2018 Year Enders

2018 Year’s End

Ted Sweeney has been a disgusting cyst growing on the noise end of the Boston music community for many years - DS

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Container at Club Stain

NYE 2018 was an epic night of chaos and debauchery, set to impossibly loud warehouse techno. Ren Schofield is a ninja on his 909, and his set just ripped open the New Year – allowing everyone to lose themselves into the 2018 transition. By the time Ren kicked out Glaze the ceiling was melting and pink static sparkleflakes hotboxed the bonechillingly cold factory dripping with cold sweats and unkept resolutions.

Rectrix at Cambridge Elks

Having been familiar with Pippi Zornoza founder of Providence’s Dirt Palace, I’d heard rumors that her musical project Rectrix was not to be missed. And nothing could have been further from the truth. The whole night put together by the Hassle was impressive enough already – but something changed as the room moved in preparation for Rectrix. All goes dark save for one haunting lamp illuminating Pippi as she snake-charmed an audience before annihilating them with two distinct screeching crescendos. This was the first Rectrix ritual I’d been blessed to partake in, and now consider the project New England’s finest example of sonic mysticism.

Nomad Codes by Erik Davis

Erik Davis is a talking head I’ve come to love – first encountering him a years ago via his hyper-futurist tract TechGnosis. This year I was allowed to indulge in the compendium of disparate essays collected in Nomad Codes. From the inside-jacket cover; “Whether his subject is collage art or the “majickal realism” of horror writer H.P. Lovecraft, transvestite Burmese spirit mediums, or Ufology, tripster king Terence McKenna or dub maestro Lee Perry, Davis writes with keen yet skeptical sympathy, intellectual subtlety and wit, and unbridled curiosity.” A must-read for devotees of all things weird.

Piss-drinkers at Burning Fleshtival

Held at the Red Light District in Far Rockaway New York (whose alumni includes luminaries ala Cathode Terror Secretition, Halflings, Pharmakon, DjbodyDJ, Dogdick and Twig Harpers) and so on….and their annual Burning Fleshtival tore me to bits. I distinctly recall being absolutely floored by musical sets from ZOZO and MV Carbon, and so many more I can’t list them all – and will instead point towards the festival’s highlight which was indeed hardcore watersports. Witnessing the volume of urine, number of participants prepared to “gurgle” Yellow Tears’ namesake, direct, from a cup, into peepee-tainted watermelons, I don’t even know how many ways I’d witnessed it consumed throughout the fest – it was seductively appalling. I really don’t care how you cut it – You simply can’t go too much more Caligularian than watching all those people drink all that piss.

Kilbourne at Rabit Hole

There’s both a severe lack and need for a heavy rave presence in the Greater Boston area – its something we all want and rarely receive. Media_rins are one of the few beacons of light in that dark void and were good enough to bring Kilbourne to town. Her debut album, Bloodrave, is literally an alternate soundtrack to the movie Blade – but for this night she was dropping Sperminator and other Thunderdome classics while the bodies bounced in a concrete basement until red in the face and fallen over, swollen, thankful for a hardstyle DIY rave to actually transpire in Boston ever is beyond me.

Bergsonist at MFA Late Nights

I need to say it – I love the music of Bergsonist (derived from Gilles Deleuze’s Bergsonism). I was fortunate enough to have seen her grace Club Stain earlier in the year, however bringing artloft techno parties (kudos to Media Rins for that!) to the Boston MFA seemed to break my heart open that evening. (I’m guessing about 75mins deep) I was able to experience a semiotic smearing of vibes as the youngest art school students bobbed and trotted up against the oldest and stuffiest caste you’d expect at a Fine Arts institution mixer with the only regret being a sound guy who won’t let an artist hit the red (do it next time, bozo.)

Reverse Baptism at The Glove

The boys at Thousands of Dead Gods put on what may have been the single best heavy electronics showcase I can remember seeing in a lifetime in 2018. Although every single act that night put on an increasingly blistering performance, it was without question that evening’s headliners, Reverse Baptism who stole my heart along with the show. For those unfamiliar, the band is the most millenial frustrato imaginable, featuring two angered women (Sapphogeist’s Zoe Burke and Anou She) barking militaristic fuck-you rhetoric atop the painful crunch of No Rent Records founder and noise architect Jason Crumer. From the moment the set started mosh pits and airborne beers took charge of the room, and by the time their set had ended, I was rubbing my temples muttering “what the fuck”.

Houston by Apologist

The drive home from the aforementioned Reverse Baptism concert in Bushwick during a blizzard of interpersonal traumas and a literal blizzard falling from the heavens made the long ride home one with very few words spoken. Instead, Apologist did all of the talking for us. And it felt so right. No Rent Records put out so many amazing releases this year, it’d be troubling to pick just one to call “THE BEST”… but of all the No Rent Records releases this year Houston meant the most to me. It sounds fragile. And when listening to it, I was fragile. Tone poetry that is contemplative to a degree that makes me freeze-frame the car barreling down 90W and part of me wondering if we drove off the road that night, listening to Houston, driving to Boston, and as a glitch in the matrix, I’ll sorta always be there.

DMT Cartridges

We all know about dimethyltryptamine by now. What was once an obscure psychedelic mostly located in alt.drugs forums and spoke of like a mythical dragon unseen for centuries, the internet has allowed the sharing and iterative improvements of its extraction process as simple as baking a cake. The problem with the stuff is how the  hell did you actually smoke it? With the bodies’ tolerance to the chemical spiking after one minute or less, the goal was to vaporize as much as possible in as short a period of time as possible without nuking the active compound by actually striking it with the flame. And the truth is, most times I’ve witnessed someone ingest the so-called spirit molecule, they simply miss the mark. “I sorta feel it? Kinda trippy…” But when done properly, the rumors are true, and I’ll let someone else explain the kaleidoscopic dome that it will bring you to, and there’s no question about the gravity of this novel psychedelic. However, this year at a hemp rally on Boston Common, I was shown vape cartridges infused with DMT. They began popping up on onion sites and everyone and their brother seemed now getting Kundalinical without owning expensive smoking apparatuses and missing the mark most of the time.

Timeghost at Thee Worm Returns: A Brooklyn Psych Fest

I’d went to Thee Worm Returns with my partner in crime because of the bill’s headlining act, a collaboration between the Temple of Psychick Youth mantlepiece, Genesis P-Orridge and New York industrial mavens Wetware. While their set was challenging, and possibly made the drive down worthwhile, the evening’s highlight was via a Timeghost presentation. Words cannot describe the strange and exotic sensorial meltdown that a Timeghost performance brings, as it may be the most cutting (piercing?)-edge act of our times. While Tobe Hopper OST sawblade anthems ring out through the speakers the audience is presented with video projections of the artist pushing long metal skewers from one side of his head and out the other. Modern Primitives for future cyberpunks – and champion of the evening’s electronic fest (which also featured Animals Against Humans, Eartheater, and a handful of other acts whose names I might not recall.) This is an artist completely owning their craft and there is simply nothing else like it – performance exotica for kids who had Hellraiser posters on their walls in junior high.

Ted is an active organizer of noise events in the Boston area and plays in multiple groups including Active Compound which you can listen to below… – DS

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