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Rum Music

Walking Off The Map Into Unchart(ing) Noise
Scott McKeating , April 13th, 2011 09:56

In number three of our Rum Music round-up, Scott McKeating digs through the best of the recent micro-released noisy things, from Cliff Bastard to Cold Spring's MZ.412, and Richard Youngs to Culver

Launching the latest Rum Music is the exceptionally entertainingly named Cliff Bastard. If that's not a phrase destined for an album title for The Exploited, I'll eat my hat. This is the drone sound of distant lawnmowers at the oasis across the shimmering desert heat, the treble of the drones cycling whilst the bassier whine slides hither and thither. Like the beatless tempo of a speedily hotting-up (lady in the) radiator or a last pulse bug-zapper swinging in the black of night, Recondite is malignant without the snarl. If it can be said that Nurse with Wound are a project where sound jitters and morphs under the strains of outside infections, then Cliff Bastard are Nurse With Migraine. This is sound trapped in its own head, the taste of metal in its mouth and a clamp on the cortex.Recondite is available on cdr through Dead Sea Liner in an edition of 60.

First released way back in 1996 on Cold Meat Industry with burning church cover art, as well as corpse-painted band shots, this reissue/remaster of MZ.412's Burning The Temple Of God feels like a wholly different release. Stripping back the art from the schlocky black metalicisms of the original into something a little more classically industrial, the album feels more like a much more serious proposition. Straddling the sounds and frequencies of Throbbing Gristle, with an un-sugared dose of coaxed samples of religion and other man-made horrors, this MZ.142 record is a nightmarish rail ride into ugliness. With Church purging noiseloops like the roll of some great breaking wheel, this album is not exactly a constructed ritual/curse and not exactly an attack. More a selection of chapters from the manual of slow bludgeoning tortures, a creeping painful ruin that's designed to be a disassembly of religion's architecture, brick by brick, schism by schism. Burning The Temple Of God is available on cd through Cold Spring.

The sometimes vicious, always interesting Turgid Animal label recently dropped a cassette by Culver, Fortune Teller Revival, and it's up to his usual high standard. A low fidelity tumult of drone and noise, the track's elements vying for prominence and space as the ear comes across them, like a lot of Culver this is a record that changes the closer you get to the speaker and the louder it gets. Under the surface tones shift and swell like distant fog horn calls, a crust of noise husking the speakers as surface details battle the mix and the fug between sound source and recording device. The A-side's 'Such Spirit Bodies' may be more distinct, but its sounds are no clearer in origin. The surface detail of oppressive drone is both dense and detailed, squalls of feedback against Dictaphone squirts, clogged loops and remote manipulations - forgotten transmissions slow released through buried strata. Fortune Teller Revival is available on cassette through Turgid Animal in an unlimited edition.

Recorded live at London's Café Oto, this three tracker by Brighton based (and many limbed) improvisatory crew Bolide is an entertainingly together release. With the last few years having seen a much appreciated falling off in the prevalence of balls-out all-go-at-once free collectives, Bolide are sitting high and dry somewhere between free jazz technicians and a curious mess of the Sun City Doo-Dah Band. Where the opener takes slow swells around loops instead of a 0-60 acceleration, unhurried winding/unwinding wind instruments rolling over a groove (of sorts), the second track is more a slice of cough syrup addled nightlife where the denizens are undergoing heavy dental work while mic'd up. The Mighty Hand is available on cdr through Sonic Oyster Records in an edition of 50.

Best known for his affiliation with Current 93 and Nurse With Wound, Andrew Liles has a long tradition of creating weird atmospheres, aural juxtapositions and sex/weirdo surrealism. Part of his 'Monster' themed series, Muldjewangk, Morgawr & Other Monsters is another such exercise – albeit a little more organic and 'faux-exotic' than other works. While the monsters in the title of this release may be water dwellers, the album doesn't really seem to have much in common with either water or monsters. Aside from a excess of huge cat growls/howls on 'Soiled Dreams and Disappointments' it would seem that this release is no more about monsters than it is an opera about chip wrappers. Liles may have set up an interesting context for his sound, but there's little obvious connection – even in the track titles. While Liles' minimalist soundworlds are rarely ever lacklustre, his work often feels like it's taken from the same palette. Spoken word samples litter the record, sinister children's vocals and foreign chatter popping up, Liles' aural twisting giving even the innocent a pervasive perverseness. Muldjewangk, Morgawr & Other Monsters is available on cd through Tourette Records in an edition of 500.

Looking at sound in a wholly different way, this collaborative cdr effort by Dead Wood and Matt Shaw sees sidereal manipulated field recordings moving in and out of focus. Having captured the sound of conversations and slow sound smeared them to glass trapped mufflings, 'The Railway' gives way to the even more abstract 'Loaf', a series of drones and insect volume clatter. What Shaw and Dead Wood are exploring here appears to be the manoeuvring of recordings, pushing the sound of the missed, the everyday and the unacknowledged somewhere new. Shottsford Forum is a place where field recording becomes more-than-ambience and vice versa. Shottsford Forum is available on cdr through Apollolaan in an edition of 50.

Back onto vinyl with Richard Youngs' Inceptor, a record reportedly made to perfectly match the aural aesthetics of the Volcanic Tongue label. Nine tracks of one take vocal and guitar, “No overdubs. No Retakes. No remix", this is Youngs at his rawest and at the brink of collapse or combust. While the spirit of Keiji Haino (a big VT favourite) might be a touchstone for the record, Inceptor has an overdriven raw-blues guitar sound that would set alight copies of Japrocksampler at twenty paces. The chameleonic vocal flow rides in a peculiar tandem alongside this unloosed voltage, both sources intermittently stepping off the station platform into a freefall. The raw blues riffage of both 'Arise' and 'Flowers' see riffs circling/cycling like huge blood drunk predatory birds. Improvised melody lines buckling before his next synapse spark, Youngs takes his ragged glory to new heights. Inceptor is available on vinyl through Volcanic Tongue in an edition of 300.