Bjerga/Iversen - Cosmic Surgery (Housepig Recordings CD-R)
Bjerga/Iversen is the working name for the coalition of a couple of maniacally prolific Norwegian warriors: Sindre Bjerga and Jan Iversen. Of this voluminous output, I've only heard their release on Dead Sea Liner, though they have had releases on labels like Organic Pipeline, Foxglove, Carbon, Barl Fire, MYMWLY, Ruralfaune, Time-Lag so you know they're good people right off the bat. I can only assume they use a variety of noisemakers and household fodder to produce their sounds, but on the insert to "Cosmic Surgery" all it sez is "Bjerga: amplified objects and electronix" and "Iversen: electronix". And that it was recorded in Norway, February 2006. Not a whole lot of clues but that's okay, I like my sounds mysterious too.
My memories of "In Broken Dreams the World Still Keeps Turning" (the Dead Sea Liner CD-R) are faded but I remember very slow, glacial, earthly mostly-electronic tones like Growing or Tim Hecker or something around those parts. "Cosmic Surgery" is kinda similar but altogether more rough around the edges, tattered and jagged like somebody took a Growing recording session and spliced the tapes together using a cheese grater. The result is a foggy, distant, radioed interpretation. "A Condensed History of Failure" opens with a musty piano plunking and then into a hazy, strobelight/incoming ship atmospheric electronic-induced somnambulist. You know the parts on Earth's "Sunn Amps and Smashed Guitars" live album before the songs where there's like a weird effect-driven droney noise before the song starts? Yeah, that's the ticket. Very "Sunn Amps"-era Earth, replete with some actually discernable (if not slightly muggy) rhythms and structure. "Beauty Spot" is - and I say this a lot - anything but, with either Bjerga or Iversen laying down a rumbling, sore-throat basement-floor-scraping loop and Iversen or Bjerga making sounds like the Space Needle poking holes in the ceiling of the sky and letting holy white light pour through. Eventually the whole track is overtaken by a menacing, noisy sine wave monstrosity, relenting only slightly and exploding into a million lasers, darting off into all corners of the known galaxy. "Transmitting into the Void", the third and final piece is a repetitive, head-nodding bit of work similar in theory to the last one although far less erratic. It's like a mangled, lo-fi dub by way of dark ambient/noise. The foundation of the track is another locked-groove style loop and the canopy to that is decorated with all sorts of unknown sounds, crinkles, squeals and blustering. Think early Daniel Menche maybe or even Wolf Eyes at their most doped-up (or is it down?). It's simple, effective, and soothing too!
Unlike the Pulse Emitter disc this CD-R isn't pro-labeled but it does come with a snappy yellow-and-black fold-over insert similar to the cover, and surely lino-blocked by the same gentleman. Only bummer is the disc is barely a half-hour long, and I coulda used a little more dead cow to sink my teeth into.