Public Eyesore

Bill Horist plays guitar and Tanaka Yasuhiko (aka Marron) is billed as playing guitar plus “Dubmarronics” (don’t ask); the music was recorded live at Seattle’s Gallery 1412 in 2005. At first, the digital delay-drenched arpeggios sound almost poetic, but promptly yield to pneumatic drill outbursts and percussive concoctions that mix Industrial gamelan and headache-inducing resonance. Strings get repeatedly raped by a three-head monster with the faces of Henry Kaiser, KK Null and James Plotkin: melodic intensity, destructive weaponry, harmonic dissent and the ever-present power of the Big Hum. I open my windows and the glimmering misshapenness of “Shizuka no Umi” meshes splendidly with the lamentations of my neighbour’s donkey in a moment of fabulous surrealism, while the birds start chirping louder (talk about understanding the components of sound.. long way to go, “sentient beings”). The music stands on its own two feet even without animal enhancements though, and brims with keen intelligence and compositional skill. In “Happyland”, Hendrix dwarves and straight-up-yer-nose jazzbos can be seen shoulder to shoulder with Reich, Laurel & Hardy, Brecht and Stravinsky, then an overdriven medusa blinds our eyes with caustic Pro-Co Rat liquids and ear-piercing shrilling. “Ame mo Fureba, Yuki mo Furu” could prompt a lawsuit from Robert Fripp for its rape and dismemberment of Frippertonics, while “General Gingersnap” whirrs and whistles through our most depraved feedback desires before turning into fly-in-a-bottle, saturated-and-delayed paranoia. This alternation of edge-of-oblivion ethereal polychords and “wake up and smell the coffee” dissonance is just what my doctor ordered to remove from memory all the useless guitar albums that I’ve been listening to for decades. Sleep Hammer is highly un-recommended to fans of Stern, Ritenour, Carlton and DiMeola; the rest of you loonies, climb aboard.

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