Title: The Suicide Jump EP
Label: Silken Tofu
Genre: Harsh Noise
01 - The Suicide Jump
Mike Page is better known for Fire In The Head and Sky Burial. Irukandji is his side project focused on pure, harsh, punishing noise. This latest release, The Suicide Jump EP, is a single track, just over 20 minutes in length, limited to 100 copies pressed on black CDs.
Irukandji are tiny, fragile jellyfish, about 5mm in diameter, with tentacles of up to a metre in length. They are so venomous that even a tiny sting produces what is known as Irukandji - excruciating muscle cramps in the arms and legs, severe pain in the back and kidneys, a burning sensation of the skin and face (thanks, Wikipedia!). Victims usually require hospitalisation and even morphine cannot help relieve the pain. I could imagine that Page hopes to elicit this kind of reaction with Irukandji.
Some noise music is rhythmic and crushing, some washes over you like vast oceans. Some even envelopes you in a fuzzy womb-like place of strange warmth. Not Irukandji. The first few seconds simply do not prepare you for what is to come. A warm synth lulls you like the sea, and just as you recognise it’s Van Halen’s “Jump” – the poisoned tentacles of the Irukandji strike. A mere second of that iconic synth hook vanishes into a battery of squalling noise. There are no hooks in this, no rhythms, no form, barely any recognisable sounds. I thought I caught some heavily processed vocals but on another listen it sounded different. There may have been bits of guitar in there, but they were brief and were quickly consumed in the maelstrom. There are a few sounds – the odd synth drone for example – that are held long enough to remain recognizable, but this merely serves to highlight the intense chaos surrounding them.
If this EP does one thing, it showcases the vast range of frequencies and tones available to noise – there’s everything from shuddering bass to droning electronics to screeching feedback. The sound changes so frequently that it seems you’re battered with every possible combination of piercing, droning, pulsing and crushing sound imaginable. Silken Tofu describe it as “self-indulgent sonic violence”. This can’t be any more self-indulgent than any other pure noise release, but “sonic violence” just about sums it up. This EP may well leave the faint of heart requiring hospitalisation or reaching for the morphine but it won’t help. This is Irukandji Syndrome.