Furball – Annie (NJMP3-0396)

I spy, with my little eye, something that is mostly grey. If you guessed that I was looking at the album art for Annie by Furball… you’d be wrong. I was looking at morality.

Artist: Furball
Title: Annie
Label: Noise-Joy
Cat#: NJMP3-0396
Keywords: Noise
Reviewer: Alex Spalding

Furry noise is not a genre that you’ll hear of too often, or ever, and as far as I know it may be the sole domain of a single artist. Furball is/was a Wisconsin-based noise and power electronics project by Jeannie Dee, who produces some pretty awesome noise that will be sure to leave a ringing in your ears that may last for days, provided you turn it way up. She didn’t like this album too much in speaking with her recently, but I still believe strongly in it’s merit and so must share it! I hope you will all understand.

The first track is ‘1’, and a low modulating bit of sound like an 808 bass kick being echoed eventually gives way to a distorted and sustained bit of feedback in low frequencies. These tones branch off and slide up and down in scale, often engaging each other like two twins after each other’s blood. A distorted kick blasts in on occasion, sometimes echoing. I feel like I’m listening to a radiator at times, buzzing and providing me with warmth on a cold night. A rhythm emerges, though it is by no means content to remain static. It moves, modulating shifting tempo frequently. I get the feel that this was played live, toward the end we hear synth notes being driven through with abandon.

Track two is ‘2’ which rumbles low for a while and then begins to sound as though it is decomposing before our ears, just before a blast of rhythmic noise comes in, echoes out and disappears completely. Lasers? The answer is yes. There is a tonal quality to them, the way they begin to move for a bit before more low and distorted synths start in again. The noises are deep and monophonic. What sounds like a synth string ends the track, appearing quickly and zooming out very slowly before the lower pitches once again resume.

Then it’s ‘3’… more low bass rumbling, added white noise almost akin to a shaker or bits of static is added. It’s almost like ambient noise… but very low-key, no melody or harmonic pads, just atonal background sounds.

‘4’ continues in the vein of the last at first, but begins a series of modulating bass frequencies that then blast up into higher frequencies. It’s like a computer on the fritz, screaming at you. White noise creeps back in, finally ending in a bassy buzz…

… that is continued on the last track, titled ‘5’. I’m beginning to notice a pattern here, I think. Anyway, the buzzing sounds corroded, maybe emerging from out of some cathode tube. Maybe I’m noticing a touch of spring reverb? Then I feel like I’m listening to a distorted and lofi recording of a jet engine. There’s a quality to it that is soothing, soul-mending even. It’s always been amazing to me that noise can do that.

Though the sounds are recorded a bit low, you can easily fix that yourself by raising the volume to whatever level you’ve deemed fittingly obscene. Subject yourself to these noisy blissed out tunes at this link:

http://archive.org/details/Furball-Annienjmp3-0396

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