Moon - Sun/Earth/Sky & Women in Tragedy - Tragic Life (Brise-Cul CD-Rs)
First two of a quartet of new Brise-Cul releases that landed into my lap, courtesy label boss Martin Sasseville, also of Quebec's premiere hypothermic drone unit Wapstan and a host of other projects I can't even begin to remember. These are a couple of his newest editions and both look especially slick - heavy color-printed inserts and CD-Rs with resplendent paint jobs housed inside slim plastic sleeves. Simple and tasteful! Well maybe not tasteful, there's no excusing the brain-rending art on the Women in Tragedy sleeve but just don't let your mom find out. A little background info on the artists in question, neither of which I knew prior to hearing the discs. Moon (not to be confused with Poland's Moonn, formerly Moonn D)))!) is a duo from France featuring a Chandra Murray on vocals and delay while DDN takes up analogue synth, MC-303 and computer. "Carefully crafted at home" sez the sleeve. Say word son. Brise-Cul's description tells that Moon's biggest influence is the conception of the future the past had. Dig? Women in Tragedy is not in fact a woman in tragedy but a guy named Bob, Bob McCully, from Toronto. And that's about all I know.
Moon's disc is pretty good and certainly reflective of the misty shoreline the image on the sleeve suggests. There's three "main" pieces here called (you guessed it) "Sun", "Earth" and "Sky" as well as parts one and two of "Interlude in Space" stuck between the songs for altogether about a half-hour's worth of doom and gloom. Moon's "Sun" reminds a lot of something you'd hear from Sunn O))), or maybe even Moonn, but certainly not Stars. It's a harshly-tinted, mildly aggressive synthesizer drone kinda like a pared down version of the all-synth track "Akuma No Kuma" from the recent Sunn/Boris collaboration. "Earth" doesn't sound that much like Earth but cobbles up a nice, floaty drone of chime-like sounds and glitchy, fuzzy electronica with Chandra Murray's vocals falling to the aural canvas like from wide-sweeping brushstrokes. "Sky" doesn't sound like Explosions in the Sky or Wooden Wand & the Sky High Band (is the shtick tired yet?) but it's the best cut on the disc. A sonically overwhelming and decidedly-celestial tattered-edge drone, it's the kind of near-song you'd expect to hear on a Kompakt compilation or on a Tim Hecker release. Total beaut, I wish more of the album was like it. In fact I wish they had extended the three main pieces rather than include the two "Interlude in Space" interrupters, the looped ambience and general non-direction of both can get tedious and the time would have been better invested fleshing out the other tracks. Nevertheless, a nice and satisfying soundtrack to yr latest experiments in time travel with the glass elevator.
Bob McCully/Women in Tragedy represent, here at least, the other spectrum of Brise-Cul releases because it couldn't be more different from the Moon album. In fact it's quite a bit more along the lines of what you'd expect from Brise-Cul - harsh, brutal noise. It sounds to me like McCulley's operating with guitars, synths, lots of effect pedals and his heavily-altered vocals, putting especially the first two into use on opening "The Criminal" which sounds like a digitized remake of a track from Justin Broadrick's Jesu project serenading a crumbling mountain and the ensuing avalanche of boulders. The 18-minute "You're Not Level Headed" is a roller coaster ride, starting out slow and ominous before gradually moving into earth-shaking skin-stripping territories, the kind of balls to the wall fist-pumping electric fury doled out by the likes of Government Alpha or Richard Ramirez. "Cutting Moments" is a more drawn-out delirium largely characterised by a pained, unintelligible narrative and the closing "Strangers are Pointy" (?) is a furious ride through parts unknown, moving quickly through three different phases until permanent brain damage is risked vis-a-vis the shuddering mechanical eviscerations taking place. Total blasterpiece and totally the right ying to Moon's yang. I'd highly recommend picking em both up as a pair as I was pleasantly surprised by both. You can check out samples from both on the Brise-Cul MySpace which you can get to from the official site as found on the right side (the MySpace is much more up to date than the website). Low prices, savvy packages, grungy underground-planet noise attack...lemme get my swimming trunks on for this one!