Artist: The Ernie 4
Title: One Baskervoid Frottage
Label: Magnetic Flame
Keywords: Acid, Acousmatic, Bass Music, Experimental, Noise, Musique Concrete
Reviewer: Alex Spalding
My time here, in this context, is spent finding music and/or accepting music shared with me, and then writing about how this music has effected me in some way or another. I call myself a music “journalist”. Journal? It’s almost more like a diary at times. I’m a music Diarist. A diarrheast. With my verbal diarrhea. Was reading about frottage. If you didn’t know (I certainly couldn’t remember, though I’m sure I knew at one point), frottage is “a technique in the visual arts of obtaining textural effects or images by rubbing lead, chalk, charcoal, etc., over paper laid on a granular or relief-like surface.“ Of course, the definition that more interested me, pervert I must be, was “the practice of getting sexual stimulation and satisfaction by rubbing against something, especially another person.” Lol. I learn so much on the internet. As regards this album and how it was produced, I shall quote one of the artists involved:
“Frottage was a blind 3-way collab and only 1/3 of us assembled it from the resulting pieces.“
The Ernie 4 has somewhat of an ever-changing line-up, and on this release they were three: President Blair, Brownian Motion and The Cheshire Dragon. Let’s talk about the music!
The way it begins is very heady. I hear bits of audience applause, some electronic sounds… the effect is reminiscent of free jazz or early experimental tape manipulation. It quickly breaks down, immersing us in a strange glitch atmosphere with low gusts of bit-ravaged soundsample. A bassy distorted buzz grows up into the foreground and the background begins to shift into a reverberated nonchalance. Noises cavort for awhile, and then the harsh blast of distorted bass returns. Electronics are screaming, tortured. That bass is burrowing itself into my head. I hear what sounds like an amplified orchestra tune-up caked in reverberation. I also begin to hear CD skipping; digital screwiness. The sounds slow to a halt and we are left for a moment to contemplate the minutely unfocused samples being folded up into each other. Then a drone forms in high frequencies of pitch, comprised of maybe scrambled source code. This is buried, too, in a choir of wind. Distortion returns, the rest of the soundscape dissipates. Now we’ve entered a wind tunnel. Overdriven bass frequencies climb into focus. I hear beep tones sporadically. Fax machines. Now there are some vocal samples within the mix, imploding. Harsh, bestial noise roaring. A swirling soupy liquid of glitches fills my head, with occasional noisy bursts. Clanging, very subtle in the background for awhile, beneath the noise. There is a tribal funk experiment back there as well, totally rhythmic. For the most part, there is noise. Corrupting completely. It’s hard to tell where we are anymore, I kind of spaced out… but there are loud noises! It gets lofi for awhile, I think I’m listening to a swarm of flies covering the wall of a tomb. This, too, disappears to the noise. Toward the end is another, liquid-infused tribalism with lots of bizarre sounds, treatments of effects. It ends in a vaulted vacuum of noise and space.
Whoa, where did all the time go? Very trippy stuff, and a lot of fun to listen to. Have it with tea at the link b’low: