Monday, 5 August 2019

Revisiting the Premature Ejaculation discography 1. Premature Ejaculation - Part 1. 2010

Premature Ejaculation – Part 1 – Malaise Music – 2010 – 2 x CDR.

Started in 1981, Premature Ejaculation (PE) was the most prolific and favourite project of the late Rozz Williams (1963 – 98). Much of the material was self-released and on labels like Happiest Tapes on Earth, Dark Vinyl, Gymnastic, TripleXXX, Malaise Music, Baader Meinhof and Cleopatra records. There was a lot of PE material released privately on cassette by Rozz himself and Happiest Tapes that has never been commercially available to fans and they have now been unavailable for some time. With Malaise now gone, this review revaluates my original reviews of the project from when the series of Lost Recordings began in 2010. The Lost Recordings were the tapes that Rozz did himself and gave to friends.

The original Malaise Music was a label started by Rozz’s close friend Erik Cristides in the 1990s, one great compilation was released (Merry Maladies), but plans to release all of the rare PE material on Malaise were cut short by Erik’s untimely death in 1997. Original masters of the cassettes were purchased by John Collins and Malaise Music was reactivated by two German fans. Benjamin Siebert expertly remastered all the lost recordings and the first release is Premature Ejaculation part 1.  Alex Scott remastered all the original the artwork. The original cassette has been remastered in its entirety onto one disc, it has been broken down into 7 untitled tracks. Additional found bonus material from around the same time has been added onto a second disc, this was then released in 2010.

These recordings were Rozz’s first recordings of Industrial noise material, key influences at this time were Throbbing Gristle, Johanna Went, Monte Cazzaza, SPK and Boyd Rice. It was also known Rozz preferred Industrial sounds over most other music throughout his life.  An additional mind-blowing fact is that Boyd and Rozz having become friends (after Rozz used to stalk Boyd and watch him eating his salad at an LA restaurant) were meant to collaborate on a project before Rozz’s untimely death.

Part 1 (recorded in 1981) also highlights how open ended the later named early Deathrock scene was, Rozz was active in Christian Death, yet had a strong interest in Industrial. 45 Grave had an experimental project around the same time called C.E.D.S. (Citizens for the Exploration of Deep Space) Indicating that the movement had a sideways influence from Industrial. 45 Grave drummer Don Bolles was renown for wearing a Throbbing Gristle badge in early group shots. Nervous Gender trod a fine line between Post Punk, Deathrock and Industrial making their own unique odd sounds.

Track one begins with a long passage of synth frequencies, this material is far more aggressive than a lot of PE’s later material. I consider this to be an early, primitive attempt at Noise with a slight leaning to Power Electronics, a movement that as we know it now, was in its infancy, Whitehouse were very much also in their early days at this time. Due to the lack of distortion here I would there is an untreated rawness that reaches high levels of aggression through merciless repetition.  Premature Ejaculation appear to be testing the boundaries of noise at that time, shooting higher frequencies across the recording at intervals. The synths then break into low frequency drones. Track two indulges displays of higher frequency passages of noise stretched out for long periods. Track three begins with the sound of bubbling coming from underwater whether this is containers, or a person being held under is unclear, however a heartbeat takes over as the solo sound, this is consistently rhythmic and manipulated. A helicopter sample takes over to be quickly replaced by a pulsing synth and sounds recreating baron atmospheres as they work around each other. This sample would crop up on later PE releases; PE constantly recycled their own sounds onto other recordings to tie works together. It is this track that begins to formulate their later approach to their releases as human pulses and sounds bring the collage to an end.

Track four continues sound and sample combinations to more suggestive effect; the human sounds are looped, painful and unpleasant. Suggestiveness is where PE flourished, there are no obvious details, and samples are very everyday such as toys, video loops and cheap keyboards. There is also a mock religious/esoteric feel to the track, but it’s not too specific so other avenues of thought are opened. Tambourine percussion opens five as an intro to a further human chant. The two sources work around each other and morph as one, this being the most effective use of combined sounds. 6 begins with a guitar noise feedback episode which pays light homage to Lou Reed’s metal machine album, considered later to be a major influence on contemporary noise. Raw, abrasive frequencies return to build primitive walls of sound that close PE part One.

The bonus disc shows another different aspect to Premature Ejaculation in that a lot of untreated electronic instrumentation and toy sounds unite in a chaotic unstructured jam. There is some SMEGMA homage plain and simple; SMEGMA’s Ace Farren Ford would work with Rozz on later projects including Heltir. What’s interesting is the layering of different sound sources that would flourish later in PE’s discography. Raw noise assaults and unstructured instrumental work would be put aside and used on early Heltir releases such as Ill Bancheto del Cancri/VC06 and 69 rituals.

Overall this is a very raw recording; each area works individually and is best seen as a presentation of separate experiments in abstract sound manipulation. It highlights how Chuck Collison’s later involvement was crucial in helping to bond separate threads of interest together with his own, as well as reaching much higher production standards. It also show’s Ron Athey’s role in the early US Industrial/Noise scene before taking off as a solo performance artist, widely respected in the history of Body Art. It is unknown as to how many of these recordings feature Athey and which feature Collison or are Rozz alone. It shows an open-ended approach before Premature Ejaculation tightened its focus to selected working methods. It shows Williams and Athey, in areas to be active practitioners of Industrial Noise with purpose and conceptualisation. The original artwork along with certain tracks mark the beginnings of the later P.E. Death Culture aesthetic.


Choppy Noodles 2019

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