One of the toughest challenges in reviewing music is attempting to put something that you can barely comprehend into words that make enough sense that those reading might stand a chance of understanding what’s going on. How can a writer possibly provide guidelines to someone else if they can’t really make their own way through it? For this untitled split between RIPIT and a collaborative effort from Joachim Montessuis and Aymeric de Tapol, I’m having serious doubts that I’ll be able to accomplish doing so, and shame on me because in this case I’m having a very difficult time reinterpreting the seven minutes of Brussels-based Ångström Records‘ new 7” release.
In fact, just attempting to understand this record may sound like a quick task to the uninitiated or the casual listener, but that’s only because you haven’t yet found yourself replaying it over and over again ad nauseam to make sure that you haven’t missed anything in this all-too-short noise offering that is packed full of performers.
In Aymeric de Tapol & Joachim Montessuis’ ‘Protozaurus’, you will discover something of an obscure encounter between organic primality and its interpretation through severely distorted sonic attacks. The track reflects something subconscious that really fits in well with our current obsession over bizarre audio aesthetics. ‘Protozaurus’ is a short power electronics / noise piece that has mostly been built upon decomposing synth bass & lead lines, presumably finding their origin through the work of Aymeric de Tapol. They never really develop, but are rather simple pulses that endure the track’s short lifespan. As you can probably guess, they are quickly joined by Montessuis’ heavily deformed and distorted voices, screams, and animalistic vocal textures. Then suddenly, it’s gone, and you’re left with a shocked demeanor, contemplating the thought of, “fuck off, these guys could have fit three more minutes into this. Abuse us more!”
Side B doesn’t really do us any more favors than the first Side A. RIPIT, otherwise known as Nicolas Esterle, whom you might know for his work in the experimental hip-hop project FUJAKO or Solar Skeletons—a collaborative project which he founded with Tzii—has taken the opposite approach of his contemporaries and opted instead to contribute four very short pieces to the split. All four of them feature drums that have been programmed to insane BPM levels, and you can easily place his approach here somewhere near the cybergrind genre. Despite the ultra high tempo of his side, ‘Deflagator 1’ could be considered a bit more groovy. The second part, however, is a quick, yet slightly insufficient fix of speedcore, whereas the last two pieces feature guest vocals that steal the show out from under RIPIT, mostly dragging your attention away from his high-speed focus. Just like with Aymeric de Tapol & Joachim Montessuis, RIPIT’s material ends as quick as it had started.
In the end, I’m left struggling to figure out just exactly how to treat this release. This is an EP that is ultimately going to be completely left up to the listener to decide if it’s worth their time, as there’s not enough substance—nor enough time—present here for me to adequately judge it. Just go listen, and I’d recommend doing so digitally on Bandcamp, which at least doesn’t require you to get up and flip the record over on high BPM yourself.
A1) Aymeric De Tapol & Joachim Montessuis – Protozaurus
B1) RIPIT – Deflagrator 1
B2) RIPIT – Deflagrator 2
B3) RIPIT w/ Herbert Bourreau – Deflagrator 3
B4) RIPIT w/ Otto Von Schirach – Deflagrator 4