Thighpaulsandra
Double Vulgar II Beta-lactam Ring http://www.tinymixtapes.comsites/default/files/arton767_0.jpg

[Beta-lactam Ring; 2005]

Rating: 5/5 5 / 5 (0)

Styles: weird rock, avant-psych
Others: Coil, Nurse With Wound, Jeweled Antler Collective


http://media.tinymixtapes.com/


The more I listen to this album, the harder it becomes to quantify it. As near as I can tell, this is an entirely unique experience for me. I listened to this for the first time, was absolutely floored by it, and I knew I had to review it and spread the good word. At the time, I would've typified it as weird rock, and I doubt I'm being terribly reductive in saying that. But with 5 sweeping tracks, 4 of which are between 14 and 21 minutes and the other clocking in at an unsniffable 9 minutes, each of which having at least several distinct stylistic neighborhoods, this would certainly be a disservice. And, appropriately, this album tears down the broad stroke description, and does a lather-rinse-repeat on your brain's descriptive faculties. And this until you're left with such a fractured take on the album that it's nigh impossible to talk about the music in any universally cohesive way.

I feel I should discuss how this sounds in a way more meaningful than the Others listing from above. But, as I sit here listening to it, I'm daunted by describing anything within this single track. At any moment, I might be able to pull out pretty good terms to describe what's going on, but the completely foreign precedent set earlier in the song handicaps my ability to do so. And smooth, intuitive transitions from ghetto to ghetto make it substantially more difficult to do. It could be concluded this is exactly what the artist was aiming for, a must hear to understand album. Does sparse ambient under non-sequitor sing-spoken mantras transitioning into sequenced industrial noise via Hecker-esque bleeps and bloops ring any bells? Or how about a track with improv style drums filling in under squelching synths that breezily drifts in and out of rhythmic sections? Gosh, then maybe you know of dissonant minimalism that abruptly blasts into fuzz bass driven funk featuring flitting marimba bits and pitch-shifted guitars that transition back to the minimalist leanings courtesy of grinding machine sounds right when the groove was fully realized? Electroacoustic blowmping to eerie South American tribal sounds accompanying sweetly delivered vocals up to the chorus, wherein dulcet female supporting vocalists coo and picked acoustic guitar swing by just long enough? Maybe some damned Zappa eclecticism which drops out to make room for running drums and burping horns which squire in explicitly homoerotic lyrics sung in a disinterested deadpan, which, you guessed it, leave us, this time for some assorted avant doodling. You're drawing a blank, too, huh? So, maybe I'm back to "weird rock." And maybe that's not so bad. But, rest assured, if you're into these sorts of things, you'll love this album.

1. The Vile Receipt
2. Telly for Rex
3. Imperial
4. Vomiting Child
5. Bost Sanvay Bit Sumonver

  

Some musical ruptures are so penetrating, so incisive that we just can’t help but exclaim EUREKA! While many of our picks here defy categorization and test the boundaries of what exactly discerns ‘music’ from ‘noise,’ others complement or continue anachronistic traditions that have provided new forms and ways of listening. We consider the section a work-in-progress, so expect its definition to be in perpetual flux. Check out the section here.