JASON CRUMER "Ruth" (Nazot)

(Let's just pretend we all took August off on purpose, okay?)

Jason Crumer has been getting some hype these days, based on the noise community's positive reaction to his latest full-length CD, "Ottoman Black," on Hospital Productions. His previous album, "Future With No Chance" on RRR was on my year end list in 2007. Any attention this guys gets is a good sign for the scene. It means that no matter what trends are dominating in the underground community, no matter which way the harsh noise wind is a-blowin', enough people still care about quality over hipness. Crumer's ultra precise cut-up style does not really fit into the current cultural moment, dominated by hippy drone converts, and a few lingering wall noise devotees. While most of the harsh noise artists right now are looking backward at the mid 1990's American scene, Crumer has taken up the direction abandoned by people like Viodre and Pedestrian Deposit, and kept moving forward. "Ruth" is Crumer's forgotten 2004-2005 masterpiece of junk metal/pedal noise. Intended for a CD release more than three years ago, these recordings got put on the back burner by the label. After a while, it got passed on to a second label where it also sat, unreleased, for some time. Crumer, in apparent desperation, finally released the album himself on cassette a few months ago. Unfortunately, the cassette medium does not do this incredible recording justice. "Ruth" was professionally mastered and in its digital incarnation sounds impeccable. This cassette dub, however, sounds blurry and distant. I've heard rumors of a CD reissue in the works, but this album might just be one of those projects, inexplicably doomed by misfortune. (I probably shouldn't lament the sound quality of this release on site devoted to the cassette medium, but this really is a terrible injustice.)