Saturday, 31 August 2019

Fecal Vomit / WAAS.

Album: Fecal Vomit/WAAS split cassette
Artist: Fecal Vomit/WAAS
Label: Laughing Vines Records
Catalogue no: N/A

     1.      Fecal Vomit – Inflammatory Punishment
     2.      WAAS – No-Platform Genocide

Back nearly three decades ago, when I first began writing and reviewing the industrial music scene, one of the joys of being involved in said scene was receiving, on an almost daily basis, cassettes from DIY and bedroom labels, most of them crudely put-together packages often with hand-written labels bought from a stationery store and photocopied tape inserts as covers (Smell & Quim, one of the favourites of mine back then, sent me loads I remember), and keeping the editions in very small numbers. Thirty years later, it’s great to see the DIY ethic still alive and kicking - indeed one would say thriving, especially in an age when technology has given us the CD. Laughing Vines is one such DIY label, based in Belgrade, Serbia and on this, their first release, they present us with two side-length outings of noisy experimentalism.

Fecal Vomit might inspire you to think that their side will be one long wail of static and grating noise, but actually you might be surprised to know that it’s far removed from any of that. Instead we have something approaching a species of musicality, albeit seen from a harsh noise angle. It may be eighteen minutes long but it’s extremely varied and, above all, very listenable. It sounds like someone has managed to infiltrate a store selling electronic gadgets, turned all devices on to produce a loud blanket of static and grainy torrents, and then produced a trumpet from somewhere and proceeded to blow his lungs out. I am not trying to be funny: this is what I am hearing, and in all honesty I like it a great deal. Interspersed is the odd bit of percussion, a species of rhythm, and some voices (it’s hard to tell whether they’re samples or the actual artist). Granted, it’s a fine balance between being anarchic just for the sake of it and thoroughly intentional, but if you listen closely one can find a deliberately controlled intentionality and a sense of direction swirling within the maelstrom of blasting chaos, however buried it might appear to some. There are enough variations in expression to keep the listener interested, and isn’t just another opaque screen of undifferentiated noise. And then just to add a little humour, it all ends on a little bouncy music.

WAAS (short for We Are All Slaves) have at it with blistering and pulsing explosive noise that’s a vehicle for some heavily distorted vocals. That’s just within the first two minutes, and it continues to rocket along in similar manner for the rest of the nearly twenty minutes’ running time. Whatever’s causing the mayhem sounds deranged, bringing with it a twisted malice that goes beyond notions of evil. It feels like everything is intentionally collapsing into itself, throwing down buildings and hurling dust and debris everywhere while it’s at it. Imagine a catastrophic domino effect: one edifice falls, and the rest follow in short order, until everything has been demolished, and all that’s left is choking dust and smoke.

I have to admit I was unsure when I first prepared myself to review this – I geared myself up for some nuclear concussion waves of pure noise for the whole forty minutes, but I can honestly say that I was wrong. Perhaps it’s just the way my mind works, or what my mind regards as interesting. These two acts do seem to want to go beyond what is normally seen as noise music and introduce other elements into the mix, which I think is admirable; music in all its forms must constantly evolve, or otherwise it all becomes samey and tending to stasis (look at most mainstream music today: most of it sounds depressingly similar to me, what I’ve come across anyway).

Give this a go – it’s a name your price download on Bandcamp, but there is also a black spray-painted cassette version, with band names written in silver ink on their respective sides, in an edition of 20 only, which can be had for €5 or more. Link is here:

Psymon Marshall 2019.

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