3 out of 5
Label: VHF Records
Produced by: ?
Some noise from some guys.
This is Richard Youngs – he of the tweaked acoustic experimentations – and Simon Wickham-Smith – he of the laptop noises – making like Matthew Bower: more noise, more clatter. Smith’s and Young’s early “anything goes” mentalities result in some wild and interesting clips on this collection, whether it’s complete drum sturm or staticy clicks and clacks, but one main hitch prevents it from congealing into something as fully fleshed out at most of their other (collaborative or independent) projects: they’re not Matthew Bower. Bower, in his many identities, pursues his caustic muse, and has done so with Youngs. His compositions, though certainly improvisational, do feel like compositions; with Simon and Richard operating in that vein, the style is an affect; the songs are sketches, and so the reach is limited, even if the ideas are inspired. There’s also the incredibly bizarre stitching together of the tracks, which leaves uncomfortable silence between each. The somewhat short, clipped nature of the nine untitled tracks easily hold our attention – there’s a lot of VHF-worthy drone and psych committed here – but that there’s such a dramatic pause after each song makes it hard to consider this as an “album.”
A valid taste test of outre music, and a interesting foray afield from Youngs and Wickham-Smith, but moreso something you listen to in passing.