As high energy as rhythmic noise or experimental electronic dance music gets, is found right here. “Hounding Folds” the second track off the soon to be released WAITING FOR SURFIN’ BIRD is irrepressible as it vaults back and forth between pounding synth bass, and some brittle less throbbing throb. And then it goes, the bass sliding into the background, snare drums exploding in your face, all of it filthy, then bathed, then filthy, then bathed. What are these sounds doing that they get so dirty so quickly? What is David Harms, or MINCEMEAT OR TENSPEED, doing to these bass lines and beats to get them so dirty? I need to know because this is some grime coated nasty, funky, amazing music. And I am transfixed. Harms, with this release, moves ever more fully into the realm of synthesizers and sequencers after relying on feedback loops conjured from analog devices like effects pedals and audio mixers to, in his words, “fake music that would more aptly be made using synths and sequencers.” I don’t know about faking (his comments are tongue in cheek as he goes on to say that, “the current form of the project…uses synths and sequencers, in an attempt to fake rhythmic melodic compositions more aptly made using feedback loops.”)… MINCEMEAT OR TENSPEED’s music has always been hard, and ripping, and disorienting no matter how it was made. Just go to the man’s bandcamp and listen to some of his older records like the crucially groove oriented noise bomb of STRANGE GODS. Rhythmic noise has been the way for MINCEMEAT OR TENSPEED going back to the beginnings of the project in 2005. And where else for the sounds that this guy is making, and has been making, to have been forged than in our sister city just to the south, Providence. In a zone that has given refuge to the likes of MAT BRINKMAN, PLEASUREHORSE, LAZY MAGNET, and UNICORN HARD-ON (among others) you HOPE that there are MINCEMEAT OR TENSPEEDs lurking and planning.
And now we have WAITING FOR SURFIN’ BIRD, released by the very cool DECOHERENCE RECORDS which also handed us FORM A LOG’s awesome THE TWO BENJIS last year. And boy, this 5 song-er RULES. If you fear brain mash then you must turn away. However, if you like the sensation (or the idea of the sensation) of bass throb coupled with frothing, cringe speckled spires of crust and squash, then you’re already here. “Normal Techno Jam” kicks hard right off the bat with a bouncing bass groove that you would have to try extremely hard not to move your body to. A noisy crud, laps at the insistent bass and beat, washing over it and then pulling back when the MINCEMEAT tide commands. Just before 3 minutes I am so happy that I could jump out a window (first floor style). That’s when the synth arpeggio rips out of the murk, like the glistening scale covered backbone of a giant serpent slowly making its way toward the nearest metropolis so as to wreak absolute havoc (by the way, I haven’t really been paying attention, but what’s up with this new GODZILLA movie?? if it’s as bad as the last one THEY made I may just want to cry). At 4:15 the havoc begins as techno beat sours into infested lurch, the kind that Harms is known for (at least to me). From there it’s a slow-mo stomp to the finish, and in every devolving slash of scuzz, every industrial blast, there is ecstacy. David Harms knows what he is doing. Pay attention. We will be bringing him to Boston once more ASAP. Woah. Totally ferocious album cover artwork by who else but Providence’s own outstanding Mickey Zacchilli.