Saturday, November 3, 2007

Wet Nurse and Jason Irvin Presents...

Wet Nurse
"Electrocute Your Cunt"
Self Released (

Wet Nurse aka Danielle Mathieux is the vocal (and xylophone) half of the one of the best young bands I've heard in 2007 -  A Woman's Weapon - and luckily for me they happen to live in Jacksonville where I can check out truly thrilling, heart-rending, eccentric music on a somewhat regular basis, without having to deal with a lot of buzz and static. Jason Irvin is the other half (on chord organ and everything else) and WHILE I much prefer them together - their solo records are very illuminating peeks into how the solo obsessions of each member feed into the wonder that is A Woman's Weapon. A fucking great band, it has to be said.

Now, why I love Wet Nurse too - it's basically down to her voice. It's a gorgeous voice, clear and true, tinged with melancholic yearning, but also very dramatic, strong and not afraid to venture into more stagey affectations. It's an interesting paradox of "Electrocute Your Cunt" that Danielle has such a beautiful voice but she spends most of the album disguising and defacing it behind effects or tape-speed fuckery, or burying it in toy orchestra white noise. She's like a particularly committed character actor, remember all of those pull-outs from horror magazines of Lon Cheney's Thousand Faces? Okay, maybe it's not exactly like that. But close.

The musical set pieces are fascinating as well - simultaneously ornate and spare while also clearly homemade and roughly collaged with the glee of early Surrealists and Dadaists - "Electrocute Your Cunt" feels like the antithesis of the Pro Tools laziness you find among so many electronic musicians. There's a sense of, if not necessarily mad scientists, than sleeves rolled up, scissors, piles of magnetic tape and loops constructed by hand. In the final analysis, "Electrocute Your Cunt" is a sonic mix of early Sparklehorse's solitary sadness, Jarboe's vocal exorcisms and the crude but heartfelt pop experiments of Jad Fair and Blectum From Blechdom.

Two covers pop up amongst the originals - Butthole Surfers and Daisy Chainsaw offshoots Queen Adreena. Under all the dried blood and splintered machines...

Jason Irvin Presents...
"The Dirty South"
Self Released (

In stark contrast to the rough-hewn, beautifully minimalist orchestrations he creates for A Woman's Weapon - Weimar music hall filtered through a lens of cracked Americana - Jason Irvin's "Dirty South" solo outing is an unhinged foray into electro-whimsy and great, squiggling swathes of white noise clearing everything in their distorted wake. Equally mining veins of puckish glitchcore and punishing power noise, Resident's poisoned-apple whimsy, with a good dose of early industrial's sense of architectural shaping of noise - "The Dirty South" is a complex recording that takes numerous listens to fully digest. Distortion drips from every note, tracks are seemingly left out in the sun to bend and warp, there is a mad-scientist homemade feel to the whole affair. Some "songs" are like audio mirages, the drone becomes so all-encompassing that your traitorous ears invent changes and dynamics that aren't even there - like those crazy 3-d paintings from years back. I definitely prefer him in service to the song (oh! the song!) with AWW but there is no denying that Irvin is a precocious and voracious musical mind that can take on any genre he wishes to.

-Matthew Moyer

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