Sunday, April 15, 2012

Music: Unicorn Hard-On / Container split 12"

This one cropped up on quite a few people's best of 2011 lists, (along with Container's also-great deput LP on Spectrum Spools,) for good reason. This is three tracks of precisely controled machine-music. The power of organization is, to some degree, allowed to the humans. But the sounds are all Terminator fucking metal and plastic.

Unicorn Hard-On's side starts hardest. Stomping digital kick and hi-hat sounds open as digitally destroyed vocal-wailing smears all across the top. We assume it's Valerie Martino's voice, but it's so removed from anything human, wordless and desperate. Maybe it's the hungry "Persian Cat" of the song's title. When the sequenced bass and Hoover-esque lead synths creep in, they are welcome, orienting devices, familiar tropes. But as they repeat, nasty lazer blasts and pink noise bury them, creating a crazed din of mechanized sound.

"Wildfire Girls" is a little less punishing as far as overall noise levels go, but it features similarly disorienting vocals, (really, Martino's trademark and forte,) and squiggly synth dollops that sound far-removed from pre-Skynet Earth-music.

On his side, Container (Ren Schofield) plays with the classic Techno "Boom-Chick" sound, but bubbling echo-synth and syn-tom syncopation prevent you from entering that hypnotized state associated with Minimal Tech. The sounds are penetrating from the begining, and at the track's climax, they're downright pulverizing. Like a robot using your head as a speed-bag, the effect is disorienting and brutal up to the track's denouement.

The robot's voice has been repeating for a while now: "Cauter-i-i-ize," smearing downward. Its granular, inhuman provocation is insulting or encouraging, one. "Do it. Hold the red-hot metal to your open wound." It knows you can't go through with it. You are a human, weak, un-evolved. This music is the Singularity on wax. It is a fucking breakthrough man.

The sleeve art is mesmerizing and acts as a perfect foil for the abbrasiveness found on the wax. This woman is just taunting you through some psychedelic Women's Magazine haze. Valerie and Ren are taunting you. They are at the finish line. The singularity. The machines have accepted them and allowed them to release this harbinger of the future. The machines are in charge from this point forward. Get used to it. Highly Recomended!

3 comments:

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  2. "Wildfire Girls" is a little less punishing as far as overall noise levels go, but it features similarly disorienting vocals, (really, Martino's trademark and forte,) and squiggly synth dollops that sound far-removed from pre-Skynet Earth-music.Dave

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  3. He moved to London in 2008, and began playing in small venues. songwriter

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