Various Artists - Latex Days: A Tribute to Awkward Geisha [ HNM Records/Love Earth Music - 2020]
Latex Days is a two-disc CD compilation celebrating/ paying tribute to Awkward Geisha- a free improv noise collective who blended and blurred genres together. And as you’d expect with a tribute to such a project, this is an extremely varied comp- moving between dada playful-ness, noisy warped-ness, wonky ambience, seared beat bound constructions, disorientating audio tricky, and all manner of wonky 'n' strange sonic encounters
The two CD’s come presented in a double colour digipak- this features great grimy 'n' grim artwork of female head in a ripped and rotting sheet with worms coming out its exposed lips. With basic track listing on the back- all in all, a well enough done bit of packaging, though it would have been nice to have some sort of write-up about Awkward Geisha, and what they achieved in the run of their activities between the years 2016 and 2019.
Over the two discs, we have twenty-three tracks- the lion share of seventeen tracks appearing on disc one, then the remaining six on disc two. With track lengths sitting between under a minute, and twelve minutes- so as well as widely varying genres shifts/ blends we also have unpredictable track runtimes to throw you off even more.
The first disc starts off with the track “Introduction” by Scum 2.1, and here we find a blend of jabbering oriental voices and warbling flute honks, with hints of buried tapping percussion and later weird chants- all wrapped in reverbed/ drifting production. As we move through this first disc we come to flowing noise feast ‘n’ slow-mo fork-meets-slowed down vocal and whistle of My Geisha Suck Holes( apparently another Richard Ramirez) “Mauvaisese Nouvelles Des Etoiles”. We have the looped tolling keys, choppy beats, and mood synth scaping of Dead In Japan's “They Fuck You Up“. Or the singing song male voice blur and blend of Prize Fuckup’s “I’m Walking” which starts off playful, before slow switching to the hauntedly surreal- as vocal loops bashed ‘n’ mashed with sinister drones/ echoes. And just towards the end of this first disc, we have the short and sharp electro noise stretching’s of Unruly's “Manhattan Skyline”.
Moving over to disc number two- we have Virginal Pentagrams “ German Wine” which opens with a blend of Magic Roundabout music and weird spoken word, before shifting into a layered and blended mix of harmonic drones and snap ‘n’ rattle beat scaping. There’s the unbalancing organ pitch shift meets stabbing ‘n’ hissing sound effects/ psych synth darts of MUMN’s “silent Doors”. With this disc and the comp been topped off with Eugene Chadbourne & Harsh Noise Movement’s “Kojak Is Dead” which blends unease tone warbling and weird rushing ‘n’ galloping texturing.
In finishing Latex Days is a wonderfully odd, at times twistedly amusing, and at others brain-scrambling compilation celebrating the work of Awkward Geisha. And most weirdly of all you don’t need to know/ have heard of the original project to check this out- as the whole thing stands well as it's own odd and shifting sonic trip. To buy a copy direct head here Roger Batty