Pregnant Spore – Harmonious Salmon Hearts (C36, Rainbow Bridge Records)

Pregnant Spore is back on this cassette with five tracks of fast-moving harsh noise, very junky in sound and jumpy in theme. As with much of Rainbow Bridge’s output, the tape comes with a colorful j-card of spattered paint a la Jackson Pollack, with a numbering out of 50.

This cassette is really all over the place, and it finds Pregnant Spore doing what it does best – layering junk electronics, cutting away for a variety of warped sounds and pulsating whirs until the whole track finds a unified whole.

Side A is split into two tracks, the lengthy “Darn It! Jolly Scum” and “Satan Drape”. The first finds its rhythm almost right away, with a scratchy bass pounding leading the track while circuit-bent electronics and writhing strands of feedback often play at odds with each other. And although Pregnant Spore hits a lot of different tones with the noise here, he often returns to similar sounds, and it helps that the tracks are often rhythmically structured. A lot of screeches, tweets, and damaged sounds over the course of this side, although some do appear to be simply the effect of knob twists. There’s a really great vocal sampling of Gregorian chants, a transcendent effect of beautiful, human harmonies paired with the riotous electronics of Pregnant Spore, and “Satan Drape” becomes one of the best cuts off of Harmonious Salmon Hearts.

Side B is often similar, with “Snot Grass Pt. 1” starting off with tons on swirled electronics color, crunchy static often deeply underneath echoes of distorted vocals, hectic electronic squeals, and overall just a generally insane noisescape. All of the acts often blend in, although “Vitamin F” and “Snot Grass Pt. 2” do have their own distinct rhythms, and the latter features some nicely textured drums. This is good, though, because the blend means that Harmonious Salmon Hearts has managed to craft a pattern for the cassette.

I think most people know if they like the brand of noise Pregnant Spore works in. Sometimes abrasive, sometimes genuinely simple, Harmonious Salmon Hearts hits a lot of different areas of noise, but the continual factor of this tape is its squelching, warped sound, which sounds nuanced enough for me.

Download this now, since it is, unfortunately, out of print


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