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- Scratch by Jooklo Duo & Bill Nace
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We've listened to this once in the office already and it sort of upset Phil a bit because he's a little racist about saxophones, but now I'm getting to splash around in it again all in the name of reviewing. Now, before I start on the music this looks fucking mint. Crazy psychedelic silver print on the sleeve, an orange card inner, and then the wildest looking splatter vinyl I've seen in quite some time. They've really pulled out all the stops on this one. It sounds great, too, none of the crackles that you sometimes get from splatter vinyl, just all the crazy free jazz/noise tones you're meant to hear. As for the music itself, well, on the A side there's a long passage of harsh free chunter with screeching tenor sax, intermittent clattering drums and noisy, distorted guitar shapes completing the relentless racket. Not for the faint-hearted, I'll say that. The second side starts out in similar fashion before eventually easing off from the psych-skronk workout for a more psychedelic ending, with flurries of flute and weird awkward synth tones making a demented Disney landscape of mutated forest creatures. It eases down to near silence in places and after the confrontational first half hour or so of noise the contrast of the minimalist restraint creates an almost palpable release in tension (particularly within the office where these kind of records on this kind of miserable day is a recipe for grumpiness). So, harsh and difficult for the first two-thirds, mystical and lovely for the last third. Free jazz noise ain't everyone's cup of tea but if it's yours you'll probably be interested in this.
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