Consumer Electronics - Nobody's Ugly (No Fun Productions LP)
First new Consumer Electronics recordings since 1993, surely a cause for celebration. CE is, of course, Philip Best, he of Whitehouse and Ramleh most notably. Seems like a particularly busy year for best with this, the recent Whitehouse "Racket" LP (which I've yet to get a hold of), and numerous scheduled live dates which may or may not ever be fulfilled. Not to mention the Susan Lawly Whitehouse vinyl reissue project...hopefully all this activity means even more Best and Bennett (who produced the two tracks on this LP) action(s) to look forward to in the near future. Particularly on the Consumer Electronics front.
First of the sidelong epics is "Black Cotton Wool" and it's tremendous. I wouldn't be surprised if Best was hidden away working on just these 15ish minutes of music for the past 15ish years because it's just tops. Something like an eternal build to an unattainable destination, Best layers endless platforms of ominous noise menace alongside wails of exploding synthesizer scream like jagged faultlines splitting rocks apart. Think somewhere along the lines of the first murder in Suspiria played in a loop and the sound of a thousand eagles being sucked into jet engines. Simultaneously hulking and intimidating, yet equally liberating and exhilerating...it's a total blast, really.
Contrary to "Black Cotton Wool", "Grubbing" sounds a lot more like a(n extended) Whitehouse track, and is more singular-minded compared with the dynamics of the former. The track is built around a long-form crackling synth warble that's pretty much dead-on with the squelching fragility heard on Whitehouse's "Dumping the Fucking Rubbish", but with Best dotting the skyline with comet tails of stretched and contorted electronic ripples. Best's, er, 'troubled' synth belches out an almost percussive slop that lends an oddly rhythmic bent to the proceediungs, as if they weren't already disorienting enough as it were.
You might think it's curious that neither of these tracks bear the mark of Best's distinctive voice, but that's apparently a Whitehouse-exclusive trait nowadays. Though word does come that new solo Best vocal tracks have been recorded and will see the light of day after the release of "Racket", but I guess we'll just have to wait and see what happens with that. I feel I should also make mention of the two insanely sturdy cardboard slabs sandwiching the actual LP; to whom do I send the medical bill for my brand new indirect scrotal inguinal hernia?