Just since last year, Kolkata producer and musician Revant Dasgupta has already accumulated an impressive and eclectic discography as Haved Jabib, dabbling in everything from full-on psychedelic harsh/power noise (Animal Rites, Mother Eats Her Food with a Straw) to searing cut-up collages (Table Manners) and feedback-wracked brain-bash noisecore (Royal Canin). The ominously titled Skin Weights arrives as one of the first releases by the promising new ONNO Collective, also based in the West Bengal cultural hub-city, and offers a dark, heavy, often theatrical dark ambient phantasmagoria filled with distorted speech, groaning industrial machinations, and well-placed moments of punishing noise. The first four tracks on the digital-only album all seem to based around extracts of varying sorts taken from one or several unnamed records: many of the voices seem to be sourced from the wax, and in the background—and occasionally more prominently when things are quieter like at the subdued outset of “People Talking, Airplane House”—lurks the familiar undercurrent of crackles, pops, and stylus-skipping. It’s an interesting choice, and one that might give unaware listeners the impression that the digital master is just a vinyl rip, but several moments where the analog imperfections are noticeably absent, including the entirety of the concluding title track, make it clear that’s not the case. It didn’t take very long for the near-omnipresent texture to grow on me as a deliberate artistic choice, because the way Dasgupta shrouds his multifarious masses of sonics in oppressive fuzz and gloom evokes the dusty sputter of an old film projector, its weak window of light broadcasting something unfamiliar and abstract yet nonetheless deeply unsettling onto a dirty basement wall.
One thought on “Review: Haved Jabib – Skin Weights (ONNO Collective, Aug 31)”
Revant Dasgupta is a underground legend of Kolkata.
Proud of his work and his coming out of the closet to his folks as a queen bottom. Much power to you, my queen. Slay with your music and dance.