Sissy Spacek - Grisp [Gilgongo - 2011]
John Wiese, an artist who has collaborated with such legends of the noise/improv scene as Merzbow, Wolf Eyes and Smegma returns along with fellow cohort Corydon Ronnau as part of the long running project Sissy Spacek. Previous works under this alias have heralded an onslaught of ultra cut-up digital grindcore, huge swathes and layers of undiluted and uncompromising noise, and submersion in improv- noise bound & other wise. For this effort the majority of the album could be lumped into the 'sound collage' category, non descript interference and spatial noise clash with weird murmurings and more non-linear distractions.
'Real Trash' pretty much nails the whole concept with the song title alone, bits and pieces of discarded audio snippets are salvaged and stitched together in non-sensical random patterns, like tape loops interspersed with random glitches and moaning instrumentation that sound like they are being stangled within an inch of their life. 'Lipstick' and 'Tribulation' are basically a continuation of 'Real Trash' in that the two fall into each other seamlessly, the berated and discordant guitar tones seeping through to the fore a little more prominently this time, as the other parts of the audio collage start to fall into place. The rest of the violent scree builds around these base parts as the feedback from the guitar builds into a crescendo of harsh brilliance with the occasional whisper of mental anguish and delirium. 'Jerk Loose' knocks the experimentation up a notch with improvised drum hits and flurries of guitar and sax(?) which are in turn electronically manipulated and twisted with maddening vocal murmurings drifting through the psychedelic noise haze. Its no surprise to find out that the bass parts for 'Jerk Loose' and the following piece 'Fontellabass' were provided by improv/noise legends Smegma, Sissy Spacek serving only as a conduit, to twist their originally mutated musical vision even further.
The final three tracks dive further into pure noise territory, harking back to their earlier output minus the frantic grindcore influence typified by these former releases. Two of these tracks ('Teenage Kicks (Anti-Anxiety)' and 'Mono No Aware 2') pass the ten minute mark, marking the longest pieces on this album. However these tracks, for me personally, dont hold the interest too long, relying more on random chance rather than well thought out and layered aesthetics, bringing nothing new to the table and ultimately begins to feel like filler more than anything else.
Overall this release will be of interest to Smegma fans given the relation of the project to that particular seminal band, but aside from that, noise aficionados will no doubt feel that this release falls a little short of their expectations.Todd Robinson