Genre: Noise / Experimental
1. Ape shit
2. Warming rays
3. Propaganda machine
The information sent by Housepig Records to accompany this release describes it as “the sounds of world downfall, destruction, and rebirth”. This is just the kind of theme that’s just my cup of tea.
'Ape Shit' opens this CDR with an array of noise from distorted bursts of 8-bit crush to high pitch squeals and screams. At parts there are sounds resembling voices hidden low in the mix. Is this the sounds of machines going through the “Planetary Torture” of the album’s title? Eight minutes twenty-two of electronic freak out.
'Warming Rays' begins with a slow build of pulsing analogue drone into much more distorted segments. The end of the track sounds like a breakdown of the equipment creating the sounds. The final effects of the “Warming Rays”, which could be a reflection of global warming or the increase in radio and X-rays in our environment which are slowly cooking us day by day.
'Propaganda Machine' features distortion, randomness, and noise. There is an almost sci-fi feel to some of the sounds employed, making me think of old TV shows like Time Tunnel, UFO, and Space 1999 or even a film like Forbidden Planet. This is possibly just my inner sci-fi geek escaping for a while.
The final track 'Ash' is a building firestorm of distortion and wailing noise. Sections of the track are made up of interrupted bursts of static like a two-way radio searching for a signal. The whole of this piece sounds like machines struggling to communicate across a devastated planet. The way some of the sounds sputter and cut out at points is particularly evocative of the theme of this CDR.
I want to make a special mention of the artwork of this release. The picture on the CDR sleeve is of a Native American and the track list card has an image of an old man in profile. While I’m not sure how these images fit the theme of Planetary Torture (well obviously Native Americans have suffered the torture of Western occupation) they are beautifully rendered. Both images are lino-block prints and just look amazing. Seattle artist Nic Schmidt is obviously very skilled at this technique. The artwork alone is reason enough to get this limited edition release, add to that the high quality analogue noise and Pulse Emitter has produced an essential purchase item.