Monday, June 1, 2020
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cover
Artist: Red Boiling Springs (@)
Title: Choked Transmission
Format: 3" MiniCD
Label: Inner Demons Records
I was unfamiliar with Red Boiling Springs, but their bandcamp page states that they hail from Portland, OR and the Discogs page identifies this as the project of Matt Sullivan, who also runs Nailbat Tapes. The description they provided for this album explains that “Choked Transmission is an exercise in signal interference, with each track containing manipulated samples ranging from radio frequency crossover to a wireless hotspot impeding onto magnetic tape.” Sounds promising, so let’s get into the music. This disc consists of four tracks, starting off with “Interference.” The opening is kind of minimal, consisting of a lot of ground noise with bits of static interspersed throughout. It is not harsh, in your face noise, but it is noisy in a clinical way. Partway through, it shifts gears, with heavily reverbed feedback and (unintelligible) screaming in what sounds to be a parking garage. For me the screaming detracted from the well-constructed feedback noise and static, which is quite enjoyable. Next up, we have “Waste,” which is a short excursion in rhythm and noise. A rapid clicking beat punctuates heavy bass noise and more slightly distorted screaming. Third, we have “X-Ray,” which has some really nice low-end rumble and the sounds of an engine which totally reminds me of the drums at the beginning of Van Halen’s “Hot For Teacher” (and there is a line that I did not think I would ever write in a review for Chain DLK). The voices in here (if they are actually voices) are distorted beyond comprehension and work well. Overall, this is an excellent track that really keeps things interesting and for me is the strongest track on the disc. Finally, we have “Cleared,” which opens with a throbbing bass line; crackling static, random voices, screaming, and cookie monster growling punctuate the track throughout. Perhaps I am a noise curmudgeon, but for me the screaming just didn’t seem to work and detracted from the overall works. I would have preferred it to be much more distorted and processed to become part of the composition, but here it felt like someone recorded some excellent noise tracks only to have the recording session interrupted by some crazy guy outside the studio screaming at people. I don’t know enough about Red Boiling Springs to know if this screaming is a trademark of their work of it is a one-off experiment, but I hope it is the latter, because the noise underneath it all is really solid. Your mileage may vary, however. This disc weighs in at around 18 minutes.

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