A Row of Cabbages

In this post we will round up some of the extreme noise items that have of late rolled in through the Sound Projector portcullis, like charging elephants…Presto Records in Italy have put out a cassette of Lasse Marhaug, The Sky Above The Bud Below (P!?011), which comes with a fetish-bondage cover (a rather humourous one at that) and a download voucher provided to all who purchase this 20-minute item. The fabulous Norwegian maestro effortlessly occupies the tiny space with an abundance of exciting, crunchy details as he throws together layers of crackling blather and bleeping flat-o-mophones, giving a good scouring to the headspace and a sound slapping to your aural buttocks. Marhaug always makes it sound like he totally enjoys what he’s doing and that we can all join in the fun. 250 copies of this excellent limited item.

Lasse roars forth again, on The Quiet North (SLR003) from Second Layer Records in London. Come to think of it, I was fortunate enough to meet the friendly Lasse at the Second Layer shop when I went there one bleak November simply to buy some records. From winter 2008, this recording was made with guitar, hunks of metal, effects pedals and mics, and it features the all-out rock-mode tornado buffet-blast aspect of Lasse’s work. Just short of 30 minutes in duration, but it’s like a bout with a seven-foot boxer wearing gloves made of brushed platinum. Beautiful fold-out package with stark monochrome photographs, conveying desolation and abandonment in the northerly climes.

I’ve had these two items by Filthy Turd lurking in one of my many boxes for a while now, and by rights they should have been included in issue 18 somewhere. The project name is offputting (hmm, no fooling?!), but the CDR Eager Meat / The Corpse Vanishes (BARFING DAGGER RE-RECORDINGS 087) is a fantastic episode of abrasive and sinister monotonal growling which I find very pleasing, despite its obvious limitations and the fact that it slowly evolves into something even more suffocating and unbearable. If Magneto made a sound like this whenever he appeared on screen, then I’d probably enjoy the X-Men movie franchise a lot more. I seem to recall the cassette Death Ray Orgasm / No Sexual Hygiene (SPACELESSJAM SPACE 07) is also a piece of vile grunge which admirably lives up to the ambitions of its scuzzy title. To make things even more difficult, the CDR has been coated with an unpleasant gritty substance, making it repellent to the touch. Filthy Turd appears to be English and has a connection to my favourite band of obscure absurdists, The Bongoleeros.

The CD by Hate-Male just arrived from Somerset a few days ago. I’m checking into the emergency ward tomorrow. Lawrence Conquest’s Greatest Hits: A Decade of Noise 1999-2009 (DOGBARKSSOME DISCS DBSD 16) comes with a health warning printed on the back, advising us ‘This Album Contains No Music’, and his press notes are filled with liberal superlatives and four-letter words from the mouths of overwhelmed music reviewers who express widespread horror mingled with masochistic delight when describing the effects of this extremely extreme brand of noise. Even Masami Akita has given his personal endorsement to Conquest’s work. To assemble this assaultive torrent of painful filth, Hate-Male judiciously selected elements from albums in his back catalogue (whose titles all rejoice in sex, death, nihilism, destruction and violence) and refashioned them into these mangled, compressed and ultra-intensified remixes. Most of the power comes from the extremely high volume (he must go to great pains to ensure the CD pressing plant meets his unfeasible requirements), but even within a few moments of listening it becomes clear that Hate-Male’s compositional skills are also paramount, as we witness him marshalling and assembling his diabolical forces with conviction, controlling his insane dynamic ranges in such ways as to unleash elemental, unholy energies. The record is strewn with elaborate titles and upsetting images (all used with jet-black humour) to transform the entire mess into a “concept album” on the theme of boxing, hitting, punching, belabouring and generally inflicting damage and pain with the fisticuffs, just in case we didn’t get the idea. A remarkable, visceral experience awaits the listener brave enough to purchase this monstrous abomination.