For fans of no-fi lurking tape-weirdness, this should be investigated at the earliest opportunity. Herhalen’s ‘Bourgeois Kerb Stomp’ release is a three-way split shared by Splashy the Blame-Shifter, Lenina, and Ship Canal.
In ‘Petrol Station Homophobe’ Splashy the Blame-Shifter scrapes up tape murk and drags it over smashed dirty heads, plaintive piano notes ringing out forlornly; the track is a drizzled miniature chamber beauty, in place of strings you get hissing flickers in a rotting shed. ‘Excitement as Officer’ has hesitant molten fuzz trying and failing to find rhythmic purchase; a non-structure unable or unwilling to grow beyond an indeterminate revolving fidget. ‘South of Heaven’ is all amp vomit and rusted voice fragments, buried under a crushing drill feedback avalanche sounding like the metallic scoop of a digger scraping the inner curvature of a gigantic iron bowl; dust packed collage and siren violence; sheer noise catharsis, harsh and skull-crushing.
Lenina offers deafening violence: ‘Below Me Lay the Wide Waters’ is packed with roaring noise hostility; grey and unceasing for its whole duration, feedback screams slicing a thick hale of gravel-drone. ‘Yr Average Oppressor’ and ‘False Widow, False Panic’ are both bleak and numbing raw machine yawns.
Ship Canal’s contributions are from the outer-limits of oddness. ‘The Stigma of Drinking Alone’ is a nightmarish, drunken mumble, a fog of sound-impressions: looped aquatic voices smear the words “all these areas” into woozy Möbius strips; cracks resounding like a shower of pebbles falling onto weed-wobbled pavement; queasy and jumbled sea-sick organ wheeze; a background throb like straining distantly respiring pipes; garbled chatter, as if through a membrane. ‘Communicating Directly with the Restaurant’ lists restaurant transactions with an intonation of glum finality; a procession of events listed without enthusiasm over a soundtrack of echoing dread sculpted from balloon squeak, oozing sonic gunk, distorted lost voices and sharply oscillating whistle; it briefly settles into a techno rush before collapsing as everything falls into mould and decrepitude.
‘Bourgeois Kerb Stomp’ is an arresting work of urban edgeland-concrete; found-sounds sifted with boxing gloves from a mildewed cardboard box.
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