GODS OF TUNDRA

 

 

PRURIENT - We Left In High Spirits

Sick, sick tape of VERY harsh noise from this up-and-comer. This is the kind of noise tape even noise fans tell you not to play too loudly in your walkman! It reminds me of Macronympha in the way it never really settles into a frequency range…it jumps quite mercilessly between piercing shrieks and lots and lots of thick, dirty low end. Much of it has the "rats gnawing on your arm" texture that I think of when I listen to Mono’s "T-9" CDR, and the loose by non-stop editing owes a lot to K2. Vocals on side two suggest that Prurient could be the next big thing in both noise AND power electronics…that’s a great delivery voice! The tape’s only 20 minutes long, but trust me, you don’t need more, any more than you’d need a 3LP grindcore record.

SMELL & QUIM - Titwank

A long-gone and hard to find tape (originally released in small quantities by Freedom From…), resuscitated through the good graces of Mike Connelly (of the Hair Police and Zombi)’s Gods of Tundra label. And a good thing, too! This captures an era of Smell & Quim (a long-running collective of UK-based noise perverts based around the saintly and luminescent Milovan Srdenovic) that has little representation in hard to find editions. The sound on "Titwank" (which originally came with a pyramid-shaped mask, and is now printed in lovely brown ink on red cardstock covers) nearly mirrors another of my favorite S & Q albums, "Pushy Gothic Gnome Vs. Charity Techno Gnome" on Spite. Both feature a lot of creepy and mysterious backward voice tapes for atmosphere, as well as a heavy reverb/flange unit for long moments of expository. Like that one, there’s probably a story here, but I can’t understand a thing they’re saying. What I do understand is the sonics. Smell & Quim have patented a method of noisemaking that can be identified in seconds…a deep-gray, depression-thick, ice cream headache of a fog, a sullen goop that refuses any sort of dolby cleanup or digital niceties. Even most of their CDs sound like this! It’s a sound that got lost for a few years, when everybody wanted to go faster and cleaner like Pain Jerk or Kazumoto Endo. That’s all well and good, but stuff that sounds like Smell & Quim (The Rita, Bacillius and even some Evil Moisture stands proud next to a S & Q album) shouldn’t be swept under the rug. This is like the Burzum to Kazumoto Endo’s Emperor. Like the first time, this is a limited release, so beg Mike to hold onto a copy for you!

HAIR POLICE - Mortuary Servants 7"

Now here’s a funny one. While I don’t think Hair Police were specifically refuting or responding to the "bad" (read: hilarious, new extremes in fuddy-duddy-tude…like getting a stern reprimand from your best friend’s dad about what you wanna do with your life) review in Vital Weekly (they must’ve liked it, it’s the first thing you see on their website), that’s what this 7"s sounds like. It just screams out "Fuck you! We can do a reasoned, carefully constructed piece of sonic terror if we want to!" What it doesn’t do is scream much. At least not literally. And no vomit at all, except for on the cover (great cover! One of those moments a camera was never meant to capture). There’s almost no vocals on this that I can tell (less’n they’re x-tra processed), but it screams in the way that Iron Madien’s "Number of the Beast" screams, or "Angel of Death" or "Full-Choke Wigmaker’s Vice." It’s wicked heavy, just a little slower to detonate, like those bombs that burrow 20 feet underground so they can shake up more dirt and make the surface of the earth look like the moon.

"Mortuary Servants," featuring the now trio-ized Hair Police, lets their Whitehouse fixations run wild in a field of thick, mucous-y power electronics, finally bringing drums and spazz into the picture 3/4ths of the way through. The drums on this are amazing, just a simple one-note pound, but ever so slightly speeding up and slowing down constantly. It’s so disorienting, you can feel it in your spinal fluid! Your brain’ll say "turn right," and you’ll turn left! Flip the record over, and the original quartet greets us with another noise and menace piece, again sans vocals, and this time no percussion either! Junk sound and noise guitar a la the other HP (airy ussy) whirs around your head in the way all the great tapes from ‘91-’95 did, anti-academic but focused like a student on the week before finals (would I be driving a joke into the ground by taking a moment to holler "SPRING BREAK!"?). The Hair Police CD "Blow Out Your Blood" was best served with both kinds of poppers (jalapeno and amyl), but "Mortuary Servants" is best served with both kinds of embalming fluid (the kind you put in dead people, and the kind you soak a bag in).

Funny, the last time I played this, I had a lock groove part way through side two. This time, it played through without incident. How does one erase a lock-groove, anyway?