Review: Household Appliances – Everything in the Kitchen Sink (Unmapped Zones, Oct 16)

After dabbling in areas as diverse as minimal electronica, dusty bedroom pop, sprightly dungeon synth, and more throughout the various aliases grouped together on the Unmapped Zones page, Hemet, CA–based artist Joel Major (also known as Camp Wonderful and a member of Strange Visitors) turns to the crud gathered in the tile grout after all those recording sessions to generate Everything in the Kitchen Sink. Perhaps (aptly) named for the unspeakable smorgasbord of dirty dishes, soggy food leftovers, smelly oil-water, and other shudder-worthy detritus that eventually gathers in the sink basin of any dwelling occupied by procrastinators, the single-track release comprises pretty typical fare for “junk heap audio collage”: trivial field recordings captured with derelict dictaphones and damaged tapes; whirring, wiggling, warbling fast-forwards and rewinds; messy clumps and fumbling scrabbles. For a 10-minute piece it’s surprisingly varied, stumbling erratically from rotary clatter that could just as well be a rattling minecart grinding along a track as simply the amplified playback of a blank cassette. Major tends to use the wobbling tendrils of high-speed scrubbing in much the same way as the crude electronic pulses and buzzes that occasionally make their way into the mix, layering them overtop of the central churn as textural ornaments rather than structural destabilizers. Around six or so minutes in, fans of no-fi trash improv (think Ruda Vera, Filthy Turd, Liam Kramer-White) will find plenty to love in a brief vignette of ragged breathing and tape-rip revue before it decomposes into piercing whistles and swampy gurgles. Though the sole track is titled “Side A” and the cover art formatted for tape, there’s no actual physical edition to be found . . . I hope that changes soon.

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