Tuesday, December 28, 2010


Bacillus - Anthracis
Cipher Productions. Business card CDR. 100 copies.
I’ve never been that much of fan of CDR business cards to be honest. They’re small, faffy and you can’t play them in slot CD players. They store very little sound and unlike a seven inch single will never become a true fetish object. Having said that this release is well put together which no doubt ticks lots of boxes in the noise world but its whats on the inside that counts too of course. I assumed that the contents weren’t of a biohazard nature so ventured in to find out. There’s a laminate text on bacillus thats been cut and pasted from the internet and a smaller, similar piece carrying various info along with all the track titles; ‘Inhalation of Weapon Grade Spores in De-Staticized Aerosol Agent’, ‘Exotoxin Production Resulting in Hemorrhage and Edema’, ‘Encapsulated For Environmental Resistance’ and ‘High Level of Antiphagocytic Virulence Factor’. And then I played it. I would have forgiven some of the above if the five minutes worth of noise contained therein had made my gonads explode but they didn’t. What I got was four short tracks of badly put together splutter and rumble that sounded like someone messing about with the pause/play buttons on an old Ramirez cassette. My head hit the table and tears of sadness rolled onto my keyboard. My limbs became limp and I felt the will to live drain from my body. Only the thought of a bottle of untouched Japanese whiskey downstairs brought me back to life.
Investigation of the Bacillus web site is obligatory too, its all part of the concept. Dispensing with regular tabs like discography, press, history etc... there’s Disease Profile, Emerging Cases, Documented Cases and so on. Obviously there’s lots of jpegs featuring rotting limbs, petri dishes and people wearing hygiene masks and for the really adventurous links to outfits like the World Health Organisation and the Foundation for Infectious Diseases amongst others. What really killed it for me was the fact that its all written in the third person.
Conceptual releases work when all the elements work together - the recent offerings from Auris Apothecary show just how much effort you have to put into your conceptual releases for them to work - this release is only a third of the way there.

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