Prickers & Peckers [3XCS; Tymbal]

It’s difficult to encapsulate the artistic heft of a project like Prickers & Peckers, a three-tape box proffering six sides of aural scree, all chopped up and wriggling, in a small, Cerb-sized pellet, so I’m going to jump in head-first and hope that you follow me on this audio base-jumping voyage. The first tape centers around insects, whose, according to the liners, “drones fuel our emotions.” To me it sounds more like insects being lathed to death, which doesn’t sound pleasant of course but you had to be there, should have been there, will soon be there, whether bran(…)pos (who have come under the Cerberus knife before, by my hand) take you there or not. Side B is where I begin to become ensconced in the refined surroundings, a bumble-bee pinging around in a glass bottle while these sickos recorded with glee. There’s a filmic feel, as if when this jam really kicks IN the main protagonist is finding out something fucked up about himself or his love, and he’s thinking back on all the good/bad times, searching for a breaking point, a sign that he missed before his life went over the waterfall. Alas, he only descends into madness, by the sound of it, slowly sinking into a reclusive state as the fireflies continue their dance in the corner of his cave. Synths begin to dance and HEY, time to move on or miss out. That’s where Side 2A kicks in with a moppy, slurpy, burbling mess of a slop-take that represents more what I’ve come to expect from bran(…)pos during my limited time with them. Think about how a doorstop goes “BLONGGGGGG” when you’d bend it back, and apply that experience to blotches of proto-noise: bran(…)pos stretch out sound like a rubber band the size of life and let it snap back on your ear with a strangely playful ZING. DAMMIT, too much time on one tape… This is getting messy. Side 2B employs the tympani listed in the manifesto (if I’m not mistaken) and gets almost cartoonish in its extremes, Here Comes the Indian-style with the pauses and pounding phrases (though that’s where the similarities end; save your letters) and bristling with childlike abandon. Dare I go even further into this liquid abyss? I must, but quickly. And now I realize, I can’t even go down the wormhole with you; I’ve stayed my hour. Let it be said though: I might have been wrong about the tympani before; Side 3A seems full of it. And if you want the perfect synth-drone comedown Side 3B goes all Nadja/Noveller/Ortmann/Starving Weirdos/etc. on us and it’s amazing, totally its own thing despite my reference soup and a worthy conclusion to a three-part exercise in noise-sculpting that delves into six distinct sub-categories that I won’t deign it appropriate to specify at this time because they don’t rightfully exist. How about that; I think we’ve learned. THERE ARE SIX OF THESE REMAINING AS OF THIS REVIEW’S COMPLETION, which means that by the time this publishes there might be ONE left, so GO GET IT. Be there, with bells on.

Links: Tymbal


Cerberus seeks to document the spate of home recorders and backyard labels pressing limited-run LPs, 7-inches, cassettes, and objet d’art with unique packaging and unknown sound. We love everything about the overlooked or unappreciated. If you feel you fit such a category, email us here.

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