The Sound Projector Review: Links Outa Here

A very good compilation of extreme noise and other oddities put together by Gen Ken Montgomery for his own limited-release artefact label. It's dedicated to Abigail Lavine, a woman who died in 1997 (of breast cancer I think), and known as the co-founder of 8- Track Heaven, a website dedicated to the joys of collecting 8-track cartridges. A long list of top-rank noisesters and soundart nutcases appear, many with exclusive contributions. Divided into four programmes, there is clearly some attempt to structure the material; broadly speaking, we get the most extreme examples of noise-art on the first half, sandwiched equally with cuts that are puzzling, strange and unusual. Around programme three we get mostly voice-based or song works, followed by field and documentary recordings. Around the middle are a couple tracks that pay tribute to Abigail's obsession with 8-track cartridges, and indeed add to Gen Ken's growing interest in the ways this defunct medium can yield exciting results - hence 'Stairway to 8-track Heaven', his extract from a longer CD, where he derived a happy accident from faulty playback of a very cheap copy of Led Zeppelin IV. Among the noise-niks, we have (in no particular order) Emil Beaulieu with harsh feedback and grinding, The Haters with a dose of insanely ferocious roaring, Daniel Menche with an evil rumbling of dread, Chop Shop (ie Scott Konzelman, Abigail's boyfriend) with his cast-iron heavy pounding and rumbling, and A.M.K. - whose 'Reclosure' is a slab of nasty chaos turntable loops resembling mad wolves chasing their own tails in a prelude to cannibalism. These cuts of hefty metallic noise are for serious head-damage freaks only. Slightly more palatable are the junky constructs of Thomas Dimuzio and David Weinstein, which are engagingly offbeat. The voice works include Gordon Monahan making a recital in an echo chamber (in such ways that we can't understand a word); Blackhumour making a voice loop out of the name Abigail; Lary 7 using a found tape for a slide show and doctoring it with puzzling additions; and the absurdist poetry of Malcolm Riviera. His '8-Track Librarians in Outer Space' is hilarious - a throwaway piece of inspired nonsense. Field recordings include a slightly dark 'Walk in the winter field' by John Hudak, a sketch with some menacing dogs just on the periphery of perception; a barely-treated slice of life from Francisco L6pez. and the real-time antics of Abbey Lavine herself at a shooting range - which closes the CD. We've heard from her already doing a voiceover for her Tahini party, a track which emphasises the skewed 'fun' atmosphere of this increasingly deranged CD, the soundtrack for a bohemian festival of death in the midst of life. As 'downers' for the end of the party, may I suggest you unwind with the geiger-counter clicks of Carl-Michael Von Hausswolff or the imperceptible creaking and humming of Peter Duimelinks. (Both are extreme examples of mad process electronic art). Clearly, life in NYC must have been a non-stop funfest if you reckoned Abigail among your friends - maybe she was a later equivalent of madcap junkie boho film-maker, everyone's favourite Maya Deren. Limited release in nifty packaging, including a small art print by Leif Elggren (who also adds a fine track at the start). Go native. -- Ed Pinsent