A complete mishmash of sounds competing, blending, overlaying and combining, this 1987 recording comes from a particularly active, at least from the standpoint of releases published, period of this Canadian group’s history. Â Formed in 1985 to take advantage of an opening slot on a Chris & Cosey concert, the ensemble kept busy through the mid-1990s, eventually disappearing for a while after their 1992 CD for Artware Production in Germany, and finally reforming in 2006. Â This disc reconnects the two halves of a live performance at The Fallout Shelter in Toronto which were originally split into two cassette releases for Â Harsh Reality Music and Corrosive Tapes. Â The music is created from synths, beatbox, cello, guitar and a fair amount of material from pre-recorded tapes. Â While definitely in an experimental mode, it does avoid falling into the industrial or noise realms so popular at that time as it relies so much on free improvisation. Â A comparison might be made to H.N.A.S., who were their label mates on Freedom in a Vacuum, and to whom they were absorbed for a one-off H.N.A.S. concert in Toronto in March of 1991. Â But while H.N.A.S. would drift into the more musical and song based material, Violence and the Sacred keep to a queasy miasma with the voice taking the role of narration. Â Read by St. Deborah, the majority of the text seems to be drawn from the influential proto-surrealist novel “Les Chants de Maldoror” by Le Comte de LautrÃ©amont. Â Her voice occupies a forward position, not being obscured by the musicians, although disappearing from the performance for several minutes at a time. Â The more occluded voices come via the tapes added by the three musicians: Scott Kerr, Graham Stewart, and Ted Wheeler. Â While many of these sources appear to be drawn from the detritus of popular culture, I also recognize bits of Jim Roche’s monologues and what might be a bit from a Jodorowsky soundtrack. Â Besides the textual orientation of much of the disc, the music seems apart from the strictly experimental realm due to Ted Wheeler’s languorous guitar soloing throughout. Â The shifting path does keep a consistent dynamic throughout, never becoming overly bombastic or minimal. Â Packaged in a four-panel Digipak, the cover includes a few shots of Cal Woodruf and Wheazel Lizard’s multimedia (slids, films, video and projections) visuals from the concert.
Viosac – VATS8