♫♪  Kill Alters - D20

If the industrial caterwaul of Kill Alters’ self-titled debut didn’t quite thrill you enough on tape, with sessions that fuse Bonnie Baxter’s howling vocals with samples of manic dialogue from her mother’s diaristic home recordings, the band returns with a video for album highlight “D20” that will definitely get the job done. While other multimedia projects graft randomized visual feeds or deliberately juxtaposed imagery onto their mires of tonal chaos, Kill Alters burrows inward to the empirical facts of Baxter’s childhood as glimpsed in her mother’s home videos, uniting the band’s raucous sounds directly with the experiences that inspired them.

Like the band’s music itself, the tone of the montage of mother and daughter cheesing for the camera and dancing around the apartment oscillates between emotional catharsis and self-aware mischievous provocation. This footage blends with the intrusions of disfigured muppets and other televised curiosities from 1987 into a time capsule of Baxter’s half-forgotten experience, exposed as much for our entertainment as her own rediscovery. Kinetic editing and video collage tactics blur the lines between TV and camcorder feeds, suggesting the union of these worlds within Baxter’s young consciousness.

Far from unearthing some instance of direct trauma, “D20” sketches out the ambiguous reality of the relationship at the heart of the Kill Alters project. As young Bonnie Baxter smiles, we choose to either smile back and acknowledge the possibility of a child’s joy within such potentially bleak surroundings, or to give into our own unfounded assumptions of squalor or neglect. But Kill Alters’ optimistic perception of these memories shines through even the darker aspects of what Baxter chooses to present, conveyed in the care and deliberation with which the project unites their compositions with the video footage and the voice samples. The unearthing of these experiences clearly fascinates them, enough to warrant such a musical reexamination, and we’re right there with them.

• Kill Alters: https://www.facebook.com/killalters
• GODMODE: http://entergodmode.tumblr.com

Chocolate Grinder

CHOCOLATE GRINDER is our audio/visual section, with an emphasis on the lesser heard and lesser known. We aim to dig deep, but we’ll post any song or video we find interesting, big or small.

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