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GM Electronics – Trashwalker

GM Electronics – Trashwalker

Written by:  Sage
Artist:  GM Electronics
Title:  Trashwalker
Label:  Existence Establishment
Cat. #:  EE14
Format:  DIY CD-R

Genre: Noise / Experimental

01) Snusmumriken
02) Accelerated Decision-making
03) Dismantled Emotions
04) Flesh on Fire
05) Cryohydra
06) Trashwalker

GM Electronics is a decade-old experimental / noise project from UK-based sound explorer Jirí Balšínek.  Though originally from Hustopece, Czech Republic, his relocation to Driffeld, UK seems to put him in place for a larger audience, even though the town is 30 miles from the closest city in York.  Though you’re more likely to know him through this project, Jirí also owns the Chimera record label, a label primarily specializing in mini CD-R editions (though it isn’t unknown to do cassettes or regular CD-R’s) that has released music from artists such as Sewer Election, Grey Holder (Hive Mind) side project Black Sand Desert, Joshua Norton Cabal, and Maim.  It shouldn’t be strange to note, then, that most of GM Electronics’ output has been released via Chimera, however, his split with Black Sand Desert “The Heart of the Machine” was released on non-genre label Dada Drumming, as well as Trashwalker, which itself has seen numerous versions over the years, but more on that later.

The album starts out with a sporadic, glitched out, intense attack of sound manipulation.  Chaotic is a bit of an understatement as it’s constantly fluctuating on several levels, from the background low-end flubbing beef to the forefront’s frantic bleeping and oscillating discordance.  The sound is as uncomfortable and frenzied as a coke-head violently tearing through a pile of garbage in a decrepit, condemned apartment to find a half-used needle.  Fleeting brutality that, ironically enough, is inspired by the late Finnish-born author / illustrator Tove Jansson and a specific anarchist, nomadic, anti-materialistic character (Snusmumriken) from her Moomin series.  You can imagine a children’s book character such as that would be highly inspiring to someone who ended up in the noise scene later in life.  While Accelerated-decision Making is in the same spirit as the first track, it takes on more emphasis towards the low end and thus ends up sounding heavier and less spazzed out, though still chaotic in the sense of low-end guitar wankery.  Dismantled Emotions takes on a stranger character though, seeking out strange harmony in the beginning before being bludgeoned to death by a whale of low-end fuzz.  Distorted feedback ends up taking over with several elements of piercing high-end sound hiding towards the background.  This track specifically has the psyched-out qualities that the imagery on the album artwork hints at.  From deep sea grave fishing to intergalactic field-hopping, scouring for ancient artifacts in trash heaps, everything about Trashwalker just screams of filth in a surreal nature.  Its the sick bastard child of French noise/trash artist Costes and Salvador Dali.  Latter tracks feature a slightly more subdued sound, with Flesh on Fire incorporating a more pulsating sound whereas Cryohydra comes off as more of a scarcely-bending and occasionally flanged-out noise wall experience.  The man saved the best for last however, with title track “Trashwalker”.  A gentle drone that builds into something concrete, thick, and full in character.  Minor sound exploration can be heard throughout the track, always surrounding that drone, before folding in the end, shortly revealing another drone before quickly cutting off the existence of the sound.

The packaging for CD-R would be considered, by some, to be as unique as the noise within, and in that spirit, matches the theme perfectly.  The CD-R comes housed in a 7-inch sized Plastic bag, which becomes slightly fused to the tar on the outside of the actual package, so remove with care.  Inside is a gatefold-style slab of copper sheet that has been folded in half and painted over on the outside with tar, which, inevitably, ends up in spots on the inside as well.  Full-color labels have been slapped on the front, back, and inner-left panel.  All three labels feature surreal / psychedelic images from land, water, and space.  A compartment for the CD-R itself is held into place on the inner right section by miniature versions of brass fasteners / brads.  The copper itself isn’t pristine, in fact being dented and warped in places.  This combined with the feeling and look of the tar on the outside add to the “trash” theme, actually appearing as a dirty piece of discarded metal to the eye and to the touch.  Careful, the corners can easily cut.

If you’re going to be looking for old output from GM Electronics or Chimera, good luck.  While there are some releases floating around in used lists around the internet, Chimera (and GM Electronics) took a lengthy break from the noise world that lasted from 2005 until early 2009.  Whether or not any of the material from the early Chimera days will see a reissue remains to be seen, after all, Trashwalker itself has seen at least three separate issues now with Existence Establishment’s pressing of the album.  This beauty originally saw the light of day on the short-lived, small edition label I.N.K. Recordings before finding another home on Texas’ Cyber Blast Records, which would unfortunately be defunct within a year.  Now with Existence Establishment, this album has been re-released once more, and while Egan Budd’s label is still running strong, the edition is available at only 50 copies.  So whether you’ve been seeking this out for years, or want to be one of the few to own this strange work of Noise history, you’ll want to act sooner than later.  It’s amazing that this one isn’t considered a classic.

Rating:  5/5