artist: Irr. App. (Ext.) / Panicsville
title: Split LP
Cat: Nihil 54
format: vinyl LP / digital
keywords: experimental, psychedelic-noise, Chicago
label: Nihilist Recordings http://nihilistrecords.net/
When I awoke my jolly jumper was standing in a erect position. Glad it wasn’t melting and glad not to be in the same situation of one of those YIKIS favorites ‘Panicsville’.
Their cover picture is suggesting that Panicsville looks a bit like a tormented big bird from Sesame Street after eating too many hot chili peppers and indeed a heavy physical meltdown. But knowing Panicsville their melting body would most likely be all worth it music wise.
It starts all friendly and natural with the sounds of nature. You know; birds singing a welcoming song for our ears to make everyone at ease before there is even the slightest hint of a possible body meltdown.
After being comforted by nature, Panicsville swiftly exchanges the natural birds recording in to experimental sounds that try to trick our minds into thinking that we are still listening to the potential field-recordings. A swap that is done smoothly and has the grand flair of a magician that knows how to swiftly trick and deceive for the sake of art and entertainment.
A flute pretends to be a bird, a loop emulates the background sound of a woodpecker buzzy pecking some wood, and electronic crickets are recorded in the bathroom. It’s like listening to a perfect morning that after hearing a modern day alarm-clock alarm begins to sound more like a upfront and personal moment of a person (let’s call this person Big Bird) waking up and doing its morning ritual. We can hear big bird rambling it’s fake teeth in a little plastic basin, some water flubber escapes the morning mouth and then the person goes out.
Unlike the beginning of the track it’s rather quite outside. We can hear big bird’s footsteps and a rather pleasant deep melodic buzz being played as a pleasant bass. When the hero of this story arrives at a specific spot it starts to dig in the ground.
And after not so much digging a alien sound has been found from the underground.
A steady tick as if coming from an old fashioned clock can be heard ticking and as the sound engages us to hear quite well, we can even hear the inner mechanics of this device. Are we still dreaming or are we really just extremely focused?
Silence is golden and apart from a little warm far away field recording that is suddenly interrupting the clockwork experience, the music became rather minimal and silent. A good break to figure out what was happening although no definable answers can be found. At least I couldn’t find one.
The silence becomes filled up with a rusty violin, a monkey screeching out and other influential absurd nature weirdness. Iron fences are being opened and closed in the far background, birds are singing as if they are opening a door in the mind and see if there is anyone in there. Some chickens clocking about, other animals that are rather chatty and in a strange mood. They become more exciting as if they know something that will happen ahead that no listener knows about at this moment.
After a bit of a cliffhanger it is an honor to reveal that the work by Panicsville indeed prospers into a ending that scared the birds and other animals away but it was far away from a unpleasant meltdown that the title and the tormented red hot big bird had made me believe in the first place. It was a highlight in which in a quick time-span Panicsville simply throws away the marbles of your mind; literally.
It was good to hear that there were still marbles left to create this sound!
This side of Panicsville is one that is a bit like listening to a dream that goes through chapters that are one but do not necessarily make a story like a book, but more a collage of happenings and brain farts that for the most part are more of a pleasant kind than a panic involving nightmare. If you manage to pick your marbles up from the floor you even might be happy to listen to the other side of this split, which is done by Irr. App. (Ext.) and its lengthy work is named While Unconscious in Compost, I Was Temporarily a Motile Vesocular Cluster
Here our ears can hear a nice warm flow of soft ground sounds and a what seems to be like natural animal sounds above it. An image of mud and a few lonely wild swine’s pop in my mind when hearing it. It’s a calm experience and very slowly the pretty tone of a fine night moves in to create a pleasant atmosphere.
The background nature starts to sounds more and more as if they are swept up by a twirling tornado without being a gruesome awful force of destruction. It is for some reason nice to hear the animal sounds all twirling around in a abstract circle while a warm tone brightens the sky above it.
The tornado of animals moved along out of the reach of a microphone to leave only the pleasant tones that form a great mood for more avant-garde created by potential human beings. It’s like classical strings are now being used to replace the blown away sounds of the animals to fool the left over nature that everything is fine and just like it was before. A cello or a violin can be a cow or a bull, a synth can be the sunny mood of a butterfly. A slip of a Sportshoes can be a rabbit and a lost classical trained musician can be a monkey.
Together the music evolved in a pleasant warm and pretty friendly world that seemed to be cleared from chaos and might be even considered as heavenly. Pretty tones, warm sound and super nice how it all waves into each-other.
After the prettiness the mold seems to return, putting the cover of sand, mud and dirt back as crawling ladybugs, cockroaches and buzzing bees are taking over the heaven that this sound act had just created. It isn’t a scary thing as all these tiny bugs and insects are being accompanied by pretty music and the open ending seems to suggest that the tiny friends made way for new nature and animals to flourish.
The birds return, the woodpecker farts and the human frogs move down to a ghostly lake while the pretty birds chatter excitingly above the trees.
Get these two exciting sound collages with high visual aspects on vinyl or go for a digital version over at the following link: