Fouke - Anatomy Of The Beast [Void Singularity Recordings - 2019]Anatomy Of The Beast is the recent full-length album from Fouke- the bigfoot walled noise project of US Noise Legend Richard Ramirez. Over the years I’ve enjoyed many of Mr. Ramirez projects- but I’ve always seen Fouke as my favorite- as it finds him perfectly distilling a distinctly atmospheric vibe that conjures up both feelings of been stalked by something huge, the bigfoots often forest bound domain, and other facets related to this most allusive of creatures. This release from the tail end of last year came as either a C50 or digital download- and features two side-long tracks.
The album appeared on Northern English mainly wall noise focused label Void Sinuglator records- with the white label cassette coming in a black & white cover that takes in two different drawings of the beast. This physical version of the release came in an edition of twenty copies- with over half of these gone already- so I’d acted sooner, than later to secure a copy.
The first track “Anatomy of a Beast 1” begins with a short audio sample of a man talking about the Fouke monster been real, then we drop into the ‘wall’. And what we have is a constantly flowing & decidedly sludge bound blend of rolling & fairly murking low-end, and two layers of mid-paced & mid-ranged juddering/ snapping tonality. The low end has a wonderful feeling of continual poring & heavy grain bringing to mind dense woodland, while the juddering/ snapping topping very much brings to mind something lumbering along through branches & undergrowth- which is of course perfectly fits the project's theme. This ‘wall’ is certainly at the more set & thick side of this project's output, and first listening may suggest a crude & thick monolithic flow to proceedings- further plays pull you deeper into the wall, so you can get fully entranced by the track.
Flipping over the second side and we have “Anatomy of a Beast 2”- and this opens with the eerier baying calls, which I’m guessing must Big Foot calls. Then we drop into the ‘wall’, and this side is a lot less defined & clear in its presentation- as we find muffled & weathered blend of thick buffeting, hazed rattling, and slightly hiss edged crackling- all fed into this lo-if stereo field that feels akin to been stuck in a winter storm in the middle of leafless tree forest. As the track progresses, and one's mind tries to link on to first one then another of the textures, you never fully grab any as the whole rough & battered quality constantly blocks full focus- and this very much brings to mind been lost in a half light & mist bound forest been chased by Big Foot.
Having started life in 2009 and building up a discography of around thirty releases- Fouke has remained one of the most consistent & worthy walled noise projects you can always rely on, and Anatomy Of The Beast is yet more proof of this fact. As I said early- buy- and avoid disappointment- simply put the release sever up two more greatly moody, yet still crushing example of atmospheric wall matter created by one of the masters of the scene.Roger Batty