Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Rid - Vulgar Upliftment

Rid's Vulgar Upliftment is best served under the characterization of militant noise. The percussive structure of the tracks is juxtaposed with the beyond low tuned rumbling of sludgy static. Wails and gurgles slathered across the mass round out the elements. This tape offers the following experience: A dying grassy knoll heads towards the horizon where, at the apex, slowly marching towards the west have arisen the dwellers of the world's sewers. Recognizing your presence, their goo manifests itself towards you. Using a piece of scrap metal, a vomit-hued amalgamation makes a continuous clamor to initiate the charge. Salvaged pipes of various diameters, having been fashioned with mouthpieces, are used to create a low frail drone by another rotting guest. As the creatures slop their way towards your position, the racket of their accrued garbage and waste becomes louder. As they inch closer, your flesh slowly begins to fizzle and drop off in sheets. As the creatures back away, you're left to watch your liquefied flesh trail behind them, disappearing into the distance.

The individual songs are all unified by percussion. Within the continuous sluggish drumming of genesis track "Gutter Life," samples of what sounds like machine gun fire are added to further desensitize the listener. "Prayer" uses a triangle to cut through the ambient, yet the track barely breaks the minute mark and develops little. "7/0" is more melodic than other tracks with some underlying drone tones and bass progression. "Gutter Death" mimics some of the styling of opener "Gutter Life" but is darker, looser, and more solemn. Lyrics overlay the tracks but are unintelligible, mimicking the hieroglyphics in the tape j-card. "Fine Arts" is a highlight track for me. The percussion is set back slightly and washed over with a drone that sits in the frontal portion of the listener's head space when listened to in headphones. It gives a very comforting and mesmerizing listening experience until higher pitched static layers impose with some intensity. "Drainage" concludes the tape rather randomly with electrical static and then a brief snippet of traditional non-western music - perhaps Vietnamese or Cambodian in origin.

Rid's tape is a mystery. While very intriguing as a demo I don't quite know what sort of experience longer material would offer. There is room to expand though. There are some interesting tones, sounds, and arrangements here for those looking for unique listening experiences. The combination of repetitive drums and ambient and soft-noise is also a good starting point for open-minded listeners that would like to explore noise and ambient without trudging through hours of harsh static or the opposite; hours of barely-existent winds and creeks. This is a nice middle ground for noise and the percussion gives some connection back to more regular streams of music. The tape layout is cool too, with arcane symbols and no real means of understanding the purpose of the music other than the listener's own interpretations.

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