Sunday, December 20, 2015

VARIOUS ARTISTS
Banana Pill, Morbid Rainbow,
Ratkiller, Sky Sacrifice
4-way split C90
(Shack in the Barley Productions)



This sort-of mysterious clusterbomb of a four-way split is ninety minutes of sheer drone catastrophe, sonic meltdowns on a geological scale. Tectonic plates shudder and crack and then just dematerialize, leaving us unfortunate surface dwellers the choice of either evolving quick enough that we can traverse magma (spoiler: we can’t) or dematerializing ourselves into the horrifying new surface of our once-hospitable planet (spoiler: that’s what happens). Damn you, four-way split, for doing this to us!

The culprits:

Personnel: Sasha Kretova and Dmitri Zherbin. Banana Pill contributes one 22-minute track. It’s called “Sand.” It feels like a constant blast of sand to the face, obliterating skin, muscle, and bone over its runtime.

Personnel: Mike Hertz. Ol’ Mike rounds out side A with two mortifying slabs of sleaze dipped in asphalt and cockroaches. Whatever that means is something you’ll have to figure out for yourself. “Luxurious Anxiety” and “Rotten Handwash” indeed! I’ll never get my hands clean this way…

Personnel: Mihkel Kleis. Ratkiller is positively radiant, opening side B with angelic synth work and continuing on through his half of the side with more of the same Three tracks for our man Mihkel! You can absolutely hear the radiance of the compositions in his titles, “Mermaid Elegy,” “Framed and United,” and “Underwater Dancer.” The music hardly befits Mihkel’s recording moniker, but it’s probably my favorite stretch of this tape.

Personnel: Jamie Azzopardi. Jamie runs Shack in the Barley Productions, and his work here as Sky Sacrifice is tense and weird, then playful as he changes things up to a bizarre 8-bit section halfway through “Slider Between Worlds,” his only track here. Fun fact: Jamie was a member of The Shitty Beatles, made popular by their appearance in a passing mention in the original Wayne’s World film. Actual fact: Jamie was not a member of The Shitty Beatles, I just wanted to remind you of the existence of a thing called The Shitty Beatles, which maybe sounded like Sky Sacrifice. You never know.


--Ryan Masteller


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