Saturday, May 22, 2010


Sickness - Mudlark
Self Abuse/Ninth Circle Music CD

Being a mudlark in London during the Industrial Revolution meant that you’d hit rock bottom. Scavenging the banks of the Thames at low tide, you did your best to avoid the rotting corpses, turds and other unsavory flotsam in the desperate hope of finding something to sell that would keep you alive for another day. Wading ankle deep, bare footed in a fetid, slimy, bacterial gloop meant that for you life just couldn’t get any worse.

And here’s a picture of a river bank on the sleeve and the insert finds various written edicts headed ‘scavenger’. I think you get the idea.

So a collection of hard to find Sickness items collated on to one easier to find disc that includes live material from the sixth Consumer Electronics show that if you needed a starting point for Sickness is where to go first; a murderers confession that detonates into a squall of harsh electronics thats as good an indicator of the mans work as anything I’ve heard.

Sickness’s strength lies in the control displayed throughout these 10 tracks. It’s noise Jim but its under control noise. Take the best bits of Government Alpha couple them with the noisier end of TNB and you have an approximation of what Sickness can really be about. Throw in the intelligent work ethos and the stunning live shows and you have one hard working geezer who knows exactly what he’s doing.

Through no fault of his own there was some kind of equipment failure during his 2007 No Fun set and never have I seen so many people at a gig so genuinely gutted. That he came back in 2008 opened the whole weekend and stomped all over the memory of that is testament to the mans mindset and the high esteem in which he’s held.

Buy this CD go straight to track ten ‘Everyone Dies Alone’ and hear how a noise track works in the hands of someone who knows what he’s doing; heavy breathing, silence, dry joint static, random eruptions, footsteps down a corridor. Perfect. Just don’t expect to find a copy on a river bank.

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