The ever busy, ever mystic Andrew Liles (of Nurse With Wound and Current 93) is dabbling into Matmos territory with the latest installment of his Monster series, which has a medical theme. Monstrous Medical Mishaps (Horrendous Hospitals and Disastrous Dentistry) uses manipulated samples of medical equipment for rhythm tracks, then laying all sorts of sounds on top. Edition of 300 LPs on Blackest Rainbow.
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On his newest real name record, Andrew Liles eschews his serious harsh noise reputation, embracing cartoon life for a record that would be right up Matmos’ street: it’s gimmick first, sound later in this race for high-concept mayhem. For ‘Monstrous Medical Mishaps (Horrendous Hospitals and Disastrous Dentistry)’, the Nurse With Wound man samples the sounds of medical equipment used by docs and teeth fixers alike, creating a machiavellian sound that’s surely more likely to remind you of evil TV villain surgeons than whoever your kindly GP may be. My dentist was a sixty year old man called Dr. Daddy and he was clearly not consulted for this grossout.
It’s horrible and highly recommended. It sort of feels like any metaphor I could use to describe the record is made explicit by the record’s bleeping, buzzing, whirring, scraping and screaming, but the discomfort I feel listening to the sounds between Liles’ beats is akin to that thing the dentist uses to scrape tar off your teeth -- even after it’s done, you’re sure they’ve pulled a few of them out. With text-to-speech vocals about how disgusting you are layered over drones, the record takes on an unkind, sort of personally vindictive narrative, while sounds of slurping and heavy breathing offer the kindest respites from the endless blood-curled tinkering. But… at least it’s catchy? “DSM code 295.9/ICD code F20.3” is some cool medical tool techno, with a whistling, dialing, video game kinda breakbeat frenzy carrying it into its robot surgery.
The screaming transgressions feel, at the least, extremely self-deprecating: hardcore drums mix with what sound like xylophone solos in tunes that don’t feel a million miles from a Shit & Shine record, while the record veers into a rhythmic approach to bitty feedback that feels almost like Pendulum gone straight to hell. A record that knows it’s a little dumb, I think, but how about the next record's just one reprieving drone in service of easing waiting room anxiety?
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