Music Reviews


Jerks and Creeps


This last month or so has been a particularly sizable windfall of noise records. Most of these releases, like those of GoGoo and Yoshio Machida, have gone some distance toward bridging the sound gap between field recording and instrumentation. Marcos Fernandes and Bill Horist’s live-from-Japan improvisation set Jerks and Creeps offers a more “traditional” synthetic take on the free-form genre.

This is music beamed in from another planet, narrated in a high, screeching tongue of metallic gasps and creepy childlike laughter. Every sound is tweaked, garbled and rendered unable to be reconciled from the source instrument from which it came. The duo offer very little in the way of melody and even when they do – as on the temporary guitar riffs tucked away in the middle of “Kobe” – they’re strangled by filters and assorted effects.

On “Osaka,” the duo are constantly weaving between quiet ambiance and torrential noise. They play off each other’s feints extremely well, creating an ebb and flow between the two ends of the spectrum. There’s also a constant murmur of electronic interjections cast into the mix, like chirps from a peanut gallery of angry robots.

Even in its most horrorshow moments, there’s a softer focus to this disc than the post-industrial mechanizations offered by Kristoffer Nystroms Orkestar or Wolf Eyes. There’s a level of playfulness that runs throughout these three tracks that’s usually lacking from music of this ilk. I wouldn’t go so far as to call it “charming,” but it’s bound to be a little more endearing to the uninitiated than most of the harder-edged acts.


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