Earlier this year We Need No Swords received an unexpected despatch from the enigmatic territory of Burselm, home of the various grot poets and gristle manipulators who orbit around the Filthy Turd axis. Despite functioning as a kind of entrepot for the muck artesans grinding out noise product in the surrounding area, communication with Burselm has always been somewhat intermittent. The psychoactive vibrations emanating from its territorial loam disrupt both the usual just-in-time logistics and cloud-based data exchanges that have made underground musicking such a lucrative – and iconic – 21st century art form.
Thus any kind of coherent report on Burselm activities implausible, if not impossible. One can only attempt a kind of quantum analysis in which the words written about a particular Burselm asset may occasionally coincide with their physical appearance in the physical world. Strategic placements of pylon-mounted stone dishes may enable web-browsers to receive transmissions from Burselm Community Radio although those outside the Burselm free enterprise zone may find the dense argot and abstruse technical discussions taking place therein of limited utility.
That said, audio artefacts such as those received by We Need No Swords during the winter months are appreciated as valuable aural artefacts, providing much-needed ethnographic insight into the customs and practices of Burselm inhabitants.
R A D I O P A R A N O R M A L R E S E A R C H
A grab-bag of malevolence, released a while back on Arnhem’s excellent COMA †‡† KULTUR. It ain’t a Burselm release, but it was part of the recent landfall at WNNS HQ and thus is reviewed here. An uncompromising spray of distorted tape smear, home-recorded anxiety and cut-up nightmares, it is a superbly lo-fi codex of subterranean distaste and aggro.
NOPARKING mashes a percussion loop through layers of dial-up modem buzz and tinny fizz. The simplicity of its unadorned repetition is inspired rather than dumb, moving beyond boredom into unease and then, inexorably, into insanity. BRAINFACETHEHORSE lays out some saucy musique concrete naughtiness, with a bunch of film samples and zonked object clumpiness whose clever edits make for a whimiscal trip.
It’s a pretty fine comp, all in all, with the familiar names also delivering the goods. Yorkshire avant-hosiery rockabilly chancers BONGOLEEROS croon out a typically short-but-fierce nugget of busted-up raps and mewling sonic destruction. Nicely done, lads. And the skin crawling abrasion of FILTHY TURD is par for the course, but obviously excellent – driller-killer whine, stop-start harshness and burping feedback allow barely enough space for Andy Jarvis’s horrorcore shanties to elbow through the carnage. But yet they appear, a cadre of psychotic otters going postal in a mudbath. All present and correct, officer.
Dai Ceolacanth: Nancy Creaks In Graveyard Slime
Charred larynx outpourings from the brain and lungs of one Ernie K. Fegg. This actually came out a while ago – maybe last Spring? – and has taken a while to traverse the country miles between Burselm and WNNS HQ. The good news is that, due to time dilation in that intervening zone, I was able to listen to the mutant sounds before they crawled physically through the door. True, the ensuing psychic residue has proved somewhat tricky to shift, but it’s a price worth paying. I think.
Anyway, this is the vile stuff, alright, an hour of bubonic diatribes and sonic corrosion potent enough to cover the whole territory in monochrome slime. In case you haven’t noticed, there’s a perverse pleasure in imbibing this toxic slop. Never mind that listening to ‘Nancy Creaks In Graveyard Slime’ in one sitting is like stepping into the mind of an antick prophet after an extended course of shock treatment in a Victorian asylum. “I am the perverse magic… I am the desperate electricity… The panic vulture… You don’t know what’s down there…” Yet the eldritch dampness of Sr. Coelacanth’s diatribes are loaded so much grubby surrealism whose juxtapositions massage our lobes with sinister resonances far beyond the usual occult ramblings. “Blasphemy is very nice… He presented a card to the ombudsman – on it in very tiny print it said I WILL KILL YOUR DOG… She commented on the weather before hacking at her skin…” Lovecraft in the bus shelter. Argento in village hall.
Of course, Coelacanth’s utterances usually swimming in so much abject screech and fuzz that making ’em out is pretty tricky at the best of times. Wind-buffeted ambient wafts get booted out by gobbets of scratchy TV bother. Desultory guitar plinks cut abruptly to pitch-warped ferric splurge. There is a near-infinite variety of hissy jizz and crackling mush. Yet all that only makes Jarvis’s disjointed garbles and dissonant wreckage even more unsettling and exhilarating. A white knuckle tram ride. As you well know.