steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

blankred.jpg (4669 bytes)
blankred.jpg (4669 bytes)
blankred.jpg (4669 bytes)
blankred.jpg (4669 bytes)
info opinion

My Cell Phone is Better Than Your Cell Phone / Al Qaeda

"Charlie Manson's Interior Design" split CDR

Frequent Sea Records

Genre: experimental, noise, electronic

Ontario, Canada / San Francisco, CA

May 14, 2009

Frequent Sea (get it?), the CDR-purveying sister label of analog-exclusive Scotch Tapes (get it??), has released a remarkable number of items in its short life span, although this juicy disc -- packaged in salvaged 60s floral wallpaper -- is only number two. If you have never heard of My Cell Phone is Better Than Your Cell Phone before, which may very well be the case, the first four tracks of this split will provide a taste of what you've been missing. Dark, moody electronic compositions, spanning mesmerizing ambience ("The Orphan Lake Disaster") through rhythmic minimal techno ("A Night Animal Mystery," which bears a striking resemblance to Biosphere's "Baby Interphase"), are the stuff MCPIBTYCP is made of. Granted, the recordings are murky due to lo-fi production conditions, but the recording limitations lend the music an intriguing atmosphere.

On the noisier end of matters comes a lone, twenty-three minute composition by al Qaeda. In contrast to its splitmate, this takes you right into a tumultuous hurricane of noise, pierced quixotically and effectively by well-time samples of someone urinating, quasi-political Youtube audio of an ugly child being taunted, and a disembodied voice chanting "he's a faa-aag!". Despite the coarse subjct matter, this is eerie, moving stuff. Especially magnificent is the manner by which the noise metamorphoses into various forms, simulating the passing-by of wind storms at a prairie outpost. For a strange music listener like me, it pleases the ears.

MCPIBTYCP's myspace / al qaeda's myspace


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 5 tracks, ltd to 30 copies, distributed by the label, released 2009]