I keep coming back to this tape, and I think it really deserved to be reviewed. I really prefer tapes that range the perfect balance of quality work and decent length, which "333" manages quite well. Anything shorter than its hour-length would probably leave me unsatisfied; anything longer would possibly drag. It is also relevant to note that prefer to listen to tapes in my car, where the recording kicks on and off at random intervals with the starting and stopping of my car in my various travels. Big-picture composition is somewhat important to me when it comes to music, since if i like the details, i will listen to the tape enough times to figure out any greater design of the piece. Well, that's a tad of a cop-out, but really, it's mostly less important than how the music makes me feel. Whatever.
Overall, the most basic thing to be said of "333" is that I felt like I was in good hands during my listenings.
There are many tape out there with damaged music bordering on noise. "333" is the inverse of that approach, which is less common to me. the most convenient label of the work on the tape is clearly "noise", but that is somewhat limiting. the flow of work is a nicely balanced feel of stream of consciousness improv with very deliberate decisions on structure placed throughout. The artist makes important note in his press releases of the grueling mastering process of the tape, along with the intentions of the work to be performed live, which is cool to know, but not necessary to feel the intelligence behind the audio. I can rarely notice track changes, since most of the pieces flow together nicely.
This is rhythmic noise that occasionally organically turns into melody at times, as well as often shifts to well-crafted, energetic harsh noise. Because of this, its rather difficult to define, which is always a good sign, personally. Parts of this could easily be compared to "industrial", but that is rather limiting as well.
In any case, this is noise/music that challenged the need to distinguish between the two. It's really a dogmatic distinction that most of us can't help but adopt, but listening to this tape is a great reminder that music is music, and that good art doesn't need to be choked by labels.
There's a cool intelligence behind the wheel here; which doesn't seem too self-conscious, either. It's a confident mish-mash that is clearly doing what it wants to accomplish.
RECOMMENDED LISTENING. I look forward to any future releases by Mister Fuckhead.
(1) I'm not really a fan of the moniker "Mister Fuckhead". It doesn't illicit any serious attention for me, and it makes the release appear to be a bit of an immature joke-project at first glance. If the artist didn't include audio samples on the press release I saw, I would have had no interest at all in the project. But, whatever. I think Melt-Banana is a stupid name, too, but nobody cares since they are one of the best bands on the planet.
(2) Not a huge fan of the cover art & fonts either, but the orange version of the tape I have and the use of the transparency print is totally rad. My reaction to the visual aesthetic feels like a weird counterbalance of taste. The design concept is excellent and professional. I love the image concept, but not the image content, if that makes any sense. Whatever.
Again, VERY SATISFYING TAPE. RECOMMENDED.
Watch for this artist's future releases, and pick this up before it's gone.
jonathanenriquebarajas at gmail dot com
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Monday, May 3, 2010
I share some background about my approach to making the album, and a little about where I stand in terms of making art in general, at Jonathan Canady's Colors of the Dark, a blog whose original focus was about featuring various macabre artists, and now has expanded to also include personal interest entries and dark subject matter in general. I'm glad to be part of it, and I want to thank Jonathan for the support!