James Kiwi – Brand New Car Wreck (NJMP3-0367)

rrrRRRRRR-! *boom* pfshhhh... ouch! Geez, what did we hit? It was that album artwork for James Kiwis Brand New Car Wreck, it just came out of nowhere...

Artist: James Kiwi
Title: Brand New Car Wreck
Label: Noise-Joy
Cat#: NJMP3-0367
Keyword: Noise
Reviewer: Alex Spalding

Back when I reviewed the IFAR Musique Concrète 4’33″ Compilation I had noticed a track by a certain “James Kwi”, which I believed might have been actually James Kiwi, an artist who’d released this single noise track on my label Noise-Joy several years ago. I still don’t know for sure either way, but felt it was worth a mention. It seems very likely. Anyway, the album…

… is just one track, titled ‘Brand New Car Wreck’. It begins with a searing white hot noise, like steam coming up off a radiator, panning back and forth between the ears. Shards of glass-like noise and grinding steel roil up, distorted to shit. With this soundtrack I soon envision myself laying on pavement, looking through the blood covering my eyes. Cars… I refused to drive for years, preferring to walk even though the town I live in is not very pedestrian-friendly. Most people are completely dependent on vehicles in order to get from any one place to the next due to the spread, conceived of by city planners and designers who figured that oil would not become too scarce for quite some time… too long a time to even worry about. The noise gets sharper, like a migraine born of whiplash. My refusal to drive was alien to the culture. The mythological propaganda machine surrounding cars is insane. “Why don’t you want a car? Don’t you want to be independent!? Everybody has to drive, and you need to start saving money. We can help you. I understand that you’re afraid, but…” A ding-like sound gets louder, speeds up… it sounds like a railroad crossing signal, warning you of an approaching train. What’s independent about going into debt for years just to buy some ugly fucking car? Paying the exorbitant maintenance fees? Shoveling even more of the money you don’t have into a gas tank? Increasing our reliance on fossil fuels? Wars are being fought for oil, lives ended, and it is thoroughly destroying the ecosystem. I only got a license so I could buy cigarettes. But, people seem not to understand the obvious, the rational. Accepting, endorsing and insisting stupidly of others this vehicular dependency because that’s just what you’re supposed to do. The noise is shrieking, a mid-range buzz sliding up and down. The screaming noise intensifies, life flashes before the eyes. Cars are just total shit. Would rather walk, always. I spent so many years walking, it was always best for clearing out the head, getting ideas and thoughts together, taking life at a realistic pace and often simply listening to music. On many nights it felt like I was one with the universe. Ancient gods smiled upon me, probably listening to the same music I was. It’s like a grinding wheel at this point, the music. The sounds are decaying… fracturing, at least. There’s a back and forth between harsh blasts of high frequencies and a sucked-out burble of noise…

… don’t drive, is my point. I mean, the choice is yours and sometimes you have to do what you have to do… but walking, biking and other self-empowering forms of travel are more suitable to a pleasurable life, of activity and meaning. Oh, and my other point is that you should totally get this album… it’s a lot cheaper than a car. Free, even. Here’s a link for ya:


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