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5 June 2010

Bügsküll - 'Crock: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack' (Pop Secret)

For years I thought Crock was a fake movie, since the names from the film credits sound made up (The Surgeon, Steve Sexx Stevens, Slats Grobnik) but the Internet tells me it's a real film. Prescott Sheng maybe didn't turn into the next Jean-Luc Godard, but whatever weirdness Crock was (the stills on the back suggest a wonderfully public-access aesthetic), it sure had a great soundtrack that probed the outer limits of bedroom psychedelia in 1996. Bügsküll (the umlauts are back!) are great for soundtrackin', as the longer instrumental jams first explored on Snakland seem ripe for arthouse cinema. The titles suggest a close affiliation with the film with Pretty Boy and the Lost Patrol being repeating names. 'The Cactus Corps' takes up most of side 1 and it's built over a crooked Casio beat with heavy guitar panning, disembodied affected ghostspeak, and sublimely accessible malevolence. The electronic beats creep in a good bit on 'Pretty Boy's Tent' but guitars, cheap keyboards, and consumer effects pedals beat all here. 'Maggot (heart)s Pretty Boy' is the most vocal we've heard Mr. Bryne in awhile, perhaps intending this to be the hit single. Through the gently plodding song there's bit of sun-starved twang guitar which cuts through those lower mids and opens a prism on things. I suspect this whole record is Byrne solo, a there are even less live drums. The drum programming, as mentioned before on 'Tent', is quite simplistic, almost like retarded proto-breakcore, but so buried in the drones and effects the effect is quite odd. 'The Lost Patrol Return Home' thuds along as an appropriate end-credits track, with a nice placid coda of perfectly placed tones. I realise with Crock how Bügsküll has too short of an attention span to properly "do" minimalist drone, and the results is a richer cornucopia of textures and melodies. Now if only Criterion will get on the DVD release...

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