Saturday, April 28, 2007


OK, so the vague Noiseweek mission is to find and spread noise that not every noisenik in the world has heard...but the higher directive is to, uh, "celebrate" great noise regardless of exposure level. And, well, I imagine there could be some odd individual out there who's found this blog but not found Burning Star Core (shit, I've even already written some about BXC, so it's kinda impossible), so this post is for that imaginary, paradoxical soul. Or maybe you've heard of BXC but you just haven't had time to be buried in C. Spencer Yeh's bottomless pit of brain-crushing sound - it happens. If so, there hasn't really been a better time to drop what you're doing and commit, as two super high-level BXC releases are in current circulation: the mostly Yeh-alone Blood Lightning 2007 (only the last track is full-band-ed) and the full-band-ed Operator Dead...Post Abandoned (full band meaning Sir Spence, Mike Shiflet, and Hair Cops Robert Beatty and Trevor Tremaine).

It might be oversimplistic to say these two recs represent BXC's current yin-yang, but it's kinda true: Blood Lightning 2007 lays out Spencer's one-man bag of tricks nicely - his weird, hypnotic array of violin rapings, mouth distentions, percussive slicings, electronic wallings, and general sense of semi-serious/semi-absurd/semi-wacky (that's right, 3 halves) sonic fuckery. I think I've said this about other people before, and if so I apologize, but in this mode BXC is kinda like the Raymond Scott of noise, more interested in trying out whatever sounds he can find (even if they seem superficially goofy or cheesy) rather than hiding everything behind some macho noise wall (not that he can't do that too, to exclt effect when he chooses). I think "Deaf Mute Spinning Resonator" is a nice example of this - the ping-ponging shit in the second half is so simultaneously hilarious and moving it makes me want to cry rainbow-colored tears.

Operator Dead...Post Abandoned, on the other fist, is the bigger, fractured-rock /noise-jam version of BXC, which slays just as mightily but leaves much different-looking scars. I think the key to the blood-spilling in this config is Tremaine's drumming, a combo of proto-free-jazz roll, trash-can/car-crash blather, and upside-down rock pound, which allows his three comrades to freely spray all over his sturdy canvas like monkeys throwing shit at zoo-cage glass. The result here is more psych-rock sounding than I mighta guessed, but the sense of sheer abandon puts it more in the league of the excellent Death Unit album, or, more historically, the Grey/Licht version of the Blue Humans and the searing ramble of the too-forgotten Lhasa Cement Plant. "The Emergency Networks Are Taking Over" is a little too unique to hang influences on though - the helium-injected soar it builds from eyes-closed, head-down playing is so organic and serendipitous it could only have happened once.

BURNING STAR CORE - "Deaf Mute Spinning Resonator" from Blood Lightning 2007; "The Emergency Networks Are Taking Over" from Operator Dead...Post Abandoned


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