WTF Album: The Middle Child Is Always A Flaming Terror
Tags: detuned guitar, detuned vocals, drum machine, lo-fi, singer-songwriter, off-rhythm, modified instruments, DIY
WTF Quality: obscure sounding songs with bizarre lyrics inspired by dreams
Lifespan: 2006 -
Do you enjoy music that sounds sloppy, off balance, and haphazardly thrown together? With lyrics that are at times incoherent, at other times, barely understandable, at other times, rambling, and generally spontaneously random? Do you love to listen to music that would make most people turn their heads and say wtf is this shit? And do you also dig it when this music has a mysterious and surreal logic to it, where the sounds actually fit together and create a very unusual and overall consistent mood, with stream of conscious lyrics that tell an interwoven story? Sure, don't we all?
I was having a chat with an old friend on facebook, and he asked what I was doing, so I told him I was listening to strange music and sent him the jamendo link. His reaction was funny; these would make some nice promotional quotes for an album advert:
"... this music is demented!"
"holy cacophony! Like Beefheart on heroin or something"
"God, dude, this is beyond bizarre"
"strangely charming, yet unsettling too"
"Sounds like he's fuck-slamming a cello or something . . . strings so slackened that they're just flopping everywhere"
"I'll have to have Cori hear this shit. 'Tripping Out in the dark...' funny lyrics"
If you're looking for something fucked up, "The Middle Child Is Always A Flaming Terror" won't disappoint.
One particular vocal theme makes me feel like the whole album was made just for wtfm. From the song "Just A Vortex (Overcome)" - "the day feels so bizarre, far beyond paleolythic, but I don't feel so with it. Pat 'em on the head. I'm almost adamant (?) about being dead, being dead, being dead ..."
And then in "Power Drive Line" - "The day feels so bizarre, but I'm just livin' it out, seein' where it'll take me. It's already gotten pretty surreal, here's the deal ..."
And again, several times.
The Chadderandom Abyss is made by some guy in Nebraska, but I don't know his name. I drove through Nebraska once, and other than on a boat in the ocean, I've never experienced such flatness on land. I'm not sure if that influences the music. But he seems to be a strange person, not surprisingly.
His words regarding this album:
"most of the songs were spawned from dreams which were usually spawned from what I was reading before I went to sleep, like the first song combines R. Bud Dwyer, getting trapped in a wash machine with clothes that have pot filled pockets and the native american myth of a boy being born from a blood clot."
"Other songs on that album: George Michael rapes me, getting lost in pictures from the civil war that feature a group of friends with one of them missing their head, someone accidentally killing their wife while practicing martial arts moves and a dragon that acts as my protector"
and, his self-proclaimed "sounds like" blurb from myspace:
"How about this: The Residents, Jandek, Castanets, Beck, Scratch Acid, David Allan Coe and Xiu Xiu all meet your mom on the toilet and made her forget to flush, now she's all sadcore, huddled up on the cold unforgiving tile in the fetal position crying. On crack."
I hope he joins this site.
Download all his shit:
WTF Album: Sadomasochisme Satanique & Heresies Diverses
Tags: Electronic, sexual, experimental, abstract
WTF Quality: Abstract bizarre sex ritual music
Lifespan: 1980 -
Music throughout known history has been used to accompany stories. Vibrations we know as real "sound" are fitted with tales of epic events and thus are imbued with "atmosphere" and "mood." Stripped of the words, much of modern non-vocal music is a kind of open-ended storytelling with various scenes, events, transitions, developments, and perhaps dynamic tension and release. The sounds are real. Sometimes we know how they are produced (what they are), other times they are unknown. When we listen we interpret them into feelings.
This album is a collaborative effort, an "InterRemix" between Diaenoxe (Phillippe Rivrain) and Uberlulul (Martin Lulu) [Lulu, by the way, translates into "Excentric" in English]. Rivrain describes the music as "apocolyptic, absurd," and the album's title and artwork, together with the sounds to be heard within, are sure to conjure up images of bizarre sex rituals.
While the representation of the music seems clear and straightforward, the music itself contains an abundance of sounds that cannot be linked to images or ideas in such a clear fashion. They are left open to the imagination. A sound event containing complex timbres and harmonics could be almost anything - water motion, a winding machine, close up sounds of micro-organisms, an oscillating electric circuit, planets colliding, the dream of a fairy creature, and so on ad infinitum, whereas the sound of a moaning female leaves little room for interpretation. Once we know what it is, we simply cannot, for all intents and purposes, escape this knowledge.
Many of the sounds in Sadomasochisme Satanique & Heresies Diverses lie in between the two extremes of recognizability. Some sounds certainly have a strange deep vocal groaning quality, but more like that of a demon or cyborg, not of any natural human voice. Other sounds are reminiscent of water droplets, while others could represent animal sounds. Still many others are so far from sounds we know and have stored in our minds as to be fairly novel. If we listen to lots of abstract experimental music, we may have crude ways of describing such sounds - fluttery, crunchy, swoopy, gliding, harmonically rich, thin, piercing, throbbing, tightly buzzing, scratchy; we may also use onomatopoeia, or, as above, we may use metaphor. We naturally tend to visualize, some of us more than others, but interplay between the senses is a common human trait.
The word "abstract" can take on many meanings depending on its context; in visual art, there is a design but no real objects being depicted. In philosophy it is thinking about thought itself apart from real world phenomena. As a strict definition, abstraction means "apart from concrete existence," so all verbal communication is in essence abstract. Reality itself, our experience of senses as processes within the brain, can be perceived as a foggy, dreamlike notion. In music, it is hard to define what is abstraction. One possibility is in music that lacks traditional elements - tonality and melody, as well form based on those elements. Another possibility, detached from history, is that the sounds themselves are of unknown origin and we therefore cannot visualize their source.
In both senses, Diaenoxe's music is highly abstract, particularly another recent album, Obd Gong Damötöu. The track titles are not in English (perhaps a few of the words are French?) and the music is fairly devoid of rhythm, tonality, melody, harmony, or concrete sounds. I have no idea what it's supposed to be, other than strange music.
Sadomasochisme Satanique & Heresies Diverses is interesting in that it combines this highly abstract approach with a strongly cinematic theme underlying the music. Only the first track has a fairly straight rhythmic beat and harmony - the following tracks lead us on a trip into a strange place which resembles our reality but is not quite so.
Sadomasochisme Satanique & Heresies Diverses
Obd Gong Damötöu
Visit Diaenoxe on the web:
Artist: Spielplatz der Bösewichte
WTF Album: Samples of Human Feelings
Tags: Lo-Fi, Experimental, Rock, Folk, DIY, Freak-Collaboration
WTF Quality: Home recorded songs that follow no convention but to tread into unhinged creativity and candid insanity
Country: Eart / There
Spielplatz der Bösewichte is made up of two members from this community, Richard There and Joewl Levis, and "Samples of Human Feelings" is their much anticipated debut.
The two learned of each other's similar musical oddities and decided to collaborate on an album of unheard of WTF proportions.
They have entered the rarely treaded realm of strangers in musical collaboration.
A realm that has been diminishing for a while but is showing promise of coming back to life.
Just maybe the age of artists and bands separating themselves from the public eye behind a thick curtain of secrecy is coming to a close.
With the advancement of social networking many musicians have stepped out into the open welcoming fans and fellow musicians into their personal lives.
Some have even gone further by deciding to collaborate and work with those connected to them through online networking communities.
Of course open musical collaboration is anything but new. It has been with us this whole time from faithful religious followers worshipping together through song at their place of worship, laborers working together while entranced in song such as african call and response and deep ocean sea shanties, even sports game chanting by spectators in the heat of excitement to cheer on the playing teams.
Of course it doesn't stop there. Children and even babies participate in spontaneous sound bonding as do animals of all kinds. Try to walk outside during a beautiful spring day without hearing the musical participation of singing birds.
So, when did musicians decide to restrict themselves with who they create music with?
When was it considered acceptable for "high art" and "low art" to stay separated? Or for the professional musician to shudder at the thought of working with an amateur?
When did the idea of "the band" become the norm of musical expression? - "This is my band and these are the only people I'm allowed to play with. Unless, of course, I declare a side-project."
Not only did Richard There and Joewl Levis collaborate from different areas of the world but they also dug deep into time and recreated musical moments from each other's past.
The album opens up with Joewl Levis's take on a Richard There WTFM favorite, "I Like Colours!".
Very sincere and innocent yet full of that weirdness that steams off of Richard There's music.
This song is almost made to be covered. There should be a day where everyone in the world creates their own version of "I Like Colours".
I know I'll start working on my version soon.
The next song is a rotation of personalities.
Richard There does his own arrangement of an old Joewl Levis anthem, "Eart is for Eartman".
This was the song that introduced me to Joewl Levis's world of Eart, which of course parallels Richard There's nation of There.
A wonderful arrangement considerably different than the original.
With the title sticking to it's promise the album travels through a surprising array of human feelings from the frighteningly sorrowful, "All Alone by Myself", to the cute, Richard and Joewl's duet on "Every Day Tomorrow".
The lo-fi is up on full throttle throughout with a deteriorating recording quality, to the mic knocks and out of focus mixing, to the decision of not even using instruments, besides the voice, in most of the songs.
All of these are qualities both artists used in their music long before they were aware of each other. Qualities they both saw each other shared.
Their inner creative child shines throughout the whole album.
Like children they both work with colorful worlds of fantasy - From There to Eart, they both play with simple and puerile ideas and tackle them like it was the only thing that mattered, and most importantly, like children, they effortlessly and shamelessly collaborated with each other simply because that's what living beings are supposed to do.
I hope that every exceptional and honest collaborative effort inspires more people to swallow their pride, or make time in their busy schedules, to musically collaborate with as many people as they can.
They way I see it - if you don't, that makes you less of a musician.
Break out of your restrictive mold and explore the possibilities of various collaboration.
Thanks Richard There and Joewl Levis, this is such a fun and playful album that will continuously help me to see the importance of those around me.
The album can be downloaded for free here:
Further discussion of this artist and album can be found here: