Five minutes, I know you got 'em. The question is, can your stereo handle it for that long? This? This… this will put your hi-fi to the test no matter how gingerly you think you can get with that volume knob. Mark Sadgrove performs these super-short pieces here as MHFS, a set of noise originally intended to be a live performance for a show with Helga Fassonaki (of the wobbly pop-for-the-damned weirdo project Yek Koo, also featured on another of these “Alone Together” 7-inches from LA label Emerald Cocoon). Since Sadgrove couldn't end up attending the performance, he sent this in to be blared over the PA instead. He uses things like an acoustic guitar strung only with low E strings, invented instruments, and matter-of-factly focused, OCD-style repetitious lyricism. It's weird stuff, it'll twist your spine into a little knot, purse your eardrums and lick a whole side of your face with a slobbery tongue.
The A-side is quite a bit tougher than its counterpart—sporatically random blasts of extremely sharp static sending shocks and violent images directly to the frontal lobe with nary an excuse, care or apology. Then a minute or so of equally randomized machine-gun pummels of lazerbeam synth sounds (and some rumbly bass in the left channel, illogically executed, yet precisely timed in all the empty spaces). Side B (a portion of which you can stream below) is shocking in its actual pseudo-listenability. Some teeth-grinding, elastically tortured guitar and vocals here. Atonal string pluckings too, and Sadgrove singing the line “fucking angry” rather sweetly, which, given what has preceded it, is perhaps the most unnsettling moment on the disc (no small feat). Thesis: no matter where this stuff goes, it won't cease to challenge even the most seasoned of experimental music obsessives. MHFS (at least on this 7-inch) exists about as far “out” as I can possibly imagine. And this year especially, I have been quite far out, I assure you.
So yeah, I think you have five minutes. You've spent that much time staring at this damned post. Why not double down on that with a couple of spins of some of the noisiest noise around? This was also recorded way back in 2005, so this very lovely 7-inch package marks a welcome release for a work of sound art that may have otherwise been lost. I'm proud to own a copy. I think it'll come in handy, you know… when I want to freak out the cat, or maybe for a nice dinner theme or something. I see this getting some table time, for sure.
P.S. In case you missed it in the copy above, don't forget that this is part of an ongoing series of 7-inches from Emerald Cocoon (which has also released works from the likes of Pete Swanson and Ashley Paul), the next of which features Jefre Cantu-Ledesma, and is due up shortly.
Audio Stream of side 2, track 2 from the 7-inch :