Thursday, July 24, 2008

Duncan Bruce - New Glass Tapu



Straight from the fringes of the New Zealand free noise/drone/freak scene comes this baby - and boy it’s gleaming in introspective wonder... every listen unlocking new perspectives, embellishing first impressions...

For track one footsteps the stairwell is haunted, the graffiti floating on a spaghetti western swell. A shadowy Dot Cotton sucks on a cigarette, her paper thin cheeks showing too much skeleton , the issued smoke curling like the spasms of mummified cats. Below you can hear the slow transit of metal callipers dragging on concrete.

Celestial Vengeance is a multicoloured echo tumble… a washing line of incident feed into a buckling sausage machine. New shapes fly before the ears, chaos wrapped - collapsing sax apparitions, brief guitar plumbs, dismembered piano(?) … drum fuck-ups that would make Alex Neilson proud, full of drumstick smears and galloping muffles interspersed with karmic pixie dust... the spectre of a sax slumps over the landscape, the drums run from under its ominous gloom. Later, the sticks play voodoo dolly with the squeal, as it belches its last, stumbling out concussed into a static tide, full of Guernica edges.

Sumatra I is all haunted music box tingle, becoming all prismic, soaked in a prevailing otherness that creeps under your consciousness in a very bad way… Songs for a forgotten deity that’s back for revenge...

Glass Tapu is a sucked woodwind interlude marred in feedback scraping, like blowtorch winds scouring the inside of a grain silo, aglow with the vibrations of rivets.

Four#g - crippled Satie keys, multiple images of sound trickling through your ears, a glinting carousel of cold mirrors and stained glass shivers that letterpress themselves into memory.

Sumatra II
– is an eerie lighted finger drone, breaking over the outlines of floating chairs. Itchy graphite edges licking the periphery as faces slowly fall out of focus. A birdcage spiral of twitching blurs trapped in the dusty miasma of doors endlessly closing to a muted classical refine, I swear I can hear glimpses of moan and gasp in there...

Salem’s Loft is the sound of desolation, as ghostly echoes call from room corners, sax vapours mingle , the dolphonic shrieks stretching like a latex skirt over silky pinions... stifled percussion erupts as chloroseptic spray snakes over bare bones...

Untitled, the screeching of brakes in differing tones like multi-stranded scream, bleeding out like the spokes of some semi-transparent umbrella...

Plane of Martyrs a giddy map of shifting radio interference, mixed with motor etched tin, and sander graze n grind – all hyperactive and twitching... totally wired Borneo death pipes gouging away at your inner ear...

what a finish!

available from LF Records.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Bless Dot Cotton!
Thanks for the very kind words, below are the origins of the recordings on the final track (taken from Time magazine).
Cheers

Terrorism Nightmare on Flight 422
Monday, Apr. 25, 1988 By JOHN GREENWALD

The ordeal had already lasted ten days when the door of Kuwait Airways Flight 422 swung open at Houari Boumedienne Airport in Algiers. Out stepped a frail- looking man, as a caravan of ambulances, police cars and fire trucks stood by below. After being led down the ramp by a doctor -- and a hooded gunman who quickly ran back inside -- Djuma Abdallah Shatti, a 55-year-old Kuwaiti, told of harsh conditions inside the blue-and-white Boeing 747. "Praise be to God, I am fine," said Shatti, who is diabetic, "but they had me tied up all the time, and I am tired. They are not good people. They beat me."

Any doubts about the brutal determination of Shatti's tormentors evaporated as the ordeal of Flight 422 stretched into its second week and gained distinction as the longest uninterrupted skyjacking ever.* After the airliner, en route from Bangkok to Kuwait, was seized on April 5 as it neared the Strait of Hormuz, it began a tortured 3,200-mile journey that took it from Mashhad in northeastern Iran to Larnaca, Cyprus, and finally to Algiers. Deadlines came and went as the skyjackers, having already killed two hostages, threatened the lives of the rest if Kuwait did not meet their demand to free 17 terrorists jailed there since 1983 for bombings of the U.S. and French embassies in Kuwait. Three of the 17 are under sentence of death; the others are serving terms of from two years to life. The hijackers still held about 30 of the 112 people originally aboard, three of them related to Kuwait's ruling family.

Events took a chilling turn on Saturday when the hijackers, frustrated by Kuwait's refusal to meet their demand, invited three reporters to the top of the gangway leading to the craft and demanded that Algeria "fill the airplane with fuel, and we will liquidate our account with Kuwait elsewhere. We don't want to have the massacre in a friendly country." Added the hooded gunman who addressed the reporters: "Kuwait has to know that we do not fear death."

The drama on Flight 422 triggered a political outcry across the Middle East. - Troubled that the skyjacking had once again placed Arabs in a bad light and, more important, diverted attention from the four-month-old Palestinian uprising in Arab territories occupied by Israel, the region's leaders rushed to condemn the action. Some Arab officials suspected Iran of being behind the takeover. The evidence was largely circumstantial: one hostage freed during the six-day stop at Larnaca reported that several gunmen joined the hijackers in Iran and brought aboard submachine guns, hand grenades and explosives.

In Kuwait the daily Al-Qabas said the incident was believed to have been masterminded by Imad Mughniyen, 36, a Lebanese who is both cousin and brother- in-law to one of the 17 jailed terrorists. Western intelligence agencies believe Mughniyen has led several attempts to free the prisoners. Among them: at least two other hijackings, including the seizure of TWA Flight 847 in 1985, during which U.S. Navy Diver Robert Stethem was beaten and shot to death. The kidnapers holding many of the more than 20 Western hostages in Lebanon, including nine Americans, have also made release of the prisoners in Kuwait their key demand. In Washington, Administration officials said hostages freed from Flight 422 indicated that Hassan Izz-al-Din, one of four men indicted by a federal grand jury for Stethem's slaying, might be on the Kuwaiti plane.

The hijackers and the 17 prisoners appear to share religious ties. Sixteen of the men jailed in Kuwait are Shi'ite Muslims who are thought to support Iran and its leader, the Ayatullah Ruhollah Khomeini. Hostages released from the jetliner said the gunmen often spoke in religious terms. Sherif Mahrojk Badrawi, a Kuwait Airways ticket agent in Cairo, called them "good Muslims" who "spoke to us in a very Koranic language. They were always using verses from the Koran." The hijackers are thought to belong to Hizballah, a radical Shi'ite group.

The skyjacking had its bizarre moments. To emphasize their willingness to die for their cause, the hijackers told the Larnaca tower at one point that they had donned death shrouds and renamed the jetliner the "Plane of the Great Martyrs." When a controller referred to the craft as "Kuwait 422," a hijacker snapped back, "No! Plane of Martyrs!" Replied the tower: "Sorry, Plane of Martyrs." As the hostages sweltered inside their metal prison, planeloads of European vacationers came and went at the Larnaca field, wind surfers skittered across the sea next to the runway, and curious Cypriot families wandered among the journalists clustered along the airport road.

Senior Airport Controller Andreas Georgiades was impressed by the gunmen's poise. "They were very calm, very cool," he said. "Other hijackers I have dealt with were angry and shouted. But you wouldn't believe these latest ones would kill someone in cold blood." Kill they did, however. Two passengers -- Abdullah Khalidi, 25, and Khalid Ayoub Bandar, 20, both Kuwaitis -- were shot to death and dumped on the tarmac.

Authorities at Larnaca Airport initially refused to refuel the jetliner. But after the two hostages were killed and Algeria offered to take the plane, they relented and filled its tanks, allowing the aircraft to leave for Algiers. The standoff continued in Algeria, which helped negotiate the release of 52 American hostages from Iran in 1981. Algerian officials opened talks with the hijackers the day the plane landed. At one point, the jetliner was asked to taxi away from the airport terminal as a security measure while a plane carrying Zambian President Kenneth Kaunda landed. After the African leader departed, Flight 422 moved back to its old spot. Algerian sources blamed Kuwait's "intransigent" refusal to discuss the 17 jailed terrorists for the lack of progress in the talks. But Kuwait, which sent a delegation headed by Sa'ud Mohammed al-Usaymi, the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, insisted the radicals would not be released.

To heighten the pressure, the hijackers put several hostages on the radio to plead for a resolution of the crisis. One, who identified himself as Mohammed Ahmed al-Hajemi, declared in a strained voice, "I greet my family, and I ask the Kuwaiti authorities to free the prisoners. Otherwise the kidnapers will kill us." Throughout, the skyjackers defended their actions. "We are men of principle, not highway bandits," one asserted. "We would have preferred not to use such methods, but we have no choice. We repeat our demand for the liberation of our 17 brothers, and we will not go back on that even if the price is very high."

All signs indicated that the hostages were already paying dearly. An Algerian doctor permitted to go aboard described the passengers as tired but in "satisfactory" condition; some of those who were released said they had been manacled and herded into the front rows of the jumbo jet and had not been permitted to read or speak. Plastic bindings had cut deep into their wrists. Toilets became so fouled that some hostages were sickened; Algiers airport workers were finally allowed to clean up. Ramadan Ali, an engineer who holds dual Egyptian and American citizenship and who was one of the twelve hostages released in Larnaca, told of hiding his U.S. passport in a briefcase. He said a hijacker saw his U.S. driver's license but evidently did not know what it was.

In Kuwait more than 2,000 people attended a funeral for the two men slain aboard the jet. Though many of the mourners called for revenge, Sheik Jaber al-Ahmad as-Sabah, Kuwait's ruler, was not likely to order the execution of any of the 17 imprisoned terrorists. That might incite the country's Shi'ite minority, which constitutes about 30% of the population. The Kuwaitis view the hijacking as part of their continuing struggle with Iran, which has sought to destabilize their country in an effort to punish it for supporting Iraq in the gulf war.

The taking of Flight 422 exacerbated tensions throughout the Middle East. Syria, which has backed Iran in the gulf conflict, apparently infuriated Tehran by refusing to let the hijacked jetliner land in Damascus after it left Mashhad; at the same time, the skyjacking deepened the split between Iran and the P.L.O. The incident seemed somehow familiar: after the TWA hijacking in 1985, Thomas Cullins, one of the American hostages, noted that "we're pawns in an incredibly complex political and religious movement." The pawns were different last week, but the game had not changed.

Cloudboy said...

listening to the snippets of radio transmission at the beginning... reading this to the soundtrack... sobering