This new collaboration between GX Jupitter-Larsen and Cheapmachines is a bit of ‘new meets old’, though ‘new’ in this case is relative. Gerald Xe Jupitter-Larsen is a Hollywood-based media artist whom has been every bit involved in his visual performance art and obsession with amplified every-day objects as has been with his strange style of non-music over the years. Having been active in various art scenes since the ’70’s, his sound-art didn’t start coming into fruition until his solo performances and his work with The Haters started becoming known in the early 80’s. These days, both GX as a solo artist and The Haters are still goin strong, enjoying an extended career that is seen by a very select few. Cheapmachines, on the other hand, is a well-known though younger artist (said comparatively) whom has been recording at length since the late 90’s. While many in the experimental realm no doubt know this name, others still whom are familiar with the Free Software Series of 2007-2009 and, lately, Absence of Wax, will know him simply as Phil Julian. Of course, there is also his work with the owner of the seemingly now long-defunct label Evelyn Records in “Signals”.
Side A, “Continuous Tunnel Clock” is a track that expresses exactly what it is pretty well from the title itself. This isn’t a maze of locked grooves by any means, however, there is a locked groove at the beginning that quietly gives a steady tempo and forces you to consciously trigger the starting point of the record. Once you take that step, the 7″ explodes into a visceral eruption of droning landscapes and moderately harsh noise. “Continuous Tunnel Clock” give the imagery of moving through a cavernous workshop of grinding gears that echo off one another, creating a murky, deafening onslaught of sound. This doesn’t give way until the very end when the second locked groove takes precedent, pounding out another percussive hit, this time in twos, and pounding away forever until the listener pulls the stylus away from the record itself. As like playing god, YOU have to give birth to the sound, and YOU have to take it away. As could be expected from a track that is called “Self Propelled Wrinkle”, Side B’s track starts without much help from the listener though it does appear that on the very edge of the rounded part of the record is what could be a locked groove. I’m not sure if my stylus was just catching something unintended or not due to the placement of the groove itself. The noise here is every bit as up-front as the previous track with only a hint of experimentation buried deep within the indiscernible layers of caliginous harshness that end as abruptly as they began.
This 7″ comes packaged in a folded sleeve that is every bit as obscure visually as the music is aurally. At first the imagery on the album is hard to make out, with first glances bring out abstract rock, cement and granite textures and colors along with a jagged appearance that gives the record an urban look on a ruinous level. However, hidden behind the gray and desolate rubble are subtle hints of the gears that correlate to the opening track. It’s with this realization that you can see that the wave pattern that makes up the center of the artwork is actually the interlocking grooves of turning gears. Maybe I’m the only one who couldn’t make that out right away, but regardless it gives another level of thought to the release. The record itself is enveloped in a regular white jacked and is colored athletic gold with black marble.
Side A: Continuous Tunnel Clock
Side B: Self Propelled Wrinkle