bill orcutt: a new way to pay old debts (palilalia)

y’know les champs magnétiques. untuning into, through and out of this. what’s lubing up my brain sac and fingering my neurons is the correlations squiggling between this record and automatism. you know, the expressive technique used by the surrealists. you know, breton and dalí and arp and all those awkward funny buggers. you know where you switch off and let yr fingers do the talking. you know. mm?

not that the whole endeavour is entirely random or irrational or incidental. the automatism is generally always going to be tempered somewhat by the conscious. but what it is is an attempt to free and be free, to unshackle and let loose, to embrace the incompatible. so the ramshackle sometimes nonsense of breton and soupaults novel which me so frequently apes in these unreviews i spew out, can be likened in part to the surrealist / dadaist qualities in that of free jazz or noise or what derek bailey described as non-idiomatic music.

what this record reminds me of is that (kindof) stream of conscience, unstructured, improvised wordage or painting that the impulsive / compulsive motor responses of andré massons pen-clutching hand birthed. at times it’s like a separation of mind and fingers, where digits, uncontrollable, rush headlong into the next with no time for the here and now, into a rhythmic gush of frenzied string battery. similar instinctual aural explorations to that of bailey or john fahey’s later work.

fragrant intellectualising aside, you could claim it as the missing link between post-hardcore noise skronk and twenties / thirties blues, between the frantic frenetic metalling of harry pussy and the pick and weave, repetition and cadence of lightnin’ hopkins (whose sad news from korea is covered(?) here).

so eight tracks, busted out on his trusty four stringed kay. a thirty two minute adrenal spike of geetar fury; with occasional meth-addled loren connors huffs and growls atop; with occasional fortuitous phone rings and traffic hum. all of which add to the effect of just having stopped somewhere and banged out half an hours worth of music off the top of his jittery head. lip rich don’t so much unfurl from the speakers as choke you with gnarled vines of aggressive note fuckerry, savage raga’s that sound like a hundred toffee hammers crashing on piano string. i can’t tell whether this is uber-tight or flapping loose but either way the giddy spastic energy of pocket underground is tingling my insides in all manner of wrong ways. and the jerking ethno funk paroxysms of my reckless parts, hell, it’s about as deliciously spasming a piece of music you could imagine. and goddam i can imagine delicious spasming till the fresians wander back.

it’s a cranked up, coiled spring of a blooze record, if i can be so reductive. like the good cap’n (beefhearts) moonlight on vermont choked on handfulls of amphetamines. utterly brutal at times. a compressed ripple of time-dilating mania. god i need a sit down and a cigarette…

bandcamp / palilalia records

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