Friday, December 16, 2005


Lost of great subterranean noise happening in D.C. now as always, but my fave current practitioners are the revolving collective known variously as Facemat, Tape Rape, Power Bottom Orchestra, CUNTree, Saladbar, Baby Shakers, and more. Victor Salazar and his pals have popped up in a ton of places lately - I've caught Facemat at DC Nine and 611 Florida, Tape Rape at Warehouse, and Power Bottom Orchestra at Electric Possible. Never seen anything less than good from them, and lots of it great - Power Bottom played a massive wall of grime w/Victor raising his busted guitar over his head like a sledgehammer, Tape Rape had reel to reel tape passing through four different players, and the last Facemat gig I saw had a thuggish looking guest singer whose blunt political chants ("911! Katrina! Abu Ghirab!") fit perfectly in the group's blurting din.

The various CD-R's, all available from Victor at (no web presence as of yet), are all interesting and pretty insanely varied. Facemat's Broken Clown is the most diverse, a wavy mix of thick drones and broken beats, at times nearing the deadened cave of Mouthus, or even the noodly rattle of Black Dice. Power Bottom Orchestra's BRC Sessions offers three tracks based around bombastic beats and shifting noise, with the huge, echoing drums of the first track (linked below) reminding me of a Glenn Branca symphony with most of the guitars erased after the fact. CUNTree's self-titled CD-R is purer noise, full of piercing whines and cutting static. Saladbar (Victor's solo thing) has a great, one-track, 20-minute 3" CD-R called All You Can, made of massive, layered, airplane-engine noise. It drifts toward Fennesz or Hecker territory in places, but much heavier, darker, and head-wrenching.

Hopefully all these guys can venture outside D.C. more, and maybe find some alter-label action (Heresee, Hanson, Chondritic Sound, etc. would all be great), but I also dig their totally self-sufficient m.o.

FACEMAT - "Mahogany Colored Wang" from Broken Clown
POWER BOTTOM ORCHESTRA - (track one) from BRC Sessions


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