Sunday, December 19, 2010

MRI by Michelle.

I knew this was coming, friends had told me about it but when I heard it for the first time, it was still pretty extreme. Michelle’s experience in this field goes without saying but still it was a little unexpected for me on my first listen.

The first two tracks were pretty noisy but short. Reminiscent of Lee Ranaldo’s 1987 release From Here To Infinity. Horrendous noise-laden gore-fest for your senses but you just can’t pull yourself away. You try and decipher exactly what is happening, where and what that sound is coming from. It hurts to give it your full focus, your ears feel like they are going to bleed yet you would prefer it to be louder to truly maximise its brutality.

The third track was intro’d by Michelle herself “This is the longest and goes for 5 ½ minutes”. It was like Mark Mothersbaugh had a change of heart and headed his love of all things Devo into the heavier and sorrowful sound of doom. It was hypnotical and meandered through the minutes with a sad heart yet still held onto its new wave digital sensibilities. Slow and steady, repetitive and mesmerising beautiful, painful and tortured, vibrating and abrasive.

The fourth track was by far the loudest. Ministry and Acid King could learn a few things from Michelle using the techniques previously pioneered yet honed for her latest sound. It was as if Kraftwerk took over a shopping centre massage chair at extreme decibels as the bones in my body shook so hard and butted against themselves that breakage wasn’t a question, no if’s, just when. My organs rearranged themselves in homage to Picasso.

The last couple of tracks were shorter and similar at times which to me meant one unnecessary inclusion. A bit like a pneumatic and a hammer drill were mating on a steel plate implanted in my head.

I was told before I started to put on headphones as it’s better to listen to it and you can handle the noise more easily. I was asked if I wanted to listen to an FM station like Triple J or Triple M, whether I wanted to listen to jazz or blues. It was odd that Michelle went to so much trouble to create these heavy arse soundscapes yet try to muffle the end result with the odd background chatter of a wannabe FM jockey or some random improv trumpet over the top. Still, I took her advice and listened to Triple J yet the lack of ability on my behalf to focus truly on either left me feeling at the end quite scattered within my own head and as Bond usually likes his drinks, shaken, although I was also completely stirred.

In summary, if it’s necessary go for it but I wouldn’t listen to this on your iPod on the train. Although it would actually compliment the repetitive clickety clack you usually hear and the foul mouthed teens chroming off their heads.

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