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- Vent by Matthew P. Hopkins
8/10 Brian Staff review, 09 May 2014
Penultimate Press is shaping up to be a very interesting label. Here we have ex-Naked on the Vague dude Hopkins doing his freaky solo thing which is not for the more linear-minded listener, I can tell yer that.
There's a sense of the genuinely fucked-up from the very start here with monging frequencies and freaky pitched-down vocal atrocities interspersed with Space Odyssey 2001 noises and what sounds like muffled ambient classical music. Now it sounds like he's eaten a contact mike and subsequently forgotten it's in there whilst he drinks a can of pop through a straw. The absent minded bloody fool. Next track sounds like David Shrigley's mind but submerged in stomach juices whilst the plumber and Mr. Hopkins retire to the bathroom to discuss modern flush technology.
This is fucking mental. Now he's impersonating a train and it's all gone a bit Pete Um. The hypnotic ebb and flow of a sinister frequency is submerging me into the sofa then some beautiful deep dystopian synth sound comes in for nowhere near enough time. ARRRGGHH! He's started drinking pop again but now he's trying to converse backwards with Satan in the mirror but he's accidentally injected a heavy gas right into his head which has then gone and mogadon'd his voice right up. Crazy sounds coming at yer like a really dodgy horse tranquiliser trip in a space vets.
Last track is plain evil, sick and wrong. It sounds reminiscent of being face-raped by a soul-sucking hypno-toad on PCP. Do not listen to this record on drugs kids. You will never come back. I tried flicking through it at 45 to see if it made any more sense but it didn't.
Now for the epic dark ambient piece on the other side which I am doing at 45 whether it's correct or not. It sounds pretty damn cool if not slightly disconcerting. There are still muffled rumbles and crazy distant banging noises going down, but the actual ambient track is a thoroughly engaging journey through a disintegrating mind. For me, It recalls 'Black Smoker' by Tom Opdahl in places, an amazing CD which came out on Biosphere's label years ago. About half way through in comes some mind-fucking bass frequency, static and crackle interference and other boss eerie random concrete sounds.
A truly unusual piece of vinyl! It's a hard one, sonically, to get down in words but is the without doubt the most weird record of the week.
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