Thursday, April 23, 2009

Locrian / Katchmare split - self released

Locrian sent me their latest split single with Katchmare after reviewing their Plague Journal single a while back and these tracks are taking drone/experimental human (?) sounds to the brink. A kind of siren call to the experimental noise inspired.
The Locrian side, Drosscape, is the sound of hum cycles, rising and falling. Ungrounded electric hertz. This might be layered or just looped on top of itself, but a kind of hum of having a guitar line plugged into an overloaded amp is canceling itself out, and then whining back in sync. The sine waves of this hum gradually starts to cycle louder, overlaping, and breaking up. A low frequency my turntable clearly can't handle is introduced, peaking out past the rise and fall of buzzed tones. Then an amplified metallic echo crash breaks in, which sounds like a yell into a guitar pickup, and it's eerie as hell. This is one long horror movie scene I'm not finding my way out of.
A feedback sound which is pitch shifted down a few octaves is completely overpowering drowing everything else out. Half the fun of listening is trying to figure out where to even start creating something like this, I'm not even close and these descriptions are maybe some kind of beginning point, but it's generally a mystery, and I keep putting the needle back on at the beginning to try again.
All of the sounds from the very first hum are still here in the background seriously piling up, but slowly dying away in delay loop decay. The feedback becomes the primary instrument towards the end and is echoed to a wailing point. Washing in and out, delayed and terrifying. It's never overdone, they remain completely in control, the ear splitting is placed...played at just the right moment. I can hear the craftsmanship, it's really easy to just let that sound takeover completely.

Then it abruptly ends in the middle of a downward loop. I can't help but think that this can't be where they meant to end the track....the needle is running pretty close to the center and I wonder if that was the limit of sound they could fit on a 33rpm 7".
It's a happy accident though, jarring you back into silence and reflect for a second on what kind of hell Locrian just led you through.

This will test your turntable and any preconceptions of instrumental drone.
I really hope they make it to NY sometime and let me know...I won't forget my jackhammer headphones.

The Katchmare B side, a track called Scarab, is mechanical hum of a different form....something chugging away behind terrible insluation a few rooms away. It might be coming closer, because a really low cycling tone starts to rise and rumble the woofer. This isn't Music for Airports, it's music for immenent invasion.
It cuts out completely for a moment and comes back this time with an electricronic slant.
I have to think that this sound... this howling started out human, but how it's being processed is amazing...otherworldly. It must be gated to the point of all or nothing, fluttering in and out. Either entirely piercing or almost dead silent. It's a single uttered sound broken apart and reassembled into pure tone. Each frequency drawn out and replayed time after time, like the dying of robots. I have to think that mechanical buzz at the beginning started out in this place too probably, but Katchmare wasn't ready to give it away just yet. It was going to take every wavelength separted and mutated back to be be able to truly understand this. Well ...not to even understand it, just hear it in a completely new way.
Just when this processed breathy hollow tone becomes nearly deafening, not because of the volume, it cuts out. I'm left starting at the turntable wondering if it's really over, because I don't think I'll hear the same again.

It's not often two tracks like this will leave you permenantly changed. Both utilizing vocals in a truly unique way. Sound engineers take note, you could work your whole life for something like this.

The sleeve is heavy pressed embossed in foreboding bronze and gun metal grey.
Order straight from
Locrain's blog:

Locrian/Katchmare split 7"
100 copies on mixed color vinyl

A. Locrian-Drosscape
B. Katchmare-Scarab


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