PEER GROUP “Igbo Basic Course” Cs (Rainbow Bridge Recordings, 2012)
Another project of the multi project noise bandstander JML and label Rainbow Bridge Recordings, collaborating with Carl Kruger. PEER GROUP is chock full with dense, splattering whirlwinds of sarcastic electronic noise storm washes. this cassette has a raw, low fi crude shrink wrap encasing its clawing and unrelenting swashes of electronic chaos. About five minutes in a section of fluttering wet wood pounding around an abandoned shipyard comes to mind – the ship is sinking and the machines are fighting to the death. Violent analog rhythms clash and decay into squealing circuits; chirping, purging, burping, and pulsing- in “harmony”?, and often in opposition but never in a moment of boredom. Timing is key for me on this release, just as a sound starts to become uninteresting or too dominant in the mix, it’s swallowed up by an off-white noise wall, splatter choking sounds of globs of solder and failed transmissions coming alive. Tiny scratching sounds of a broken motor hissing and scraping- trying to bring itself back to life through walls of stuttering oscillators ticking at each other through nervous collage. Heavy handed autonomous electronic noise boxes belch crude distorted tones that swallow each other alive and regurgitate high paced, anxious electronic pulses and rhythms. At times, LOUD violent scraping, and others subtly random oscillator drone poem, PEER GROUP explores a dense sonic palette of squelch.
The latter part of the first half sounds like it could be “studio” tracks, but still boasts an affinity for a harsh low fi sonic screen.The mastering is in fact pushed to “IN THE RED” levels pwhich allows the tape saturation to act like a fine hair gel compression, gluing this chaos intact.
The b side begins with a quiet static flickering, combining resonating pulses, what sounds like branches breaking inside a reverb tank, with subtle chirping hums slowly escalating in the background. LOUD to quiet, to loud again. Layers of yapping distortion form a convex oscillator orchestra of babbling tones, fighting a war for a place in the mix. Layers of sonic sludge phase each other out and then an alarm sounds ; the mixer is on the verge of melting – and then it does, and you can hear it. The unmistakable sounds of circuits frying on loop regurgitating their own dead cells through speakers; it sounds soooo , comforting. Next , a quiet section is bread and gives breath to mangled voice ? Samples and a distant minimal pulsing , just clipping away on a distant plane, barely audible and then BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ a chopped in bass “doom note” changes the listeners orientation, and quickly escalates the mix from a symphony of chirping oscillators to a menacing caucophanou of disorientating hymns from voice ,noise boxes and malfunction, a sharp appropriate ending for a tape that builds and then destroys , through nervous towers of harsh squeaking and squawking. Xeroxed covers portray a shaky, hand drawn figure with teeth and eyes of confusion. The track titles and lengths really seal the deal for me with titles like, “STD Booth At the Occupy Protest” and “Penis Bleaching in the Google Era” who KNOWS what the motivation behind these sounds, though I would like to hear a proper studio release from this project. Check it out.