Black Pus

All My Relations

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As one half of the incomparable noise duo Lightning Bolt, Brian Chippendale developed a style of drumming so uniquely ferocious it not only spawned a series of imitators, but also led to collaborations with artists from Björk to Lee "Scratch" Perry. With Black Pus, Chippendale further explored his seemingly limitless approach to the possibilities of the drum kit, first as a chaotic, home-recorded, free jazz collage, then branching into different territory with each low-key CD-R release. All My Relations, the second proper Black Pus album, finds Chippendale going it alone, making an incredible amount of unholy noise with a drum kit, garbled vocals, and minimal raw electronics. Though rooted around Chippendale's distinctive drumming, this is territory unlike any he's been in before. "Word on the Street" begins with a rush of chopped-up vocal samples before launching into a relentless storm of distorted pulses and drums that sound like they're constantly falling down a hill. Deep electronic bass oscillations stand in for the noisy, organic bass of Lightning Bolt on the post-punk clatter of "Fly on the Wall," and "Hear No Evil" is among the more compositional of Chippendale's composed freakouts, with a wall of multi-tracked bellowing vocals leading the song into its eventual state of perpetual explosion like a Viking battle hymn. What sets All My Relations apart from much of Chippendale's previous output isn't the experimentation with new sounds, but rather the clarity of those sounds once they make it onto record. As one of the main proponents of the notoriously lo-fi Providence, Rhode Island noise scene, his recordings have tended more toward deep fried than crystal clear. The eight tracks here are more high definition than most of what he's done in his career, with all the various noisy elements easily distinguishable and with more depth than usual. This deeper clarity really highlights Chippendale's remarkable talent as a drummer. Uncanny precision and stunning complexity shine through in every song, where more obscured recordings could sometimes lead to the listener just hearing fast, somewhat tribal drumming. The use of repetition to the point of almost sanity-testing dimensions characterize the final two tracks, the lengthy "Nowhere to Run" and plodding album closer "A Better Man." The latter builds a midtempo throb into an almost numbing wash of sound, ending what might be the most vivid and clear-sighted document to date of Chippendale's untouchable style as both percussionist and noise alchemist.

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