detritus maestros: luke vollar on va aa lr, guttersnipe, xazzazAugust 6, 2015 at 3:52 pm | Posted in no audience underground, not bloody music | 1 Comment
Tags: guttersnipe, luke vollar, mantile records, matching head, va aa lr, xazzaz
VA AA LR – Ping Cone (tape, Mantile Records, #028, edition of 50)
Guttersnipe – Demo (CD-r or download, self-released)
xazzaz – descent / the crusher (tape, matching head, matching head 209)
VA AA LR – Ping Cone
VA AA LR are a trio of London based improvisers who make a confounding and ludicrous noise on all manner of non-musical items. The most obvious comparison would be with that other trio of detritus maestros Spoils & Relics, as they also have a weird grasp of group dynamics and a fearless trust in the communal brain. No coincidence that the tape is released on Mantile Records – (the smallest Spoils member) Johnny Scarr’s label.
Abrupt cuts and volume drops entice the curious into the rusty thicket, it’s just you’re more likely to get a spoke in your ass than a sloppy kiss. What starts as hesitant and probing gradually becomes the lopsided half jam of a cola slurping rusted robot making its way down a filthy, ruined corridor – a strobe occasionally lighting the dismal scene.
Yes, we could talk about the lineage of AMM and the principles of improvisation and experimentation being ingested and regurgitated by a new generation but something tells me that these boys would be more interested in yanking your pants down in public and laughing at your bare ass than discussing Eddie Prevost’s latest musings.
Guttersnipe – Demo
Now this li’l disc arrived with me via a man who quite possibly has the most perfect name for a punk drummer ever: Rob Glew, a.k.a. ‘The Ginger Tornado; a.k.a. ‘Spaghetti Limbs’ a.k.a. ‘Bobby Sticks’. Ex- of sadly defunct righteous punk squawkers etai keshiki, a band who shared a tape with my groop Castrato Attack Group (*ahem*, still available for gigs). An unlikely comradery developed betwixt both bands: the skinny shit kickers and the receding, beer bellied sludgemonauts – a cosmic alignment if you will. Hell, Bobby even guested on sticks for one Castrato show. But enough of Ol’ Vollars reminiscing, etai keshiki have ceased to be but all members have to my knowledge continued to pursue musical activities. For instance…
Guttersnipe whip up a frightening noise on drums, guitars, electronics and howled vocals that will have you reaching for the light switch. The cassette fidelity smudges the freejazzmetalhaze into a fog of terror from which emerges the fangs of a gaping gob ready to bite you. I’ve been listening to a lot of black metal recently and these vocals could have the corpse painted hordes crying for their mama. However, they are not the guttural grunts of the alpha male but more a feminine screech of desperation and disgust which the other two respond to by conjuring a blackened and unsettled miasma. Calling this disc demo leads me to believe that Guttersnipe are selling themselves short. This is impressively original material that comes over like a Xasthur/Skullflower hybrid with a hefty slug of secret ingredient. Marvellous job.
xazzaz – descent / the crusher
Another missive from the North East primitives on the none-more-black Matching Head: tape only, no internet presence, all regular readers know the drill. Xazzaz has elegantly stroked my lobes in the past with fine, nourished noise loopholes. This one coughed up in a plastic rectangle from the Northumberland swamps is a sidestep that shows another feather in his headdress.
The fidelity is gloriously wrong, as if a ball of fluff the size of a tennis ball was hanging off the needle of your record player. A hypnotic loop comes in and out of focus like the black oily cogs lowering you beneath the surface. Frenzied string abuse compelling forward (or downward) motion also blurs and sharpens. A similar theme is maintained over both sides with a strong atmosphere of anxiety, as if our man is descending into unknown and inky depths with only his battered guitar and amp on the plinth, trying to wring as much from the rusty strings as his cold damp fingers will allow. There is a darkly compelling isolationist bent to this tape that is as inviting as the warm glow of a stranger’s window on a pitch black night. A bit of research tells me that Xazzaz has his first proper CD now available from Turgid Animal. Just try and stop me.