This tape opens with probably the most upsetting sample that I have ever heard on a noise tape, this girl screaming that she “can’t take it” and to stop, and this guy just whispering stuff like “take deep breaths.” So, right there out of the gate, if you are listening to this on your way back from Easter Sunday Mass with mom and grandma, there’s going to be some discomfort right there. The first time I heard the sample it felt like it went on for forever, but listening to it again it’s actually rather brief compared to my initial reaction. The art for this is extremely minimal, just a sheet with printing on one side and some old-timey illustration of a Spanish Inquisitor or some such fiend pouring hot painful looking stuff into some poor naked girls mouth. Yipes! Is this a split, or a collaboration? Hard to tell from the art, it just says “Streetmeat + Respirator.” From the sound of it, side B picks right up from where side A left off, and I hear Robbie (White Gimp Mask, Streetmeat) muttering in the background of both sides, so I figure this is a collaboration.
So what is going on here? Both of these guys are Houston, Texas-based noise people… Streetmeat is Robbie Newsome from White Gimp Mask (and WGM Tapes). Streetmeat is Robbie’s power electronics project, and it sticks to a noisy old-school feel somewhat ala Filth And Violence label et al. Respirator is Scott Houston who has been a member of Black Leather Jesus for some time now. His sets are usually very meditative and atmospheric, and his releases range from that kind of thing to more crazed noise material at times. It is cool to hear a collaboration between these two artists in particular because their styles are rather different, and the end result is nice and unique. Robbie’s madness and Scott’s consistency come together in an enjoyable way on this release that in fact made me wish that it was a bit longer… seems like it must be only about 10 or 15 minutes long altogether? 10-20 minute cassettes seem to be the big vogue in noise stuff… Especially in this style of music (harsh black and white xerox power electronics), a lot of releases seem to be oriented toward the shorter-length cassette tapes, kind of like noise cassingles. Just seems like kind of a waste time-wise, but a lot of others seem to prefer less content, so what do I know.
So, overall I wish this one was a bit longer because it is actually a nice little noise tape from two people with very complimentary styles. The art and themes were initially somewhat off-putting, but sitting down with the noise it has a nice crunchy sound to is that is very enjoyable. I really like all of Robbie’s projects, and the chaotic and thrown-together nature of his label is quite charming and fits in well with the overall aesthetic of the sounds. The tapes come in Filth And Violence-style plastic snap cases (as opposed to the more common “Norelco” box-style case) with the initials of the artists simply written on the cassette in sharpie. Most of Streetmeat’s stuff has a live sound to it, but it would be interesting to hear a more developed full-length recording from the project that was more heavily arranged/edited ala the recent Vomit Arsonist cd reviewed elsewhere in this month’s reviews. A nice little slice of harsh noise… looking forward to hearing more from both of these Texas noise artists in the future.
1. Side A
2. Side B