Wednesday, December 5, 2007

infidel? / castro! - bioentropic damage fractal

there are very few records that introduce something new to me today. sure, i can discover a record like Ghostface Killah's "Ironman" that really is everything i've ever wanted in a rap album, but it is still a Wu-Tang production which is something i've obviously heard before. i'm sure Kayo Dot's new record will probably reorganize these thoughts just because all of their previous ones have done that but, how can i be sure of this? its sad to me that i can place most contemporary music into a box, so whenever i find a band that completely redefines my notion of what music it is i usual take notice. Time of Orchid's has been able to do that with their last two releases ("Sarcast While", and "Namesake Caution".) and Birchville Cat Motel did help revitalize my fetish in the genre of "noise" with their masterpiece "Beautiful Speck Triumph". but perhaps the only band to redefine my notion of what music can do after Kayo Dot is Colin Marstin's Infidel? / Castro! a dazzling blend of post-rock, electronica, and Calculating Infinity era Dillinger Escape Plan.

Colin J Marston

"Bioentropic Damage Fractal" is a vicious cycle of insanity and solace. beautiful tracks like "Bedridden" and "Temporarily Dissolving Into Plasma" placed in between the idm blast beats of "Bedsores (For GWB)" create a tense, schizophrenic journey of epic proportions. very few albums resonant like this album in an emotional sense, which is strange because most of their recordings are simply based on samples of noise and the steady layering of minimal electronic guitar playing. there is obviously very little of the cartoony tech metal of Marston's other head project, Behold... The Arctopus. in a recap "Bioentropic Damage Fractal" is simply just one of the most original and creative records ever made and its strong sense of crescendos and climaxes places it amongst the greats of this kind of music like Kayo Dot or Time of Orchids.

infidel? / castro!'s "bioentropic damage fractal"
"Bioentropic Damage Fractal" came to me in the midsts of a hard break up that left me not being able to sleep, etc. etc. this record was so beautiful that it basically gave me something to look forward to during work and other boring activities. obviously that is a very trite story, but this album just has the power to bring out statements like that. i remember one of the original things that pointed me towards it was a ten page analysis on the album on the website rateyourmusic.com. it was an excellent review and probably one of the most comprehensive ones i have ever read. obviously i can't recommend this record enough to those interested in the avant garde. highly recommended. a classic.

infidel? / castro! - bioentropic damage fractal - disc 1 (2005)

infidel? / castro! - bioentropic damage fractal - disc 2 (2005)



10 comments:

tyke said...

absolutely amazing record. it's an achievement in every way. one of my all-time favorites!

gabbagabbahey said...

sounds really great, from your review anyway. It'll take me a while to download and listen to, though. Any chance of a link to that 10-page rateyourmusic review?

Jared Dillon said...

it got removed from RYM. but..

"It's not layered under a thick coat of fear-inducing voice samples like its preceeding bretheren Case Studies In Bioentropy, but this mammoth, 120 minute, 2 disc marathon-of-a-theory, the ever expanding chaos of life, speaks to me in ways that nothing else ever could. Sometimes it sounds like an industrialized version of the harrowing choir crescendo in 2001: A Space Odyssey dowsed in fierce Shoegazer feedback, but then again, sometimes it also sounds like an incredibly intricate fusion of micro Musique concrète, AMM, a busy military airfield, Merzbow's Rectal Anarchy album and Squarepusher gone post-apocalyptic whilst tripped out on LSD. Those sounds I just described, that make up a portion of Bioentropic Damage Fractal, give you a good approximation of how mind shattering this actually is. Hell, I'd consider it torturous at times. There's some moments in this album where I think to myself "the last thing I want to be doing right now is experiencing this revelatory system of agile panning Noise and pure musical demolition", which was distinctively intended on behalf of the two madmen behind Infidel?/Castro!, Colin Marston of Behold... the Arctopus and Mr. Trilobite George Korein. Those sounds are there for a reason. Those oh so psyche-decaying, phantasmagorical sounds.

I read in an interview with George that defining Bioentropy with the word "concept" was a rather pretentious idea, so I'll try to stray away from that Prog-Rock term. Bioentropy is more of a process with three chapters. It starts with Infidel?/Castro!'s second album Case Studies In Bioentropy, where we learn of this "bioentropy" through the assemblage and adhesive collection of spooky voice samples both George and Colin abducted from films that we've all probably never seen. All these samples have something to do with germs and disease; the disintegration of the mind due to obssessions with cleansing, hygiene and sterilization. Total delusive psychosis that album is, with the music beneath the vocal paranoia sounding like some Alva Noto/Neurosis hybrid with an integral atmosphere that's completely unparalleled - until Bioentropic Damage Fractal.

Following the second Bioentropy chapter The 49-day Period Between Lives, a split release with Friendly Bears, Bioentropic Damage Fractal brings about the conclusion of this ground breaking procedure. That's exactly what this album is too. A procedure. An operation with incisions, suturing and transplants; this album is all about the human anatomy undergoing surgical cognition. A life that's ineluctably decomposed by other life. The first disc titled Cancer projects this growth and expansion of a concentrated life, with some provacative images in the album's booklet that were made by George to translate the sounds into the progressing story. The disc portrays an entire infrastructure of emotions and stages. The first two short and convulsing tracks, 'The Onset of Life' and 'The New Delirium' are both total mind-scrambling eldritch blasts of cut and paste mastery. Damage Fractal Series I, which comes with three songs that develop into one another, is an unconcious nightmare of terrifying ambience, errupting drum machines, technical glitch and warr guitar prowess. The last two songs, 'Bedridden' and '(In)voluntary Emotional Response', introduce a whole new meaning to the Bieotropy theory. They're gentle, ruminative and downright beautiful ambient movements with guitar melodies that progress intuitively and with a sense of sincere vulnerability; kind of like a Godspeed You! Black Emperor song.

Disc 2, appropriately titled Cancer; Decay is longer, more versatile, more inexplicably cacophonic and simply more epic than disc 1. Here's where the odyssey's truly at its most pungent. To relieve the album from possible inflation and grandiloquency according to critics, the disc kicks off with a song titled 'Bedsores (for G.W.B.)', entirely composed and performed by Goerge. Aside from an underlying ambient hum, it's nearly completely made up from sounds created by George breathing vigorously into a large microphone contraption he didn't even know the name of. The song's intended as a leg-puller, (the title's an obvious give away). 'Involuntary Physical Response' follows and is possibly the most abradant, impenetrable and abstract piece of Musique concrète I've ever experienced. The Metasynth program came into prominent use during this composition, along with a few thousand sound samples completely manipulated and processed by various mixing programs. 'Damage Fractal Series II', built from two songs, contains a few competent though infrequent voice samples, insane guitar shredding aided with actual acoustic drumming, and the spasmodic sound pans and fades which has become Infidel?/Castro!'s undeniable trademark. 'The Extraction of Delicate Tissue' is a pulverized deconstruction of Noise, with 'Cylindrical Bereavement Summarizing Its Orientations', the final composition of the Damage Fractal Series, serving as the climatic work of overrefinement. This is it. Over the entire album, we've listened to the music of a decaying life. The final 20 minute placative alleviation that is 'Temporarily Dissolving Into Plasma During a Moment to One's Self', is the ultimate liberation to any album I've ever heard. It's a tender vessel to the other side. A whisper almost. A friendly giant that transcends the album and everything that's happened. All life ceases to exist and the album's reached its staggering and emotionally culminative end.

What else can I say? The term's overused and meaningless but this album is genuinely a masterpiece. It's up there with... nothing other than itself. It's the divinity of music."

it is missing a big part where he talked about Marston revising the review. sorry, man.

gabbagabbahey said...

wow. thanks

Don't mean to be cynical, but I might just end up hating myself for liking this...

ever hear Lou Reed's Metal Machine Music?

Jared Dillon said...

yeah. i don't really think it is up there with this though.

Derek said...

This is amazing, thanks so much Jared. Have a nice Christmas etc.

Rob(aire) said...

Holy shit. I love you. I really do.

Is there any chance you could re-up it?

mozb said...

Hey Jared, this is Nick from RYM (mozb). Could you re-up this one? I've been meaning to listen to it for a really long time.

Thanks man!

gkorein said...

hi, george from infidel here.

i appreciate all the kind words!

as for that review, it was actually "revised" by me -- simply, i asked him if he wanted me to set the record straight as to the specifics, and he said he did. so i just pointed out little things like:

- i didn't bedsores all by myself
- i did know the name of the "large microphone contraption"
- we didn't use metasynth on "physical response"
- i didn't do 100% of the art
there is no warr guitar on the album

but that's not as important as the reviewer's enthusiasm, and i'm glad that he got other people interested in the music.

Thanks!
- GK

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