Bark Psychosis / Dykehouse / Cyclobe / Throbbing Gristle / Black Devil / Comet / Claro Intelecto / Hard Sleeper
The Rubber Room column is a monthly look at recent and notable releases that don’t fall into the rubric of traditional reviewed material—namely 12”s, EPs, and MP3 only releases.
Streams of scuttling data, floppy disc format stammering and cheap chattering Amiga percussion held together by the pulsing vein throb which provides “Pathfinder” with its anchor and gripping hook. It ends in waves of calling horns and gasping electronics. “Remember, Archangels Protect Us” sounds much less organic than the A side even with its dodgy sounding bird call noises as sounds are dragged through several FX units in time with engraved blades scratching over PC motherboards.
This is friendlier to the ear than their Luminous Darkness debut, retaining that sound and feel but dispensing with much of the unmoored drifting. A Coil related duo fit to usurp the famous ones in Coil.
United (Two Lone Swordsmen Vocal Version 12"
Weatherall takes his second stab at remixing this TG classic; busier and fuller than the Sabres of Paradise mixes, he revs “United” up to a floor friendly temperature. Keeping P-Orridge’s vocal more or less intact, this is more like a 2004 update than TLS’s normal destroy and rebuild remix style.
Disco Club 12"
Disco Club boasts a curious history. Initially released in 1978 by Out Records and re-discovered by Rephlex’s PP Roy, it’s since found favour with the likes of Richard D. James and Luke Vibert and has apparently caused a bit of a stir in the UK. The four tracks (credited to Joachim Sherylee and Junior Claristidge, pseudonyms for Bernard Fevre and Jackie Giordiano) sound remarkably fresh considering they’re a quarter-century old, the synths on the disco boogie opener ‘Timing, Forget The Timing’ even recalling Daft Punk. Its chugging hi-hats and rubbery bass segue into ‘One To Choose,’ bright synth washes duking it out with hiccupping vocals and synth squiggles. On the flip side, the steaming disco of ‘Follow Me (instrumental) features a charging theme from some lost Ennio Morricone score, while the darker ‘No Regrets’ has a darker, almost New Wave quality.
Shapeshifting / Rose MP3 downloads
[Fire Records, 2004]
Ten years is a long time out of the loop, but it's not as if Graham Sutton (who is, to all intents and purposes, Bark Psychosis) hasn't been busy being a drum 'n' bass guru and producing ambient guitar pop for Coldharbourstores. In anticipation of the release of Codename:Dustsucker Fire Records have stuck up two tracks for download, the first new BP material since 3rd Stone stopped milking their legacy with sub-par compilation bullshit back in 1997. "Shapeshifting" is driven by Lee Harris' drumming and an acoustic strum, Graham preferring not to sing and allowing a woman to take dreamy, almost narcotic vocal duties. Three minutes in electric guitar scree fills your head and threatens to reduce the tune to ashes and detritus, before some backwards loops and Harris' perpetual-motion drums guide the listener home through an estuary of found-sound skronking. "Rose" meanwhile is an asiatic, sub-"Pendulam Man" ambient movement built on plucked strings before fading into blissful organ and the whispering of robotic aliens. A teasing glimpse at the forthcoming album.
Arc, Live 3"
[Fällt Records, 2004]
Frank Bretschneider can make anything sound funky, but his task during this live performance (captured and released on the wonderful Irish label Fällt) is to take the most elemental of sounds—sinewaves and white noise. And what does he make out of these sounds? Why, funky, groovy tunes! What else? Those of you who have heard Bretschneider's Rausch album on 12k will be familiar with the music here, as it was created around the same time and using the same basic elements. To be honest, Rausch is more fun, if only because it's longer and more polished. But that takes nothing away from this very pleasant and rewarding work by one of the key "bridge" figures between the experimental and the electronic music worlds.
Peace Of Mind 12"
For those presently enjoying Station, the recent Ai comp, the label’s got more melodic gems on offer, including this 2003 four-track from Claro Intelecto (Mark Stewart). Although strangely absent from Station, Stewart fashions similarly delectable electro synth-pop to his label brethren. ‘Peace of Mind (Electrosoul)’ opens restrainedly with warm, spacious Rhodes chords that quickly cede the spotlight to funky propulsive beats and atmospheric synth washes. While the second track, ‘Tone,’ ups considerably the electro ante, ‘Contact’ is the highlight, its repetitive bass line establishing an hypnotic groove while flickering hi-hats and moody synth melodies provide added flavour. The mellow ‘Signifier’ ends the EP strongly with swinging house rhythms and ringing hi-hats. Peace of Mind offers a solid and succinct sampling of the Ai sound.
Land, Live @ Rausch 3"
[Fällt Records, 2004]
Hard Sleeper is Dublin-based artist Peter Maybury. I haven't heard any of his earlier music (save for a few tracks on compilations), so I didn't know what to expect when plopping this one in my computer. Would it be atmospheric funk, like the work of fellow Dubliner Donnacha Costello, or would it be more in line with other, more experimental Fällt projects (like Christopher Willits' Pollen)? As it turns out, Maybury's music has more in common with 12k artists like Shuttle358. This is a contemplative work that manages to fuse minimal clicks and pulses in a landscape of moody, atmospheric drones. The result is surprisingly calm and extremely interesting. I look forward to hearing more from this artist.
Chain Smoking 7"
[Ghostly International, 2004]
Hey! You guys ever wonder what a contemporary act would sound like if they had been influenced by the Jesus & Mary Chain and My Bloody Valentine? Wouldn’t that sound fuckin’ rad!? Well, finally! The laws of the musical marketplace have prompted Dykehouse to answer your demand with his supply of fuzzed out guitars and programmed drums. The first single taken from ol’ Mike Dykehouse’s Ghostly LP, Midrange, is something of a mixed blessing. On one hand, “Chain Smoking” is an expertly woven mix of those influences and, on the other, it’s a campy throwaway featuring lines like “I tried to undo your pants, and ended up crushing your plants.” This would all be fine and good if the track was little more dynamic, but it just pounds away for four minutes. Unfortunately, suspicions that Dykehouse is succumbing to parody are not mollified by the flip-side, “FYD” (which I might as well come out and say, since Dykehouse won’t, stands for “Fuck You Dry”). It’s a novelty track at its most crass, a less-than timely send-up of contemporary oversexed R’n’B. Mr. Dykehouse pumps up the Miami bass on this one, chipmunk-ifies his voice and claims he’s going to “fuck you dry and shoot [his] love in your big blue eye.” It sure as hell entertained me when I first hear it, but it’s hard to trust the long-term intentions Mr. Dykehouse has with my record player.
By: Stylus Staff
Published on: 2004-03-02