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Thursday, December 01, 2005

UNDERSKULL 9



Astral-Graf, etc. Big up: Okkult Pskateboard Kru...Phantom-Zoners...Peet 'frisky' Visky & Eric from The Doom-Dome...Dadi Bones & Meester Shanks...Elvin Cray an' his boys...

HERTTA LUSSU ASSA: DIRTY CEMETARY ALBUM

Heady stuff, this:



Starts w/ freeform vocal mayhem that sounds like a cross between Furious Pig and a demo of an early line-up of The Slits practising after a lock-in up the pub. Or maybe a Fall rehersal that turns into a punch-up when all of Smith's various ex's (and currents) turn up at the same time. There's a female dalek in there somewhere too, giving a copper some lip.

Incredibly, this gives way to a stunningly beautiful, lilting vocal tone-wash that sounds like a lost mid-seventies piece by Eno until plucked strings, xylophones and a toy-organ slowly emerge from the mist-enshrouded hills.

H/L/A is some sort of Finnish female future-folk super-group featuring, as it does, Islaja, Kuupuu & Lau Nau.

Helen the Drone Pirate posted on Islaja recently. As for Lau nau...

Well, if you haven't got a copy of "Kuutarha" by Lau Nau, then treat yrself to the nice vinyl issued a while back on Locust. It's a fabulous record: frosty, fragile vocals spin a shimmering web across a dark, windswept, dissonant landscape of ghostly rattles, scraping sounds and plunks. A beautifully chilly album, full of sumptuously empty space and unexpected sonic-collisions. Grab a copy of this, if you can; it's a bloody classic: vocalist Laura Naukkarinen is a genius, the anti-Bjork, fer sure...



But back to Hertta Lussu Assa's "Dirty cemetary Album": not exactly sure of the provenance of this little beaut...I think it may have been a ltd edition CD-r sold on their recent European jaunt. There's no track titles on my copy, and the artwerk is, well, handmade w/ felt-tip pens and what looks like some Humbrol model-kit silver paint, but I recognise one or two backing tracks from Kuupuu's own recent tour CD-r, wh/ I think is called "Kulta Sulka" (It's also fantastic btw, and includes a freebee piece of lush 70's style wallpaper as part of the packaging):



Track three of "DCA" (if anyone knows the titles, please let me know) starts with a series of klnnnks and kerlaaanks over detuned guitar-picking...followed by exhausted-sounding atonal vocal-drones from the girls: it's the most sea-sick piece of music I've every heard, a slow roll that (literally) moves in and out of audible focus. Unnervingly queasy music: I guarantee you won't have ever heard anything quite like it.



Gongs, rattles and saucepans start the next track. Multitracked recorders move in and out of the mix, sounding like evil devil-children pretending to be Red Indians. Something unpleasant that sounds like a slowed-down cello growls and mutters to itself as it wanders thru an abandoned house looking for the kitchen. Everybody climbs into a cupboard and jams with whisks, ladles, etc.


(Art courtesy of Jonna Karanka)

Then things get really crazy...

Slurping noises; duck-calls; wet balloons being rubbed; rattling pickle-jars; girls giggling; a broken accordian; an old wooden drum; a defective bassoon, triangles played w/ knitting needles; a depressed violin sounds spooked by something; a train pulls into the station inside a house; something awful has just happened that makes me wanna cry; thumb-pianos and haunted finger-puppets; a lonesome clarinet; a Pagan Spiritual Song involving cheese-graters; someone plays their guitar w/ a cymbal; bicycle-spokes spinning slowly; the contents of a coal-scuttle are emptied out onto the living-room floor and divvied up amongst the survivors; fake bird-song and bells; an old record plays backwards, summoning us, and we are sucked thru a membranous gateway into some dusty, dreadful Nether-Realm where faceless children make ghost noises from inside an old painted dustbin.

Track Seven succeeds in being both touchingly beautiful and completely terrifying at the same time. No mean feat.

There's some great photos of the girls in action here

Buy this, you fuckers.