K2 – Abdominal Electricity (CD, Phage Tapes)

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It’s always fairly difficult to review this sort of cut-up, electic noise. For one thing, it’s difficult to document like I normally like to do – I can’t just flit about attempting to name every sound I hear, or I’d have one hundred pages for one track. Nor can I speak for the sounds’ technicality – I’m just not that good at deciphering the medium for noise. What I can do is give a subjective view of the track, with an opinion on what sounds work and what don’t in the seemingly random onslaught of churning noise we get from K2. I’ll do my best, but I really feel that Abdominal Electricity defies review in this regard. Instead, it really needs an objective listen from each person, and requires the listener to decide what they like and what they don’t.

“Epilogue No. 2” leads us in with a comparatively short track, full of churning buzz and some higher pitched feedback. Lots of pitch and sound adjustments can be found to fulfill a wide range of noise, but much of what’s on display is a focus of higher static and feedback sounds. We also get a sustained throb of electronics to end the track, but this is just a short and sweet dousing of what K2 is all about on this disc.

“Bomb in My Stomach” is really the full-throttle track on this release. Clocking in at almost half an hour, this cut runs the gamut from low drones, high feedback, wavery judderings, sonic loops, and even more crazy cut-up sounds. Like the race car sound that K2 creates at the beginning of this track, the noise keeps piling on and really doesn’t let up at all for the entirety of piece. It’s most likely here where the listener will decide if they enjoy this sort of ADD schizophrenia; it’s almost an all-or-nothing listen, and there’s only more of the same to be had after it. Imagine, if you will, a slew of men trying to domineer the television remote; their attempts to reconcile each other’s preferences are moot, and soon they begin to coast through channels without end. This sufficiently characterizes “Bomb in My Stomach,” a cut that doesn’t let up on its harsh cuts but also rarely seems to have an identifiable movement to it besides randomness.

Check out “Secret Cold Storage” for an intense outburst of feedback uncharacteristic for the rest of this release. Amidst the laser shootings and electronic rumblings is a monster of squealing pitches churning for release. The track also crafts a very good surge of crumbles that picks up, slows down, and ultimately punches the listener in the gut. There’s a raging amount of change in this track that seems to show up more than on “Bomb in My Stomach”, perhaps because of the shorter length of this cut.

Occasionally, K2’s tracks will fall into a nice drone that keeps shifting between different sounds but reconvening back with the same original noise. These are naturally where I’m drawn to – the ability to jump between sounds is certainly inspiring at times because of the sheer enormity of the collage, but the skill of manipulating sounds and then coming back to them is a nice counterpoint. K2 certainly achieves this; how long he wants to stick with it is obviously varied and, much of the time, short-lived.

Abdominal Electricity features no junk metal, only junk electronics, as the liner notes state. It’s obviously apparent that the sounds are electronically manipulated, though some do still have the churns and creaks of metal unabashedly being destroyed. You can certainly hear the KORG in some more pronounced places. If you’re a fan of K2’s anarchical sound, Abdominal Electricity is certainly more of his powerful cut-up approach. Those who aren’t sure of the style should take a dip in “Bomb in My Stomach” or “Aerophobia”; those tracks are the real meat of the album, and will surely cement a strong feeling in the listener one way or the other.

Even more incentive besides the actual noise is the packaging, which comes with pro-duplicated CDs, mechanical-anatomical artwork from Alonso Urbanos, and pull-out artwork with info on the interior pages.

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