Posts Tagged ‘collaborations’

Thrill Jockey – 29th January 2021

The sheer quantity of The Body’s output – often produced collaboratively – is little short of astounding, and since coming together some 20 years ago the duo comprising Lee Buford and Chip King have forged a reputation as masters of noise, and, as their biography attests, they’ve ‘consistently challenged assumptions and defied categorisation, redefining what it means to be a heavy band’.

There is no question that I’ve Seen All I Need To See is heavy: listening to it from beginning to end truly hurts.

It opens with crushing slabs of overloading distortion backing a monotone spoken-word piece. The juxtaposition of the blank, the bland, and the speaker-breaking blasts of bass-orientated menace is difficult to process, and that’s before the screaming demon-howl vocal begins howling its hellish anguish into the dense, murky mix of thunderous drums and bowel-churning low-end. ‘Lament’ is six minutes of pure heavyweight abrasion that tears at the guts and the soul. Every cymbal crash is an explosion, the decay distorted by deep bass detonations as it trudges doomily onwards – or down. Down. Down.

Everything simply splinters and overloads on the punishing single release, ‘Tied Up and Locked In’, which is a whole next level of heavy shit, a churning mess of overloading noise that’s utterly brain-pulping.

If the prospect of a slower song, which arrives as the album’s third track, Eschatological Imperative’, suggests some kind of respite, you’re going to be disappointed: slower, yes, but it’s a dirgy wall of noise that’s nothing short of overloading in every sense. It’s horrible, painful, but utterly perfect in fulfilling its purpose: there is no respite here, only pain, and pain articulated through brutal sound. ‘Pain of Knowing’ is so dense and dark, you could almost cry in the hope of a return to ignorance. A low, griding bass feedback noter hangs for eternity and rings a resonating pain, and the reminder that knowledge isn’t power, it’s pain.

The pain continues with the percussion-dominated slow throb of ‘The City is Shelled’, which crawls, bloodied, into the kind of territory occupied by Swans circa 1984, with crushingly slow beats and a buzzing bass that practically swallows everything. It’s a trajectory continued by on ‘They Are Coming’, a stop/start piece that’s utterly obliterative. The stops leave you hanging: the starts make your stomach lurch. There isn’t a moment’s respite or implicit kindness here. Hearing the bass drum downtune into a morass of distorted extranea and broken bass on ‘The handle The Blade’ is a most physical experience, and one that’s only heighted by the final track, ‘The Path of Failure’ which is utterly crushing. It’s megalithically, slow, and heavy, but also dark and punishing, and when noise does erupt on ‘The Path of Failure’ it does wo with a slow, brutal violence

I’ve Seen All I Need To See is a distillation of pain, and the production and mastering takes that to the max, to the point that I repeatedly found myself checking my connections and cables and even my speakers. In short, I’ve Seen All I Need To See is as brutal as anything you’ll hear, a work of total sonic overload.

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