Monday, November 11, 2013
Panelak - Panelak
During many a drunken three day noise festival two artists names usually crop up, one is Whitehouse and the other is Nurse With Wound. Whitehouse because everybody wants to know what Bennett’s up to these days and how it’ll probably be totally shit compared to what he’s done in the past and Nurse With Wound because you cant leave the table without first telling all those around you what your favourite Nurse With Wound album is. Everybody has a favourite Nurse With Wound album but I’ve never heard anybody say that their first is their best. In fact when questioned by our panel of experts Chance Meeting On A Dissecting Table Of A Sewing Machine And An Umbrella was found to be something of a bit of mess and in some quarters not even worth a second listen.
But it did the trick. I dare say there are more artists of similar import whose first efforts are now seen as nothing more than a dark stain on a bright and shiny past but there they are for all to see and for future generations to go to and listen to just the once before going on to the really good stuff that came a few years later.
I’m not saying that Panelak is Pascal Ansell’s ‘Chance Meeting’ [I think this is actually his second release thus making this comparable with ‘To The Quiet Men From A Tiny Girl - still dodgy NWW territory if truth be told] but it is a release that on first listen appears to have little going for it. It doesn’t help that it arrives on a home made totally ubiquitous CDR with a not too interesting cover either but these slights have to be overcome to reveal the true worth lying within.
I saw Pascal play last week at the Wharf Chambers. He’s a highly enthusiastic 18 year old with a bright future ahead of him who likes to spend his Sunday afternoons rubbing two guitars together aided by two drummers and a bank of electronics. Its an enthusiasm thats infectious and lead this weary listen back to Panelak and a deeper listen than I had given it the first time around. And there it was for all too see; Dada, Faust, Derek Bailey, pure experimentation and some guitar thrash for good measure. I rubbed my eyes, turned up the volume and wished I was doing this myself thirty year ago.
Its not perfect by any means, there’s far too much abstract guitar noise on here for one thing and Ansell seems to be trying out everything in the shop, lets put it down to youthful exuberance, but when it clicks it does so with great flair. The last track ‘Apostol Zapros in May’ is pure Dada with plucked and rubbed piano strings, snatches of conversations, songs sung in French [and no doubt plundered from some art house film], bombs whistling toward their target, guitar fidgeting, pots and pans abuse, cymbal clatter, shortwave trawls… The opener ‘No Thumbs’ appears like a cross between one of Joe Jones clunking Fluxus machines and the Incapacitants Toshiji Mikawa. Somewhere in the middle of all this Faust appear a-tumbling and a-rolling just like they did on that farm in Germany about 40 years ago.
Its noisy, parping, scratchy and deeply flawed but within its core lies a great future.
My favourites ‘A Sucked Orange’ by the way. Nurse With Wound album that is.