Various Artists - An Exacerbating Eclectic Compilation [Not On Label - 2014]Experimental musician and curator of Nihilist Records, Andy Ortmann, delivers an eclectic compilation to help raise money for WFMU. Andy hosts The Eternal Now on WFMU, and this compilation shows how eclectic his show is. Whether it's scathing harsh noise or goofy wackadoos, everyone has a home at The Eternal Now.
Clocking in at an hour and fifteen minutes, An Exacerbating Eclectic Compilation covers a lot of ground in a (relatively) short amount of time. The first (and definitely my favorite) track comes from Circuit des Yeux. "I'm on Fire II" is a plodding, heavy guitar fueled, noisy rock track. Part 4 Non Blondes, part Smashing Pumpkins, and part Skullflower, it opens up the compilation on a fantastic note (and I've already ordered the EP from which it comes), even if it is very different than the rest of the material on the compilation. "The Admiral and the Brown Mummy," for example, is CM Von Hausswolff's minimal, low, rumbling entry to the compilation. More textural and less visceral than Circuit des Yeux, CM's track takes a different approach while still entertaining the experimental fan. Cock E.S.P's "Dog & Pony Show" offers up some blistering harsh noise cut with a looped female voice repeating "She loved horses and she loved dogs." Now, how intimately she loved them isn't explained, but the song is quick, brutal, and very welcome after Dylan Nyoukis' entry (more on that later). Much to my ears' surprise and pleasure, Vita Noctis' "Engaged" pops up midway through the compilation. Being unfamiliar with the Belgian minimal wave group, I had to seek out more. Nice, thick, minimal synths pop and groove behind female vocals that remind me a lot of the girls from The Human League. Totally solid track. Barnett & Coloccia's entry takes on a more cinematic scope. It goes between big budget and SOV horror movie scores with ease, but the thickness and subtle oscillations rock. To counteract this, Coughs' "Ronald Reagan's Dead" plays out in a deliberate, bass heavy post punk piece. The detached vocals work well with the horn squiggles that make their own path through the bass and drum show.
It's not all radness and pizza, though. For example, the track by ONO made me want to hit fast forward and erase at the same time. The music is ok, but the vocals/lyrics are irritating. "Old ass punk mutha get back" being repeated over and over? It's embarrassing like Karen Finley. However, it is leagues ahead of the complete waste of time that is Dylan Nyoukis' "Angel of Death." Sure, walls of noise may get tired after a while, but vocal sounds aren't art. Sorry. Get fucked. If you want to listen to a few minutes of what sounds like Arnold Schwarzenegger blowing a load on stage, then by all means, check him out. Otherwise, take my advice and skip it.
A very varied compilation for a very varied show, Andy's comp is definitely worth checking out. Some shine and others fade, but there's some quality stuff on here. I know I've found some new bands due to this, and I gotta thank Andy for that.( If your interested in get hold of a copy of this release, you can only get it by donating to WFMU- so pop over to here for more info)Paul Casey