Ettrick - Sudden Arrythmic Death Vol. 2 (Not Not Fun 3" CD-R)
Looks like I hopped on the bandwagon at just the right time because the Ettrick train just keeps on rolling. This of course is the companion disc to the document that first hipped me to the group (also a 3" CD-R) on American Grizzly. And it also functions as a precursor to the upcoming Ettrick LP (!) coming out this spring on NNF - ample time to build a bomb shelter in preparation I should think. Ettrick, as always, is the duo of Jacob Felix Heule and Jay Korber, both on saxophones and both on percussions. "Sudden Arrhythmic Death Vol. 2" was recorded as live as the last one, this time taken from the final date of a 2006 U.S. tour in Pasadena, CA. It features a pretty slick packaging job with a wrap-around insert, "blood"-tainted CD-R and shards of tile glued to the back of the mini jewel case! I dunno either but I like it.
How's the music? Well you might recall I was slightly underwhelmed by the full-length studio effort ("Infinite Horned Abomination") and this one absolutely wails, so maybe it's safe to say they work better in the live setting although I couldn't tell you from personal experience. Over the course of these all-too-short twenty minutes, Ettrick pull out all the free jazz/black metal stops they practically invented, starting out with skittery percussion like Corsano in the kitchen trying to make some gazpacho but that's quickly interrupted with a saxophone screech that sounds more like a dying semi-human than any instrument known to man. This of course sets off a massive drumming explosion as the two members duel to the death hurtling through and into the abyss (wasn't that a scene in Lord of the Rings?). Five minutes after the arthritic arrhythmia both take to skinning live cats or playing their respective horns, I'm not sure which, but it sounds like hot boiling death either way. Five minutes after that somebody hops back to the kit and they engage in some lovely interplay that for perhaps the first time isn't totally axed on all cyllinders, and indeed in due time it winds down entirely for a Benninkian thumper of a percussion solo, maybe by both members again? It gets hard to tell because the duo work more like a four-armed four-legged six-horned (figure it out) beast than as two individuals. All I can say is that the ending is an absolute scather and not-so-easily the finest moment in the Ettrick discography to date, only because there's so many other good ones to choose from. Of course, you have to suspend your beliefs ever so slightly to consider if there's even a black metal aspect to this, musically-speaking, but it's surely as close to the dark arts as anybody's ever gotten. And in retrospect a 3" disc is probably perfect grounds for Ettrick to wage war on, because I'm not sure I could take being bludgeoned so mercilessly for a full seventy-odd minutes...I'd like to see them try though, now we're talking endurance tests. I probably liked this one even more than volume one (which you know I loved) but you really can't go wrong unless you wait...because there's only 100 copies up for grabs and with Not Not Fun's ever-predominant hipnessosity you know they'll be in high demand.