The Rita - O.C.D. Shin [Ominous Recordings/Phage Tapes - 2021]
O.C.D Shin is a CD reissue that brings together two long out-of-print release from highly respected and influential Canadian noise project The Rita. The tone of the material is focused on more active-yet-textured bound harsh noise, which at points has moments of more ‘wallish’ dwells- though is very much more textured noise than HNW. The release appears as a joint release between two respected noise label USA’s Phage Tapes and Sweden's Ominous Recordings.
The release appears in the form of a four-panel digipak- this features a varied selection of images, on the front we have a rather manically smiling blond hair women, inside with have a picture of ballet dancers shins, and on the back, a bloody woman’s face- that looks like it’s off a B movie. The release got a pressing on 300- and I’m guessing you should be able to pick this up, as it came out in March of this year…though I wouldn’t wait too long.
The release is a reissue of a reissue- as both Shin Health and O.C.D. both got an original separate release in 1998, then in the same year, they both together got reissued as a CD-R on Trauma Tone Recordings. And as mentioned early this is very much harsh noise- with proto walled/ textured noise moments in place, with each track coming in around/ near the fifteen-minute mark
We kick off with “Shin Health I”- this kicks off with a sudden high pitch sustain, then shifts into a wavering/ shifting blend worming-to-twittering static texture, and whipping and jittering highs-to- mids. As we move on we find choppy phaser like sweeps, blending with buzzing tone blurs, and sudden mixes of jittering electro texturing, swirling high pitch pull and skipping ‘n’ hacks. Next up we have “Shin Health II”- and we kick-off with a nervy blend of mid-range purr ‘n’ rip, with the addition of scraping jittering and cluttering forks. As we move on the high-end tones come more to the fore, taking on gritty sweeps and sudden siren tone sweeps- though we do later get the rewarding return of the mid-range cluster of rip, drag, and purr- darted ever so often by more forking-to-whistling highs.
Next, we get “Structurally Sound”- here we begin with an even blend of mid-range lose judder and grainy buffet, this features sight hints of more forking highs- but these are never allowed to get a proper/ foothold. As we press on the track moves from denser weaves of distant and compact thunder roll and jittering rips- with sudden high pitch stretchers. I get a real neat proto wall-noise vibe from this track, and it certainly is a highlight of this reissue. Lastly, we have the track “O.C.D” and here we find a bounding mix of mid-range static gallop & grain pull- which is edged with moments of high ranged jitter and warbling pitch pull. Again there’s definitely wallish textural dwells here, though structural it feels more bucking harsh noise in its attack- but it’s another worthy track and a great partner to “Structurally Sound”.
It’s always great to see reissues The Rita’s work, and even at this early point in the project's career it's clear to hear there is very competent and masterful control of noise craft going on here. The whole disc is great, with all four tracks been worthy examples of the projects early noisemaking- but I’d say certainly the second two tracks from the O.C.D release stand out more.Roger Batty