Wednesday, November 23, 2011

josé's band of the week: wold

from Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
As you might have noticed by now, I'm not really aiming to please a crowd here. The occasional three-week absences and constant selection of impenetrably harsh and horribly noisy bands as José's Band of the Week might have tipped you off, but just in case you weren't sure, I'll admit it outright. There's a reason this blog is ad-free, and there's a reason all my "promotion" of it consists of a measly facebook page half-arsedly built in five minutes. It's coherence. I get enough exposure and I get to talk to big enough bands in my day job. So, instead of doing the same over here, I like to keep the long way home. rather subterranean, giving some face time to smaller, younger and more adventurous bands, with the occasional exception for a few of my personal mainstream-ish fetishes. This is essentially where I come to dump my photos, to let you know of past articles that I feel might have been overlooked and to go on about that awesome dronecore (I just made that up) quartet I heard in a basement the other day. And the lists, yes. They'll come soon. But anyway, let's face it - most of the stuff I talk about here won't ever get past the little up-and-coming columns even on extreme music magazines, if they ever get there at all. Far-out-there shit like Vegas Martyrs or Circle Of Ouroborus will always be marginal, because they're way past "extremity" and they've emerged out on the other side of whatever it is they've crossed.

And then, beyond those, there's Wold. You might even have heard of this mysterious Canadian duo, comprised of grand noise master Fortress Crookedjaw and his cohort guitarist Obey, they're on the fashionable and brilliant (two things that rarely go hand in hand) Profound Lore label, so they don't live under a floorboard and put out tapes for two people to listen to, but they're more extreme, abject and cortex-destroying than any other band I can think of. Their discography is pretty long already, with a few highlights like 2008's astounding 'Stratification' and a few opaque blind spots that even I, who like to call myself a fan, struggle with to this day (last year's confusing 'Working Together For Our Privacy'), but every release is a fresh whiff of dank air. Right now, there's even two - a CD reissue of their 2004 demo 'Badb' out on Crucial Blast and most of all, a brand new album called 'Freermasonry' on Profound Lore.

And I don't know how to talk about it. It was expertly described to me by someone very important in the music business, and I believe he won't mind me stealing his bit, as the one Wold album that "is the most like an alien transmission," and that just about sums it up for me. Unlike 'Working Together For Our Privacy', Fortress Crookedjaw's vocals play a huge part in the album, but they don't make it any more human. Rather the opposite - his black metal-ish, impassioned, heavily processed harsh shriek makes you feel like something cold and viscous and with a lot of teeth is going to rip from inside the speakers/headphones (recommended) and take control of your brain, and the apparent mismatch between some of the weirdly tribal-electronic beats (seriously, what the fuck is going on in 'Working Tools For Praxis'?) and the cadence of the vocals will screw with your head to no end.

I'm the sort of guy who will put on Vomir's 'Proanomie' on for something resembling enjoyment now and then, but even so, the sheer confrontational and uncomfortably otherworldly nature of Wold makes it hard for me to sit through these 58 minutes without a pause. To make it worse/better, the thematic concept is complex and deep, I've seen it described as "Goethe/Plutarch/Mason-referencing" and until I get to talk to master Crookedjaw about it again, I'll leave it at that.

Investigate at your own risk, folks.

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