Friday, 18 January 2019
Cheap Food Records and Research Laboratories.
Brighton based Cheap Food Records and their parent label Research Laboratories have been releasing experimental noise cassettes and records since 2011. Thomas Laroche is the main man behind both labels: he has worked with Vagina Dentata Organ and Kommissar Hjuler und Frau and actively recording and releasing his own work since 2012. Other artists released on the label include Sexton Ming, The New Blockaders, Evil Moisture and Active Denial. This review includes a batch of recent cassette tapes from 2018-19.
Rotting Shrine – Do You Believe in God? – Cheap Food Records – Cassette -
Rotting Shrine is a Thomas Laroche Project, there have been two Rotting Shrine releases on Cheap Food, a self titled tape and this one ‘Do You Believe in God?’ Themed on the 1999 Columbine High School Massacre. It seems to focus on one of the two killers - Dylan Bennet Klebold, the cover image is also of Klebold. This is a short release with a recording of a woman talking about her relationship with religion and joining a Nun convent. As the dialogue unfolds, static noise that is made to sound like possibly gun fire combats the dialogue. Both compete for dominance over the recording. Background reading about the subject matter intensifies this massively. Do You Believe in God is short, sharp and not very sweet? An effective, impressive tape.
Thomas Laroche – Bacteria Community – Research Laboratories – Cassette limited edition of 25 -
The album tunes itself into blasts of noise and seems to use the noise tuning method, as if shifting rapidly from frequency to frequency. The noise is sharp and harsh, music occurs in the background, music of an older age. I am unsure of the conceptual intention, is it tackling rest homes; old age or building a time warp of sorts through the noise? Either way it makes for a haunted noise recording. Like the Rotting Shrine release the noise seems to interrupt and disrupt. A strong recording.
Concrete Emptiness – Le Temps Detruit Tout – Cheap Food Records – Cassette -
Concrete Emptiness is a Harsh Noise Wall project on Cheap Food; this is their first release. This displays a warm crackle with deep backing resonance. It gives a good tunnel blast of noise, that falters out towards the end. Le Temps Detruit Tout (time destroys everything) is based on the works of Gaspar Noé pointing towards his 2002 film Irréversible and the cover depicts the rape scene in the said film that caused a lot of controversy. This is the bleakest recording of the three.
Many of the recordings are enhanced by background reading while listening to them. In contrast Bacteria Community stands alone as an impressive recording. Both labels have delivered raw, conceptually engaging and consistently strong works. Go forth and knock yourselves out.
Choppy Noodles 2019.