Life Just Bounces

...so don't you get worried at all. (A weblog of music and otrogenerica)

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

#4: Glitch Village III track-by-track (Glitch City, 2010)

The latest Glitch Village compilation, third in noisy netlabel Glitch City's on-going series, was released at Christmas the other day. Here's a brief run-through.

It starts off with Mickey Roberts' guitar-storm "blfif", all necks and fretboards contorting in angles you didn't think possible. "Donnie Dakro"(sic) by Wandering Bear is an early highlight, overlaying a crunchy breakbeat with detached vocal snatches, string sections, oversped loops and welcome melody. (Along with the chiptune, it's probably about as melodic as the label gets.) It also reminds me that there's a sequel to "Donnie Darko" which in all likelihood no-one should watch ever but which i likely will out of morbid curiosity, o god.

The collage of cacogen's "village grinch" mixes layers of Carl Stalling-esque cartoon soundtrack, overblown 80s pop drumming, lurching carnival music, waves of ambient murk and lines of dialogue of varying sources and levels of comprehension. i think the Grinch himself pops up to explain himself at the end, but i could be wrong. Razxca's "GCvr3" is the shortest track on the comp, at only 20 seconds of rhythmic tonal pulsating. It leads abruptly into YAWE6gletshn's "XRUXIO", an organic noisefest framed by bursts of digital glitch.

eiexei takes what sounds like one or more records from the 1950s and then slices, overlaps, phases, washes and distorts the hell out of it/them for "wasps, wasps are for dinner". The extreme pitch-bending on the vocals is probably the funnest part, especially the hilarious cadenza at 4:05. The Uninterpretatives appear to be a hip-hop incarnation of Uninterpretative: no! The beat of "Me", with its insistent "kill kill kill" sample, sounds like a garage Bomb Squad, while the massively distorted vocalist somehow recalls one of those massively overcaffeinated 80s new wave types, kind of like a rap Devo or something. It's 58 seconds long and really compelling.

Aurist's "Fuck Everyone in This Room" takes the fragments of overhead conversation (sounds like someone says "L-plates" at some point) and blasts them with sharp feedback shards and, at one point, what sounds kind of like a digital kazoo. Pixlcrusher's "Zombies Ate My Lightsabers" provides the comp's first chiptune moment, and, pleasingly, employs gongs at several points throughout. "The Caves of Winter" by AxemRangers is pretty much perfectly titled, sounding like a sound installation set inside a complex of caves in, well, winter. An undercurrent of weird digital noise ebbs behind, sometimes sounding like water is dripping down the walls onto your stereo.

"up too late" by party tom takes a four-square noise pulse as its backbone and piles on pounding static and feedback like a fearsome piece of industrial machinery designed to build hangovers, with someone trapped inside. Very much the kind of party Andrew WK always claims to be at, where being covered in your own vomitus and bleeding from the head at all times are mandatory. This is followed by "B~" by Biestmilch, which turns 8-bit to noise ends through nearly four minutes of odd bleeps, stutters and squelches. Also nearly four minutes is Oh Yes, By All Means' "03:46", which is a bit like the point where plunderphonics meets schizophrenia. It's a bit like the musical equivalent of that schiz test where they play 100 different people all talking at once and if the patient still thinks they can make out discernible words, they are mentally ill. The music employed in this seems like it should be recognisable but just eludes me.

"een katti aaien" by katti, a GC artist i haven't heard before, is a smooth, saxophone-led bossa nova outing with added cowbell, and is so far removed from everything leading up to it that it acts as a hilarious, expectation-defying palate cleanser. If this was on vinyl, that'd probably be the end of the first side. The second side would then resume with tinnitustimulus' "larynx clearance", nearly 6 minutes of blooming distortion, wow, flutter and occasional bouts of screaming.

JeSSIE JACK$ON, another artist i've been hitherto unaware of, presents "JESSI JACKSON ON DRUGS", a steady drum machine pulse with a variety of instrumental speed-shifting exercises on top. i'd recommend a really weird rap crew use this as a beat. "Untitled Dedication" by Chinese Church sounds like it was recorded in a guitar shop run by demons based in the side of a mountain, tendrils of feedback yielding to pounding, overcompressed drumming. Shattermind's "Crystally Thorns" is a pretty, involved 8-bit composition. Apophallation's "infinite launcher" is well-named; most of its furious powernoise blitz sounds like it could have been recorded through a gantry-mounted microphone at Cape Canaveral.

Y9G is another unfamiliar name, and the interesting and all too brief "City by Night" creates a beguiling atmosphere through insistent, dancing micro-cut pulses of what could be a 90s techno synth pad or some kind of fairground carousel organ. It's hard to tell. i'll definitely be looking out for more by this artist. The even shorter "burundian bop" by nxfxtxex begins with some brief far-away cheering before a 28-second bludgeoning noise enema. Underrated keyboard maestro Sam White delivers a playful synth/VST-based (sorry everyone, i can't tell the trees from the electroforest in such matters) outing with a very sudden ending.

International noisers Desert Island Dicks, a frequent topic of these pages, are next, with "To Mars By Balloon" (subtitled "Rapid Journey by Airship to the Upper world"). Allegedly meant to be a Christmas record, which explains the sleighbells and sampled choir singing "Silent Night" out of phase in both English and Cantonese, it's a bombastic offering that also rides drums that sound like they were sampled from 90s heavy metal, and guitars that imitate early Mogwai. Nearly outstays its welcome, but the outro's descent into crushing static is worthwhile. i heard there was an Aurist remix floating out somewhere that's better than the original. Next, Ulla sound like they could be a feral breakneck black metal group, raised by bears, recorded in a shed, occasionally smothered by slabs of non-more-white feedback. The track is titled "L'Etranger" and actually does a pretty good job of imagining Meursault's post-shooting existential turmoil.

The concluding track is an intriguing proposition. It purports to be by DJ Ninja Love Mistake and to be a L'Homme Fatal "ultramashup" (mixed by someone called "M Si Chaud"). Given the backstory between those artists (NLM says LHF submitted tracks with stolen parts for release by his label, leading, rather ominously, to "complaints") it seems unlikely that this is as it appears, especially since NLM has since denounced it as a 'fake' track. A bizarre mix of pop, emo, 8-bit bleep and varispeed heavy metal, it nevertheless raises all the usual exciting questions about appropriation and theft in art, and, at fully ten minutes long, it'd be a pretty good showpiece at yr next Jim Jarmusch theme party.

You can get the whole compilation here.

3 comments:

stong said...

The Chinese Church track contains a drum track by the late wwcarpen aka aghost. He passed away around the time that GV3 was being organised.

The album artwork features an image by wwcarpen mixed into it. It became the hazy round-ish mess at the bottom of the composition.

aurist said...

hey, Fuck Everyone In This Room is a 2-minute recording of me fucking about with feedback in a room full of people who are less than welcoming of it :) yeah the "l-Plate" thing, i think was my friend Rene describing to my friend Luc different styles of roll-up or something. but most of the voices heard are people complaining about the noise and telling me to stop :)

Zoe said...

Nice one Redfern, will have to check this lot out!