Gonken - Mechanical Christ In My Basement

Artist: Gonken

WTF Album: Mechanical Christ in my Basement

Tags: noise, bent circuit, radio, collage, spoken word, christian, mockery

WTF Quality: A Christian noise album inspired by an unintended radio signal

Lifespan: 2010 -

Country: USA


My brothers and sisters in Christ,

A most grave and disturbing matter has come to my attention that we must together face with the steadfast belief in the power of our Heavenly Father, for it is this unshakable faith that forms our rock, our foundation which will always prevail in the face of adversity.

A young fellow, a troubled soul and reckless heathen by the name of J. Gonken has desecrated our divine sanctuary and our covenant. Our church and our congregation has been ridiculed and cursed, and it is now our responsibility to evangelize and set straight he who has trespassed against us.

Some days ago, my friends, I received a copy of an audio recording, a CD bearing the name of "Mechanical Christ in my Basement." And it is full of hate, sin, and the vilest sounds that I personally have ever heard in the entire time that I have walked this Earth. It is satanic and poison, and I dare not let anyone else hear it for fear that it may be heard by some of the impressionable youngsters among us. The sounds themselves are too many and too wicked to mention, but I will provide you with a small depiction of their venomous effect.

Imagine the howling of a demon, a damned soul. Picture and hear in your mind, for a moment, the flickering sun-hot flames of hell. Imagine the unspeakable depravity: a horde of writhing serpents, the clash and grind of chains and whips, a bacchanalian orgy of sinful pleasure, a dark mass held in a luciferian hall of worship. This is what I see when I heard this CD, something I can only refer to as an insult to God's beautiful gift of music. It is anti-music, just as the devil is anti-god. The sounds grind against the ears, damage the senses, undoubtedly and maliciously inflicting wounds to the ears and to the soul. They may not be the loudest or heaviest sounds, and believe me, I know what heavy metal rock and roll can sound like: awful repetitive pounding infantile hateful nonsense music, but this heavy metal music I speak of at least uses musical instruments and some semblance of melody and rhythm, thus it can at least be called a distorted form of music. But this Gonken CD I hold here in my hand, this atrocity, can not even rightfully be called music. Honestly folks, I think at times it may be the voice of an evil machine, a satanic computer. It is unwholesome and unnatural. I couldn't listen past the second track - after that I had to skip through them. All the same. All nonsense. No redeeming qualities whatsoever.

But not only that, my friends, not only is this the most offensive kind of sound imaginable, but this man who calls himself Gonken, this minion of satan, has stolen our voice. It is true. He has somehow eavesdropped in on our services and recorded the sound of my sermons, unbeknownst to us all. Perhaps he is among us at this very moment! [hushed gasping and curious gaping from the congregation]. Yea, one must never underestimate the deception of the dark lord of hell. He can assume any form, and he can blend into any situation, even in the holiest of earthly places. Thus we are never safe, never entirely free from his grasp. And he will tempt you to a life of sin, and that is why we must resist. By capturing the sound from this hall of worship and splicing in with his anti-music, he has committed a most grievous offense against us. It is a spit in the face of our heavenly father. As followers of the teachings of Christ I urge you to search your souls and pray for this demented creature.

Now we as Christians must search our hearts and ask ourselves - can such a soul truly be redeemed? Can we evangelize and convert him, show him the light and the truth of God's eternal love as expressed through the death of his only son? Can he open his heart and beg for forgiveness for his sins, cleanse his soul, and be baptized in the holy waters? Or is he too far gone, forever a spawn of the devil? For his transformation must be perfectly complete, otherwise he will surely slip into the lake of fire with the other tortured souls.

I say that if he does indeed walk among us, we must fear him, we must not be caught by his clutches, for even if we read the most enlightening passages and convey God's love, surely he will laugh at us and mock us as he has with this CD. Do not let him corrupt us, we are the pillars of the house of God, and we do not shake. If he is to willingly convert and confess to his innumerable sins, we are to accept him as a brother in Christ. Notwithstanding such circumstances, he is to be banished from our sight, that he may never set foot or microphone upon these premises again.

In God's name we pray:
Dear Heavenly Father, let us be strong in our faith and steadfast in our ways. We pray that you through your infinite wisdom can shine your light of truth upon this lost soul who calls himself J. Gonken.
In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.


-Pastor Jeemobonus

[WTFmusic.org admin's editorial comment - This review by Pastor Jeemobonus does not reflect the opinions or religious views of this site's creators, which are basically magick ritual orgy. We follow up on this sermon with a review by Jeemobon]

As the legend goes,
The subject matter of this release was born of a freak accident. I was practicing for a noise show that I got asked to perform at and by doing so in my basement with a combination of a circuit bent keyboard and a cheap radio shack cable, I picked up a broadcast from a local church down the street. So I decided to record the practice set and this is what I got. The more I listened to it, the more I was drawn into it. A real modern miracle.
- J. Gonken

And what could be more fucked up than the bible, or firebrand preachers sermoning about the bible? In the glory of all that is WTF, now we have an album of noise music to accompany these crazy sermons.

From the opening track of the album we have this glorious teaching:
Wives submit yourselves into your own husbands as under the lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church, and he is the savior of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.
Yes, this is what many Christians believe. Soon the preacher's voice becomes morphed into a synth-like unintelligible garble. And it is this morphing that defines Gonken's personal aesthetic and response to this teaching. Mockery through noise. If we think about typical stereotypes of the kind of emotions usually conveyed by noise musicians, some of the first things that usually spring to mind: darkness, insanity, aggression, fuck you and fuck it all, despair. Of course, there is much more to electronic noises (just listen to some member music from this site), and Gonken is not simply a sneering, angry, raving hater who destroys the sermon with walls of destruction. A lot of it is done in a sparse way. The message is vaguely understandable and Gonken plays around the words with beeps, swoops, hisses, low tones, rumbles, and mini-drones. The voice bubbles out from muddled tones, becomes engulfed by static, is twisted and filtered, until it too is nothing more than noise. A fucked up quote from the bible to expand on this idea:
‘Look!’ he said. ‘The people are united, and they all speak the same language. After this, nothing they set out to do will be impossible for them! Come, let’s go down and confuse the people with different languages. Then they won’t be able to understand each other.’
Genesis 11:6-7

The words became babble, like the sound of rain or insects. Meaningless. And God did it to confuse us! But Gonken does it to mock, to play, to have fun with it because it's all so weird and WTF. To the uncompromising noise musician, all sound is available to be used, as sound, to create music. But to the hardcore Christians, everything fits into the perspective of Christ, as the quote about wives illustrates, and just as is mentioned in the last track on the album: "and so this love has to be a sincere love." Believe with all your heart and be saved. Another sermon quote from the album:
the word of god declares that the way of sin is [???] that there is going to be damnation for your sins, and that cannot be mutated, that cannot be changed, that cannot be set aside in any way ...
I will interject at this point that when I grew up I was taken to church every sunday and taught this exact lesson - that there will be hell to pay for your sins. And of course the church has used this line for centuries to scare people into following and believing. There it is, again and again, right until this modern age and doubtless into the future. There are all kinds of Christians, a rainbow of beliefs, some very loose and vague, like the universalist unitarians who allow total room for personal interpretation and barely even mention Jesus at all (I played organ for one of those churches for a while). And then there are the ultra-conservatives who seem to carry out every action as if their life is dictated by Christ's teachings and the bible. The sermons on "Mechanical Christ" would fall into this category. (Also let's not forget the nuts who hand out pamphlets about the coming apocalypse, and rave on and on about the evils in the world). Oh wait, those nuts who rave on the street and the conservative well-dressed clean cut baptist minister preach the same thing! Also quoted in the album:
And in this time when we're living, when we're right near the end and we see that marvelous statement of Revelations ...
So in everything we do, from our daily family lives and in all our activities, we must follow Christ. Because if we give in to a life of sin, we will be damned to hell. Also, time for this world is running out, and soon we will all be judged. But what does Gonken have to say about all this? "People get too wrapped up in what they believe is right."

Which you can see in the world around us very easily. Politicians and people in power throughout history and even today hold these very beliefs, take them very seriously, and take these beliefs to the extreme of holy wars, and other bullshit like teaching creationism in science class. Well shit, that's debatable, isn't it, there's no proof for evolution! Right, that's why we have so many religious freaks in the world ...

Eventually as the album progresses, Gonken's music takes over, but still the many appearances of the sermon pervade the whole listening experience, and it seems that they are lurking behind the textures and more thickly layered sections. As stated earlier, it's all noise. "Mechanical Christ In My Basement" strikes the chord of absurdist resonance within the zealous voice of Christian doctrine.

The album will be made available for download shortly.


I leave you with some fucked up quotes from the bible, many gleaned from other community message boards, and the particularly useful wtfbible.org


There she lusted after her lovers, whose genitals were like those of donkeys and whose emission was like that of horses
Ezekiel 23:20
If, however, the charge is true and no proof of the girl's virginity can be found, she shall be brought to the door of her father's house and there the men of her town shall stone her to death. She has done a disgraceful thing in Israel by being promiscuous while still in her father's house. You must purge the evil from among you.
Deuteronomy 22:20-21

Women should learn quietly and submissively. I do not let women teach men or have authority over them. Let them listen quietly. For God made Adam first, and afterward he made Eve. And it was not Adam who was deceived by Satan. The woman was deceived, and sin was the result.
1 Timothy 2: 11-15 

So Judah told Onan, “Go and sleep with your brother’s widow; it’s the duty of a brother-in-law to keep your brother’s line alive.” But Onan knew that the child wouldn’t be his, so whenever he slept with his brother’s widow he spilled his semen on the ground so he wouldn’t produce a child for his brother. God was much offended by what he did and also took his life.
Genesis 38:8-10

If a man practices homosexuality, having sex with another man as with a woman, both men have committed a detestable act. They must both be put to death, for they are guilty of a capital offense.
Leviticus 20:13

If a man beats his male or female slave with a club and the slave dies as a direct result, the owner must be punished. But he is not to be punished if the slave gets up after a day or two, since the slave is his property.
Exodus 21:20-21

If two Israelite men get into a fight and the wife of one tries to rescue her husband by grabbing the testicles of the other man, you must cut off her hand. Show her no pity.
Deuteronomy 25:11-12 

David and his men went out and killed two hundred Philistines. He brought their foreskins and presented the full number to the king so that he might become the king’s son-in-law. Then Saul gave him his daughter Michal in marriage.
1 Samuel 18:27 

Don’t have sex with your father’s wife. That violates your father.
Leviticus 18:8

From there Elisha went up to Bethel. On the way some boys came out of the city and made fun of him. They said to him, “Go up too, you baldhead! Go up too, you baldhead!” Elisha turned around, looked at them, and put a curse on them in the name of the Lord. Then two mother bears came out of the woods and tore forty-two of the boys to pieces.
2 Kings 2:23-24
If a man happens to meet in a town a virgin pledged to be married and he sleeps with her, you shall take both of them to the gate of that town and stone them to death--the girl because she was in a town and did not scream for help, and the man because he violated another man's wife. You must purge the evil from among you.
Deuteronomy 22:23-24