Decaycast Reviews: MARLO EGGPLANT “head/rush(ed)” (Vaux Flores, 2018)
by Dr. Decaycast
Momentus sound artist, label head of Corpus Callosum Distro, longtime noise queen, and curator and founder of the legendary Ladyz In Noyz compilation series, UK based Marlo Eggplant offers her newest work via Travis Johns VAUX FLORES imprint (who also happen to make some fantastic pedals and homemade electronic instruments). Eggplant’s newest offering, titled “head/rush(ed)” enacts a wide array of sonic offerings through short but powerful tracks.
From minimalistic, low keyed crawlings of static plumes, plucks and voice breaths, such as highlighted in tracks such as “one1one“,to spacious, prickly, washed out hills of dark reverb swells of distorted, orchestral style string drones to harsher, more rhythmic and industrial leaning works such as my personal favorite on this release, “Premeditated”; Eggplant covers a wide but cohesive range of experimental styles.
The album’s standout, “Premeditated” blends droning sawtooth synthesizers, high frequency, high tension noise walls of static fuzz, and screaching, crawling voice stabs spike out from out of the darkness of confusion. This track could easily hold a torch to early Kevin Drumm, Chelsea Wolfe, or even Diamanda Galas without even a sonic flinch of disorientation, but offers yet again so much more for contemplation through it’s own aural and compositional strategies. Nothing on “head/rush(ed)” come off as flat or static works however, they are short intentioned sonic offerings of sacrifice of self, weight, brevity, and sonic deconstruction. Eggplant has never strayed too far away from the harsh side of noise, however these pieces, while harsh, hold a cinematic and even musical character to them without losing a single percentage of intensity, and abstraction; a line that is rarely toted this successfully by any contemporary artist, and this album is no exception. Eggplant has clearly mastered the high tension model of dynamic composition and uses this to her favor with no end in sight. These tracks could easily be scenes to a yet imagined film and yet hold so much narrative within themselves that the listener is almost forced to imaging the physical and etherial spaces that Eggplant sonically articulates throughout “head/rush(ed)”. The record crescendos with an equally intense, albeit more musically and slightly less noisy and possibly deeper and more personal offering titled “onmyown ” which features a vocal and chord forward morose and sad ballad in the vein of Tara Cross or an early more subdued Daniel Johnson, which focuses on the erasure and heartbreak of not being seen. A beautiful and humble ending to a strong, sharp and intentional offering from Eggplant, always honest, present and esoteric, Eggplant remains one of the most interesting and unique unsung heroes of contemporary noise.