Label: Brownian e/Motions
Keywords: Experimental, Noise, Anti-GMO, Mutation
Reviewer: Alex Spalding
The Monsanto Corporation… yet another of the “wonderful” things exported out onto an unwilling world from my home-state of Missouri. 😦
I once was speaking with someone locally who’d told me that, as part of a school trip in his childhood, he and his classmates were taken to a Missouri dairy farm where they kept cattle that had been genetically modified to produce their own food via photosynthesis — and that their flesh had a creepy green hue! I’m too reasonable to totally believe a story like that, but at the same time, all kinds of strange and… um… slightly less pragmatic transgenic experiments have taken place. So, I suppose it’s not so unbelievable.
The first track on this biologically re-constituted album, made up largely of samples willingly submitted to the artist by others and then mutagenically transmogrified is ‘Food War’, and it begins with some… strange sounds happening! These were provided by a certain Jack Hertz! Breathing/stretching in a locker room, police chatter, warbled vocal sounds, some typewriter noises. I begin to hear what sound like an orchestra lurking below the upper crust of weirdness, and it’s fascinating! I begin to imagine a man being genetically modified into a goat… in the way it sounds it reminds me a lot of that part in The Howling, during the transformation… which was cool, but not as cool as the transformation scene in American Werewolf In London, to this day probably the most visceral one in the history of film, your body tenses up while watching.
‘The Filthy Order Of Profit’ takes us on a massive noisy head trip of sound, kind of like a powerful tornado blowing apart the world around our ears! It’s both heavily distorted and yet like a gale force, airy, intangible. Gritty, synthesized sounds are traceable under the murk… and flickers of voice sound off, buried beneath the surge of noise. I feel gridlocked. The bass tones are wide and grungy. The original sounds modified here were provided by The Implicit Order and Dave Fuglewicz.
Next up is ‘Ex(GM)Orcism’… it’s quiet at first and then — argh!!! — harsh hi-res frequencies!!! More bits of voice contained within the flood. These voices, throughout every track so far, sound like people trapped in a digital torrent, unable to escape the glitch. My mind draws a picture of a tele-vision on the fritz, no picture, just analog fuzz and choppy abstract images. The sounds used were originally by loopool and Sabrina Siegel; the barrage of frequencies is modified, becoming more loose and varied, hollow, while a woman shouts. Mindfuck materials. Was that a ukelele just now? Stranger and stranger as we get further along!
‘Mentality Of Leeches’ begins with a low, distorted rumble and panned, crunching noises. As the Bandcamp page states, “This is e-BM.” — but is this electronic body music, or electro body modification??? 😛 It sounds like a dungeon, echoes of monstrous clamor. Original sounds by Dave Fuglewicz!
Dave Fuglewicz and Otto v. Rhino provided the framework audio samples for ‘Blackwater’, which sounds like a riptide of flanged motor and destroyed voice samples, random blasts of altered percussion loops thrown in as well! Finely diced GMO grooves. It just goes nuts, spinning around and around like a fucked up noise carousel!
It sounds like jets are taking off when ‘Monsanto Grinder’ comes on… no, maybe it’s a hundred lawnmowers? Then later I hear various mouth-noises, then out of completely nowhere, or a place that is anyone’s guess, some heavy death metal thrash is cut into the mix!!! Whoa! These sounds came from Infant Mortality Rate.
Bubbles and huge amounts of distortion are boiling over on ‘Chemical People’, using sounds provided by Clinica Psychosis, and I hear dense and tightly programmed snares and cymbals. It’s like a swarm of giant flies.
Wow! Marvin Ferguson, hiyohiyohipseniyo, I.N.R.I., and Hal McGee all contributed sounds to be mutated on ‘Greedians (Toxic Landscape)’. It begins with voices and the low hum of static distortion, into which a revving saw bass sound is introduced. Then, extreme headfuckery! Ultra-sonic noise territory, maximum impact for audio concussion! It drops off into intensely thick noise drone. Later, some of the most insance electro-industrial rhythm patterns come on, this is amazing! Then, squelch bass modulations!!! My favourite track on here so far.
I feel like I’m either listening to compression artifacts (or maybe that Stockhausen compilation that Kai and I reviewed just a little bit ago is clouding my ears still) or possibly just intensely modulated feedback frequencies on ‘Gen.variant.NC_020376.1’. In the crowds of sounds, I can hear voices, some natural and others now sounding vocoded. The original source sounds were by Brownian Motion… and abstract pseudo-tribal experimentation are run through granulizers, pitch-shifted to near-oblivion! Wow. Super-liquid abstract percussions toward the end; drowning drums.
A strange wooded region full of artificial growth on ‘You Are What You Eat (So Don’t Eat Shit)’… originating with the mutated noises of PLATO And The Western Tradition. Very harsh, loud noise in high frequencies, blasting away the ear drums. The sequencing is fierce. Drops away into a stagnant reflection of ambient drone.
‘Live Free Option’ is a deep, impossibly low sonic bass gorge, a canyon into which bizarre noises are dropped; we can hear them as they travel down, reflecting off the rock walls. Feedback calls out like a coyote. Ambient choir chords arranged in a drone… this is my next favourite piece so far, with it’s strange depth, very unique for how spacious it is! Like standing at the edge of a cliff, looking out onto an alien expanse, with clockwork birds, crickets, stars screaming through a thin atmosphere. The basis for this lay in sounds originally produced by Hal McGee.
It ends with ‘A Meadow Song’, featuring an empty silence and piano. Minimal, but with a style of playing in flourishes, thrushes of notes reverberating with a refreshing naturalism after all the wild sonic terrain we just traversed. I now hear backmasked vocals… the piano is very pretty… ok, this might be another favourite track, haha! Ends with a peculiar noise sequence. We have Elizabeth Veldon to thank for contributing source dna for this wonderful piece of music…
… and then it’s over…
… Noooowaaaayyy!!! There’s more!!!
The next track, if you download this album, is by Sabrina Siegel, and titled ‘The Sounding Wood’. It begins with violin, an upright bass, and soon are added wails of vocals! This is great.
Feel like a totally extra 22 minutes of sound? This is why the download is a must! 😀 Jack Hertz’ ‘Mechanized Gods For Modified People’ begins with something that I find kind of reminiscent of the THX blast. “The Audience Is Now Deaf.” It soon sounds like a gross-out schlock horror film with nice terror-ific moments. Dripping ooze, an unsettling choir… and then, unexpectedly for me, I hear a kick drum, a bit of guitar maybe? Very low in the mix. It’s fascinating… draws you in, stops/repeats… I hear an alarm pulse… almost half-way through it really starts to sound like a horror film, with a woman’s pleas for help. I don’t know yet if I’m listening to a blob creature film, a homicidal chainsaw-wielding maniac film or something more cosmic horror, as different elements of the music seem to suggest variable threats. Maybe it could be all of the above somehow? Then, randomly, I’m hearing sequenced arrangements of chains, pinball noises, factory machines. This is such a strange track in how it builds slowly, repeats often, changes suddenly. High-shelf kick drums and panning organ sequences, still taking place over that drone… then we stumble mistakenly into a black mass! Later, we’ve made it to the highway, a motorcycle or truck driving along. Calm, dawn approaches, ambient sounds and relaxing gusts of wind… enjoying this part of the track a lot, though it suddenly, jarringly is taken away, leaving me only with the wind noise.
The real last track is ‘EAR(TH)S’ by Total E.T. and in it we hear sharp noise, drones, rainforest. I ended up completely lost in a zone while this track played, drifting into a different realm altogether. It’s the subtle way in which frequencies change, shift… very nice! Another one of my favourites, I must say!
In final… I’ve long been fascinated with genetic/bio engineering and related subjects… I would just rather such sciences be pursued in a liberated world and not from within a state-capitalist system, wherein the fruits of research are put to unethical ends.
And I know it’s silly, but I want a GloCat. I also want you to hear this mental, intense noise album, so here’s the link: