Panicsville Perverse

[LDR/HPR; 2004]

Others: John Zorn, Kevin Drumm, Brian Eno, Merzbow

This record is:

Like John Cage eating Throbbing Gristle in a musique concrete playground. Like John Zorn tripping on Scratch Acid. Like watching the Velvet Underground ice skate. Like Varèse operating a Metal Machine Music. Like reading "Thus Spoke Zarathustra" backwards. Like Artaud directing the next Wolf Eyes video.


From this increasingly extravagant list of similes and flagrant name checking, you may or may not have gleamed that this record is rather good. Just in case you are left in any doubt, I shall address this question in plain English: This record is very good.

Perverse is the music that John Cage imagined when he spoke of noise music coming to fruition. Rather than the anti-music of a Merzbow, intent on destroying the fabric of what we consider to be music, this record blends the natural properties of found sounds and electronics to create a synthesis of form. Through mixing the classically musical with the classically considered noise -- feedback, electronic manipulations and musique concrete elements -- a truly perverse beauty is created. A beauty that screams and strains at the ingrained boundaries of traditional western music in its sonorous excesses, while maintaining a remarkable internal dignity.

Within this internal framework, the sharp changes, smooth, filthy, noticed, unnoticed, jagged, and glorious all at once recall Zorn's fast paced attention span deficits while remaining in touch with extended tones and repetition. Challenging the listener's preconceptions with all the arrogance of Punk Rock, time begins to recede into relativity as the sudden lurches render the longer stretches all the more arresting to the senses.

Throughout, this record is one of an unsettling uncertainty, made all the more noticeable by its own self-assuredness. For the listener who likes to be challenged by music, who likes music to embark upon fresh, exciting, dangerous journeys navigated by nervous idiosyncrasies and unspoken compulsions, this record is perfect. For the listener who can stomach mangled baby's cries, feedback, water and deconstructed industrial rhythms, this record gives you all that and more. Like Neu! in a bath with Cornelius, it's so unexpected, dirty and secretly thrilling that you don't know whether or not to look.