Thursday, May 27, 2010

Black Chamber - Psychosomatica

Hear The Track Here

One of the reasons I sat up and took notice when I reviewed my first track by Canada's Black Chamber was the listing of the UK's Throbbing Gristle as an influence. I knew the band personally at the time (1975-78) and I had no idea of how important they would become in structuring the experimental landscape we inhabit today. I knew they had something, yes, but I had no idea what and I don't think they did either which - to my mind - is the best way to make music. Anyway, Black Chamber successfully explores that territory in my opinion and even stretches w-a-y into left field a time or two.

Challenging music certainly.

Right now, out of the four tracks I have reviewed, two I have liked a lot and two that just baffled the hell out of me. There again, I am used to being baffled by what constitutes 'experimental music' and Black Chamber definitely has all the right musical credentials. BC cheerfully informs us that this track is about 'a glimpse of a man descending into madness'. Can't say it's my ideal as a party favourite but does Psychosomatica walk the walk. 'Tapes, guitars, voice samples' and other sounds make up the bulk of what this track has to offer sonically, but says nothing about the mental strain involved in listening.

Another thing that has kept Black Chambers afloat, at least for me, is that he makes the sounds you hear and, no matter how deranged it may sound, he would have to have thought about it. Wouldn't he? Question the point of it, as it were. But, think back to my opening comments about Throbbing Gristle, because - out of all the experimental artists I have heard - Black Chambers gets the closet to TG's original sonic ethos. Genesis P-Orridge was, after all, inventing his own effects pedals, computers, the works. And it still sounded JUST like this. Quite an achievement I'd say, although best watch your ears around any Black Chambers.

Weird at heart. Recommended for those with hidden compulsions.

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