title: Big Pennsylvania Noise Compilation
keywords: Pennsylvania, punk, ambient, diy, drone, experimental, harsh noise, lo-fi, musique concrete, noise, Pittsburgh
label: Kull Collector Culture
The American state of Pennsylvania is well known and documented for it being the home in which the real Dracula originated from, also scientists of this state invented the now well-known tool for writing; the pen. It’s also (according to the Guinness Book of records) the home state of the American people with the biggest penis. All in all we can agree that Pennsylvania is one of the fascinating and most well-known states in the USA, but there is more.. Something that seems to be lesser known and a bit more under the radar is that this state has an illustrious underground experimental noise scene. It’s not every day that we can come to one place to hear music made by these eccentric and legendary inhabitants that this region is rich off, but today is the day that we indeed could hear a lot of Pennsylvanian sound makers all in one place. Isn’t it marvelous?
This compilation starts with what professional drink stirrers would call ‘ stirring drinks perfection’ by Skeletonized – Hide , it’s done so fanatic with a long spoon in a long glass that it feels like a pimped up steam-train traveling in high speed over the rails close to a crossing with the flashy lights and alarm bells going off. That’s amazing, as this is a visual generated just by someone stirring a drink. No intoxication needed!
RJ Myato – Big Ups PA is a bit less steamy, but certainly is coming across as hot. Hot as in ‘with a microphone inside a fire’. Yeah, that’s hot.. Nicely stuck between the burning wood, crisper sounds of the flames all recorded for your pleasure; I hope the artist is alright.
A more classy experience is the adventurous noise and sound session Stephen Boyle – ~ding~ . It’s very, very quick and done before you can actually get your head straight to know what has happened. It’s difficult to write anything about it because of its quickness; making it impressive in speed but not so much registered in the memory department.
Guillermo Pizarro – Amor y Cenizas is a session of more traditional noise, screetches, high beeping.. It’s like an assault on the ears, but done with care and in a polite kind of way. Like a gentleman’s fight in which both sides wear a velvet glove and slap each other on the buttocks.
Then it’s time for Owner – Second State Theme, a track that has a rhythm, featuring strange fuzzy sounds that made me think of those alien dogs in the Half Life game franchise. Now they are shot in space like friendly nifty lasers, instead of aiming to bite your crotch with their sharp teeth.
Crown of Eternity – Empty Mirror treats the ears with what all people love; a warm drone. It’s a humming one, something that floats around like the background sound of Spocks space funeral. Salute friend, live long and prosper.
Daywand makes the next appearance on this compilation and its sounds very refreshing. A fresh jazzy beat brings in an atmosphere of darkness, sampled pieces of voices, some kind of holistic choir of males. Thematic music for a theme that only the artist knows the true details off.
In the beginning of The Garment District – Goodnight, Mr. Castle dogs howl, or perhaps they are wolves. They announce a vampire kind of soundtrack that is melodically sad, dark and Grimm, making me feel like a dark Lord will soon make some bite mark in an exposed neck. Better spray some garlic perfume or wear a colt sweater.
a toypiano softly crunches itself in the Anna Azizzy – Toy, it’s as if it’s still wrapped in old newspapers while the artist plays on it. Or perhaps it’s paper from candy? Why is this toypiano packed or surrounded by crunchy papers? Did the artist move home, or is this done on purpose? So many questions and so little time to do research and find the answers. Let’s just come to the conclusion that it’s ‘fine art’.
Curious and Ruin – New Animals From the Wreckage of the Old’ brings the sound of the mysterious and the exciting. It’s a very strange exposure of something electronic that is curious to meet us listeners, but isn’t sure if we are edible or that we deserve to get away with it in the friendly way. I guess we get away with it, as otherwise the compilation would have ended by here, but still let us refrain from ‘spoilers’ in this review.
Holocene Ensemble – 17_12_14 18-46 (exc) brings a live session to the scenery, and it’s of a relaxing but psychedelic kind. We kind of fall into a session that is seemingly already going on, reaching a part that makes you feel like walking on toes while wearing socks made out of glass. There is something sexy about a feet surrounded by a glass sock, making it an fragile museum piece and drool material for the perverted foot fetishist.
A dark but stimulating soundtrack comes by Morgan Tindall – A Birdstooth In A Nightjar. It’s like a science fictional session in which we are the witnesses of a launch in space by a potential alien. Hold on to your seats, snatch some popcorn and enjoy the quick show. Do not, I repeat; do not close your ears or wink twice.
Satyr/Elfheim – | In Ruins | begins slowly but soon illustrates a monstrous industrial world of grand illusions. It’s highly electric how a guitar is used to create something that sounds like it’s crafted by a superb evolved technology. Aliens are so 1961, superb evolved technology sounds just way better..
For some good fun the compiler of this compilation brought in Whoopsydaisy – VN810474, a session of electronic wahwah experimentation that reminds me of a robot specially designed of brushing teeth in a sufficient and quick way. It’s possible that this robot doesn’t exist yet, but if you feel like it; please do invent it.
Now it’s time to chill out. There is no better way to do so at this moment in time then with the Hunted Creatures – I Almost Don’t Believe You. It’s an strange piece of modernity, building an Mad Max atmosphere played out in a psychiatry ward of a electronically wired insane brain. There is nothing more relaxing than being trapped in madness, right?
The Butterfield Conspiracy – Death, It Is So Creepy is the moment that the listener gets the pleasant reminder of this compilation being a noise themed one. The ears get delightfully penetrated by traditional noise so loud, that it makes you feel like being skull f#cked by two long sausages. (One for each ear). If you read this on time; better prepare some lubricant.
Requiem – One Year and Eleven…goes more for the drama, for the cinematic music of an abstract traumatized wasteland in which we can look forward too after all the nuclear natters have unleaded their toys upon Mother Earth. It’s a sad theme, but also captured the feeling of human survival. Everything has gone to the shits, everyone is dead except you and your own futuristic ‘Adam’ or ‘Eve’ to rebuild the future.
More ear shredding noise is coming from A Life of Arctic Sounds – Moog Birthday Collage. It’s something that is a bit loud, painful and quite possibly terrifying if you’ve never experienced such a thing before. Keep your painkillers close at hand as big chance that you’ll need some afterwards.
Nevhar Anhar – Transistor Transmissions goes for a post-apocalyptic experimental guitar piece in which birds have survived and a pair of lips is farting out a trembling sensation. Perhaps they aren’t lips, but fingers or something else, but as it’s cool for non-musicians to play along; just make your lips a little wet, and move a finger up and down over them when releasing air through a small gasp. Isn’t life beautiful?
Time to be entrapped in the haunted motorboat engine with Check Engine Palace – Bridge Ahead Low. It’s just what you would think that it would sound like, very loud, gracefully in gear progression but nonetheless explicitly damaging to the hearing system. Chapeau!
RAQVB – Saw Hallucination Circle is an exciting piece that is exciting. It’s not clear what it exactly is and how it is made, (which is already exciting on its own) but feels a bit like people being under attack of some kind of cloud consisting of killer insects while enjoying an outside party. It’s really exciting! (Did I already mention how exciting it is?)
Oh my goth, the next track is wonderful. Check Engine Palace – Bridge Ahead Low Is like the soundtrack for a scene in Starwars that never was. An sensual massage between the yedi fighter and that princess with the quirky haircut. How romantic, how sweet, how epic.. George Lucas should come and hear it and make a short movie for this track, just because it’s that fitting and for the people who hate him for selling his shit to Disney. Make it happen, George, make it happen..
SUPERVOLCANO – U THERE goes for laid-back bongos, some smothering mumbling and background sound that is warm and yet a bit windy. It’s a good moment to drink a mushroom tea and talk to your dead elders.
A perfect fit is this Mark Emhoff – Awakeningas here it seems like we meet spirits, higher spirits, ghosts, figures and figurines flying above our heads just to get some attention. You can ignore them , but you can’t unhear them.
Highseer – Naraka is more druggy, more lounge, more spaces out.. It’s like being in James Franco’s head while presenting the Oscars. A beautiful place to be, very laid back and yet a tiny bit bizarre.
The next track D. Rifle – California 7 is a bit like being a tiny insect sitting in next to an artist that is fumbling with something. I can’t see what the artist is doing, it’s like fiddling with something, doing something we as insects have no clue or idea about; yet it’s fascinating.
Brother Ong – Clock Watcher is the soundtrack of love, or perhaps of being in love.. Or maybe the seduction of the prospect of love? It makes me think of this fable of pretty naked females bathing in a lake who get a lost male soldier in the water and then drown him for no understandable reason whatsoever.
Ventriloquist – DSM-IV #295.30 is covering this act of fear, of a male being tormented by flames, a tornado of destruction, unexpected force of nature that probably has drastic effect on this person’s stamina. You can hear him scream like a football reporter in the height of the moment, but no idea what the guy is saying. No help for you my friend, no help for you..
Another pretty work is Mike Tamburo – Tiny Smile, think of a pretty piece of music that is as feather light as an actual feather, but yet made by music that contains (probably) no feather at all. It’s a moment in which we all can breathe in and out, find a piece of peacefulness in music before going on to the next assemble of sound.
OMNIVM – BoRG-58 is the one that follows and isn’t an unpleasant work either. A very smooth and lovable audio track that comes across as a fluffy warm comfortable cloud, something that has no intention to harm its listeners in any way. Thank you for that, it is tremendously appreciated.
Birthie – Big Truck sounds very American, very Pennsylvanian, very hardcore in representing this state and all what it all stands for.
This is also the case of this incredible short track Tape Monster – I Need A Nap which basically covers more it’s bombastic grounds than the traditional ones in the previous track. Harsh noise that gets you an erection even if you don’t have anything to get erected; a phantom noise erection!
Buoyhood – Lincoln Way Glaciers features more the underbelly of the state, going for a heartbeat that beats, stops and continues to beat. It’s basically a task between life and dead, but even if we die it’s a nice comfortable ending.
After enough rest it’s time for a bit of rhythm and noise with Onewayness vs. Alex Wilson – Scag (Iteration) . It’s probably the closest encounter if experimental techno that we can hear on this compilation and let me tell you; it’s exciting! From laidback dance material the whole track suddenly lifts up, wrapped us all up and throws our ears in a matrix kind of eye opener.
Jim Storch – Over there! In the clearing! proofs that Pennsylvania has more than two sound explorers that likes to explore the house (or shed) in order to create experimental tracks. This one is very creative, homely, a bit strange but all made in good fun. Is that an wookie talking? A pair of keys dragged over the floor? An dustbin?
Than we have a hearing test in which tones go up and higher to see if your ears are able to take notice of them all. It’s nicely done and donated by 185668232 and it seems that you can reward your ears with the actual track, if your ears are still able to digest and capture all the delightful tones.
Then we have Newton – Virtue, Liberty, and Independence who goes for a bit of mystery flavor in its delivered track. It’s a nice presentation of lose sounds, audio snippets, stuff that showcases itself a bit like a walk through random exhibition. It’s better than an exhibitionist flashing private parts in your face and besides there is no entry fee to this sound museum.
Margaret Cox – PGHBlush is a delightful work of fragile sounds; a bit buzzing, lower tones and softer ones. It’s a comfortable straightforward piece to go through, making me feel like an item on an automatic moving floor going through an assemblage process. No idea if that makes sense, but it’s a short but enjoyable process nonetheless.
Last but not least is Christian Mirande – Untitled which provides a perfect ending of this stimulating overview of a (might be incomplete!) noise and experimental music scene from this state called Pennsylvania. This track is very charming, just giving a blimp of sound that comes across as soft, private and trusted. What more does a listener need and wants?
Explore this free downloadable collection of Pennsylvanian sound explorers, get to know them a little bit more or simply be introduced by this scene of American weirdos for the very first time. It’s a nice ride, with the works being small enough to make no room for the larger than life egos to do a hijack, and not short enough to be unimpressive. A nice collection indeed, so please do check this selection of the ‘scene’ out at the following link: