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Various Artists – Delirious Music for Delirious People

On September 8th, 2008, something both beautiful and strange was born in the darkest hours of that Monday Night in Chicago, Illinois.  It wasn’t something that everyone in the city would notice or appreciate, but there it was, influencing all that it could reach who would listen.  What suddenly came into being that evening was the Delirious Insomniac Freeform Radio Show, hosted by Mister Fuckhead himself, Arvo Fingers.  This radio show, over its four years of existence, has undoubtedly influenced countless minds in the experimental world of Chicago, and the strength of the current underground scene there can be viewed, at least in part, as a testament to that.  That said, this compilation shouldn’t be looked at as an adventure into Chicago’s experimentaland as there are no boundaries in the tracks that are influenced by the geography of the artists — rather, it’s a collection of some of the best and most influential names in underground music and sound art standing alongside of some of the strangest music that you’ve never heard of.

Even that description of what is found here is ultimately flawed, however, as it doesn’t really do justice to the dynamic range of artists taking part.  The styles of experimental music on “Delirious Music for Delirious People” range everywhere from the mildly bluesy avant-folk of Boyd Rice to the lo-fi darkwave of Zola Jesus, the dark ethno-ambient of Murderous Vision to the fervent, strangely up-tempo aggro industrial of Rancid Hell Spawn, and this only really scratches the surface.  Virtually every corner of the post-industrial world is touched on with only a few tracks sounding anything like one another.  Instead, the compilation reads almost as a biographical anthology for the experimental realm, with each track acting as another chapter describing a new corner of our strange world of music and non-music.  A great example being the heavily abrasive one-two punch of Margaret Chardiet’s Pharmakon and the infamous Controlled Bleeding leading directly into the down-tempo surreal sound of Jarboe and Zola Jesus.  Amongst the up-and-comers of the compilation is Mac Blackout whose unique style of doomy, lo-fi (homicidal?) rock was recently featured on Sacred Bones Records with the “Don’t let your Love Die” 7″.  Also making an appearance are a few artists whom haven’t been heard from in the last decade including the late 90’s LA weirdos The Centimeters and the grungey, somewhat obscure Art Phag whom, in the two minutes that they used on the compilation, managed to cough up my favorite track (which was also released as the opener to their self-titled debut album in… …1988?  Wow.)

Something should be said about the face behind the music as well, Mr. Arvo Zylo, whom works tirelessly to support the art that he loves and this compilation simply stands as one more testament to that in a long line of accomplishments.  In fact, you would gather that most artists would use this chance to put themselves into the mix for a little additional publicity on their own projects, but Zylo, in all of his incarnations, is nearly completely absent from the artists taking part, the only exception being his remix of Jarboe’s “Blood Horizon”.  It should go without saying that this has a great many positive implications about his character and his work for experimental music.

In the end, “Delirious Music for Delirious People” is an effective gauntlet of different styles that should not only offer a lot in terms of introducing newcomers to the experimental genre to a great many different styles, but also have a great deal of interest to the veterans of the genre as well.  Though this is obviously meant to be a celebration of the four year anniversary for the radio broadcast mentioned at the beginning of this review, the iconic figures on the album as well as the wealth of what will unquestionably be new quality material to most listeners makes this release highly desirable.

Track List:

01) Hans Grüsel’s Krankenkabinet – Satan Takes a Holiday
02) Big City Orchestra – Why don’t we Eat Carrots? (Edit)
03) Gary Wilson – And then I Kissed your Lips
04) The Centimeters – If only my Dog would Barely like me
05) I.M.M.U.R.E. – In Love with Dog
06) Verdant – In the Parlor
07) Pharmakon – Mound of Flesh, Caverns of Fluids
08) Controlled Bleeding – Untitled
09) Jarboe – Blood Horizon (Arvo Remix)
10) Zola Jesus – Devil Take you
11) Mac Blackout – Baby Face Killer
12) Art Phag – Golf
13) Haunted George – Pile O’Meat
14) Rancid Hell Spawn – Android Pup
15) The Dreams – Tropique du Cancer
16) Wold – The Virile Toll
17) Vapid Apparition – Sinneßteuerung
18) Murderous Vision – As Teeth Sink in
19) BeNe GeSSeRiT – Rats
20) Boyd Rice with Little Fyodor – The Blackness
21) Diatric Puds & The Blobbettes – Sweet Breeze
22) Istvan & his Imaginary Band – Night of the Vampire
23) Irene Moon – Go Away Dreadful Creature

Rating: 4/5
Written by: Sage
Label: No Part of it (US) / None / CD
Experimental / Industrial / Noise