Duo Kanel

Bra Ting

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This LP is nuts, completely. The work of the Scandinavian noise duo Duo Kanel, it masquerades as one of those bootleg Frankenstein-izing mixes, the kind that puts Whitney Houston's voice over a Kraftwerk track (see Girls on Top or Culturcide). It has the blank sleeve and the suggestive titles associated with this type of early-'00s copyright mischief. Yes, somewhere along these 19 short tracks listeners encounter plunderphonics, but excerpts from other artists' songs are used as only one tool from an impressive arsenal. Despite titles like "Embraceable U2," "Heep Purple," and "New Terror," the key word here is "noise," and the music is closer to Jazzkammer than John Oswald. Using guitars, percussion, Casio synths, cheap beatboxes, and the odd song sample, this duo piles up big amounts of noise ranging from harsh to kitsch, with nods to everything from '80s electro-pop to free improv. Besides the aforementioned titles, other namechecked artists include avant-garde sax legend Evan Parker ("Evan Parks a Lot") and Japanoise god Merzbow ("Merzbow Is the King of Noise"). Again, damned if you'd be able to find a sample of the namesake artist in the "right" track -- the Merzbow piece is a very soft acoustic guitar tune, irreverently. Norwegian pop records played in reverse over speech and Derek Bailey-like guitar, Casio beats speeding up, loud outbursts of lo-fi noise -- this album delivers one surprise after another. Crude edits remind listeners that it is a bedroom production, and there is no need to say that it will appeal only to fans and collectors of the genre.