Mouth Ulcers

From 12th March 2015, one of the latest missives from the excellent LF Records micro label of obscure noise. I’m currently unable to tell you anything about Mouth Worker, but the album Rose Of The Desert (LF RECORDS LF 047) is a delirious mix of distorted voices mixed up with heavy, industrial-esque noise, executed with imagination and ingenuity. Hard to account for the accumulative effects here, but the general tone of these sluggish episodes is like Merzbow fed through 18 jars of molasses – everything moves in an eerie slow-motion, allowing us to better contemplate the nameless horrors that are unfolding before our eyes. One of these horrors may be the contemporary conflicts and unrest that are currently blighting the world, if the cover images of tanks and explosions in the desert are anything to go by. Vast churning rhythms of horrible grey noise, layers of spoken-word samples speaking in foreign languages all fed through delay and reverb, and a constant tone of unease and angst all combine to create this nightmarish view of the theatre of war. Or just a plain nightmarish view of contemporary life. I get the impression that it’s technically fairly simple to create noise-art like this, and probably the technical equipment requirements are quite modest (hint: I suppose a short-wave radio is involved somewhere), but the value-add is Mouth Worker’s instinctive feel for making combinations, leaving the shape of each piece quite loose and amorphous, and above all having the courage of convictions to keep on doing it for a very long time, sustaining the compelling but ugly mood, until the listener is not so much absorbed as engulfed by the fizzing sea of samples, mangled voices, hiss, and detritus. The second central piece is over 28 minutes long, and by the end of this intense bombardment you’ll be winging your way to the United Nations to insist on the signing of 18 peace treaties across the globe. Not that it’ll do a blind bit of good, of course. “Outcast broadcasts from a sea of sand, civilisation reduced to ruins,” is all the label will tell us.