Climax Golden Twins remain among my personal favourite experimenters, for many reasons – their work is unclassifiable, they have an offbeat sense of humour, but mainly because they always produce beautiful music. Recent releases that have drifted my way have shown their field-recording exploits and/or their potential for quiet and very blissful ambience. Eerie Fragrance (ETUDE RECORDS 020) however is more dynamic and aggressive, and finds them in extremely playful and experimental mood, on a record packed with cut-ups, loops and edits, samples perhaps from old 78s, plus vari-speeded tapes, all overlaid with confusing and unpredictable deconstructed rock noise playing. Aggressive noise and baffling mystery appear in equal hearty doses. Of course, this is how the band/duo sounded in 1995, which was when this was originally issued as a cassette tape and constituted item number two in their catalogue. This vinyl reissue, quite handsomely presented with a nice poster insert, includes three bonus tracks and is limited to just 500 exemplars.
On Zombie (PRESTO!?RECORDS P!?005 LP), American noise genius John Wiese includes a lock groove on side A, along with ‘Withered Arm’, some ten minutes of completely insufferable harsh and knife-edged noise by Sissy Spacek. The B side is his version of a song by Drunks With Guns, allegedly one of the most extreme death-centric punk bands from America (though not heard by this innocent listener). In fact this vinyl release could be said to comprise three different compositions, from different stages of Wiese’s career and attributable to different working names. The lock-groove piece is deemed a composition to the extent that it’s meant to last for 21 minutes, and the LP includes a printed piece of sheet music with instructions for its performance. As to what he’s done with the song ‘Zombie’ by Drunks With Guns, it’s an arrangement made from the original record so that it extends into a 21-minute seamless loop, which to Wiese’s mind is how long this (to him) glorious piece of trashy punk music should last. A worthy tribute by this most intelligent of noise-makers to one of his personal favourite singles. The front cover art, depicting three black metal goons with makeup, long hair, leather boots and wristlets while going surfing and flying a kite, is just priceless.
Idea Fire Company are here with a new LP Beauty School (ULTRA ECZEMA 70), surprisingly not released on the Swill Radio label but issued by Denis Tyfus with his own artwork on his Ultra Eczema label, home to many a slab of far-out and distressing noise LPs. The A side, ‘Buzzbomb’ contains some intense mood-sustaining through use of very slow synths, electronics, tapes, radios and sheer concentration – ending up in a delicious Karla Borecky piano fugue. Matt Krefting and Graham Lambkin also join the core IFCO team of Scott Foust and Borecky. While not as bleak as the mood of utter defeat we found on Island Of Taste, this is still very sad music. You may prefer the slightly more upbeat B side and title track, which is quite prog-rocky with its droning filtered and shimmering tones, and could be deemed ‘purer’ for being produced by all-electronic means, one of the hallmarks of this project’s earliest recordings. Krefting seems to have settled in well as a permanent member despite his halting beginnings with this long-standing husband and wife band. The release of this LP coincided with the Belgian leg of Foust’s European tour earlier this year.