Sunday, 5 May 2019

Dave Gilden - Texas Chainsaw Dopefiend.

Dave Gilden – Texas Chainsaw Dopefiend. – Mother SavageNoise – Cassette – 1996

Side A – Fucked.
Side B – Devil Worship.

Texas noise artist David Gilden released 16 recordings before his death aged 35 in 2008, he seems to have stopped recording noise 10 years before his death. This album - Texas Chainsaw Dopefiend recently came to my attention through a SI zine review, it’s now 23 years old. I found this recording on discogs and wanted to review it as I have that odd feeling that comes with discovery of some things you haven’t heard before. With no clear markings on the tape, it’s easy to be lost inside it.

To say Fucked blasts is an understatement, I’ve heard plenty where the overload becomes pointless, this is controlled perfectly. I feel Gilden was able to seriously lose control of himself on recordings. The only project I’ve heard with this level of intensity is Scatmother which beyond raw to say the least. This really bares some vocal insanity – there’s screaming, shouting and grunting. At times it is as if the sound is barking and spewing itself out. On a few occasions the recording does pull back as if exhausted, but this is deceptive as it rises again and again to bigger levels of insanity. At points the line between what is vocal and what is not is crossed frequently. In parts there appears to be small melodies layered behind the chaos, which is unnerving.

Muffled distortion gives way to high pitched blasts of noise, this is Devil Worship. This shows sharp, shattered blasts of sonic abuse. Vocals speeches come in, the voice sounds drugged, is it Gilden? More noise comes in like a vortex that rises until it gets murky, so we’ll never know. The choice of sonic language changes frequently, samples of heavy metal music disrupt and taunt as things build, then it dies off into murk again. This is a depraved and urgent recording, even when things die off, they are interesting.

As I researched, I found out the work was edited, I have visions of this being the result of long sessions of noise and the album was assembled from this. Did Gilden do this intoxicated, was he possessed enough to record for hours or days on end until it reached the levels of accelerated intensity he required, who knows? There’s no online profile to soften him, give him a persona, it’s a mystery. This makes you question his intentions and wonder who Gilden was. Was this simply noise with a serious punk attitude or was this an exorcism of sorts? The whole Devil Worship concept and some of the hidden melodies and samples makes me ask is this esoteric, not in a black noise/ occult noise way, it just seems forward thinking. Lack of knowledge about him makes for an epic, intriguing C60.

Choppy Noodles 2019.

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