Sunday, December 07, 2008

Ice Bird Spiral – Swineville

Mr Olivetti reviews IBS EP before Christmas rush shock...

Our favourite noise terrorists have come up with this six track song-cycle, a dis-rhythmic, inertia-filled anti-paean to the yawning population chasm that is dull town UK. You know the place, you’ve breathed its foul smells, rotted in its bus stops, avoided the excuses for humanity that float down the streets like hijacked blimps.

In a half hour of tape manipulation mayhem, sonic irregularity and vocal tomfoolery, we find ourselves for the first third drawn towards the railway station, the hub of any town. Sweating on litter strewn platforms, flies buzz and the atmosphere crackles with tension. Signs swing ominously in the fetid breeze as we wait desperately for a train to remove us. The sound of hooves heralds something, the tracks bending and buckling in the distance under the weight of something immense. Quiet shrieks and rumbles, then a gentle tearing leads you to the realisation that an ocean liner pulled by mute elephants and manned by raving monkeys is never going to get us anywhere.

The second part commences with a Karl Blake-like dose of surrealism, straight from the market place of urban dread, a dead-pan delivery over the prettiest Satie-esque piano accompaniment. This segues into the most terrifying of sonic recipes, an intoning voice echoed and layered over a writhing bed of animal noises full of creeping, jittering sounds, finally making way for a disquieting description of the journey … swineville is everywhere.

The final third leaves us with the feeling that the only escape is upward. Lying on your back in the park, projecting yourself skyward surrounded by mad dogs, wild kids, drunken mothers and raving bin-men; up there amongst the droning satellites and rattling space debris, dodging the comets and meteorites, losing yourself in the glow.

By Mr Olivetti

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