Magik Markers
Captured Live(st) in Tienen, Belgium
In the Living

the easiest way to break the language barrier is with physicality. Who doesn’t understand flailing arms, loose legs, gelatin kneecaps, and gut heaving, nostril smoking, trance talk? Export this from Anywhere, U.S.A. and send it straight into the heart of “Old Europe” and you’re privy to the best transliteration since Paul Schmidt seized the soul of l’oeuvre de Rimbaud and placed it in the wallet friendly confines of trade paper.

Garage geists Magik Markers somehow found their way into Oli Diskoster’s living room apartment, the locus for marginalized sonic mayhem for those local to Tienen, Belgium. The show—while not exactly “The Shot Heard ‘Round the World”—did generate some serious e-scuttle via Messrs Coley & Moore’s Ecstatic Peace! website. Forget breathless delineation; photos are silent straight talk. One peep at Elisa Ambrogio’s bloodied face, and all that tedious taxonomy ceases to make sense. [Neo] No-Wave, Free Folk, and New Weird Amerika are like so many catchphrases left out in the rain to rust.

Knowing that the chemical attack eschews catnap is the shortest distance between two points: Riding this directed line of Punk as Fuck selflessness is like bathing in a tidal cesspool of auto-didacticism. That being said, Tienen’s more like being drowned in primitivism than given a soft sponge bath. Leah’s bass quotes the Butthole Surfers’ “Lady Sniff” twang; Pete plods along like a drumline on laudanum. Elisa’s words ouija up Bessie Smith, and break into Betty Davisian automatic associations:
“This is the Hoover Dam
This is the WTO project dated nineteen thirty-nine
This is the dark night
This is the star in the American sky
This is the desert full of [. . .]

Men without houses
Men with hats
Men with dark eyes
And men with wrong ideas
This is my Hoover Dam
This is my WTO
This is my market men’s project
This is how I’m gonna solve The Depression, baby
This is how I’m gonna fix your house
[. . .]
It’s a great American that got on a horse and said that.”
Uh, Chris Martin it ain’t.

Motorik is derailed; Nolan emulates every percussive angle from the Raincoats’ Odyshape. Leah claws out waterlogged basslines that splash into Elisa’s hyperventilating ekstasis. Dog-whistled feedback flounders at their feet, kicking up dust, and sulking in the corners. When the trio tightens up, they get going like early Dead C, beating Rock’s shape on the shore and leaving it to bake in the sun.

Tienen is the closest thing to the Markers in vivo; while Black Dice has chosen to trace soporific spheres on their Kaoss Pad, the Markers remain the only three folks whose live incarnation finds itself in liaisons dangereuse. Recommended.

Reviewed by: Stewart Voegtlin
Reviewed on: 2005-08-23
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