‘This is Meower Noise’ (2010), Moonslave Radio MOON001D, digital download, 67m 29s, $8
Diaper Bot Overload, the track from this album that happens to be playing as I sit down to review it, is a crazy soundscape of chopped up samples and confusing layers of distortion, devoid of any clear beat, and distinctly closer to ‘meower electronics’ than to ‘meower noise’. The rest of the album is very much power noise however, distorted beats aimed squarely at the dancefloor.
While it is less blatantly comedic than Caustic, for example, this is a very funny record, with a lot of humour in every track. The evil genius behind Pixelpussy pays a lot of attention to politics in his native USA, particularly the burgeoning tea party movement, and this album is full of jaw dropping audio samples of christian right lunacy: if Michael Moore made a power noise album, it would most likely sound like this.
There is more space and clarity in the production on ‘TIMN’ than is usual in power noise releases: at first it felt a little light, but I’ve liked it more and more with each listen. Pixelpussy has a liking for distortions that are harmonically unsaturated and very digital sounding, and he does not always layer them obsessively into terrifying juggernauts of sonic violence (as is common in his genre): instead he makes them fit into the soundstage with the other elements, perhaps in order to avoid drowning out his samples, which as I’ve said, are particularly choice. Sometimes he could have used a heavier kick to my ear, but that’s a matter of personal taste.
In the main the beats are straightforward stomp (no criticism implied, it’s what they’re meant to be), but there are a couple with little syncopated hooks that lift them into a zone of irresistible danceability: ‘The Ass Justifies The Means’ and ‘Toxic Testicle Nectar’ are two tracks that grabbed me in particular. As far as musical content goes, that’s it: this is a genre that’s about rhythm, and about production, but melody and harmony don’t really figure. ‘TIMN’ doesn’t have any singing either, but it’s the samples that are the stars of the show. I have no clue as to the source of most of them, although I’ve heard the insane politician talking about billy goats from ‘God and Pussy’ somewhere before: I’d really like to know who it is exhorting us not to ‘get any of that green shit in my hair, on my face, on my nipples or in my pussy’ at the start of ‘Toxic Testicle Nectar’ too (or more to the point I’d like to know where and why he found it)!
There’s a fistful of remixes to close out the album: my favourite is code 000’s ‘Just Gimme The Pussy’ remix of ‘God and Pussy’, which is exactly the kind of richly distorted, thick, full noize that most of the album eschews, and funky as hell to boot.
Power noise is one of those genres that you either like, or you don’t understand why anyone would want to do that to you when you’ve never even met them before, let alone hurt them in any way. Clearly I’m in the former camp: I know some of my readers will listen to a few seconds of this and run screaming, but there may be a handful out there who will thank me for introducing them to this style, and I know there’s a few who love it already. If you’re in the last category, this album is definitely for you: it’s a lovingly assembled slab of crunchingly heavy beats, with a distinctive production sound of its own, and some wicked comedy value.