Ilia Belorukov / Kurt Liedwart / Andrey Popovskiy
— Cassette, 2014
And then we come to Somebody Rattled for altogether more sullen slap round the chops. Recorded in the same place as Tri – the Experimental Sound Gallery – and with two out of three players in common with the Intonema release, it is, nevertheless, a very different beast.
If the presence of Rowe gave Tri a kind of austere Zen majesty – think Samuel Beckett meditating on Ben Nevis –Somebody Rattled is its grumpy introverted nephew. Holden Caulfield taking tea with Painjerk.
The less-than-hifi quality of the cassette adds a layer of almost punk sheen and distortion to the erratic shrieks and demolition derby smashes and crashes that erupt seemingly out of nowhere. It’s thrilling and enervating in a way that Tri, with all of its fidelity and focus, isn’t.
There are even moments of comedy. At one point on Side 1, a snatch of The Supremes’ You Keep Me Hangin’ On wafts out, as if from a transistor radio on a construction site, a ghost in the machines, available now exclusively for use in the matrix.
The spaces and silences that punctuate the grit aren’t airy and reflective, they’re passive aggressive, full of tension, bursting out into jagged blarts of fuzz and static like an elbow in the ribs or a snarled riposte to an offer of a nice walk in the park. (Shout out to the Mums and Dads, yeah?) There are some particularly thrilling moments at the start of Side 2, grainy and caustic, like the worst headache you’ve ever had – although these, unlike those headaches, pass quickly. Even better is a supercool rockout right at the end, where the trio bring the ruckus for final blowout of gnarled transistor heaviness.
Paul Margree, We Need No Swords