The Doctor Is Sick, pt 4

Part Four of the Doc Wör Mirran roundup.

Back to some hard-core synth weirdness and unstinting experimentation now on Themes For Walden (Make Eighteen / MT-571), just four tracks (one of which is 40 minutes long!) performed by Raimond with major synth maestro Peter Schuste. This one states “dedicated to our friend Conrad Schnitzler” and parts of it could happily hold their head alongside the later works of that great German innovator. The first track is a lengthy sojourn in a near-delirious electronic state, with near-melodies that are deliberately contrived to not resolve into anything recognisable or familiar, thus keeping the audience in a state of near terror. It takes some resolve to plan and execute a musical scheme of this malevolence. The second track is a heavy noise drone, nowhere near as dynamic as any given Merzbow pulsing monster, and seems to take the idea of industrial noise to its logical end-point. It’s like being trapped inside the funnel of an ocean liner for 12 minutes; claustrophobic, breathing poisonous fumes. The third long track is more approachable, but it’s blank and perplexing; minimal, unvarying synth tones for the first section, leading into a grisly episode of mechanical clanking like a thousand tiny hammers beating against your cranium. As Tesendalo, Schuster is a veteran of German synth since the 1980s; his LP Laura (the second release on Staubgold) is one of my favourites in this vein. This collaboration does seem to be a successful blend of his user-friendly airy drones with the more unpredictable and chaotic forces of Raimond’s brain.

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Banana Boobed (MIRRAN THOUGHT READ TWO / MT-454) is a book of poetry and texts by Joseph B. Raimond. Joycean wordplay is used to tear language into shreds; everything is written in a rough phonetic English which if read aloud will make you sound like a sleazy raincoat-wearing mental case, with an inordinate interest in shit, butts, and breasts, themes which crop up almost every single work here. Great fun. One of the pieces is called ‘Doc Wör Mirran’. I was hoping it might “explain” the band, and maybe it does. “De doc nose eez write,” is one line, affirming the creator’s self-assurance. This is Volume One in a planned complete series of writings. This book does much to convince me Raimond could be compared favourably to Adolf Wolfli, the Swiss outsider who also had a number of aliases and altar egos who all featured in his grand plan.

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