Posts Tagged ‘White People Killed Them’

SIGE Records – SIGE100 – 25th June 2021

Christopher Nosnibor

Woah! Dizzying, head-spinning chaos and cacophony! Twangs and bangs – strings stretched to within a millimetre of snapping, bending and scraping and scratching. Every instrument is playing across the others at an angle. About ten minutes into side one, you realise the discoordinated racket, having had some flickers of brass bubble through – like tentative flames licking around an oversized log on a fire that’s yet to fully establish itself -has congealed into a dense, soupy drone with industrial strength hip-hop beats played by a live drummer. And it just doesn’t stop. For twenty minutes straight. It gargles and parps and booms and toots and parps and growls and farts on and on and on, while the drums clatter and crash and thwack and thwock and bump and fuck me it’s an almighty headache-inducing din.

Details about this release are fairly limited, but details tend to be lost to history anyway. And most of history suggests that White People Killed Them is a common recurring theme throughout. There are so many of ‘them’, anonymous, often buried in unmarked graves in the name of progress – white progress. History is a narrative of shameful exploitation and bloodshed.

Whether or not the three musicians, Raven Chacon, John Dieterich, and Marshall Trammel, intended any such connotations when they came together in New Mexico in 2019, I have no idea, but the forty minutes of music recorded and relayed on this eponymous release would certainly make for a fitting soundtrack to the sheer brutality of history as a catalogue of killing. It’s so relentless, it makes you want to stand up and shout ‘stop! Enough is enough!’ But of course, as history shows us, it never stops. And nor, seemingly, does this album. It’s not a particularly pleasurable experience. It is an intense experience, and one that instils a kind of anxious excitement, even exhilaration. But pleasure… not really.

Things take a turn for the strange on side two, where from some warped, stretched-tape nastiness, there’s some twangy, spaghetti western weirdness that emerges briefly, before everything gets fucked up and mangled again. And it just builds and then sustains this massive wall of thick, discomfiting sound. The end leaves you absolutely drained, desiccated, mentally and physically decimated. If it was possible to achieve death by avant-jazz, White People Killed Them have slain us all with this monster.

AA

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