steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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Secret Girls / Pretty Princess

Split C20

Prairie Fire Tapes

Genre: furnace drone

Winnipeg, MB?

May 2010

Here we get another solid split from Winnipeg's Prairie Fire Tapes. These folks aren't reinventing experimental music, but they're putting out some solidly evil work that stands out quality-wise. I'll begin this review with Secret Girls' "Anatomical Study of the Heavenly Body," which supplies the innocent listener with heaps of glorious industrial ambient noise -- nothing more, nothing less. This is the sound of machines in turmoil, of churning vats of noxious chemicals spelling out humanity's death march. It's bleak, polar, alienating, and irresistible, centred around a lovely magnetic, mechanic rumble that secures this side's spot as one of the best tape works I've heard in a while.

On the flipside, we get Pretty Princess's joyously titled "My Prince Has Come," which is in the same evil industrial vein, but less abstractly miasmal, instead populated by reverberating pounds, clanks, and squall. Similar to Secret Girls' opus, this is the soundtrack to maudlin dystopia, less atmospherically devilish than its tapemate, but a suitable companion no less. As it is, this whole package is a malignant delight.

mp3 sample of secret girls' track, courtesy of prairie fire

Michael Tau

[Vitals: 2 tracks, distributed by the label, released 2010]