4 Way Split C40 (OJC Recordings)

Like some unholy quadforce forged in the heart of Mt. Doom (and shut up I can mix up my fantasy references if I want to), 4 WAY SPLIT seems to be OJC Recordings’ attempt at total domination. Not to be confused with the CSNY classic 4 WAY STREET, 4 WAY SPLIT packs a quartet of OJC’s wackiest heavers onto one tape, each displaying the violent power they’re apt to unleash at any given, unpredictable moment. You’ve got Ropal Jagnu’s gut-busting synth warble, Stephen’s Lorikeet’s lo-fi guitar tunage, Rigel Magellan’s uncompromising synth pop, and more lo-fi guitarrage from DDM. Personally I’m a Ropal/Rigel fan, and you can catch some of that collaborative wave on the newest Galaxie Deluxe release from OJC. But all four artists prevail in their gloriously debauched idioms, each leveling an uncomfortable amount of “personal expression” at us audience members until we’re MK Ultra’d into doing every bidding of our new OJC masters. Or at least a little seasick from the passage. Either way, it’s hard to shake the disconcerting recordings contained herein, and it’s almost certainly because of the rough edges on each of these tracks. Ropal and Rigel sound like they’re drenched in maple syrup, and SL and DDM come off like they’re playing on the inside of a shoebox. That’s OK for this crew, although it would be interesting if some of that synth drippage leaked into the Stereopathetic Soul Manure–era Beck interlude sounds of the guitar dudes. Whatever your poison, you’ll sure to at least BE poisoned by partaking in this toxic mélange. And you should already be used to that, person reading Cassette Gods – that’s pretty much all we do around here: poison our bodies by listening to toxic sonics performed by sick puppies who get off on our discomfort. And then there’s us, getting off on our own discomfort. Where does the circle end? Maybe it won’t, and that’s just fine by me. Fine by OJC, too, as they’re an important link in the chain.

OJC Recordings

--Ryan Masteller