Total Slitting of Throats Total Slitting of Throats

[PACrec; 2007]

Rating: 1/5

Styles: harsh noise
Others: The Cherry Point, The Rita, Mania, Sever Election and Treriksroset

In their oft-quoted essay accompanying their debut album, The New Blockaders rejected art — and anti-art, for that matter — and portrayed themselves as sound anarchists fueled by absurdist notions. They wrote: “We will make anti-statements about anything and everything. We will make a point of being pointless.” Yet their debut album, Changez Les Blockeurs sounds like an industrial-themed Robert Rauschenberg painting come to life with its scraping metal and minimalist textures. As one of the founding documents of modern “noise” music, the album still stands the test of time.

Up until the new Total Slitting of Throats album, I didn’t think it possible to create a piece of anti-art, a non-entity, if you will. Somehow a collaboration between The Cherry Point, The Rita, Mania, Sever Election, and Treriksroset produced just that — over 60 minutes of nothingness, a whirl of fuzz, and blank space. It almost feels like the boys, most of who can be labeled as top-line experimental acts, left their oscillators buzzing while they went in the other room and took bong tokes. The lone track on the disc sounds like an over-amplified dead spot on AM radio or contact mics placed under the hooves of stampeding bulls. Once in a while, a faint vocal strain or break beat rumbling seemingly fades in and out of the vortex, like a mirage on a trek through the desert. Though, as with apparent changes in volume and fuzz texture, it may just be the bored mind constructing something out of negative space.

It’s hard not to admire the work as a statement on the whole modern noise rampant consumerism/prolific sound artist culture. After all, the label describes the record as a “powerful minimalist deconstruction of the harsh noise object,” and it is just that. If all the artists in the ‘scene’ played at the same time, they’d all blank each other out, and it’d sound like this. Depending on which way you look at it, the boys over at PACrec either put every sound under a microscope, whittling them down to their most essential structure, or recorded a fart and stretched it out ad nausea. Either way, it’s a piece of art best left for those anal-retentive collectors otherwise known as capitalists who don’t listen to the music, as it is best confined to a shelf to be pulled out and admired with a glance once in a while ‘cause the cover fuckin’ rules.

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