Sunday, 27 January 2019

Putrescent Tapes.

Putrescent Tapes Overview.

Putrescent Tapes BandCamp -

Putrescent tapes have been active for around a year with their cassette releases mostly dating from 2018. They’re based in Erie Pennsylvania and exist to release the work by a guy known as JB through his Dagger and Retroactive Jealousy projects. Other projects released on the label include Burial Weavings, Sergeant Cortez, Systems, Twin Aperture, Reaper, Grain Death and splits with Marion and Conditioned. This overview will cover four JB works, which are three Dagger recordings and one is a Retroactive Jealousy tape.

Retroactive Jealousy – Long Soft Next for Temporary Exclusivity. – Cassette - (2018)
This is a powerfully themed recording; its subject matter is the 2014 suicide of 19-year-old Alyssa Funke: a college girl who appeared on a Porn Website to raise money for her college funds. She’d done this under a different name yet was subsequently trolled online by ex-high school classmates who’d managed to find out. She’d struggled with bullying throughout school and killed herself in 2014 as a result of what happened when she’d done the video. It comes with images of Funke on the cover and in the insert; the insert quotes her Twitter account.

It delivers very Harsh Power electronics, that partially use HNWall distortion to mask the vocals, which appear to be part commentary and what I believe is sound recording of the Funke online video? There is aggressive use of sharp noise to push the PE methods through the wall, it makes for an intense, violent recoding that seems to combine the sex video and references towards the suicide.

The theme raises immediate questions, were the people who trolled her users of porn themselves or bigots? Does the recording see her in a critical light or as a person? Research told me a lot more about her as a person, the recording kind of forced that. This is an impressive, ambiguous, powerful and intense recording. One to watch.

Dagger - A Blade in the Dark. – Cassette - (2018)

Dagger is the main HNW project that the label is centred around. It is the work of JB again, the releases often come in Clear sealed bags with sleeves, insert and tape. The classic black and white design is simple and effective.

Sonically, it’s very upfront and blasts away continuously. Things do go off in the background frequently but are unidentifiable due to the intensity of the wall noise that’s made. The distortion does pulsate but delivers a consistent wall until it starts to use Harsh Noise scraping starts to parallel the wall and shift the continuity a lot and shift the listeners attention. I feel the wall liquifies slightly after the main passages of scraping go. The scaping returns to further disrupt the wall’s continuity. Cut up vocal samples and piano noise bring it all into random noise; allowing things to crash and die.

Dagger Cosa avete fatto a Solange? – Cassette - (2018) – Limited to 20 copies.

Cosa avete fatto a Solange? Is themed around the 1972 Massimo Dallamano film of the same name. The titles – Man with a Knife and Last Member of the Sex Club are linked to the. It begins with sampled dialogue from the film which is then flooded by a distorted, crackling wall of static. I like this wall more than the one in A Blade in the Dark, it’s dropping and failing keeps my attention. As vocal roars rise and backing sounds become prominent, this makes for an impressive shift in sound. Both tracks are good walls of noise.

Dagger/Conditioned – Split. - Cassette (2018)

The Dagger contribution ‘Buried Alive’ uses a more chopped up noise, a hum of feedback goes off in the back ground while the wall fails to tune in. The Dagger side of this split continually splutters itself to death with static blasts and hiss. Buried Alive changes speed and doesn’t stays in one place too long. This is a strong display of assaultive, anonymous harsh noise. This is very different to the usual walls the project creates.

The Conditioned tracks use a more traditional HNW approach. Sampled dialogue begins Budd/Intro as a booming wall of distortion rises. It appears to be cut into shorter tracks. Weight is more splattering in contrast to the eruption of the opener. Strangers contrasts more feedback and drone orientated noise with wall splatters trying to make an entrance, shifting the dynamic considerably. Strangers becomes more expansive as it progresses, resonating massively. Systems slowly comes to life with a fractured wall that keeps dying off. - - - - - is way more assaultive with wall and hissing industrial noise leading to an outro that simmers in murky, muddy territory before exploding into a massive wall, creating a dramatic climax. The Conditioned side is wide and varied.

This is a good start in the labels first year. Putrescent boasts some strong recordings. The Dagger wall material is good, the Retroactive Jealousy release is great. The visual aesthetic is good. I’m interested to see if Putrescent will still exist in four years, will it have been a passing phase like a lot of labels can be or will it have expanded on these strong beginnings?

Choppy Noodles 2019

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