Dust Cult/Horrible Mess – Catrame/Wormfood (C20, Urine Soaked Rag)

Dust Cult and Horrible Mess play brands of harsh noise that might fall more into the wall category. This split finds them offering up two ten minute tracks of relatively linear noise, punctuated by the static sounds that they create or the oscillating textures and interplay within the tracks.

On Side A is Dust Cult with “Catrame”, which translates to tar. It starts out with a percussion-driven rhythm before morphing into a rollicking, fluttering electronics sound that sounds as muddy as its namesake. Occasionally there are spikes of noise, all falling back into the dirty pitch that they originate from. However, for whatever reason the rather low tone doesn’t do a whole lot for me – perhaps it’s the depth of sound, which somewhat cancels out the more static elements and makes them sound somewhat muddled. However, the variations in tone are quite nice, especially the changes from high to low pitch and the whirrs that occur somewhat haphazardly.

Side B features a thick, perfunctory wall by Horrible Mess titled “Wormfood”. It’s a basic representation of a wall, meaning that it’s generally unbroken by extra unnecessary noises but it’s also nothing entirely new. The things that do stand out, however accidental it may be, are the vocal samples that can be heard muffled under layers of static. It almost sounds like people having a conversation, and it’s mesmerizing to listen in to try to hear what they are saying.

I can’t help but wish for a little more from both of these artists, but it’s still a good showing from both. They establish harsh noise well, and there are sufficient enough changes to keep the ear entertained. Catrame/Wormfood is good, but hopefully subsequent listens of different releases from both will yield more differentiation.

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