Fresh Stream

Stillsuit / Map 71 — Blue Sixteen


I am thrilled to see another group from Brighton, UK, making its mark over here—and “Laced” by MAP 71 hits the senses as hard as anything you’d find in a Bushwick glue mill. The noise-churning duo of Andy Pyne and Lisa Jayne have been working through Brighton’s teeming microcosmos of artistic innovation for years. Pyne writes and performs for several noise-rock outfits (including Kellar and The Black Neck Band of the Common Loon), while Jayne is a little-known poet whose work one blogger profoundly branded as “visceral surrealism.” Together they are Map 71, and their six-minute piece “Laced” off the Blue Sixteen split with Stillsuit is as terrifying as it is enchanting. Following the tradition of industrial champions like Throbbing Gristle and Einstürzende Neubauten, the group blend spoken-word poetry with the shrill clanks of metallic objects and cavernous thuds. The impression of spatial anxiety and an awkwardly haunting sub-narration of Jayne’s screaming moans make this a deeply rich progression that follows ebbing patterns of physical and verbal expression over a single percussive pattern. If bands like The Fall, Y-Pants, Suicide—or even some of John Zorn’s work—strike your fancy, Map 71 play off a similar vibe that delivers a truly distinctive flavor of industrial noise-rock.

The split is shared between Map 71 and STILLSUIT, a feminist noise-pop band from Oakland, CA. Their track “16” is a frantic and idiosyncratic sound-saga, rounding off at about 11 minutes. With MA groups like Guerrilla Toss, Skimask, and (New England) Patriots taking the local scene by storm, it is no surprise that Stillsuit are favored here @ the Boston Hassle. Their track brings more forceful and assertive tones to the foreground than, say, a band like Ponytail, even matching the ferocity of early Melt Banana at times! The band utilizes unusual time signatures and syncopated drum sequences (played by Jaime Clark) to create the effect of disorientation around occasional breakdowns led by the screeching treble guitar work of Marissa Magic and Vanessa Harris.

In general, pairing the music of bands that live over 5000 miles from each other and demonstrating a (global) dialogue between voices of (quite) different underground vogues is more easily done than many think. Utilized by Blue Tapes here (and on other releases), it has become one of the most effective avenues of dissemination endorsed by indie labels. It’s about breaking barriers and/or building bridges—all that good stuff. You can find the tracks off this split on Soundcloud or buy the physical cassettes at the Blue Tapes website soon enough!

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