Review: sneeze awfull – sneeze awfull (self-released, Sep 13)

The practice of desconstruction is something that’s quite prevalent in the contemporary experimental music arena, with artists contorting genres into increasingly abstract formations to find new, exciting possibilities. It’s something I’ve made an attempt to document here on this site, from Faxada’s EDM meat grinder Paraa (which occupies a level of removal even further from artists described as “deconstructed club”) to Mosquitoes’ shattering of rock music on Drip Water Hollow Out Stone to Cavatus & PKWST’s terrifying gore sculpture Ruins of Bronzemaw to even the fragmented American traditions strewn beneath the music of Buck Young. The next step is the pop vivisection of sneeze awfull, something I came across on Bandcamp completely randomly. The page has little extra-musical information other than a handful of acknowledgments and a sparse cover collage that’s both cute and unsettling—a disparate pair of adjectives which, it turns out, also describe the music itself. The mysterious group (I assume it’s more than one person due to the use of “us” in the description) smashes together an endless variety of melodies, sounds, and textures across the six tracks on their self-titled cassette, imbuing what might once have been somewhat accessible synthpop tunes with acrobatic found sound mishmashes and synthetic concrète processing. Each song flits from catchiness to complete mayhem in its own way, whether its a field recording sandwiched between stunning glitch-pop sections on “don’t evaporate” or the stabbing strings and distorted anguish that leads into the soothing coda of “learning how to cry,” demonstrating the incredible results when music so clearly defined by convention is completely dissected and rearranged.