The Rita - Bandaged Invisibility [Urashima - 2022]
Bandaged Invisibility is a new release from highly respected and influential noise/ wall-noise legend The Rita, aka Canada’s Sam McKinlay. It’s a double C30 tape set, which comes presented in a classy/ deluxe laser-cut wooden box. Sonically the sound here finds McKinlay offering up several fifteen examples of wonderfully crafted textured noise-craft, as only he can.
The release appeared in late March of this year on Italians Urashima- and it truly is a lovely, presented set. The two white shelled and black printed tapes, come presented in a seven-inch dyed black slip top wooden box. Inside we get two double-sided card inlays, these feature women in bandage drawings, and a coloured postcard taking in pictures of bandaged up female feet connected with ballet. The wooden top of the box features two of the illustrations from the inlay, this laser-cut into the wood with the project's logo above it. The box is Ltd to just ninety nine copies, and I’d imagine these will disappear very fast- there’s also a version with a T-shirt too. To check out both versions of the release head over here, before they're all gone!
The tracks here utilize bandaging feet and legs field recordings, which were captured by female noise maker Gabi Losoncy. These of course are fed through & manipulated by McKinlay’s set-up, to create skilful crafted and often tense to dramatic textured noise-scapes. The release takes in three side long noise tracks, with the last side featuring a selection of recordings of women talking about toe bandaging.
So, we start off with “Bandaged Invisibility 1”- this opens with a collection of controlled rips ‘n’ tears, which are set out into a tense stop-start pattern. As we move along McKinlay will sudden either let these pile up in brief dizzying masses, or once again return to their stop ‘n’ start form- these are often unpredictable, but skilfully controlled in their attack. Though-out the fifteen-minute track- he keeps one’s attention fully and completely held, as he uses a great sense of both timing and dynamics to bring alive the selection of fairly simar toned rips, into a tense, at times intense slice of textured noise wonderfulness.
Flipping over the first tape, we of course have “Bandaged Invisibility 2”. Here we open with slightly more burred and dragged textural rip ‘n’ tear- this edged by the tautly jittering, to mid-ranged ripping pull. And as we progress McKinlay creates this wonderful erratic and complex dance of texture- at points we get sudden and brief higher ranged rips, at others beaded jagged-ness, and other others bucking-to-skittering detail play. For me this track is the highlight of the set, as it shows both wonderfully controlled sound prowess, and a general feeling of highly creative nervy tension. Truly a spellbinding quarter of an hour.
Moving onto the second tape, and we have first up “Bandaged Invisibility 3”. This opens with a fairly constant and almost bucking groove mid-ranged riping churn, as we get into the track the whole becomes more detail in its rapid jumping rip, baying shred, and scuttling-to-tumbling tear structure. At points, the tones get so wonderful agitated in their attack, that it’s almost like their chattering to you in some hypnotic and strange language. Also at moments, the whole thing becomes satisfyingly disorientating, as you try your best to follow McKinlay’s complex textural patter-nation. And towards the end we get these most entrancing sound coils of buzzing ‘n’ juddering noise occurring.
The final side of the tape features a selection of interviews with ballet dancers/teachers discussing the tapping of feet and toes- this of course gives a nice conceptual grounding to the whole release and works very well finishing off the noise tracks/ end of the release.
Bandaged Invisibility shows once more why McKinlay is rightly seen as one of the masters of not only textural noise, but wider noise in general- with wonderfully crafted and skilled examples of the form. With of course the added classy arty-ness of the releases concept, and its great packaging-making this easily one of the noise releases of 2022.