how many curses will fall
Puce Mary—The Spiral
Posh Isolation, 169
1. something almost fatal has taken place to my well used sony earbuds—scarred, they hold within them a certain obscured damage which means that, when moving, an electrical surge (what else could it be?) forces them to pause, reverse, accelerate whatever music i am listening to. it is a property only of these specific buds; if i sit still, then the skipping doesn’t necessarily occur. but when i move , the music is subject to derrangement . it stutters , impediment .
the gold is discoloured, & marked by fragile whiteblack lines
2. i began moving—predictably, the tracks began, aimlessly, without structure or notice, to jump. what i’m listening to matters; a kind of shroud to ward off the intensities of central urban noise, the ceaseless gyration of bodies. i was listening to the spiral, the third full-length release from copenhagen-based industrial musician puce mary. a colossal accumulation of hard sound, teared at by arrithymias which cut away at their own musicality . what remains is an accumulation ; an accumulation that, for most unanticipated encounters with it, belongs simply to noise. but when that noise was deferred, and cut into with unwanted jolts (the earbuds, throwing me throughout the lp), i grew disappointed and annoyed. even if this unpredictable interruption and disorder was germaine to the sound—a kind of unwitting honour spoken to it—i wanted to remain within the decaying, + massing orbit of puce mary’s own construction. the order-fucking of the LP by another, mechanical source brought me to the lip of frustration. i pulled out the earbuds, and shouldered back into the world.
3. puce mary (frederikke hoffmeier) builds compositions which antagonize and disrupt. release 169 on danish auteur-vehicle posh isolation. these tracks pull and drag themselves throughout a landscape of tortured samples, through extremities of emotion. no, perhaps they are emotion. hammering percussion slides against curtains of angular synth. sobs, yells + barks struggle into the surface . but that is easy to say .
4. ‘these bold expansions actually seem to make works of art more vulnerable’—seth price, 2oo4
5. this contorted unease—people never tell you of this—becomes a well of solace. certain medications, not least morphine, build shutters against the world. euphoria as achieved state. noise functions, when it is not the condition of an explosion, when it is structured—a kind of architecture; let’s call it that—as a palliative. the ear attends to extremities, leaving the mind alone with itself; only listening, physically at the site of aggression, but also made absent from it. being witness (musically, aurally) to intensities of sound breaks down the physical body. it removes us from harm, while also rendering us immediately present to it; at murder’s bedside. but then, murder is disarmed. be more wary of tonic strings, of music which lulls you .
6. when sound becomes overwhelming, we say it ‘shatters ears’. the body is broken down—the body itself becomes a disappearing act.
7. blood climbs into blood. the image is remarkable b/c puce mary climbs, literally scales—crouching like a spider, technician in the mind’s armory—and begins to drag sound out of dumb equipment. this climbing-onto is an act of identification, a desperation (but controlled, measured), to coax expression from a thing which is otherwise and unendingly inert. imagine blurration; the complex of human disappearance into the machine. i don’t believe puce mary intends to disappear.
8. a sheet of red, bleached fabric. a silhouette .
9. slow agony of a dying orgasm; the sex-death of sonic eroticism climbs tellingly forward. this is bessotedness; wary + evocative ambience climbing throughout a rattling knifework of percussion, blowed-out, din. the body—our outre living withinside of it—becomes the final surmation of the LP, the obvious place of its final erasure, its ending point. we enter the End Zone, dragging our too-uncomfortable bodies, wrapped in buckled skin and salt, and collapse forward. the track accelerates , focuslessness climbing over focus .
10. when performing live, hoffmeier decidedly allows differences to enter the wrapped blockbody of her music. her voice plays a greater role in producing disharmony. her recorded work is more laconic , in a way .
11. the production and encounter with noise has always shifted between what david novak calls ‘liveness’ and ‘deadness’—between a distinctive aesthetic and cultural encounter with extreme sound , slouched between onyourown bandcamp downloads + the literal, physical entombment of actually being there. ‘livehouses’, in japan (raibuhausu), are typified as small music venues in basements and the top floors of office buildings. jun-kspace, extra territorial, left-over, territories which exist by accident & indifference. he says, these sites are where “liveness is created and people can repeatedly return to embody it and feed it back into their everyday lives as listeners”
12. the generation of intimacy—discomfort, wrong-fotting them/us, the cruel abjection of sound which is not led, but killed out—necessarily exists not simply in the surface of puce mary’s work, but also its literal performativity—signature sounds coil back into the mind. a collaboration/split with danish avant loke rahbek extends this through a kind of weirded chummy collectivism, with rahbek’s typical squelchedsynthdrill sirens serving as bridges between hoffmeier and himself. designed for packed, attentive, almost collapsing rooms.
13. enter into them manifests abandonment; ‘one morning, people open their blinds’. the speaker’s voice—dryly, a voice slipping into its own mutability—’the skin will start softening.’ a goresque horror steps forward, amidst ship-groaned samples and rushes of beaten metal strait-jacket. this speaker-voice; of people tearing at their faces. is this history, or an entering into vex, a roman curse bitten into malleable lead, stabbed bitterly + buried beneath carparks and dormitories ? a curse—within this space—is defiantly heard, but it also acknowledges its own lonliness and abandon. how many curses will fall on deaf ears?
14. the spiral belongs within the industrial yard, or comes from it—acknowledging of its own burred ferrite, its intense materiality. as a total work it eroticises and makes calamity of derrangement, favouring gut-wet percussion + tortured vocalism over absolute noise / and in this way it is anxious , guttedout, ‘every single question is beyond me. i am incapable of thinking’. there is—actually, perhaps—a kind of soiled quietude to this. spaces of slowing & silencing become as important as those of aggression. frequently, as on the actor, puce mary simply shuts off the track, ending in a sudden dropping of a heavy sheet. this is probably a reminder of hoffmeier as technician, occult machine-priest—blood-gored and yak’s butter running down on her skin, hands soiled, raw (the purple-whiteness of cold, skin furrowed like cretan ice). the priest rises out a sound of immense, combatative excession—but then she murders it away . it belongs to the category of summoning.
15. the woman climbs down from a bank of equipment . there is sweat in her hair .