Thursday, November 13, 2008

Mincemeat or Tenspeed – All Critters [Deathbomb Arc/Malleable/Big Monies Tapes]

Mincemeat or Tenspeed is the stage name of Davey Harms, who according to the press release, wanted to make techno music with rock ‘n roll style but had no synth or sampler or sequencer or drum machine or computer or any instruments either. But he apparently did have a bunch of guitar pedals which he used to make this LP.
Beginning with a distorted pulse that never lets up, “End Times” introduces Harms’ music to your ears like you would introduce a buzzsaw to a piece of wood. It’s amazing how dynamic this music really is and how well Harms controls his array of pedals. Furthermore, it’s also amazing that these really are techno-punk songs. There’s a mechanized rhythmic drive and melodies that build and evaporate. Maybe it’s not quite danceable but it is seizurable, if you are willing to accept that as an actual term. I’ve listened to this record a bunch of times, and I still can’t figure out how this dude pulled off this impossible task. I know there’s tons people out there making noise with pedals (which is rad) but this guy makes melodies and rhythms and songs with them. The end of “End Times” is a perfect example of this where everything breaks down slowly to its base state it becomes apparent just how much manipulating Harms is really doing. The beginning of “Accident Prone” is fuckin’ beautiful. A skittering, lilting bit of frequency shifting before he hits the fuzz and starts knocking heads. Even then though, the beauty of the composition shines through. He continues to ramp things up unleashing all sorts of little melodies and piling them all on top of each other. There’s also a groovin’ “duh duh-duh duh” (bad impression) that keeps things going and fingers snapping. At the end there’s even some stuff that reminds me of good crunk tracks, weird little counter melodies and shit. I don’t how he does it, but he does it.
Side B follows the same path as the first—the fiery barnburner in front with the quieter contemplative-ish piece bringing up the rear. “Root Furs” is the first of the two tracks on the second side. Beginning with a cybertronic, continually glitching melody. Things start blasting with a relentlessly fast throb of fuzz on top of which the melodies dance like brain fried fireflies. Things get their gnarliest on the record here with heavy crunch overtaking everything. Then—poof—it’s gone and the final track “All Critters” begins. With an extended intro it takes a moment to cast it’s spell. Upon of the entry of a resistant, twisting melody I’m hooked. Harms chops this up a bit and messes with speeds, fragmenting the track. Despite this the track always has a center so the fragments are just flickers of beauty and ugliness but never disrupt the track in a problematic way.
I've never heard anything quite like this. I’ve heard pedal noise and electro-punk but never so integrated and precise. I hope this guy plays my town so I can see him in action. It’s gotta be a mindblower. This LP is still available from all three of the labels that co-released it (Big Monies Tapes, Deathbomb Arc, Malleable) and it comes cheap and with fantastic artwork of animals moshing at Davey’s last show by Mark Price, beautifully rendered as a fold-out, double-sided, multi-color screenprint job. A visual beauty to match the tunes.


Albany Sonic Arts Collective said...

sounds awesome! Can't wait to get this one. thanks for hepping me to it...

Auxiliary Out said...

Yeah, it's a cool record. One I keep coming back to.
Thanks for reading!