‘Experimental’ is a term that when used in conjunction with music, generally results in all but the most adventurous of listeners’ hands reaching out for the ‘off’ or ‘re-tune’ buttons.
But read on …
‘Peeling The Sea’ is the thirteenth release from London based DIY Net Label / promoterof experimental music, Doubledgescissor. Discounting the ‘intro’ and ‘outro’ tracks that portray lapping waves and seagulls, there are five tracks on offer here as a free download from the label’s site.
Initially, you’d be forgiven for thinking that this is going to be a rather intense and ‘hard,’ listen. But once you get a sense of what’s actually going on here, it firstly becomes bearable and then quite quickly, actually enjoyable!
‘Molten Arthur,’ is the first ‘real’ track. There’s a lot going on the background with a crashing cacophony of off-kilter beats and violins and electronic shit, but it’s all held together nicely by some rather manic sounding vocals. And it’s these vocals, while they last, that actually provide the rhythm, so when they end with about two minutes remaining of the track, the ‘song’ does kind of descend into a pit of seemingly disorganised and unstructured, improvised sound.
This is fine for a bit, but perhaps in this case ‘less would be more’ as practiced by one of my personal ‘experimentalist’ favourites, Captain Beefheart, whose songs generally didn’t exceed the three minute mark.
‘Flag Ash’ also extends to the four and a half minute mark, but there seems a more discernable direction overall with this one. In fact, the vocals sound almost as if this was written as some kind of arty stage production – very dramatic. ‘Pirate-sounding,’ weirdly. (But that’s probably just my rampant but under-exercised imagination at play and relating to the album title.)
‘Idiot Annihilation Service’ is definitely more ‘conventional’ with its big rock / metal styled riffs and shouted vocals, before ‘Parasites On Solar Driftwood’ heads off on more of a mid to late seventies ‘No Wave’ influenced direction. The irregular beats, wailed vocal and discordant violin give this track a sharp edge and if you’re into the likes of Mars or Teenage Jesus and the Jerks, than this will likely appeal.
‘Gate 19’ is different again, not least because it spans slightly over the nine-minute mark! But that’s quite all right on this occasion because although it’s full of electronic drones with modulating tones overridden with narrated spoken word, it creates a futuristic impression. It’s one like back in the day when we all used to sit around listening to the likes of Tangerine Dream, with each individual taking something different from generated soundscapes. (That said I’m still struggling with how to fit the image of a grunting pig into my imagined sterile and shiny, stainless steel-fitted futuristic airport departure lounge.)
As I said when reviewing ‘The Talking Book’ by Bill Gould and Jared Blum, it’s all about painting with music.
(Released as a free download from www.doubledgescissor.co.cc )
(8.5 / 10)