Extreme Music From Women extended CD review by Gary Simmons
A new release from Susan Lawly is always a momentous occasion as far as I'm concerned, particularly when I've been waiting about a year since reading of Extreme Music Prom Women Is inception in the January/February 1999 Susan Lawly newsletter and the undeniable fact that EMFW's co-ordinator William Bennett has for the last 20 years been out and out Master of musical extremity, his band Whitehouse having taken us to the very edge of Aural Pysychopathia... 'THE END OF ALL MUSIC' is a pretty flawless description if ever there was one, and there have indeed been many, so much of an apt description that I feel I could hop on and copulate with those very words themselves. Try me.
As is characteristic of all of this labels releases the presentation as been executed with devotion and loving care ... just look at the gorgeous 20-page accompanying booklet with a page and photograph dedicated to each of the 16 featured artists. And smell the lovely, lovely aroma of this booklets intoxicating varnish. Delicious! The previous compilation CD in the 'Extreme Music' series, 'Extreme Music From Africa' also - has this voluptuous varnishy smell, but the first, 'Extreme Music From Japan', the booklet arrives varnish free.
One real complaint and although an entirely separate issue I demand to have my say! All the artists contact addresses are either 'WWW fucking dot fucking coms' or 'at dot cunting coms!! Just what do you think you're doing Dave? I'm afraid. I'm afraid, Dave. Not a single conventional address or P.O. Box number (excluding the Susan Lawly address itself) to be had. Don't people like having Mr.Postman look and see, if there's a letter, a goodie, a death threat for me, oh woa woa woa Mr.Postman, oh yeah. What are letter/mail boxes for these days, playing peek-a-boo, urinating in, practicing Gynaecology? Sheesh, are these brave-new-world germfree adolescents afraid of getting some infection from real mail? I've had CJD for over 10 years now but I'm ok, it's not contagious, you gotta eat me first. Alright, you guessed it, l ain't got no computer or access to one and quite frankly I'm turning to Luddism and no error. Modern loif is rubbish and single-handedly I am preparing for war against all nations. (For more info on Luddism, the delights of homebrew etc. contact DDDD fanzine. Now, on with the review...
I waited for the right conditions for my first hearing, got one chance, get it right, no need to rush the proceedings. The anticipation becomes unendurable ... I'm so excited! Ok here we go, wish me godspeed... wait, wait ... got to pee first ... right, the CD slides lewdly in, the disctray fires up ... contact!
First off is Rosemary Malign's 'No You Listen', the best 'song' title in this collection by far without yet having heard a single note. Ooh! That made me jump, wasn't expecting that! The sound of a mainframe computer (a Cray 2 or 3 with any luck) tied to the back of a truck and taken for a scrape down the dirt track, bouncing to its piecemeal decimation. The initial child-like vocals are almost Ramptonesque(1), William Bennett's production bleeds through a la 'Daddo' a track from Whitehouse's Mummy and Daddy CD(2)... "What did Mummy say, what did Mummy say!?" What did Rosemary say? Lyrics would be helpful but no doubt more will come through on subsequent playings... don't forget this is an EMFW CD defloration review. A deranged cacophony of the very highest quality. Wonderfull! What a great way to open the album.
'Stiletto Nights' by Lisa & Naomi Tocatly is, as promised in the text a 'vicious little fucker of a track' for sure. If you are familiar with 1981's classic Come Organisation/United Dairies joint release 'The 150 Murderous Passions'(3) and Nurse With Wound's legendary 'Insect and Individual Silenced'(4) (still not committed to CD? anyone?) you're getting some essence of the throes of torment which this track exudes with its hellish ultra-high-pitched screeching vocal treatment. That will definitely be the last time I 'borrow' your stilettos, Miladies'... painful!
Dolores Dewberry's 'Paragraph 64' calms the pace, creeping in, (as I often do), the organs keys are sat on, perpetuating the notes, a muffled voice gives the impression of coining from an adjacent room. Lyrically my comments are as for 'No You Listen'. Pulsating mesmeric electronics, the impression that something bad happened here this sultry Hiroshimal-Nagasaki night a monochromic dreamy yet nightmarish soundscape culminating with a barely audible organic gelatinous killer of a 'click' that would do justice to a Maurizio Bianchi piece ... the sudden retraction of the tongue from the upper teeth. Says I.
Candi Nook. Wow! What a sexy sounding name. Better than dear ol' Cosy Fanni Tutti, bless her cotton socks. As hinted at before, words, letters and even numbers just by themselves can be immensely stimulating ... why do you suppose there is, or was, a porn mag called 'Fifteen'? I gaze at the word and I'm aroused. Sad, sick fuck. So given my libidinous and unnatural attraction to words, numbers and figures you may be having visions of this animal dunking his parts into a bowl of Heinz Alphabet soup? Well nothing could be further from the truth, it's messy, it's unhygienic, it's wrong and it's killing music. But most of all it's illegal! Got to wait for the soup to cool down a bit anyway. 'Schizephrenesis Il'... Christ! What a racket! Some of the Japanese noise artists (are they still with us?) could learn a lot from this! "Go for it Candi ... that's good ... that's good…" I'd love to know what 'odd films' you're inspired by? This is Hanatarash in the UK! This is Consumer Electronics in, er... Japan! Yeah! No doubt about it "you were born for this". Unmelodious, unlyrical, unhinged and unsane.... sonic nectar and ambrosia! What isn't in this slice of bedlam probably wasn't worth including - Candi Nook stay ill. Candi Nook please can I have a copy of your 'Queen of the Swirley-eyed Ant Monkeys' (I'm the King of 'em you know? Swap for an old Philip Johnson tape 'Happy Buzz' or 'Youth in Mourning'? Thought not.) Candi Nook eat up all your greens. Candi Nook... Susan Lawly's first heart-throb, I think I've fallen for you,you put a spell on me ... it's true! I'd walk a million miles to treat one o' ya piles t'be ya craaaaannny!
Annabel Lee's aptly titled 'Lycanthropy' is "For her brothers" and it sounds as if she's fed her oh-so-fleshy bros to the wolfies, although a baby Gojira (let's pronounce it correctly for once) would be more fitting given the way the growls have been processed. Short, sharp and to the point 'Lycanthropy' makes your mouth water more than an Opal Fruit which are fresh with the tang of citrus and come in four refreshing fruit flavours... orange! lemon! lime! Err... flesh? Men? Poe-lease-men? Eating limbs, eating limbs... Old school you know Monty!
Queen Mira! Queen Mira! The Victor! Mira Calix has an album out and two singles released by, wait for it, I love saying this... EEE-EM-EYE! Can't say 'EMI without parodying Johnny Lydon although I am having treatment. Just goes to show how reclusive (and repulsive) and out of touch I am... I mean do EMI really put out stuff along these lines? Well done chaps... before I slit yer corporate throats, just for the hell of it, mind, coz obviously I've been talking outta my ass the whole time. Ageing punk, that's me. Old habits die hard 'n' all that. "Darling am I looking old, tell me Mira, I must be told" I cry for myself I do. 'Too Slim For Suicide'... Envisage Throbbing Gristle's 'I.B.M.' track on the D.o.A. album(5) with Pinky & Perky at the helm (yep, as I just bemoaned, I'm old enough to remember them the first time around) drifting toward a trance inducing sound journey of tweeks and clicks and half distant drum beats. A hoity~toity English voice smecks away, not caring about the wicked world one bit and is followed by a forlorn classical string-like section which should have been longer. I fall to my Knees and weep. Splendid! The booklet, still smelling good in spite of being left out of the hermetically sealed environment of the CD case for some time now, notes that this piece shows Mira's "more experimental side".
Clara Clamp. But can you snap Bamboo sticks with it Madame? Answer phone chaos, cross-line confusion and deep bassy rumbles like distant thunder give the listener a "nice, warm vibratey feeling all through the gutty- wuts". Via telephonic bleeps and pre-keypad dialling, darling, we are lulled into that old black magic called deceptive security... a tumultuous uproar lashes out, the ghosts in the machine wail! I've always hated telephones, here in the UK Her Right Royal Majesty's Postal Service is best. Exremity is best. Fire bomb Telecom. But why is this contribution called 'September'? And why are you dressed like The Mummy Clara? Pick-up... pick-up... hello...?
Debra Petrovitch. Rhymes with Bitch and judging by her photo... Ohh-Ohh, now I'm in for it. I have a page torn out from some magazine... I think it was The Face ... with a photo of Jill Will circa 1983 looking just like you Debra,any relation? 5/17 years on ya still look the same. Me too. Call me ignoramus, call me spider but I don't know what a 'Grunewald' painting is (I only spent three years being an art school fag ... Bum Fuckery Dept.) Baka! I don't know who 'Huysmanns' was ... Imbecillica! And what the fuck is a 'Balinese Krissing self~stabbing ritual?!?! "you must be fucking joking Debs,you must be fucking joking." OK, it's self-explanatory, I know, I know. But 'Uncle Bill'? William, is that you dearest? A text almost as unintelligible as my own writings (I prefer the word 'Manuscripts')... OK, OK, I do know what 'eight-year-old daughter' is see, l've got this old G.G.Allin CD(6) and... But what is 'Time Based Art' and are there really people who lecture in it? My, my, my, things have changed since I was at College. Alright, Iet's listen to the music. This 91/2 minute track is called 'Dislocated' and if Debby-poo ever catches up with me, I'll be fuckin' Dislo ... sorry, sorry... The piece... Debra says "Dislocated" on an endless loop and this forms the backdrop, err... then stops. Endlessly. Debra whispers sweet somethings (Grunewald/Huysmanns/Balinese Kissy-stabby-Thingy). Dance around the garden like, a teddy bear, one step, two step, tickle you under there! For me this is the most humorous composition on the CD... so far, nine to luxuriate in yet. "Uncle Bill finds slugs"? Ahh, does he, does he? Using you as a "human target"? Can't imagine why. What is going on here? "Branch" what? Yeah... now I remember... this one puts me in mind of a CD I have (given to me) called 'Fruits of Yggdrasil/Mother Destruction and Sixth Com'(7), (if I ever hear that word 'Com' again 1'll... !!!) which I loved from the first playing. May I have this dance Debra? "A li'l bitta Diamanda, oh yeah, a li'l bitta Jarboa, oh dear... " nothing wrong with that of course, ah here we go again, the loopidy-loop of "Dislocated" strikes again... what's that about a "spongy ant punched at the age of six?" Appy-polly-logies but I can't take this one seriously, not that it's bad, just unintentionally funny, but like that classic scene in 'The Naked Civil Servant' portraying Quentin Crisp (R.I.P. my sweet) and his introduction to lipstick..."Try It!" I wish I had had, had had, had had, lecturers like this! I love you Debra, you make my life complete! Gimme a whole CD's worth. Then again... Oh Deb, by the way, Gary Simmons rhymes with Sperm Breath. If you're lucky.
"You Puritan,You Puritan" ... Ahh, what a great band The Fall were back in 1978! I can remember ... but we don't want to give you that! We want to give you Karen Thomas's offering 'Puritan'. I see she wears her jeans stupidly... er trendily. Still you should see what I'm wearing, just can't get this rubber maid's dress to hang right. Back again, to the muuusssik! Sounds like chicken vindalooseville maan, oooh my poor tum-tum & scalding bum-bum, burning, whistling layer upon layer of distorted electronics & sleep-walking vocals... I'll be your canvas Karen, I've been there before and I'll suffer again, for sure. Yeah, this is good.
Lets see what Betty Cannery can do. Says here about feminine ultra-violence, recorded by our Bennett, in Chicago no less." Should be good" he exclaimed as his varnish scented finger hit the track '10' key, to hear... 'Closeted'. Ouch! That hurt. Sounds like this was recorded in a cannery too, circular-saw screaming, Betty's vocals shrieking & cursing, my spinal temperature drops rapidly to absolute zero. A God-forsaken fiasco that makes yer bloody-wud run cold. Diana Rogerson, eat your heart out. My Mummy had tantrums exactly like this when I was-'a-kid, though you'd never guess it to look at me now. 'Closeted? Wouldn't be out of place on a Whitehouse record. Excellent Betty, "you know what we want... and we know what you need! Kind regards from Chief Phrase Coiner, Extaordinaire, P.S. ... Glad I'm on your side! What's that? I'm not...? Oh fuck, I'm outta here.
Gaya Donadio is inspired by De Sade... yawn, yawn, yawn, I mean who isn't these days? Posh Spice I guess. Heard the one about the David Beckham chocolate Action Man doll? Just like David himself it comes in a posh box. Football, I loathe everything about it. But Gaya, l love De Sade too, though my baby just loves to dance, so this could be either exceedingly good or excruciatingly bad... but no, it's on Susan Lawly, so it can't be bad. Gaya has an experimental noise/hardcore punk background... veeerrry interesting (Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In anyone? Ahh, forget it... ya spring chickens!) Let's play 'Indiscretion'... (dare you play Libido?) Yeah! Right on! Sounds like the instrumental section (that's guitar solo to you, Glam fags) on Whitehouse's 'My Cock's On Firel(8) long version if I'm not mistaken... hold on... my beautiful £600 (what's that in Lira?) CD player is fucked! The disc is skipping! Oh no! Wait though, wait a sec... it's Gaya! What's Gaya? I'm Gaya? No, you're Gaya! But if you dress like that people will think you're Gaya. No,no,no... I mean it's Gaya screwing up my CD deck with her incredible noise! Oh Belladonna, have you been taking lessons? A classic. More beef anyone? And I love yer evil shades, biker girl! Salut!
>Well, well, well, well, well... isn't this just sooo exciting? I'm pouring with sweat here, like the pig that I am. Isn't this just what music is all about?! I mean the reason we are all here, on this stinking world? Oh my... but there's lot's more to come,what a roller coaster ride this is maaan, so let's hear it for Maria Moran with 'Tattoo'. Grrr... just like with telephones I fuckin' hate tattoos. Even the ones drawn by artisans look like repulsive blobs of Gangrene if you move more than a metre away and as for the naff badly drawn 'John Bonham R.I.P.' variety... eeyuk, leaves me speechless with contempt. Which reminds me, I must get mine removed sometime. Hmmm, sounds a little like sections of 'Daddo' again, nothing wrong with that... hang on... just a moment, just a moment... pitter patter, pitter patter… 'Daddo', something about 'pain feeling really quite nice' oh,I think I geddit... she's having a tattoo done? On her ass? Around her ass? Up her ass? Huh! Yes, it's the only way and of course I was only joking when I said I hate tattoos, they're really rather 'nice', even around the shitta babe. Interesting piece (as they say) but 'Queen of noise'? Naah... I'd say that title goes to Candi Nook (l would,wouldn't I?).
Frl.Tost (Tubby Tost?) gets 2nd prize for the most anticipatory (eh?) song title. 'I Hate You, Laura' is inspired (dispired?) by the theories of 70's feminist Laura Mulvey (oyvay!) of whose work I am so very familiar with. This is a quiet one, l'm on the edge of my seat now, gawd, here we go... metallic, tinny vocal effects (I am Master, relax!)... then 'Laura! Yeah,Laura Doon, pull tem doon. An almost conventional 'Brontosaurus on the march' plodding, Disney-Fantasia foreground... plod, plod, plod it goes. Can't quite get into this one just right now. Ah,the kettle's just boiled.
This is the section I must have been waiting my whole wasted life for. Wendy Van Dusen gets top marks for the photograph of herself in nurse's outfit (I used to make rubber nurses outfits, very skilled with the stripes I was), complete with stethoscope, surgical gloves (gimmi,gimmi,gimmi) and a 'Heeerrres Johnny Wendy (Wendy?!) I'm home'-type knife. Tools of the Extreme Musicians trade I guess. On the table next to our Wendy (looks like an old wallpapering table to me, sort of thing used in this country's National Health Service too) lays a may-un with dark hair and a tay-un, suffering from a slight flesh wound. Nothing to worry about Mr. Harrison; hope it didn't spoil your millennium too much. Jeez Wendy if looks could kill! opps, shouldn't have said that, I'm due for the hospital myself soon, waterworks problem you know. Here's 'Dog'… Whispering is in again this season, as is Pink Flamingoes' doggy-poo-poo and plop-plops. Try hard as I can, I just can't make out the lyrics, not that it matters; if it's good, it's good, if it's bad, it's bad, but if it were only half-way good it'd be neither good nor bad. A dreamy malenky slooshie this one. If ever I feel the impulse to be hit, kicked, punched, axed, stabbed, cut,raped, sucked, fucked (bum-wise naturally) shat & spat upon, pissed and puked on, I want Wendy to be first (and last) in the queue, you Newly Sadistic nursy you. What's that? The song was about Paddy Paws the little puppy you got for Xmas? Oh.
Cat Hope. Any relation to Bob Hope? Nope? What about 80s heavy metal's 'The Great Kat? No, thought not. Good, I like a fresh start. Oh no... I've done it again, this CD's getting me into all sorts of trouble... reading the blurb it seems that Catty-poo is a real person, unlike frauds such as yours truly. Imagine Organum, imagine AMM (glass smashes as I scrawl), easy Cat, I didn't mean it in a scornful way, I'm nice. Hmmm, smashed glass. Takes me back to a Ramleh show I survived back in '83(9). Imagine Keith Rowe, imagine all the people, it isn't hard to do, and you're on your way to a mental (yeah!) picture of what 'Mindimi Trek' conjures up. Nothing overly special (specia... special... ) but in all fairness this is only part of a commissioned soundscape, skilfully produced by someone who obviously knows what they're doing. High quality atmospheres, yes I like it, yes. But hardly Extreme.
In conclusion Diane Nelson has two tracks; 'Mounted Insect' and the 18-second long 'Dissected Insect'. Diane is photographed in front of the pyramids, a very good place to be, for when you read you begin with A,B,C but when you sing you begin with do re me, (don't blame me, hair a-blowin' in the wind, looking for the answer. What's this about 'robotic mechanisms' resembling female organs then? Whilst working for Tower Records a fine fortune of a whip-round was wasted on Big Darren's birthday 'gift' (more like an insult) of an inflatable female torso from a neighbouring Soho sex shop. We laughed until we stopped. Pathetic. Diane has been deeply influenced by her surgical experiences for a 'female problem'. I find this interesting on a personal level as I myself suffer from a problem (aside from the CJD infection) being urological in nature (Hesitancy, Frequency, Urinary Retention, Senility) so these pieces could be consolatory. Must pee again first though. There, at least it's coming out OK this evening. 0h,must take my medicine too, 'Flow-max MR' (Tamsulosin) capsules, relaxes the parts which other drugs cannot reach... and I'm only fucking 40! 'Mounted Insect'… Envisage a firework attached to a chord being spun about the head, high-pitched squeals and moans, frothing foaming electronics... Ira J.Mowitz(10) meets early Nurse With Wound? 'Dissected Insect'. More of the same and almost over before it's begun. Sorry, l just can't connect this with what's implied in the text. Not on this first outing at least.
And click, it's all over much too soon... I've always been told I'd have done well as an Anaesthetist, girls never feel a thing. The CD is deservedly at rest, it's late, I'm looking monstrous... time for the summing up. Mark my words, read my lips, this has got to be compilation CD of the year, an excellent, unique and beautifully produced item both for packaging and content as only the Master knows how. An absolute must-have and of course a perfect addition to the EMFJ(11) and EMFA(12) collections. What a great way, to spend an evening! Either that or on-fucking-line, you Gary Glitter fans. Isn't jealousy a terrible thing Candi?
References for lonesome onanie:
(1) Come-Rampton LP 1979 WDC 881001 (Available on Anthology 1 dbl CD SLCD019
(2) Whitehouse-Mummy and Daddy CD 1998 SLCD020 Susan Lawly
(3) The 150 Murderous Passions LP 1981 WDC881009/UD09 (Available on Anthology 1 dbl CD SLCD019 Susan Lawly)
(4) Nurse With Wound-Insect and Individual Silenced LP 1981 UD08 United Dairies
(5) Throbbing Gristle-D.O.A. LP 1978 IR004 Industrial Records CD reissued on Mutes' Grey Area. I'm fucked if I know the Cat. number and I'm fucked if I don't.
(6) G.G.Allin-Hated in the Nation CD 199? DANCD064 Danceteria
(7) Mother Destruction/Sixth Comm.-Fruits of Yggdrasil CD 1992 KEN BEAT CD 1 KENA 2
(8) Whitehouse-Great White Death special edition CD 1997 SLCD017 Susan Lawly or, if you're really lucky ... Whitehouse - Cream of the Second Coming LP/CD 1990 724 142-1 LP/CD Susan Lawly
(9) Ramleh - Live 1983 Cassette 1996 ... BF80 (though I have my doubts)
(10) Ira J.Mowitz - A la Memoire d'un Ami CD 1992 NA 047 New Albion Records
(11) V/A-Fxtreme Music From Japan CD 1994 SLCD008 Susan Lawly
(12) V/A-Extreme Music From Africa CD 1997 SLCD016 Susan Lawly
DDDD Fanzine, Marleys, Minstead, Hants S043 7FY, UK. £1 Post-paid.
And one last request before Debra Petrovitch catches up with me; I wanna know and I wanna know now, once and for all.. who the fuck are Baby's Gang????!!!!
Beshitted pantalettes to:
Gary Simmons, Gartina, Hermitage Walk, London E18 2BN, England. Tel/Fax 020 8989 6599
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