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Non Ferric Memories – aW hOOn hAw / aW bOOn pAr


“It sounds like someone flushing a magical toilet over and over” – this courtesy of my dear partner. She then mimed flushing a toilet for a bit, did a puzzled face, then decided it was the Victorian style of toilet with the flush you have to stand up for, rather than lean towards the cistern.

Which piques any of the adjectives I could throw at it. I was going to say something about it sounding like Can being done over by NWW, but ultimately, magical toilet wins out. It’s a 40 minute one-track, one take improvisation (from what I can gather) and it’s probably the best thing I’ve heard from them thus far (though I know they’ve got a lot more malevolently lingering in the vaults).

What or who are Non Ferric Memories? A duo of non-musicians doing a great job of reconciling loopy kraut vibes with just-shy-of-PE noise and a smattering of slow glitchy things. From what I can gather, there’s a load of instruments they can’t really play, big synthy sounds, echo and delay and some sort of looping thing. In a lot of senses, that’s not that different to a legion of bedroom noise-makers. On paper, probably not that exciting. But what they seem to have got nailed is operating in a world in which there’s a kind of gaudy joy in rusty psych chasing the tail (yin/ yang style) of some really fucking dark Current 93/Non type vibes. And you know that thing that happens when you buy cheap, shoddy CDrs, and they get this kind of hissing thing that, as the CDr wears out more, engulfs the music? Well, this does this out of the box, and it goes on for just long enough that I thought the CD was fucked, but suddenly reveals itself to be intentional (with the aid of some post-prod mixing, mayhaps?)

Though they seem to describe themselves as non-musicians, I get the impression that what they lack in chops, they make up for in having amazing ears. Like their LF set (reviewed by me [post=f-records-roundup text=”here”]), there’s a sense that they’re unafraid to leave a loop swirling for a while; unlike that live show though, there’s a bit more contraction and expansion in the loops – sometimes they linger around for a little while, building in slightly disjointed 6/4s, other times they stop at just the dramatic, nerve-jangling point, like a neck-tease executioner pissing himself at the gallows. I’m not sure if I want that to be a contrivance or entirely fortuitous, but either way, these chaps know their way around their early-80s weirdo sounds. Definitely the sort of thing that you’d not want to hear if you were in a dentist’s waiting room. It’s also a complete and total bastard of a record to describe, and it seems a shame to describe it as ‘a bit Fushitsusha-do-industrial’. If you find that psych is a bit too happy, and industrial’s a bit samey, and noise lacks dynamics, and Kraut wasn’t swooshy enough, I reckon NFM are sitting in a middle-ground that might well make your day.

Oh, also – the packaging is amazing. A black cardboard sleeve with some malevolent/ childlike firework assault nightmare poking out of the cave, or possibly Nietzche’s abyss. So… yeah. In a phrase – magical toilet.

-Kev Nickells-

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