Review: Appliancide – lowest common denominator (Black Ring Rituals, Feb 10)

a0497772238_10I have a modestly sized list of music-related key words that, should I see them in any tags or blurbs for a release, guarantee that I’ll at least try to listen to something. One of the first of these that comes to mind, as well as the one that applies to this particular album, is “cut-up”; while the phrase has become far more nuanced as a stylistic descriptor since its coining by William S. Burroughs (at least for auditory/musical purposes) in the late 50’s, its association to a wide range of artists who are all personal favorites of mine—John Wiese, Developer, Chlorgeschlect, Kazumoto Endo, Andrea Pensado, Facialmess, Otomo Yoshihide, etc.—validates its buzzword status. Appliancide’s new tape lowest common denominator, which also appears to be the Fargo project’s debut full-length release, immediately cements its worthiness of the “cut-up” label with the opening title track: a restless, hyperactive frenzy of high-speed noise collaging, shattered industrial rhythms, and a ridiculously eclectic array of auxiliary samples. Appliancide’s approach is instantly magnetic, and maintains its frenetic pace over the course of the eight minute track with ease. Things slow down a bit when we get to “purity balls deep,” a more subdued patchwork of dated speech extracts and context-scooped conversations, while “The Rectal Escalator” offers up a splintered racket of tactile concrete sounds. At its heart, lowest common denominator is a noise album, but the pleasingly indiscriminate sample use and surrealist sensibilities will also appeal to fans of LAFMS dada choppers like Joseph Hammer or forgotten oddball classics such as Mind / Body / Split’s If It’s Not On It’s Not On. This tape is not only the best thing I’ve heard from Black Ring Rituals; it’s also the best cut-up noise I’ve heard in recent memory.