Mutant Ape Curates the Jams Part 1
So there's a picture of all the music George Proctor (of/aka Mutant Ape) sent my way recently, something I've been trying to get my head around ever since I opened up the box. Unfortunately I won't be able to get through it all in excrutiating detail (heck I could just open up a new blog dedicated solely to this package) so you'll have to deal with my semi-random selections, with more to come tomorrow. For this first edition I selected two tapes, four CD-Rs and two 3" CD-Rs. I'll try and do roughly the same thing tomorrow with the inclusion of a DVD-R. Exciting times! Even if I have no idea what any of this stuff is. Some is from Proctor's own Turgid Animal label, and some is not. All of it is vaguely disturbing.
First tape was a good one to start off with as it was Mutant Ape's "Recycled" cassette (RRRecords). In case you somehow don't know the shtick, RRR boss Ron Lessard dubs whatever noise is handed to him on these reused tapes from obscure/dollar bin artists. It's basically a rite of passage for every noise musician on the planet and I think it's actually a law that you're not allowed to be in the noise mafia if you don't have a Recycled tape to your name. True story. Two side-long tracks appear here and don't remind me much at all of the other Mutant Ape product I reviewed, "No Bodies" on the Amorf label. The sounds here are more hollowed-out malfunctioning Cessna engines, dotted with occasional synthy strokes and almost passive-aggressive slow burning. There's also a few nice, lengthy stretches of fluctuation oscillations...the perfect nod-out yowl. The B-side is a bit more dynamic with Proctor switching things up more frequently and the A-side seems to wind down but catches another wind and gets born again into a more high-pitched and somewhat calmer affair. It's kinda eerie in a way, but pales in comparison to the run-off from the original recycled tape...it's some dude speaking in this monotone voice about punching "asshole scum" and how some bully he got into a fight with when he was a kid died of leukemia 9 years after the storyteller punched him out. Ooookay. Now I've got the urge to hunt that down. I gotta hear the whole story!
Other tape of the day is Institut's "Epidemics" (Unrest Productions). Both sides feature multiple tracks, ranging from a lo-fi metallic grumble with mumbled male vocals to needly hypnotizing feedback repetition to mini A-bomb detonations occuring in the distant sunset...it's all pretty nice and pretty easy to get lost in, although I'm not so sure he/she/they (it sounds like a they) would take to kindly to such a compliment. Unfortunately as soon as you latch onto something, Institut have already moved on to the next thing. Bummer. But a nice little tape nevertheless.
Romance - "Live 2006" (Turgid Animal) is a 3" CD-R culled from a buncha (three) dates the group had in what I'm assuming to be their native U.K., and was probably a lot more aggressive in-person, particular in a couple of shots in the opening cut where the noisician (?) goes idle and then proceeds to tear the pubic hair from your body in one furious swoop. As far as the group's sounds it reminds me of a more P.E.-oriented Merzbow, what with all the jump-cutting...unfortunately once you subtract the banter and the ultra-annoying loop that takes up the last five minutes of the album, you're not really left with much meat at all. Feels more of a favor to a friend than an actual release.
I had to hear Cryptic Weevil's "Come Out" (Turgid Animal) 3" CD-R because it purports to be a re-working of Steve Reich's seminal tape piece of the same name. Indeed it uses the exact same "I had to open the bruise up and let some of the bruise blood come out to show them" sample that Reich works with although Cryptic Weevil takes it a bit all over the map: looping the phrase over itself (like Reich did), speeding it up, slowing it down, reversing it, and throwing it under a train of effects. In the second half Weevil seems to be "playing" over the loop and at times your ears have to search for it but it always seems to rebound in that endless rhythm of "come out to show them". A novel idea but doesn't really shed any light that Reich failed to when he composed it in '65 either.
Cracked Dome's "Mutilated Horizons" (Turgid Animal) CD-R certainly makes good on the group (individual?)'s name's promise...there's two tracks here, one called "The Slow and Endless Dissection of All False Gods" at 63 minutes and one called "Elimination Procedures" at 5 minutes. The first one rules. I'll admit it gets kinda long in the tooth with about twenty-minutes of empty-skull zombifying ambience, but once it gets going there's just no looking back. At about the half-hour mark the intensity meter starts working its way up as the track gets ever more so aggressive and angry, until a total tidal wave of harsh, thundering rumble takes over and never stops sounding pissed...I mean seriously it's like one big buildup where every time it gets to the level you think "it can't possibly get any more louder" and, of course, it does. Around 50 minutes in it's the total breaking point, with screaming electronics tearing across a blackened sky backdrop as your face melts off and clots in a small pool at your feet...the high-pitched frequencies that conclude the track sound like sirens from all over rushing to the scene. Total aces. Oh, the five minute track is some brief harsh exploder thing that really didn't even need to be included. Highly recommended!
DirectBrainStimulation's "Post Zombie Coma" (Turgid Animal) CD-R is one of the few included with some actual info, such as "noise by Rick Winn and Brian Jenkins". That still doesn't tell me anything about them but at least I know it's two dudes named Rick and Brian. Their CD-R is comprised of one 42-minute cut and it's pedal to the metal the whole way...nobody gets any room to breathe here, not listener nor performer. Their furious harshisms remind me a lot of most Japanoise I'm familiar with, specifically stuff like Government Alpha or M.S.B.R.. Can't think of much else to say about it but those who dig it fast n' loud will have no complaints (well, I have just one - that name!).
A CD-R I was especially looking forward to hearing was Kylie Minoise's "Micro-Budget Perversion" (Turgid Animal), particularly because I've heard so much about the name in question. To be honest I was expecting some kind of goofy Load Records pseudo-noise trash but Kylie (who is one guy, to the best of my knowledge) serves up the goods and serves them up loud. I could feel the wind from my speakers hitting my eyeballs when I put this one in. Similar to the DBS disc above, this is one half-hour anger management course but outdoes everything in terms of over-the-top volume, bordering on near-Masonna territory. Like the last one, it too reminds me of Japanoise in terms of sheer unquenchable thirst for brutality. Not too much changes from minute to minute (or from 10 minutes to 20 minutes even) but that's not really the point either. Intense! And also recommended!
Last on the docket is a band I don't know from a label I do know, and that's The Sunken's "Toasted Victims" (Obscurica) (with a great cover). I think one of the dudes from the Sunken is also in Cracked Dome, or something like that. Who the hell knows. The sounds here vary wildly: microphone and turntable abuse, guttaral and shouted vocal sounds, lo-fi groans and chiming keyboards, subterranean/cavernous bass droning, B-level horror movie SFX, and a whole slew of other things I can't bear to mention. It doesn't always click for me (I'm not so much a fan of the vocals) but when it does, it's great: "Zombie Heroin" (featuring Pulse Emitter) is the harshest Wolf Eyes tracks Wolf Eyes never wrote, "You'll Go to Your Grave Because of Me" threatens suffocation with sheet after sheet of static fury and the high-pitched noises in "Reaper's Lunch" will make you jump out of your skin, especially in contrast with the rainy ambience that starts off the track. One thing I'm not a fan of (and a personal pet peeve in anything noise-related) are the goofy track titles...the ones I listed before were good enough but "Lou Ferrigno Fabric Tear" and "I Don't Like Video Games"? Boomtown Rats for Generation Y it ain't. Nevertheless...quality release from a label who always deal in quality and/or baffling releases.
I think that's all the noise I can handle for tonight, and maybe for the rest of the week even but tune in again tomorrow and I'll put the rest of Mr. Ape's records to bed, and then I can start figuring out how to store the ones that come in baggies/clear plastic folders.