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16 December 2009

Birth Refusal/Cassis Cornuta (Ultra Eczema)

A one-sided LP of synth repetition, slowly expanding feedback phase and the occasional flanged out space warble. Near the end the back and forth accelerates but it doesn't conclude, pause or stop to reflect at any point. The sleeve folds out into a 36" x 24" color poster showing various oozing swamp things knifing a pregnant woman in the woods. An apt band name, I suppose - it's some Michigan dudes, and Cornuta is an Antwerp weirdo that occasionally pops in Belgian underground clubs, armed with banks of synthesizers. This was recorded live for the radio and the whole thing feels like it's been run through some heavy limiters, smashing all fidelity into a narrow band. It still manages to be nasty; the malice is contained too, even in the more aggressive parts. It's a focused attack on civility, but forgive me if it feels a bit rote. I can't tell what's Cornuta and what's Birth Refusal as it's all fairly electronic (or electroacoustic) in origin, but there's no good times to be had here, for sure. If you turn it up loud, the ringing sine waves leap from the speakers slightly more, though it still has this weird feeling of middle-band. For artwork that is all body-flesh-corpuscle horror, there's something distinctly mechanical about this.

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