Mold Omen
Ascension or Whatever [CS; Holy Page]

Holy Page is a label I haven’t had a good chance to dig into, but from the two tapes I have heard (this one here and the pleasant pop tunes of Stephen Steinbrink), it’s clear the imprint has a pretty wide footprint on the experimental music landscape. Here’s an odd little beastie from Mold Omen which is a duet between Mike Pursley and Andy Livingston, two noise-ers from out in Baltimore. The duet-feel is palpable here, rare for an album I’d have no problem throwing straight into the weirdo-noise category (my very favorite category!), where knobs and effects often swirl, smash, and smear sounds together into an ambient wash. But with Ascension or Whatever, the tracks typically carry a plucked (or droned) amplified guitar part and an accompanying percussion element, distinct voices working together in concert, even lining up rhythmically at times. And although those elements are arranged in slightly (or radically) different ways from track to track, the mix maintains its aluminum can sheen with tinny frequencies and hardly any bass to give the group a distinct “sound.” In a strange way, even though this music is largely formless, often abrasive, a borderline-brain-irritant, some of the pieces give the same feeling you can get from the great power-duos. But for the most part this is obviously absurdist work with a few moments of eardrum-shredding feedback, tons of atonal hoopla, and an overall attitude of “who gives a flying…” — These guys are masters of not taking themselves too seriously, obviously imbuing their work with the sort of twisted sense of humor that comes with experimenting with high-voltage currents and the occasional accidental self-electrocution. And because of it, Mold Omen is maybe better than it thinks it is, which is kind of scary. Good for us, bad for them? Or bad for us? I can’t decide, this shit’s fucking weird, guys.

Links: Holy Page


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