Features, Reviews

Scum Mecca #2

Contained here are seven reviews: six tapes and one 7 inch flexi-disc. Scum Mecca is the name of the column, an irregular feature on Crawlspace’s schedule. This is the second. Cooper Bowman writes it. This month the column covers Cock Safari, Teen Ax, Cured Pink, Matthew Phillip Hopkins, Hyperspace Vision, Tony Irving, Pleasure Bros. and Tailings. We’ve provided audio samples and images where possible, but most of the time it wasn’t possible. Sorry.

Cock Safari / Teen Ax – Split CS (Street Muscle)

This sounds like Teen Ax and Cock Safari playing each other’s hits. Cock Safe does so live at Black Wire, in what should’ve been a Cocks With Wings set. Due to unforeseen circumstances, the audience instead copped a short barrage of contacted mic cymbal fuckery through busted amplification from the sole, glaze-eyed Cock. Sounds kinda like Teen Ax’s The Danny Sessions Sessions release in its unbridled feedback and obnoxiousness. The Tweens sound closer to their cocky counterpart, due to radio interference prodding in and out of their harsh vibes. Look at how many times it says Cock in this review, if this doesn’t offend you then the lowest-possible-grade smut in which this tape comes surrounded probably will.

(Ed – the cover art shown above is saturated with white because it’s pretty rude. See the proper version here. Not safe for anywhere.)

Cured Pink – Dudi Bumi CS (Redundancy)

Dudi Bumi comprises Andrew McLennan’s recordings while in Indonesia on some sort of artist residency malarkey last year. McLennan has enlisted the more than capable services of several local noisemakers throughout, many of whom may be involved in the Yes/No Wave collective. The first ‘piece’ begins with excessively pounding drums, an electric current of a drone underneath and occasional heavily delayed / deranged vocals. Basically this is TG’s Discipline reprised in Indonesia. The sound reverberates around the Yes/No Klub in a riotous cacophony before it de-evolves into a mess of scrape n’ shout. Much of the rest of the tape is a collaged blend, divided between more abstract vocal movements and a good amount of industrial chart-toppers. The flip starts with a genuinely fuckin’ strange organ-driven ditty, mixed with vocal sounds of what sound like I imagine being consumed feels like. This rates with the Sabbatical release from a couple of years back as one of the most consistently interesting CP listens.

Matthew Phillip Hopkins – Small Entry s/sided flexi 7” (Horizon Pages)

Small Entry is the first audio release on Melbourne vanity printing press, Horizon Pages. In what is likely his first solo release since the dissolution of the Bad Tables / Lamp Puffer nom de plume from a few years back, Hopkins crafts an opaque web of atmospherics by way of (according to the cover) tapes, keyboards, voices and feedback. The lone track here is closer to the dark void created by Hopkins in new project Half High than anything done by NOTV. There are hints of the electronic arpeggiations of Four Door, but this is an entirely murkier beast altogether. The flexi comes packaged with a broadsheet poster of Hopkins’ art and ‘digitized responses’ by the guy who does the label, so it is more of an ‘item’ than a stand-alone release per se, but still hits the spot nicely.

Hyperspace Vision – Starfire CS (Magik Crowbar)

Obviously extending on from Fabio Umberto’s love of italo, under Hyperspace Vision he makes the kinda space-disco knowledge of which is usually reserved for Europeans with impeccable hygiene habits and high Discogs seller ratings. Both tracks here are simultaneously epic, cheesy and immediately addictive. The title-track begins with an ominous synth-tone before leading into a sweaty galactic mess, replete with a subtly vocoded-sounding refrain of its title. Impressively, Starfire sounds like it could have originated from a rooted paradox of Italy, the 1970’s and the deep reaches of zeta reticuli.

Tony Irving – Vox Cyclops 21/05/11 s/sided CS (Confirmation Tapes)

On Power Waters Records, uh, Confirmation Tapes comes a new live recording from the hallowed halls of Vox Cyclops, the much-missed Newcastle record store and halfway house. This is the first I’ve heard of the (apparently) much revered English-born / Queensland-based multi-instrumentalist. Heavy feedback, ecstatically loose drumming and occasional geet dirges congeal into a mess of freeish noise. If this is you’re kinda thing, then you will dig, if you don’t then you won’t.

Pleasure Bros – Pleasure Bros CS (Self-Released)

More z-grade filth from one of the tainted minds behind Teen Ax, Tony McKee. In the T n’ A tradition, Pleasure Bros is excessively abrasive and indecently packaged. I listened to this with one of my mates slightly toasted while there happened to be an earthquake going on around us. Said mate tried to convince me the reason that I was feeling weird was due to the coarse static being issued from his tape deck, but a phone call from my childhood pal seeing if I had survived confirmed that there was another, more likely reason. The earthquake was actually pissweak, this tape isn’t though. The Pleasure Bros nearly had me convinced that music could be physically displacing and psychologically manipulative. Too bad, Tony could have made a killing selling it to the CIA.

Tailings – Untitled CS (Mazurka Editions)

Tailings is a Newcastle duo comprised of Jason Campbell and Kerry Robinson. Preceding this, Tailings had released one cassette on Campbell’s Eternal Solitude imprint, exhibiting them in a more formative juncture than the fully evolved organism on show here. Previously skirting the edges of harsh noise, this untitled cassette instead finds them comfortably situated in a smokestack spewing industrial zone. It’s easy to fetishise the decrepit, post-industry weirdness of Newcastle, but the comparison couldn’t be more satisfyingly apt here.

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