Sunday, 22 May 2011

Sir Edgar Carpenter - Broflovski's Killers: A Noise Tribute to South Park

Artist Sir Edgar Carpenter
Year 2010
Label Script Sound Recordings
Genre Harsh Noise

I love novelty releases. I have a crate full of black and white minstrels LPs. I own the metal tribute to Abba. I love having these items in my collection regardless of the music, they're a great talking point but that's about it. You can forgive me for approaching this web only release with equal parts glee and trepidation. Whilst I don't dislike South Park it doesn't really carry the same clout that I look for in my noise. I'm not saying all noise music should be totally serious but I'm certainly apprehensive about how well this can work.

The opening salvo Sweet, Sweet Marsh takes me by surprise. A white noise stab with tortured sounding synth in the background. It certainly promises great things as it leads in to more of exactly the same. For thirty minutes the same basic pattern repeats. Even as a listener that likes repetition I can't help but feel cheated. Slight variations may arise but it is the same basic slog for the best part of half an hour. I can't help but feel let down when change finally does arrive near the twenty-five minute mark, a random drum pattern and reversed samples, presumable to create atmosphere. It might have worked had it come around twenty minutes prior, as it is it's simply even more aggravating.

Up next we have Hello Kyle. A 25 minute track built upon a basic rumbe that loops on and on and occasional stabs of digital squeal. Whilst there is variation on this track it just feels hollow and self-indulgent with it's 25minute run time. Each section seems to stay past its welcome, lasting that long simply because they could rather than there being a specific purpose.

Ass-face features my mortal enemy, the phaser. Throughout the whole ten minute track there is a pasher effect in the background, causing nothing but a headache for me. The track quickly falls into the boring category as, yet again, not much happens.

I think the thing that annoys me the most about this release is the fact that it isn't terrible. There are some good ideas here but the seem to get lost in the self indulgent 10 minute phaser solo. Whilst, on the whole, the noise is a too digital for myself I do recognise that there are fans of this style. I found myself asking "what is this aiming for" when sitting through the nth minute of overblown hiss and I couldn't find an answer. I guess it's noise for noise sake. I also wonder what the real relevance to South Park is, besides the cover art and song titles there's hardly any real link.

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