Friday, April 27, 2012

Grasshopper - The Day America Forgot (Sicsic026)

thanks to Green Greener for the Madman. peace to you, bro :)

The sun looks pretty appealing in the above image.  Well, absorb those nourishing rays, and for good measure, take a big rip from the Madman.  We are going on a pilgrimage with Jesse and Josh, and I don't know if we're ever going to return in this form. 

Jesse DeRosa and Josh Millrod are the members of Grasshopper, a duo creating experimental compositions by utilizing a mix of trumpets, an electric valve instrument, and electronics.  After reading Rachel Evans’OMG Vinyl 2011 retrospective, which featured Grasshopper's blazer, Goodnight Sweet Prince, I was hooked.  This is some heavy shiit.  These guys are purveyors of sinister, heaving drones that catch you from behind.  So lock the doors, blaze up and crank this shiit to the max.  The Day America Forgot was recorded live and catches these guys in fine form.

"Blunt Force" begins side A as if some type of insidious agent has pervaded your veins, gradually gaining momentum, with the objective of taking complete control of the senses.  Elongated tones stretch over the body.  The tape begins to heave and a robust drone takes shape with an extra sustained tone in the mix.  And then the trumpet enters solemnly, progressively becoming louder.  The contrast between the trumpet and the tones emitted from the electronics is beautiful - this is some epic shiit.  The tape begins to mirror the start of the track, heaving and sounding like it's ready to disintegrate.  At the end of the track, the mix is barely audible, except for a slow moving silver din.

"Beermaggedon" starts with an ominous hiss, combined with menacing tones.  Soon enough the trumpet – echoing, tones oscillating - provides a warning.  All of this is combined with a rumbling drone, an amalgamation of sharp electronic sounds that spew forth mixing with solemn emissions from the trumpet.  These guys have a proclivity for making dread feel enjoyable. The sound consumes the speakers and the barely controlled energy spews forth until the track dissipates

The flipside is comprised of one track, "Recreational Liposuction".  It commences gently with a slight, shifting buzz and a few looped notes.  Suddenly, a shift in sound occurs.  The mix becomes gradually heavy and the trumpet makes itself noticed, initially with plaintive tones that become louder - the sounds from the beginning of the track are still running strong, at this juncture.  This is the point where a beautiful synthesis occurs.  These guys play off each other extremely well.  The guttural squeals of the trumpet are matched by the appropriate piercing electronic sounds.  The mix becomes heavy with electronics.  Isolated in time, it is a frightening, menacing sound.  Horror, unease, dread - one notices the tension produced by the visceral feeling of the music.  Everything is all fucked up, squalid, yet alluring.  The keyboard plays notes that hover, bleak notes and the trumpet is ascending, playing for its life.  In the last few minutes, a transition occurs.  No overpowering electronics, but solemn trumpet sounds.  It feels like an elegy…definite blue tones…the joke is up and the fucking show is over, unequivocally.  A conflagration is spreading quickly, swallowing the ostentatious private subdivisions that spread over this once fertile land like a disease.  The land has been raped and pillaged of its beauty.  The insular, for once, appear to recognize their folly.  The giant, once proud, receding into ignominy, battling to the final breath, yet ultimately powerless as the sound dissipates into a vacuum.  It engenders a new beginning and that path is glowing with the sounds that Jesse and Josh emit.

One thing is certain: artists bring their best game to Sicsic.  When it comes to sheer quality and quantity of releases, nobody does it better than Sicsic.  Johannes Schebler provides the vivid, gorgeous artwork for these pro-printed, hand numbered treasures.  After one emerges from the haze left by the destruction wrought by these guys, the next thing to do is order immediately from Discriminate or Sicsic.  Once you have purchased, head over to my friend's wonderful blog, Guide Me Little Tape, to experience a well-written review about another gem in this batch, Wolf Fluorescence.

Peace, my friends