Moth Cock - Whipped Stream and Other Earthly Delights Music Album Reviews


Moth Cock - Whipped Stream and Other Earthly Delights Music Album Reviews
Indulgent, arcane, and often hilarious, the Ohio noise-jazz improvisers’ new three-and-a-half-hour cassette collection is too weird to be boring.

A fixture in the Hausu Mountain roster since the label’s 2012 founding, Ohio free-jazz duo Moth Cock bridge the gap between the noisy DIY cassette scene of the aughts and the progressive, MIDI-powered scene that emerged in its place. Their manic improvisation blends Pat Modugno’s crunchy live electronics and trumpet with Doug Gent’s saxophone, testing one surreal textural fusion after another at length. Though they’ve typically stuck to a traditional 45-minute album format in the past, dropping off a small handful of drawn-out jams per tape, their latest Hausu release allows the band to explore its maximalist impulses to the fullest.

Whipped Stream and Other Earthly Delights, Moth Cock’s low-fidelity answer to Autechre’s NTS Sessions, gathers its three and a half hours of material from their recent Twitch broadcasts. The physical release spans three cassettes, and even as a digital release, it’s unlikely you’ll have the time (or desire) to consume it in one sitting—a dilemma that plays to the band’s strengths. Several of the album’s 14 tracks stretch 20 minutes or longer, developing discrete atmospheres and timbral vocabularies despite emerging from the same small arsenal of instruments. Each jam is a fresh rabbit hole, and the record’s generous structure encourages listeners to leave and return at their leisure, tumbling down a different tunnel every time.

Half-hour opener “Castles Off Jersey,” a hazy drone performance accented by howling woodwinds and synth arpeggios, waxes nostalgic for the tape-warped ambient music that flourished on Blogspot around the time Moth Cock formed. “Invisible Pranks,” which stretches out at similar length, sounds like the work of a different band, assembling its suite-like structure around tortuously woven drum machine beats. Mechanical toms and snares rush into the mix at the outset, forming a singeli-like maze of rhythm. Gent’s sax emerges with a bestial wail, then scrambles to orient itself with a series of zig-zagging licks. When its phrasing steadies, Modugno raises the floodgates, deploying sampled bike horns, throbbing bass synths, and even more drums, as if attempting to trip up his partner. Despite its length and abstraction, the track remains in constant flux. Even as things devolve into what sounds like a deluge of Space Invaders sound effects halfway through, Modugno seamlessly splices some of Gent’s more melodic ideas into a final loop pedal collage.

Like chapters in a short story anthology, the individual tracks are as—if not more—rewarding when approached one at a time, in no particular order. “Mineshaft Full of Caspers” is Whipped Stream’s most thrilling isolated experience, propelled by wobbling dub rhythms and a kitchen-sink approach to sound design. The duo cycles through samples with assembly-line efficiency, presenting a dissonant guitar riff, unsettling chanting, or cartoonish congas to flesh out their funhouse soundscape. Moth Cock’s toolbox seems bottomless, and whenever things threaten to get stale, Modugno starts tinkering with the mix, pitch-shifting and mangling the entire performance. The aesthetic isn’t necessarily “accessible,” not unless you’re the type to haggle over harsh noise cassettes on Discogs, but there’s no shortage of novelty, and if one idea’s not your speed, Moth Cock will probably replace it with another before you’re tempted to skip ahead.

The shorter tracks here occasionally fall short of their ambitious neighbors. The sci-fi inspired synths on the relatively melodic “Almost Flirted” and the house-adjacent “Finn McCool” are fun detours that leave you wondering how they might have evolved with more space to unfurl. These sketches would have been high points on a C-60 cassette release, but in the context of this ambitious multi-tape album, they feel gratuitous. Moth Cock work best when they have space ahead to confidently chart their next few moves.

Whipped Stream is indulgent, arcane, and often hilarious—the mere existence of a tastefully packaged three-tape box set emblazoned with a reference to insect genitalia feels like a prank. Appropriately, it’s the first Hausu Mountain release to bear the label’s new 10th anniversary logo: an anthropomorphic cake-in-a-trophy topped with slime-green frosting. For a collective as entrenched in Tim & Eric-esque surrealism and jam-band fandom as this one, you couldn’t ask for a better birthday present.

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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Moth Cock - Whipped Stream and Other Earthly Delights Music Album Reviews Moth Cock - Whipped Stream and Other Earthly Delights Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on Friday, September 09, 2022 Rating: 5

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