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Old 03-14-2011, 06:28 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Gum - Vinyl (1987) [SAA Album Club discussion thread]

Gum - Vinyl (1987)


This album was recommended by OccultHawk last week and since we all managed to get the Antology, I suppose, it's worth pointing out again that OccultHawk suggested the original Vinyl album, which in fact consists of the first 10 songs of the Anthology. Here's what he said:

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Originally Posted by OccultHawk View Post
please note the track listing

Gum - Vinyl (Vinyl, LP) at Discogs

That was the original release but in all likelyhood people will end up downloading the full Anthology should this win but my suggestion is for the tracks on the original release only

Gum : Vinyl Anthology

"Gum's music consisted entirely of locked grooves, vinyl surface noise derived from the duo's destruction of thrift store acquisitions. You could say that Gum were early "turntablists" before there was a scene or a school for such a thing, before the instrumentalists' concern for technique spoiled it, before the community of practice turned it into "an artform". They presaged serious turntablists and noisicians like Philip Jeck, Otomo Yoshihde, Martin Tretault, Merzbow, Janek Schaefer. At their best, Gum rendered absolute minimal abstractions into foreground role, musically, playing off the residual, vestigial remains of sounds that threaten contextualization but routinely fail to deliver. Exquisite sound poems like "Smooth Torture in Exile" hold all of the manufactured memory that old vinyl carries, mangled just enough so the sounds don't divulge their sources and muddy the waters with 'reference'. The sounds come to represent only themselves and, as this collection demonstrates, these stand up to time. The results of decomposition, trusted even if its appropriateness is quite unclear."
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Old 03-14-2011, 06:32 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I didn't think much of it. In fact, I was very underwhelmed. Not bad in any way, there's tons of little subtle bits of information in there. Just didn't really blow me away.
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Old 03-14-2011, 06:50 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I didn't think much of it. In fact, I was very underwhelmed. Not bad in any way, there's tons of little subtle bits of information in there. Just didn't really blow me away.
I kind of feel the same way, except for the fact that I have a feeling that I might have missed something. I found a lot of it to be repetitive, but then again I could've payed closer attention to it.
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Old 03-14-2011, 07:21 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I didn't think much of it. In fact, I was very underwhelmed. Not bad in any way, there's tons of little subtle bits of information in there. Just didn't really blow me away.
Mm.

Some tracks were just redundant, with virtually no change in the same mildly noisy loop. It wasn't even noisy in an interesting Merzbow/Rallizes way either; just grating, dull and lifeless at times. The tracks which featured more contrast and a more diverse soundbank were better, but not by much. On another listen, when I treated it as an ambient album, I was also underwhelmed, but not nearly as much. It does have an ambiance to it in some small shape or form. It never particularly excels no matter which way I look at it, but it's nothing I would spit upon.
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Old 03-15-2011, 04:57 AM   #5 (permalink)
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where can I listen to this album?
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Old 03-15-2011, 05:43 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I bought this album when it came out so maybe that's part of the difference but I don't just love it now I've loved it for years. To me it's very subtle and beautiful but also quite extreme. I love the songs Fear and Arm **** but my favorite is Stomach Irritations. Wire Magazine did an excellent feature on Gum member Philip Samartzis a while back. This is one of my favorite all-time experimental records and that's why I suggested it. Maybe someone else will feel the love!
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Old 03-15-2011, 07:04 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by s_k View Post
where can I listen to this album?
I can send you the link if you want. You can also join our little club

So, I listened to this album a few times and I must say I find the names of the tracks more interesting than the actual music. It's a shame as I was really looking forward to hearing it and I usually like this kind of industrial 'ambient', so to say. I could see where it was supposed to be going, the effects of mind numbing repetition and raw ugliness it was supposed to have, but it didn't really come through, imo. It isn't bad by any means, just flat and with little or no differentiations.

The tracks are either too long, or too short for their own good. For example, I thought 'Sporadic Acts of Violence' was really going to make a big impression with its vile, ugly repetition, but going on and on for too long killed any effect it might have had and it just turned out bland, or maybe I was numbed down. On the other hand, some tracks had something interesting going on and then they were over. But, one track was very good, 'Outfits for Agony'. It actually establishes an uneasiness, in a good way, keeping the tension all the way through without beating you to the ground with too literal repetition. It also feels rounded, not too long or short, just right. Another one manged to make an impression, although differently, 'Fear'. This one has sections, but I thought they work well together. 'Testicle Stretch' was interesting (:/), just a bit short, like a fragment.

My biggest complaint is that the music is either too repetitive, literally or too fragmented, also literally. Maybe that's the point, I don't know. But, I heard a lot of potential there if it just wasn't insisting on being too damn literal. Although I was pretty criticizing, because of that potential, some good tracks, one being very good, (and attention grabbing titles ) I'm going to give it a solid mark after all.

Btw, speaking of this more ambient and experimental industrial, I really like Zoviet France and Nocturnal Emissions. The track I liked the most here, 'Outfits for Agony', reminded me of them actually.
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Old 03-15-2011, 09:43 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
one track was very good, 'Outfits for Agony'.
Yes. I think that is the best track. Not Stomach Irritations as I said earlier. I had those two tracks mixed up. The background CB style talking works really well.
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