20 December 2007

Music: Halfbear - Corpsepainter

[Wipthrash Records]

While Corpsepainter has four subtitles, to my ears it falls into three distinct phases. It starts off with dark rumblings and some very nice high-end screeching and then drags you off into the depths of some dark Nordic forest: something growls deep in the darkness, there are buried voices in the murk, are those twigs snapping?

The terror continues for the first 9 minutes or so, then slowly a looped beat rises out of the mix and we are heading off somewhere else, possibly into darkest Techno Animal/Spectre territory? There are hints of tinkling jazzy piano and some repeated vocal eructations that (for some reason) put me in mind of Captain Beefheart. But most of all, this part reminds of some of the more loop/rhythm based works of Nurse With Wound.

Things take another shift around the 18 minute mark, when the rhythm loop fades out. We are now into a kind of grim, frostbitten glitchtronica, with the dark atmospherics continuing mixed in with clipped white noise beats and the return of the distant voices until at 27 minutes, it's all over. Then you want to listen to it again.

The Wipthrash remix takes the original and revs it up into a caustic assault, with occasional hyperspeed distorted beats that verge on white noise. It provides a nicely earscouring counterpoint to the dark atmospherics of the previous half hour.

All in all, a deeply satisfying release.

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