Monday, 15 March 2010

Timothy C Holehouse - Littlecreatures

Artist Timothy C Holehouse
Label Unknown (If any)
Year 2009
Genre(s) Space Noise (?), Drone

Littlecreatures came to me packaged in a large plastic baggie, included were all sorts of police procedural forms (!?), handwritten instructions for various elements of driving lessons and a small insert, listing what appears to be a poem. I was pretty excited by this, to see how the aesthetic presentation sat with the music on tape. That said the music is most important so we'll get to that first.

This release sounds a lot more spacey than other work by Holehouse, sounding like echos from a battle lost lightyears away, now reaching our simple fleshy brains. The last days of the first sentient computer, traversing the universe and caught on tape one starry evening. My attitude towards this is partly covered in the Felony report document where the first track Leucotony is listed as being made via broken wires, therimin frequencies and a charity shop drum machine. Sounds bounce around, aided by the panning decision. Out of nowhere the music suddenly gets darker, the earlier frequencies hinting at screams from a dying planet. Any form of music that seems spacey always makes me think of Kraut Rock, Littlecreaturs is no exception and as per it's a fine piece of music, evolving past the simple beginnings into a true miasma of sound, drones push and pull like currents. There is simply so much going on that it deserves, nay demands, multiple listens (and upon hearing it once you'll want to give it multiple spins). The sound dies away, leaving a slight moment of reflective silence before a harsh, crumbly drone begins to drive the track forward. The interplay between the harsher elements and more dreamy spaced out sounds really managed to separate me from the music, I wasn't just sitting jamming to a tape and writing preliminary notes, I was in the middle of something. All action on my part stopped so as to better experience the music on offer. Littlecreatures manages to transcend the "background listening" experience of some more drone based noise and become a true behemoth, this demands your attention and you'd be right to give it some. As ever Holehouse doesn't stay with one style too long, everything is wrapped into a package, some harsher almost PE elements invade the sonic tapestry but never at the expensive of other parts. This isn't cut-up, it flows freely and simply for an epic journey.

The second track (side) titled Elephantis burns forth on a more harsh note, sounding like early Masonna live recordings, harsh rumble, static and children's nursery rhymes cut-up into an unrelenting assault. Almost acting as a pastiche of the found sound aesthetic. This review is hard to write because I'm dealing with some amazing nostalgia right now. The harsh elements seem harsher due to the juxtaposition between them and TV sound samples and even kids singing. Never sitting in one place and refusing to be categorised. Elephantis really displays the use of good cut n paste styles of found sound within the genre. I'm gonna make a lot of enemies here and say that if James Ferraro is seen as being amazing because he can play old 80s themes through a pedal board then Holehouse shows how actual found sound can be incorporated into noise for the benefit as opposed to some gimmick. The track covers so many moods that it's hard to list, jumping seamlessly from a harsh cut-up nostalgia trip to an unnerving drone. Like the Talkboy I owned at age 8 being swapped into a Merzbow performance. Magical, creeping, screaming.

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