Amon Düde - Amon Düde (Ikuisuus CD-R)
You could say there's only one reason I bought this CD-R, but you'd be wrong. Sure I have a soft spot for gimmicky band names that seem to exist for no other purpose than to draw attention where it may not be warranted. But there is another reason...it's from Finland, man! Finland rules! Ever since the Lal Lal Lal label won my heart over and kept it last year, I've been almost embarassingly attracted to anything Finnish. And not to mention that Ikuisuus, the label that put this one out, have an increasingly-impressive track record. And that the guy behind Amon Düde is also responsible for the ultimate in Finnish stupefaction with main unit Avarus. A recipe for success, Shirley? Or at least a disc worth owning because, why not.
I don't even know if you can call Amon Düde a project or just a one-off with a clever moniker, but nonetheless he does collaborate with a few individuals here - the Hot Rod Boys (who?), Reverend Washington (huh?) and Fricara Pacchu (YES). Other than that, it's pretty much a solo flight, and a short flight at that because it ends 29 minutes in. But that's really not a bad thing as this is the kind of album that could really wear on your nerves in a life-threatening, genocidal kind of way if it went on too long. All seven tracks are untitled, but they do have various notes about the tracks on the insert - for example, tracks 1, 3 and 7 were recorded live during a tour with Paavi, Mark Boombastik and Jack the Rapper; 2 was with the Hot Rod Boys "inside a rock underneath an orthodox cathedral" in Helsinki; 4 and 6 were with Reverend Washington and 5 was with Pacchu in the "sauna department" of the Avarus practice space in Turku. The results can vary wildly. For the most part, the sound here is like a merry-go-round of different electronic noises, tape manipulations, video game sound effects, samples, junky percussion clap-trap and anything else belched up and assimilated by A.D.'s busted machinery. The live tracks are all of the same vein (obviously) with A.D. speeding up and slowing down tape feeds and SFX to increasingly dizzying effect, like an even more childish Aphex Twin or Monstre. On track two A.D. and the Hot Rod Boys combine more baffling sounds, toy horns, the tiny sounds of a drumkit and yelping vocals into a brain-scrambling mess...sure sounds like it was worked over in the "studio" afterwards but whaddo I know. The tracks with this Reverend Washington are quite out-there, the first one sounding like Carl Stalling overseeing a series of noisemakers going off at random intervals while the other is almost like a techno/death metal weld that's entirely marred by some ridiculous vocal undulations that make the track hardly bearable for thirty seconds, let alone five full minutes. Best of the best is (naturally) the "epic 4-track piece" with Fricara Pacchu is still a mess of electronic spittle, frantic percussion and hot-wired epilepsy-inducing flickers but it has the kind of rotten-yet-joyful inspired sense of exuberance about it that permeates so much of what I like about all these Finnish up-and-comers. It may be stupid but I'll be darned if a good time wasn't had by all (me). The whole disc isn't a winner but that 8-minute session with Pacchu makes up for the cost of it alone and the solo bits are quite nice too. Next stop is, in my ideal world, a c30 on Lal Lal Lal. Make it happen!