Violence and the Sacred “Scarcely a Pause in the Process of Butchering” CDR (2011)

CDR coverPerformed at The Fallout Shelter in Toronto on May 16th, 1986, this disc is the earliest of the mid-1980s improvisation recordings to be issued and is also the most abrasive. Vihuela (a type of guitar) and cello see treatment more in the manner of Derek Bailey and his cohorts, although still are in a sound world that is closer to the realm of experimental music, as they are mixed with synth, beatbox and various tapes which further the density of the music. Scott Kerr’s rhythms even take on an aspect of late Throbbing Gristle in “Time Collapse Agany” (also the name of a side project). St. Deborah’s voice is also more obviously manipulated than in subsequent performances and recordings, driving home the point that she was an off stage member of the group, perhaps embarrassed to be caught reading in public from “The Correct Sadist”, “Anal Pleasure & Health”, and Pat Califia’s hardcore lesbian texts. However, the tendency towards noise and a fascination with sexual deviancy exhibited by Violence and the Sacred are removed from the sound world created at the same time by the likes of Merzbow. You would have to slow down Masami’s junk noise quite a bit to land in the shifting morass of “Scarcely a Pause…”. It does retain the feeling of a aural collage with voices and musical samples coming and going while the live playing ranges from acoustic and musical to heavily processed and abstract. Unfortunately missing from this presentation is the “optical attack” that Potemkin and John Dubiel provided via slides and televisions at the one-off concert. Nevertheless, the original flyer is reproduced under the tray in the Digipak, which also features new and colorful artwork by Stephen Campbell. Dating from 2006-2007, the bit from Campbell’s “Extreme Sports Series” which graces the cover is an appropriately surreal vision of a tiger (lacerations magnified by a looking glass), his trainer (with eyes removed to a chest level ornament), a young person with a glassy look and their penned in area.

VioSac – VATS4