I initially thought of this here Tin Ear as a sorta pseudo would be end of summer bummer but I think I might be way of the mark with that assessment. Yes, it’s dark and it’s certainly long and what moments of upbeat tonality appearing through it are tempered by discussions of incest and murder and/or waves but I’m thinking it’s less of a testament to no fun so much as a celebration of the unpop. I certainly think it’s one of the more “complete” mixes to appear on this here corner of the internet since I first mentioned Bonaparte. I leave that assessment up to you, however with the requisite urging as ever. Rockit.
Ornette Coleman – “Elizabeth” from Science Fiction…Ornette Colemen is one of THE motherfuckers of all time. An avant jazz definer whose use of the alto sax has been blowing so many minds since he started wax skronking back in ’58 that he won the Pulitzer Prize in ’07. Awesome right? He is so influential that John Zorn recorded an entire album of covers (Spy Vs. Spy) and Refused name-checked his landmark his ’59 watershed with their own The Shape of Punk to Come. This tracks comes from an expanded reissue of his creative regenesis Science Fiction and has everything you need to get in good on the be-bop speed.
You Bred Raptors? – “Head Honcho” from Hammond…On paper, there is absolutely nothing to like about these guys. 8 string bass, cello, drums and shared glockenspiel responsibilities. A fucking question mark in the name. However, I’ve seen them twice (once inadvertently on a Subway platform) and can attest to the fact that their experimental masked prog funk expansion on neo classicism is definitely worth more than a grumpy rush hour introduction. It’s honestly interesting everyday music than runs style gamuts around the pedestrian eclectics people are always raving about because, at it’s core, it wants to make sense and – when given the proper setting and patience – totally fucking does.
Rat at Rat R – “Rednecks and Ragheads” from Rat at Rat R…I used to work with a child and adolescent psychiatrist who – in the 80s – was big into candy flipping dope and acid and listening to the Butthole Surfers LPs at the wrong speed to understand the true meaning of nightmares, I guess. In a discussion of no wave/noise music (which I was really just first loving the fuck out of at the time) the name Rat at Rat R came up and he went a little pale. “Yeah, I know that band,” he muttered. “They were fucking terrifying.” So yeah, this is some mean destroy all music shit but it’s got a beat so you can fight to it or just get fucked and welcome death.
John Zorn – “Walpurgisnacht, Pt. 2” from Mysterium…This fucking guy again? This fucking guy again. Like him or not (many don’t and I’m sure he knows that and could sincerely give none fucks) John Zorn is a fucking luminary in the world of NYC who has made more records with more amazing artists than anyone you will ever know ever. Some of them are unbearable (thanks, Mike Patton). Some are extraordinary (Masala). Others are just cryptic and wonderfully ominous and totally (seemingly) divorced from his work as a jazznoise maniac. Here’s a chamber work. Works better in it’s original context, I guess but I think it fits well in our own.
Mick Harris & Martyn Bates – “The Two Brothers” from Murder Ballads – Disc 3 (Incest)…A multiinstrumentalist who figured in or singly spearheaded Napalm Death, Painkiller, Scorn, Lull, etc. and the singer from Eyeless in Gaza team up to produce three discs of ambient noise drone punctuated by frail folk soul wails and tell the incredibly descriptive tales of murder, most foul in an unusual albeit earnest take on an unnervingly longstanding tradition. This particular story involves two brothers wrestling and a stone and incest. I’m not sure where the incest comes in but if you keep that notion in your head as you listen you’ll get chills all over the whole seventeen minutes this song requires to ruin your vibe. I’d say that makes project WAY more effective than any of Nick Cave’s heralded Night of the Hunter outtakes.
Wolf Eyes – “Dead Hills 2” from Dead Hills…I took an old girlfriend to see this band back when we were still in coitus and – at some point shortly after their set – she started crying and smacking me in the chest beginning “WHY THE FUCK DO YOU LISTEN TO THIS?!” to which I cooly replied “Because I have to.” Yeah. Those were good times. Wolf Eyes is, in essence, a millenial visit to the Death Factory. Manic pulses, endless screaming. Noise. Noise. Noise. Never music. I love it. It makes me feel insane and ever time I’ve seen them since that one fateful night I’ve left bruised and often bleeding through my own reckless character and it’s propensity to attract broken glass.
Salem – “Skullcrush” from Water…So, by now you probably know that I have absolutely no fucking love for this band and am super fucking suspect of the Witch House genre in general (fuck you, Chino) but I still hold a very soft spot for “Skullcrush” because not only is the title fucking amazing but the extra creep ass factor of the video coupled with codeine major synth disappearances made this EXACTLY what I needed to hear at the time my eye exploded and would still easily define as pretty friggin’ extraordinary (in a strictly “the fuck?” music sense) if the band members didn’t all decide to open their fucking mouths and appear on stage. Confusion is sex, not boredom.
B L A C K I E – “Gen 1/Radiowaves” from Gen…Straight up, “Radiowaves” is one of the best songs I have ever heard. I mean, seriously. When it first came on after the white noise/feedback intro of “Gen I” (contained herein for effect) my jaw dropped and I just started jumping up and down and shouting nonsense at my dogs (who were not amused) and flailing my arms like a goddamn lunatic. It is a fucking inspired track that is naked, complex and unlike anything I have ever known. It has given me faith that music can still be something worth fighting for, that people can still be worth the shit we wade through every day, that freedom can exist in a climate of fear and that one day B L A C K I E will be recognized as one of the most important voices of his generation because seriously (seriously? SERIOUSLY!)…this is it.