound ripped, processed and fucked. The ever present waterfall vibe that bootleg software wafts becomes an undercurrent laying a liquid foundation.
The closer, ‘Largesse Projects’ is more Stingray-undersea-kingdom shit; follow the pressure waves of psychic-torpedoes as they zero in on their own personal Bismarck! At a mile deep the nitrogen/oxygen mixture makes mush of your brain. Half forgotten memories of Rave culture, Noise basements and night bus paranoia all curdle into a paste of grey-matter.
Thoughts intertwine and Jacques Cousteau leers at my wasted face under his gnarly woollen cap. “Get a grip” he yells (in French). But I’m too far gone on Panelak and burst out laughing at the salty puddle collecting round his brogues.
Shit man…this is strong stuff.
F. Ampism – Chew Valley Moor Wardens
Brighton-based beard F. Ampism has been riffing it for years. His set at Colour Out Of Space 2013 was one of the highlights of the weekend and this cheeky snapshot of mung is a earhole warmer par excellence.
The shingle-tape warping and snatched speech samples comes across all Chaotica and sits comfortably at the table with all that LAFMS shit; ‘cept there’s a handmade quality to this like wave-polished scrimshaw.
Let me explain. Wooden batteries get replaced with felt. Off-kilter percussion from Nairobi is laid over kitchen clatter (‘Bandoneon’). A baking tray buckles and reed flute plays comforting Azathoth (‘Indian Head’). Free-jazz workshops are rendered in miniature like the band are starting to arrive and the drummer practices exotic chops (‘Water from a Wooden Bowl’). Grotty tabla ‘slaps’ are slowed down into the futuristic plastic ‘Boing’ posing a problem for Mega City One judges (‘Norma Supral’) as mercury is sluiced down a drainpipe. There’s a fidget’s delight as KLF goof-on like ‘Chill Out’ (‘Comfrey Wazzo Shed Suite’). Repetitive faux-ethic glock plonks, bronze owls t-wit and t-woo during ‘Hanging Litterbugs’ as Martin Denny finds the sweet-spot on his analogue synth.
To sum up: loops of recorder grot all get mangled. You sit and raise a glass. The wind blows through your grass skirt.
And if god is a DJ, Amps sits at his right hand mixing all the uncomfortable sounds dropped at the pearly gates.
Check this mother out!
David Birchall/Rogier Small Duo
An eye-watering tape cover, all pink vibrations and Mexican skulls houses this crispy duck.
Warble-guitar rubberises snazzy drums all over side one with the clitter-clatter meshing like oilbeads. Dave’s dextrous volume pedal work gives the six string a human voice…an open-mouthed gasp that speaks in a dialect from the lost land of Atlantis. When the silvery bubbles of air float up they get well and truly popped by Rogier’s mini-trident as floppy skins (drum kit) pound like a war cry. Up Helly-Ah!
Texture is explored for sure but it’s got a furry quality, like mould-ridden cheese, that makes me salivate grey goo down my shirt front.
I saw these two live recently and was blown away by their Crimsons. Diggerty velocity and ultra-hard riffin’ that stopped on a dime leading to Pinteresque silence and uncomfortable stares. And it’s good to hear those dip-outs, troughs and fallows on this pinky tape. Too many beards just jam it without no contrasts…saps. The chaps got chops!
Side two starts off all mellow and that with a ribbed ripple, a cluster of notes that dart and dive around Smal’s dropped grenades. But these explosions become milestones, stately markers on a voyage over rough terrain before they gradually morph into the start of the Pink Panther show (circa 1979).
About halfway though coffin-opening squeaks and moans start coming from somewhere as Private Jazz gets the brushes out ‘schhhh, schhhh, schhhh’…a minute later we’re in Company Week territory with heavy improv chokes and giggles from drum and guitar. This jollies me up and I’m sad, genuinely sad, dear reader when the extended grimble solo ends this tape.
Oh yeah…I know people like to know this kinda stuff: Dave plays in Northern Loon-duo Chastity Potatoe, Desmadrados Soldados de Ventura, Stuckometer, Levenshulme Bicycle Orchestra and Rogier does stuff with Jaap Blonk, Eugene Chadbourne, Sunburned Hand of The Man and one of Earth or something. Both websites are chocked full of tapes, drawings and videos that make me wanna get up and do some shit!
Rotten Tables, Golden Meat – My Nose is Broken
My word: hunka-grunk-scrunt! This is the kinda doof that gets me out of bed in the morning, lickerty-split! Do not pass muesli. Jive straight out the door and into the woods for loamy communion breathing in the ferns.
Rotten Tables, Golden Meat are a totally gonzo electronics/vocal mush duo jamming at the heart of the new Soviet weird and its long tradition of sound poetry and religious ecstasy. Partly recorded on Jon Marshall’s travels in Russia with St Petersberg resident Anton Auster these two sides are sharp like pickles with a lasting tang.
Side one: A live excursion jammed in St Petersburg starts like an experiment with speech from an impossible archive, micro-sounds isolated, presented and turned inside out for a gaggle of tweed elbow-patches. The lecture continues but moves into the chemistry lab; a pristine white coat mixing noxious chemicals all a’bubble and foamy. Rhythm is important to RTGM and loops move in eccentric orbits around each other, meeting in points; farewells no doubt tearful as they forever pull themselves apart. But it’s not all buttery beauty! There’s enough ‘crunch’, ‘squark’ and ‘fonk’ for the gruffest gong-farmer. In fact about halfway through side one everything kinda disintegrates into a morass of electronic gunk, shortwave gabble and tape squeal. A purgatory of choirs is summoned through the mire with a majestic sweep of the curtain, beckons in a new dawn of pained snivel.
Side two is mixed like a travelogue, switching from one place or mood to another but with a modesty and innocence. Shy words and the crunch of boots on fresh electric-snow open the proceedings; a black-out rave for the diesel-clogged tugboats that thump across the frozen harbour. This hums for a while then jack knives like This Heat’s Health & Efficiency with a propulsive yet lopsided whoozy sample driving a bright cavalcade of rips and shunts and liquid voice. More snatches of Russian conversation tease, a mouse-organ and reed thin whistles…tin-plate clicks and damaged music box mechanisms crackle with hidden purpose. Then to close the sampled speech, all lightly manipulated, turns into a charming thought piece and/or erotic lullaby ’ears, some gills mama cav-or’ that’s just as dishy as Steve Reich.
Sorry to get extra huggy-kissy but this is one god-damn essential experience. Like a tin bath…you gotta get in to drop out!
CKDH – Yr Putrid Eyeballs
An exceptional Black Metal logo always draws me in and the singular art work in this oversized cardboard CD case makes this a hard disc to ignore.
Razor-sharp tones (a high C#?) open ‘Your Putrid Eyeballs’ sliding over each other like greased jade. These thin green needles puncture the twilight (it’s getting dark as I type) and I notice that swinging my head from side-to-side makes them dance gently in the middle of the room. A brown and granular wash (think coffee grounds) plays a twin-tone melodie as liquid hydrogen rushes down a spiral staircase leaving toxic steam in its wake. The between-track silence is uncanny.
‘Fungal Air Creeping Adders’ jams on these strange radiophonic tones further, bunching them up to create a ripple, a rhythm and a steady bass-line crackle. It all sounds strangely contemporary and the sort of thing I imagine is played in an inner-city night club shortly before kicking out time; the feeling of dread and alienation is real. An occasional metallic scratching uncovers itself gradually, steadily becoming unnerving, unsettling…like something is about to shear off and screech out the stereo covered in nasty blisters. And then…just before the end a beautiful thing happens and two sine-wave tones modulate in just the right way to create a third tone, a harmony that sings like an angel. It only lasts a second but becomes the grit in the oyster, the seldom seen hint of violet in a rainbow.
All the more delicious for its rarity.
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Editor’s note: don’t fret if you visit the Poot or Total Vermin sites and can find no mention of the releases reviewed. Luke and Stuart both work within a jelly-like, highly-flexible notion of ‘time’ and should be contacted directly with enquiries as to availability.