CD: Bugs Crawling Out Of People [2004]

prospero - through the walls
dead man's hill - heretics look downstairs
casual coincidence - merboso
pneumatic detach - .ryhim.ninept.
legion ultra - mute (demo version)
sedarka - mucus on ice
bETON bARRAGE - devoured by flies
cold flesh colony - hymn of praise
scrap.edx - all those fucking eyes
iszoloscope - a deep cthulhu terror
asphalt leash - something has gone terribly wrong
nitrous flesh - the return of the dark angels pt 1
nitrous flesh - the return of the dark angels pt 2

Bugs Crawling Out Of People is a label with an agenda; they believe that industrial music has decayed from an artistic form which said and meant something to a design aesthetic geared towards producing tunes that sound nice and work well on the dancefloor. This flagship sampler is at the forefront of their reaction against that, and as such is an entirely praiseworthy venture. But I'm not sure it holds up to analysis. A militant, transgressive aesthetic is still an aesthetic; 'nice' is subjective and that works both ways.

There is clearly a set of guiding design principles at work here too; there are common sonic themes running through all the tracks of harsh, abrasive noisiness (particularly Cold Flesh Colony), thunderous rhythmic intensity (Pneumatic Detach), creepy atmospherics (Casual Coincidence) or some or all of these together. This is not something that I can take issue with, being rather fond of all three. There's very little in the way of vocals throughout, as is customary with this sort of music nowadays, apart from some words from the included short story - a hypnagogic post-Lovecraft stream of consciousness - read over the Prospero and Iszoloscope tracks, and some barely-comprehensible shouting here and there. Pardon me for waxing literal, but it can be a little hard to say something without saying anything. A quick glance at the tracknames, which are after all the cheapest and easiest way to give instrumental tracks any semantic depth, doesn't reveal anything illuminating either.

Perhaps I'm being too harsh. Detached from any issues of meaningfulness or lack thereof, this is fundamentally a great collection of grinding industrial mayhem, with a nice mix of familiar and less familiar names, and a good balance between rhythmic noise-club hard-hitters (Scrap.edx), disturbing dronescapes (Asphalt Leash) and experiments in extremist electronica (Sedarka). But it's everything its label claims to be against. No-one here is trying to methodically free you from the psychological contraints imposed by society (like Throbbing Gristle were), to demonstrate that instruments can be made out of any objects or that music can be made out of any palette of sounds (see Einstürzende Neubauten and Nurse With Wound respectively), or to open your conscious and unsconscious minds to other, less concrete, modes of awareness (as in Coil and Psychic TV). Or if they are, they're being very subtle about it.


[Bugs Crawling Out Of People]

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