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Quttinirpaaq – Let’s Hang Out

Rural Isolation Project

Quttinirpaaq – Let’s Hang OutOne of the great things about writing for Freq sometimes is that you get to hear some artists or albums you may not have stumbled across before. Quttinirpaaq is one of those artists. This LP comes on beautiful limited-edition coloured vinyl and is housed in a remarkable witch house-looking sleeve with an insert that hints of industrial music of old. It’s a feast for the eyes and I haven’t even given the thing a spin yet.

Side one opens with “Diary of a Pig Keeper’s Wife,” a heavy guitar drone interspersed with what sounds like chiming percussion but could also be electronics. Haunting voices from beyond the grave are buried beneath this aural assault. It seems to remind me of what SunnO)) and Throbbing Gristle would sound like if they could have ever joined forces. “Chinese Hercules” has a big Sabbath sounding guitar riff over some frantic drumming. Distorted vocals call from afar and the sound is reminiscent of early Butthole Surfers; in fact I feel all late ’80s and early ’90s again, and boy what a powerhouse riff it has – fantastic to blast the hell out of your speakers with. “Stork” starts with a rolling brontosaurian bass that tumbles through angular guitar chords and feedback lead over a tough drum sound. This explosion of noise veers into Suckdog territory at times but is never derivative – it’s just an overall feel of the piece and the tremolo vocals are excellent. This all broods and builds like a giant monster about to attack planet earth.

“Guess What Happened to Mr Incredible?” has bizarre crashes and smashes and strange astronaut vocals, and reminds me of Coil for the two minutes it lasts. “Man Without a Body” has wild clanking electronic rhythms among the sound of other instruments trying to catch up with its misplaced beat. Here we move into early Severed Heads territory as synth noise and odd-shaped sounds fall from your speakers all over the pulsing beat. Its a beat  that can’t keep still though as it stutters and stammers its way around, leaving an awkward space for the instruments on top. The eerie choir sound at the end adds an unnerving effect to the song. “A Golden Sheriff’”is an odd backward loop over which an organ plays chords that mysteriously hang in the air as backward guitar fades in and out.

Side two starts with “vamosamartarsantana,” which has a massive heavy riff that pulls on all its psychedelic powers like an Acid Mothers Temple song spawned in hell. This is bad-trip psych that will destroy your brain and get you to join a devil cult in the desert somewhere. “Cop Boner” has more intense riffing with noise laden guitar over the top, like Electric Wizard had plugged themselves into an SPK noise machine whilst still worshipping Satan on a cold Dorset moor. It’s an odd amalgamation that somehow works well and assaults your ears until you have nowhere left to hide.

A steady ‘rock’ drum beat starts what almost sounds like a sixties Stooges song with “Let Merv Drive.” It’s the bass here that plays the central role, with a continuous riff that pummels your brain into submission. It feels relentless as guitar noise crashes over the top; this is get on your motorcycle music as you head out to join the Manson family. “Old Whiskey Shoes” hangs ambiently and hovers above ground level like a heat haze, a dull throbbing sound like your own heartbeat as noises shimmer over it; but the track never hits the ground and you are left suspended there. One of the best track titles I’ve ever heard follows next: “A Secret History of Belgian Dog Owners” has a light bass motif over which piano and organ seem to play what sounds like part of the soundtrack to Dr Phibes punctuated by various guitar feedback noise. After all the power riffs on this side it gives the album a melancholy ending and the tracks abrupt stop makes you jump back to reality with a jolt.

This is an album that takes time to explore as various sounds are thrown at you, so you have no idea quite where you are heading next. It has strange juxtapositions in it but still manages to be a unified whole at the same time, and would also make the perfect soundtrack on your next trip to the Spahn Ranch.

-Gary Parsons-

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