Review: Mallard Theory + Lackthrow – A Duck’s Building Constructed Out of the Bones of Its Enemies (Detachment Programs, May 13)

Ducks are slippery creatures (and not just because our lakes and rivers are at least 50% oil by now). As lowly humans it’s difficult for us to fathom such power, so most make the rookie mistake of underestimating our webfooted planetmates, tossing them stale chunks of bread and other food that’s terrible for them in a last ditch effort to maintain authority. And it works, for a bit, until you come home and find the remains of everyone you’ve ever loved broken and twisted together into a gruesome, gory throne, your true overlord quacking atop it; and as he cocks his head to the side and opens his bill, this is what you hear: wing-activated pedal gnash cranked high in the red, squawking sheets of feedback, the end of everything.

Despite being a remote process/remix project like some of Mallard Theory’s other recent collaborations—e.g., the the B-side track with NJ9842 (RIP) on April’s Muscovy Supremacy and [redacted] with Audible XXY in this very Detachment batch—A Duck’s Building Constructed Out of the Bones of Its Enemies somehow sounds significantly more visceral and direct-action. Both sides are stuffed full with densely packed howl and crunch, but “No Regrets When the Mallard Reaper Cuts,” comprising a Mallard mix of Lackthrow source material, is segmented and hyperactive, operating in the most turgid territory of the cut-up spectrum. “Duck’s Weapons of Destruction,” on the other hand, is no-holds-barred wallish harsh onslaught, Lackthrow whipping up whatever Mallard sent over into a maelstrom of delay chop, contact mic squall, and tectonic rumble. C16s almost always have high replayability, but this one is on a new level. Definitely not just Flockholm syndrome either. I swear.