Saturday, October 5, 2013

CTHULU DETONATOR
"Frequency of the Multivibrator"
(Null Religion Records)

This tape is a killer. If you can stomach how deeply disturbing the intro composition of echoed breath is, the rest of the tape becomes less subversive and creepy. It's unknown to me if the A side track "Frequency of the Multivihrator" is composed or improvised, but here you have a deeply provocative battle of man versus machine as the artist's screams fluctuate between digital processing effects and feedback to the tone of a human. It sounds like the machines are winning.

Right when you thought you had this taped figured out and you get used to hearing chaotic depress-o monster drones, you're suddenly flying with uprising engine oscillations. This sounds like a tornado of angry robots hunting down the last screaming man. Once they have accomplished their assignments, the robots win and indulge with narcissistic feedback as if everyone's computer was on the sleep switch and at full volume.

The human voice is so smothered on the cassette you wonder where the humanity lies, a perfect metaphor about the prophecy of the rising machines.

By the end of the first half I am MISSING those echoed creepy breaths in the beginning because that monster was recognizable. Listening to the tape loop feedback becomes antisocial and less confrontational although still brutal. But it is just short of agonizing so I keep listening. Jesus Christ this sounds terrible at times.

Midway through the tape's A side I sense the sound becomes more unfocused but still cathartic. No more metaphors hold up as I am exposed to an onslaught of punishment. There is no concept anymore and I get the sense all of the artist's buttons are being pushed at once violently. This musician is trying to hurt me. This is a final act of desperate offense before what sounds like a wind recorder subtly embarks.

A few final chords of more charming, drawn out optimism comes out of this now manipulative ear terrorist. Unfortunately for me, his gracing hand is loosened and submits to tremolo feedback equalizing fluctuation.

But the onslaught gets tiring and suddenly I can hear similar techniques repeating at the end of side one. This songs goes on for what feels like 20 minutes and then ends abruptly. There is only so much an abuser can do to you before his meaning starts dissipating and whatever reasoning for his abuse becomes more transparently primitive.

Onto Side B:

Side B gets chunkier and more rocking but fades in and out of high frequency hiss. At the beginning of this tape any trace of a human generating these noises is gone. We're now getting thrown through another descending dimension of infinite mechanical death at a disconcerting speed. The artist's onslaught is so heavy that a slowed down sound of a bomb going off is the most uplifting moment on side B.

At times things get a little too blippy and "Star Trek" sounding for me. Don't get me wrong, everything sounds otherworldly and dark, but I personally do need a little more of a human touch. There is too many artificial samples when the cassette starts with such a strong, human presence. The tape looses menace because let's face it, robots are indifferent always because they themselves have only their programed function. Unless you are a Phillip K. Dick fan and your definition - OK, sorry, off topic.

All I am saying is I wish there was a few more human or wooden sounds to balance out the steel.
At the end of the tape momentarily the human voice is looped and not fuzzed and laced with high volume feedback. It's kind of like a trick ending at the end of a horror movie when you think the onslaught of mayhem is finally over ... only to realize the killer is in the back seat right behind you!

The art of the cassette by the way is pretty cool although I disapprove of the shoddy typography. Fierce sumi ink lines photocopied in black and white with a chicken headed man similar to a drawing of Goya's dark period at the end of his life. The cassette itself is see through green. Radical.

I personally enjoy a little more composition when it comes to noise like with Black Dice's "Beaches and Canyons". This tape starts with something brand new and truly menacing, but soon after that the composition devolves into "all systems go" free improvisation that is very expansive but disorganized.

Overall, this is pretty good. It's a pissed off and challenging noise tape.

hear sounds: http://cthulhudetonator.bandcamp.com/

--Jack Turnbull www.jackturnbull.com

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