Artist: TOTAL E.T.
Title: impleMENTAL ALIENoise (Unearthly 23SOTV9)
Label: Petroglyph Music
Keywords: Live Improvisation
Reviewer: Alex Spalding
Psst. Hey, you. I’ve got something you need.
Don’t worry… nobody’s looking, the coast is clear. Come closer… yeah. Hey.
As you might have suspected, all I’ve got going on under this overcoat… is some music. And… well… some socks. Socks are happening, too.
If you, uh… look down a little ways you might notice I’ve got my link exposed… don’t look now, though. I mean… just know that it’s there, for later.
Anyway, let me tell you all about the music. ‘impleMENTAL ALIENoise (Unearthly 23SOTV9)’ is a single track. Real long, too. There’s some harsh static, and what sounds like a chainsaw. I’m hearing toy whistles, bird songs… it’s like a glitching glade. I’m hearing strings, bizarre noise textures, now a bell. When the bell first struck, I thought it was a microwave. I feel like there’s a synthesizer cutting down a forest. Everything’s going haywire. There’s a voice now amid the chopped chaos of sound. I hear an organ, some very… ok, I’ve been wanting to avoid describing this as alien, because that much should be obvious, but there it is. It’s less space-age but more like… the aliens are among us, totally analog, in the woods with instruments of nearly recognizable design. I’m hearing a synth sequence now, and I’m wondering how long it will last. Not too long. There is some humming, very pagan space we’ve entered with bell atmospherics and wood. This whole thing is like the total sonic death of a forest or wild place, like the sounds we would hear if we were properly attuned. Now, though, I hear a toy box piano… there are scattered drums, vocal bits, bass and guitar… all below the harsh searing chainsaw. Somehow, we’ve ended up in a harmonically dissonant room, with flickering tubes and television, very sickly green wallpaper illuminated, shadows of faces pressed to the windows. There is laughter now, and a disturbing frequency modulation, like maggots. Harsh noises… low drones, an owl… a cacophony of amplified sticks falling to the floor repeatedly. A wind-tunnel vibration. It’s easy to get lost in the endless weird vibe, the complete abandon of reality, with all the strange displaced textures. My consciousness pops back in for some strange soundchip frequencies… there’s a place of damaged acoustic string and accelerated granular shuffling. There are modular synth sequences screaming… broken oscillations, corrosions of electricity. Everything feels like it’s being modulated. At various times, I wonder if maybe what I’m listening to is one of R2-D2’s fever dreams, maybe the decay of his inner components has finally escalated to where he is in a robo-coma and having really strange dreams. It’s interesting how even acoustic instruments bounce in such a way to make them feel so totally unreal. There is a rhythmic noise section, sounding like a ton of stuff being broken at once and run through distortion, then fed through rapid delay at timed intervals. It gets really liquid later, finally breaking away into a heated noise section underlay with acoustic guitar and an atmosphere of voices… a lot of this so far reminds me of Terry Riley. There is so much noise! Then… some really love ambient vibes for a little while… spacy lasers gush through. Everything is glitching up hard! Chippy noises flying around all over the place, it’s like we’re blowing into a cartridge and scattering pixel blocks of dust all over. Now there are drippings, ploppings, poopings… I don’t know. Maybe we’re in a cave… it’s dark and eerie and wet. Now, we are finding ourselves within a computer that’s overheating. Binary strings of sound surround us. It’s becoming like a strange lullaby. A voice arrives, saying she’s been “intoxicated with the blood of saints.” The track ends short of an hour, with a fading flutter of electronics.
Well, as with everything TOTAL E.T. produces, it’s felt like we’ve already had a close encounter… oh, but you’ve been waiting for me to slip you the link, eh?