Posts Tagged ‘Golden Oriole’

Drid Machine Records – 7th October 2018

Christopher Nosnibor

Fuck me. I was trying to remember what I’d thought of the previous eponymous Golden Oriole album, when I read the accompanying press release, which reminded me. Is it an ego thing? Perhaps. But there are times when music reviewing is a pretty thankless task, so to see your own words quoted provides a certain sense of validation. Admittedly, when this happens to me – and it does with moderate frequency and regularity – I find myself staring at the words and wondering if I rally wrote them. They sort of look like something I’d write… But better. Life’s too short to be precious about your words, and there’s just too much new music flying round to labour for a lifetime on every review.

Norwegian experimental duo Golden Oriole – consisting of Thore Warland, Kristoffer Riis – know how to augment a hard-hitting sonic attack. And II continues the trajectory of its predecessor, with some thumping beats and a chaos of discord all around. II contains just two pieces, occupying a side of vinyl / cassette apiece, and given this much room to explore, they really do head every which way.

After an epic – and I mean truly epic – thrashing funk-driven workout that bumps and grinds an grooves and bounces on for about a quarter of an hour, ‘The Waxwing Slain’ crunches to a halt and leaves a painful trail of feedback, holding a single torturous note for a number of agonising, excruciating minutes. The fact I actively enjoy those minutes may indicate a hint of a masochistic streak, and I’ll live with that: the point is that the duo never bow to expectation or even soften toward accommodating any prospective audience’s listening tolerances. It’s the very definition of uncompromising. It’s the apex of angular. If brutal funk sounds like an oxymoron, then you need to get your lugs bent by this demented shit.

‘Až Přijde Kocour’ plunges even deeper – miles deeper – into a frenetic explosion of scratchy, scribbled guitars and spasmodic bass against a tumult of percussion. Just when you feel like your head might explode, they bring everything right down around the four-minute mark…. The quiet strains of distant feedback provide but a brief respite before the sonic mania of Beefheart on all the drugs ever made

The passage that almost contains a strolling bass doesn’t really contain a strolling bass, as much as a bass that tries to stay nonchalant, but can’t help but twitch and spasm like it has a wet finger in a live socket: it sounds like three songs at once as those squelchy low frequencies bounce beneath a rippling sonorous drone while the drums hammer out a rhythm somewhere between drum ‘n’ bass and a military march. It’s :

Of brain-pulping brilliance.

You can’t dance to this. You can’t even not knowingly. In fact, I’ve no real clue what a rational or sane response to this is. Truth is, I don’t even know what this is, other than that it’s deranged, loud, chaotic. If it’s one thing, it’s truly genre-defying.


Golden Oriole – Golden Oriole II

Drid Machine – DRM27 – 21st March 2017

Christopher Nosnibor

Having looked over all of the tabs I had open on my computer I had to pause the disc three minutes into the first track. I was confused, I was convinced there were two songs playing at once – one woozy ambient piece, drifting and warping, and a whacky jazz-grunge effort. My head was beginning to spin. Jungle drumming and scrawking bass undulations collide with tearing guitars, weird synth incidentals and all kinds of other extraneous sound effects to create a sonic experience that’s quite bewildering on ‘The Approaching of the Disco Void’. It’s ten minutes of musical mayhem.

The golden oriole is a type of bird, binomially known as oriolus oriolus (which is considerably more pleasant-sounding than the ‘turdus’ genus of the thrush species). According to the go-to source for all information about everything, the call of this extremely common migratory bird ‘is a screech like a jay, but the song is a beautiful fluting weela-wee-ooo or or-iii-ole, unmistakable once heard.’ There’s nothing beautiful or fluting about this freeform chaotic din. This is not a criticism: freeform chaotic din is better than good with me.

The album’s shortest track, ‘The Chrysopoeia of the Trilithon Ass’ is also it’s wildest, a Beefheartian frenzy of discord and multiplicity (I’m recalling the traumatic experience of hearing ‘Trout Mask Replica’ for the first (and only) time, a record that sounds like standing in a hallway listening to seven people, all drunk, playing different tunes in seven different rooms which all open onto said hall.

The hectic percussion drives through a wall of feedback and a grinding, deliriously unpredictable, stabbing bass on the third and final track, ‘The Pyrite Wink’. It’s a nine-minute exercise in working a wonky groove with relentless and increasingly wayward energy, until it collapses in a crackle of overdrive and howling trails of feedback.

As freeform chaotic din goes, Golden Oriole stands as a cacophony of quality, but likely best absorbed in small doses.