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Here’s an LP that’ll make noise-rock fans sit up and take notice! Ba Da Bing have been kind enough to put together a split LP containing one side of lost sessions from New Zealand legends The Dead C (aka Michael “Gate” Morley, Bruce Russell and Robbie Yeats) and one side from Rangda (Richard Bishop, Ben Chasny and Chris Corsano). That’s a whole lot of talent crammed onto a single disc.
On the Dead C side they’re churning out some of their trademark scuzzy, harsh-grooving free skronk and lo-fi murk, grinding out buzzing, spluttering textures, muddy but majestic, with the last of their four tracks ‘Heaven’s Wheel’ sounding like a screeching free-sax duel alongside a farty, insistent buzzsaw chug, turning the low fidelity of their sound into a boon as you scrabble through the tape dirt to dig out the hypno-skronk treasure.
Flip it and Rangda have two songs to the Dead C’s four, recorded with great clarity and crispness in comparison, with the focus here being on the delicate, mystical and jazzy interplay between the guitars of Bishop and Chasny paired with Corsano’s gently bubbling kit-puttering, casting a trance-like spell on the listener through their exotically psychedelic twiddling with a casual, self-assured grace. It slowly builds to an ecstatic climax without ever becoming truly harsh or imposing, and really does represent the sum of Rangda’s three equally impressive parts. Worthy contributions from both combos here.
7/10 PETER WARD Customer review, 14th August 2013
This LP pitches psychedelic rock improv trio Rangda against NZ avant noiseniks Dead C giving each band a side a piece. If you wanted to be cynical you could say there was a bunch of tapes lying around unreleased, which Ba Da Bing decided to put out in a slightly cheesy Battle of the Bands concept.
Pitching the LP as four guitarists, two drummers and two sides, that’s pretty much where the similarities between the two bands end, although both do work at the outer limits of what would be considered rock music. But, if Rangda are taking an shot at heaven, Dead C are down in the basement, a primordial grunt, rarely coming up to take in the sunshine, the sleeve and the LPs labels reflect this.
The Rangda guitars and drums are set up in a woodland in a bleached out shot whilst the Dead Cs image is artfully blurred as their gear sits in what appears to be a dark club… Rangda are heaven to Dead C’s hell, their side features two tracks which melds Quicksilver Messenger Service/ Grateful Dead ragas to ecstatic free jazz blow out, (Coltane and underrated guitar thinker Sonny Sharrock)… beautiful free flowing music… Incredible interplay between players Ben Chasney, Sir Richard Bishop and Chris Corsano.
Flip the side and be prepared to land face down in the gutter. First track, Eusa Kills, Dead C off kick with a real caveman riff with plenty of reverb, kind of Sonic Youth on mandrax (can you still get mandrax?), the side progresses with plenty more amplifier worship and random noise, but dontcha jut get the feeling sometimes you can just deconstruct to the point of absurdity…. Pussy Galore were probably rock music’s arch deconstructionists, taking blues and rock apart and rebuilding it in an ‘unlearned fashion’ but they still rocked. But, hey that’s just me.
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