Monday, November 3, 2008

Bobb Bruno - Clown's Castle (DNT Records CS)

Goliath Bird Eater member and frequent Pocahaunted, Robedoor and Upsilon Acrux collaborator, Bobb Bruno is clearly a regular man about town, albeit one adorned in some kind of easter bunny costume with over-sized head. Bruno brings his cartoonishly psychedelic visual approach to this DNT release, but be warned: it's not just cutesy fun on this cassette.

Opening with the slow synth jaunt "Snail's Pace," Bruno begins with dark chordal patterns working and reworking themselves underneath fuzzed out rhythmic bits. The piece stays fairly motionless for some time, brooding in a sort of spaced out, underbelly of the mind kind of way until drum machine enters and it takes a decidedly more industrial slant as fed through break beat weirdnesses. As soon as that beat drops out it's an endless tunnel descent, Alice in Wonderland style, before this plodding drum beat comes in that gives the whole thing a form all its own. Some soundtrack to neon induced LA life-binges or something, slow-mo as all hell, a real head nodder for the mind rotter. The synth work is layed on deep here, maintaining its dark, organ(ic) riffage--it's the Phantom of the Opera remix, he all hunched over in his castle weaving some crazy arpeggiation while Bruno and company are hunkered down behind him, bunny costume adorned, partying it out. The record's called "Clown's Castle" after all... When the beat drops out its all guitar fraying and synth rides. Super reverbed out stuff here, whose muddy bass runs and clearer, less blown out high synth runs do bring to mind something not totally un-Skaters like, albeit with a more formalized structure and slightly dancier take on the whole thing--given that dancey is defined as "potentially bringing to mind movement in a club setting" rather than some sort of beat oriented toe-tapper. This would be one dark club, and surely few would be shaking it.

The album titled second side starts off with some heavy metal Sunn O))) riffage, not far off from the sounds of Bruno's Goliath Bird Eater. Buzzing comes into play as the guitar slows itself down and rides it out. The beast keeps building as choral vocals sweep across and the beat drops, making the whole thing as heavy as concrete feet over San Francisco Bay. Really heavy duty stuff that just rides and glides, the beat dropping in and out as it emits itself toward eternity. It's a real soul crusher, so don't be fooled by the blue pig and the cute pines on the cover. Limited to 79 and sold out at the label, but I'm sure Tomentosa and other like-minded distributers will have it soon. Beautiful.

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