Various Artists - There Is No God and He Is Your Creator
There Is No God and He Is Your Creator
GGE Records [GGLPS-87901] (United States, C62 Cassette)
This compilation was the reason I started segment[Obscured] in the first place.
The full album came up as a recomended video uploaded by the lovely Archaic Inventions, and it hooked me instantly. I had listened to weird experimental music before, I was really into Swans at the time, but this was my first exposure to the kind of DIY underground cassette-culture of the 80s and 90s, and I'm going to be honest:
It kind of scared the shit out of me.
The first track, the eponymous spoken-word poem by Dean Taciuch, is a great mysterious (if a bit pretentious) hook.
The next track, Easter by Barnacle Choir, is a rocking post-punk song with a bunch of references that I don't understand. Definitely a highlight, I find myself coming back to this one a lot.
The third track is where I started to get a bit wary. Paradox, by Human Flesh (the first of the tracks to be a project of Alain Neffe) is entirely in reverse, and is just generally pretty creepy. Though, in my opinion, the creepiness of it is kind of one-note. The intention may not even have been to be creepy at all, but even if so, I guess this song just isn't for me.
Track four, Cruising by Izabella, is one of the lighter cuts from the compilation. The bubbly synthesizer in the background, walking bass, and seemingly pitch-shifted vocals about simply riding in one's automobile make this track a pretty fun listen, if a bit off-kilter.
Track five is The Big Blob Pt. 2 by Brian Ruryk. I looked for a part one, I really did, but I'm sad to say I could not find proof of its existence. The track is pretty short, a little over a minute, but I find that it gets its ideas across succinctly. The throbbing bass drum fades in, accompanied by what I think is a synthesiZer, and then just as quickly both fade out. Then, a different bass drum and the whining of what I think is a guitar. After some atonal strums for the guitar, the background fades out and a bassline comes in with some more hits from the guitar. This track is strange and disorienting, gets in quick, and gets out quicker. Hey, I like it.
If you've looked into the archive, you'd know that I looked a bit further into Ruryk's discography, and it gets strange. Very strange. However, that's a conversation for another webpage, onto the next track.
Track six, The New Pornography by Dementia 13 (officially known by the misspelling Dimentia 13), is another highlight for me. The folk-punk sound definitely takes influence from Violent Femmes, and hey, I like Violent Femmes :) The lyrics have got that 80s punk style of bashing the schlock we see on television, which is a bit cliche, but I think it's original enough to hold on its own.
Also, this is the only song that is actually on streaming services, to the best of my knowledge. So, good for you, Dimentia 13, I hope you're doing well.
Okay. Track seven.
This was one hell of an introduction to Big City Orchestra. Ubhuman Four scared the piss out of me. That does make some sense, it being a parody of Subhuman by Throbbing Gristle (a band infamous for its scariness) but I didn't know that at the time! The vocal samples in the intro feel almost mechanical, and with the added vocal layer, I cannot tell if it's laughing or screaming. After the intro, the booming vocals on top of the discordant instrumental (distorted piano?) just freaked me out, I don't know. Being a parody, the lyrics are replaced to describe just the most mundane activities. I don't know if it's meant to be humorous or to say something about how we're all made subhuman by the everyday mundanities of modern life, but whatever it is, the innocuous lyrics made it even creepier. The banging on the (piano?) gets louder and more distorted, until it cuts out, and the vocal splices from the beginning come back in, ending the song off. Now what in tarnation am I supposed to take from that.
One of my favorite tracks, though, it grew on me.
Big City Orchestra is a spiraling labyrinthine rabbit hole itself, I'm gonna have to look into them more. Expect more soon, dear readers.
Track eight is 6 or 7 Times a Day by Wallmen. This one is my personal favorite from the compilation. Buzzy electronic sound of the synthesizer and analog drums in combination with the matter-of-fact delivery of the vocals just really does it for me. I really like the lyrics too, giving instructions on how to be a deplorable person since God will just forgive you anyway. Wallmen is a great band and I'm glad this compilation introduced me to them, the album that this song was originally from, $3.00, is really a hidden gem.
Track nine, The Slow Zealot by Pete 'n' Bob, is actually really beautiful :) With its sprawling warm synthesizers and meandering guitar plucking, it's a nice change of pace nearing the end of Side A. Just a nice ambient track all around.
To close out Side A is track ten, Your Mind? by Bene Gesserit, the second track to feature Alain Neffe. I kind of interpret is as snapping back to reality from the bliss of the previous track. This is the shortest track on the album, just under a minute of some sped up loops and some vocal samples. It's sparse, and I like it for that. I think it's a good transition going into the insanity of Side B.
Track ten, the first track of Side B, is a desolate sprawling monster of a dark ambient track. Listening to No. 2 (Live) by Pacific 231 is like walking through a nightmare. The menacing drone throughout the song almost sounds like wind, and sets a really forboding tone. And when the distorted samples of screaming kick in? This one gives me chills. It didn't initially freak me out as much as Ubhuman Four, but it definitely stayed scary for longer.
Following up that nightmare is Frank Kogan's Transit Cop Kicks Bum Off of BMT. The whiplash I got when listening to this was almost humorous. This track is another pretty light one, I'd compare it to Cruising with its casual tone and bass-centric instrumental. This one's a lot more stripped down, though, with a single bass riff being the only instrumental. The lyrics play out like a friend recounting their crazy night, I enjoy this one.
Track twelve, Headman Dreaming Kangaroo by Screaming Dukduks is about as strange as the title would suggest. This one's not scary in its bizareness, though, it just kinda does its own thing: HARD psychedelia. I like it a lot, this is definitely a highlight!
Track thirteen is Angel by Barkmarket, a pretty minimal post-punk track that only really gets interesting in its outro, in my opinion. I had actually never heard of Barkmarket before listening to this, but after seeing a comment on how it was funny seeing them in such an underground tape, I was prompted to look more into them, and they seem to have done pretty well for themselves! I haven't listened to any of their other music yet, but I've been meaning to.
Though this band is notable for gaining moderate success after the release of this compilation, it is, in that regard, greatly overshadowed by the next track...
Yep. There's a Merzbow song on here. That's probably the only reason it gained enough traction to be recommended to me in the first place, but I digress. Track fifteen is Nirvana for the Seven Sermons (Excerpt) by the (in)famous Japanese noise artist, Merzbow. Now, going into this track, it sort of subverted my expectations. I expected the something along the lines of the electronic harsh noise of Pulse Demon (the only Merzbow album I had heard of at the time (and I was not particularly a fan of it)), but I was pleasantly surpised with this track. This is more of an ambient or sound-art (i'm still not sure if i know what that is) track, and I find it quite sonically interesting. This actually got me to check out more of Merzbow's catalogue, and it turns out he did make some stuff I like :)
The semifinal track sixteen, The Dim (Excerpt) by Malok is an erratic sound collage that cuts between vocal samples and synthesizers. Honestly, I'm not really into this one. It's just too sporadic to make me care. If anything, it feels like the psychotic shitpost videos that are commonplace in memes. Just not my thing.
The final track, God is My Creator by A. D. Eker is another sound collage with vocal samples, but I think this one does it a lot better. It starts off silent aside for a single vocal sample being spliced and pitch shifted, but then evolves into a blistering noise rock track over its seven minute runtine while still incorporating the original sample before ending how it started. This was a great choice to end off the compilation.
Well, there you have it. The reason I started this project in the first place. Admittedly, this compilation wouldn't meet the current criteria of uploading, as it was already available on YouTube in its entirety, I only uploaded it to be able to more easily send individual tracks to my friends, but I think this was a good place for segment[Obscured] to start.
And no, I'm not writing track-by-track reviews of every album on here, I'm not a masochist.